Have you made a difference?
Assalam o alaykum to all, Alhamdulillah. I am very excited to write this post. Let me take a deep breath. Tayyab, bismillah!
I used to teach Islamic studies at our local Islamic School. I left because I was absent once due to an emergency and I couldn’t find a replacement for myself. (What that emergency was, will inshAllah be posted in a future post. One thing is for sure, it was not worth the trouble but QaddarAllah o wa masha a fa3al!). So, the new school principal, (who happens to be a very strict disciplinarian) asked me to leave i.e. they fired me. 🙂 Not something I am proud of but I am afraid that’s just the truth!
To be honest, I was not enjoying teaching because of one of the two classes. Class A had really good students mashAllah and Class B had really naughty children. I did not want to teach class B because in order to change them I wanted their parents to show some change which I was not seeing. The children were suffering from very short attention spans and foul language/behaviour. Anyhow I tried my best to cope with it but in the end really did not want to teach it and kind of lost interest altogether.
Class A was always a joy teach. Infact, I had them last year and loved teaching them. I always looked froward to that one hour with my curious little seekers of knowledge. They would ask challenging questions. Like, “Br. Uthman,is the Qareen with us right now?” etc. My focus in these two classes has always been Aqeedah(Tawheed specifically) and Akhlaq because this is the foundation our young minds lack. Also I would teach them the meanings of some of the Names and Attributes of Allah. I realized that it was very easy for me to articulate what the Names and Attributes mean.
Once, in order to explain that Allah is our Creator and thus He is the Only One Worthy of Worship, I asked them a very simple question that would appeal to their fitrah; I asked, ” Let’s say I ask all of you to worship this chair, would you guys do it?” All of them started laughing at my face and said “teacher it cannot help us and harm us and plus we would consider you as an insane person”. That’s when I narrated the story of the people of Nuh(AS) and made it fun for them by asking them the names of the 5 righteous people the people of Nuh had started worshipping. Alhamdulillah. I enjoyed it alot. Sometimes I would give them activities to do. I used to give them very easy home works. Like, you must get up for Fajr and wake up your family as well, I would tell them how they can show love to their parents and how to be polite.
When the administration asked me to leave, I was sad because I would miss Class A and Class B had some good students that I would also miss. Class B had two or three trouble makers and I would make them my little helpers to maintain discipline in the class. As Shyakh Muhammad Al-Shareef said,” you need to be in control of the mala’ of the class and then you can control the whole class!”. I did exactly that but for some reason still was not enjoying teaching them.
Anyway, just yesterday I was standing in the main hall of the masjid and one of the mothers came up to me and said “Why did you leave?” She said ,”My son is very upset you left and we cannot get him to concentrate”. Then at the same moment another father came up and started saying ” My daughter is heart broken because you left teaching them”. At that point I had no answer but to apologize and say “inshAllah I will take the class next year when its under new management.”
Sometimes I feel I have let them down but it always puts a smile on my face when I hear they are pushing their parents to pray Fajr and do good deeds mashAllah walhamdulillah. This is the tawfeeq from Allah! Allah(SWT) gave me this opportunity and Alhamdulillah. No doubt I did not do a great job but did some thing.
To summarize I will always miss being with my students. Its like when Sh. Yasir Birjas is in town and he is leaving after two full weekends of gems, I am always heartbroken and especially look forward to saying goodbye to him.
I pray that Allah(SWT) makes our children better then us and raises from amongst them people who practice the Quran and Sunnah!