I started this class at the start, in 2011. Algamdulillah. I feel that there are times when Allah doesn’t just guide us to where we belong, but HE actually carries you there…
How it all started for me:
On hajj 1431 (2010), I heard Sheikh Hudhaify read at Fajr, I felt very uneasy because I couldn’t understand what he was reading and I felt like I was missing out. I wanted to know what he was reading, and I wanted to understand it. The same happened in Makkah, over and over again…
I got back to work around mid-December 2010, when I got the first flyer from my contact. I opened it, closed it and deleted the email. I think I got the same flyer about two or three times thereafter. I don’t really remember when the “light went on,” but I remember thinking: “This is what you’ve been looking for!” Algamdulillah…Before the first class in January 2011 I was registered and I paid the class fees for the year so that I’m committed. I have never looked back, except in gratitude.
Ok, 5years down the line what have I learnt? That’s what everyone wants to know… Can you speak Arabic? Do you know what “this means”? So, one certainly has to be patient, so that’s one thing, I guess: Patience. When you start class, you look at the world through a different lens:a clearer, cleaner, softer and more subdued lens.
Five years later you have more patience with the sister at work who wears clothes that are a tad more revealing than is necessary. You’re more patient with the Muslim brother who finds it funny that you try to avoid his attempts at hugs. But, mostly, without thinking or trying you’re able to see their good qualities and strengths and that’s what you see every time you see them now.
Five years later I realise that I’m a lot more grateful for my Saturday class than I was during my first two years… Lesson number two: Gratitude. The Qur’aan shows you, in amazing 3D, detailed imagery, what Allah has subjugated for us. Come to class and learn what that is. (Yes, it’s a challenge.)
I’ve learnt to thank Allah during times of ease, so that when I experience a challenge, it becomes lighter. Sounds like words, right? Not quite. I’m being retrenched. After 15years at the same company: “there’s no security in a permanent job.” The question is why? The answer is simple. Allah is Ar-Razaaq, and HE is Al-Aleem, Al-Khabeer, Al-Gakeem, Al-Azeez, Ar-Rahmaan and Ar-Raheem. It took me a good few months to really soak this up, mentally. But here I am… I know that accepting this would have been much harder without knowing what these words really mean. Come to class… Find out their REAL meaning.
My salaah is definitely different. I didn’t make any conscious changes; it simply comes down to understanding a couple of words in a position that makes your heart stop. My fasting is different because my heart finds pleasure in breaking fast now; it’s not just another meal. Charity has taken on a different form, it’s not about giving: it’s about the opportunity to gain reward, the opportunity Allah created for you to gain THAT reward on THAT day.
In the past 5years we’ve shared many a chuckle, some tears, births, some of our classmates have passed on (may Allah bless them with wide quboor, save them from the Fire and enter them into Jannah without reckoning, Aameen) , but we have all grown. A lot. We still make mistakes, but out teachers, Ma Sha Allah, are patient with us, Algamdulillah. May Allah increase them in all the good they’re doing.