Friday, May 20, 2016

Educating the soul

Our youngest child goes to a great public school, and is receiving an excellent education. But raising kids is more about teaching them good math and reading skills. The spiritual education is more up to the family, and I spend time with Bilal at home, teaching how to read the Quran in Arabic, and helping him memorize certain verses of the Quran, as well as Arabic prayers, which comprise Salah, one of the fundamental pillars of Islam. Fortunately, we have help; we also have access to a weekend Islamic School on Sundays, where many volunteers follow an age appropriate curriculum to help nurture the religious components of young Muslims.

The Birmingham Islamic Society's Weekend Islamic School has approximately three hundred students enrolled. Each Sunday during the regular school year they meet for assembly at 10 am, followed by three 45 minute classroom periods and recess in the middle. At 1:15pm, all the students gather in the main Musallah (prayer area) for Zuhr, which is the midday prayer.

This past Sunday was the 2015-16 school year graduation, where all the students receive certificates prior to being promoted to the next grade, and the teachers and volunteers are also recognized. There was also a video presented by the students, and some students sang a song, that they had also performed at a church during one of their interfaith activities for the year.

 Here are the students, preparing to sing:

There was an excellent talk given by a guest speaker, followed by distribution of the certificates.

Some students receive special awards, based on not just academic performance, but other aspects, including behavior and respectful attitude towards teachers and other students, and setting a good example. This year Bilal was nominated by all three of his teachers as an outstanding student.

We are very proud of his efforts in Sunday School, which he takes as seriously as his regular day school. After all, spiritual education nurtures the soul, and this is what will make our children more caring adults.

We will have the summer off, and will be back at school in the Fall.


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