Live session in 12 minutes guys. That’ll be session 4.
Striking a balance between humility and ambition... The last two posts that I composed were really about humility. But how does that play out with our higher ambitions? Speaking personally I ambitiously dream (pun intended) to revolutionize Quran education for children and adults around the world. I want to put in place resources and solutions that help the average person regardless of their previous knowledge level be able to appreciate not just the meanings of revelation but the beauty, the timeless relevance, the divine power, the spiritual & emotional healing, the wisdom and the love infused in it. I want to do that in a way people can connect with regardless of their mother tongue. I believe that the majority of us haven’t really been exposed to what the Quran really is and if that were to be facilitated, our connection to God would be transformed. I dream of doing this by trying to simplify and elaborate as much of that endless treasure that I discover with my team but also by making its original language more accessible to more people in the world than ever before. I dream of seeing a globalized movement to standardize best practices for the teaching of this language to children and adults so within a generation we put a serious dent in the overall gap that lies between us and the direct words of Allah. I want to see schools, universities, local institutions, private tutors, synchronized and collaborating from around the world. Ambitious, I know but I think a lot can be done within a decade and a dream, even as big as this one, can become a reality. Can you imagine our teenagers having come out of their middle and high school years having been equipped with the language of the Quran and with its lessons most relevant to the trial years that lie ahead of them? That they can be in a college campus surrounded by opportunities of all kinds of companionship but will have the ability to access the companionship of Allah’s words on their own? Can you imagine kids from around the world that have memorized the Quran having an understanding of what they’ve memorized and becoming life long students of its wisdom too? Can you imagine our young generation of doctors, lawyers, engineers, social workers, counselors, therapists, teachers, entrepreneurs, scientists and technologists, farmers, home makers and laborers, drawing inspiration and strength from revelation every time they recite it? Ambitious. I know. But you know what? The same words that teach us humility are the exact same words that teach us the highest ambition. These two are not a contradiction in terms but rather two sides of the same coin. وأنتم الأعلون إن كنتم مؤمنين You will be supremely victorious if you truly are of faith. Well then that’s it. We just have to know that results lie in His hands and that He controls all outcomes. We just have to desire His acceptance of our efforts and acknowledges that grand visions and dreams aside, none of them have any weight save His permission. Drill that into your soul and watch amazing things happen all around you. In other words, let go of wanting to see results and you will see the most unprecedented results. Hold on to pleasing just Him and watch Him submit reality to your service. This is the same Allah who will tell a knife to not cut, a fire to not burn, a sun to not beam on sleepers in a cave, a water to part like mountains. All it took was faith. And that’s not history. That’s a universal truth. With the roots of our faith we will see this tree grow high and mighty أصلها ثابت وفرعها في السماء “It’s roots are firm and it’s branches extended into the sky” وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته O. K. B. Y. E.
Hey everyone Assalamu Alaikum. the following is an email I'm about to send all the dream worldwide students but i figured I share it with you too. It gives you a decent idea of what to expect in my program... A Note From Your Ustadh Assalamu Alaikum Fellow Dreamers! I am excited to meet each of you in less than two weeks and to start our exciting journey into the Arabic of the Qur’an together. It is critical that we have the right start to the program, and the purpose of this email is to help you do that. Please take note of the following essential information that will help you make the most of our time together. 1. OBJECTIVES Mastering the fundamentals of classical Arabic grammar is a must for any further progress in Qur’anic Arabic. Our goal for the upcoming Dream intensive is to internalize this and begin that journey together. Although this may seem daunting, it is an achievable task that we will do together. In order to accomplish this goal we must: A. Stay focused The Arabs have an old saying that translates into ‘take what is right in front of you’. That is what we will do. Be fully focused on the material at hand and not be concerned with what we haven’t covered. If we can master these fundamentals then it is guaranteed that the rest of our advancement in Arabic will be smooth sailing. B. Have clarity The most common mistake made by students is they take what they have learnt in one day, then open up the Qur’an and imagine that they will be able to see it in action right away. This is not only incorrect but also discouraging. You’re not ready for that yet, and that is ok. For now you will only able to see what I teach you in action, where I show you myself. So long as the Qur’an examples being given to you in class are understood, you’re doing fine. Never underestimate what you do know by comparing it to what you don’t. We will take a step by step approach in Arabic and also a step by step approach in how to engage the Qur’an. Be patient with me and yourselves. Trust me, I’ve done this before. 2. WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT FROM ME A. I will be always be an hour early. This is to answer any questions you may have and to give individual help as much as possible. I will be there at 6 P.M. along with three of my assistants, from Monday to Friday even though class starts at 7 P.M. I will be there at 10 A.M. every Saturday and Sunday, even though on those days class starts at 11 A.M. Coming to the early sessions is not required of you, nonetheless it will still be helpful even if you do not have any questions, as you can benefit from questions that others may ask, and the answers given. B. You can ask me questions at any time. You will get one of three responses: i. I will answer you right away as it will benefit everyone. ii. The question you asked is ahead of its time and it will be answered on a later day of the class when it’s the right time for it, but I won’t forget. I promise. iii. Your question is outside the scope of our goals for this class, so I would love to answer you individually anytime outside of class. You may ask me any question from previous material at any time. For example, you can interrupt me and ask a question about material from day 3 on day 8. That’s completely acceptable and I do not find it annoying or offensive even though some other students will roll their eyes. C. This is not a lecture series. During class, I will only be lecturing 30% of the time. For the remaining 70% I will be engaging with you in an interactive way. This isn’t a lecture series. This is an Arabic class. Scary I know. Mua haa haa haa! 3. WHAT I EXPECT FROM YOU IN CLASS A. That you have the right attitude I bring a positive energy to every class but I can’t sustain it if you’re a vegetable. I want you to enjoy the classes. Your attitude will directly impact your ability to understand and retain. It is essential that you bring a focused attitude, optimism and enthusiasm with you. B. Only take notes when I ask you to. When it’s time to listen, just listen. Only write down what I ask you to, and I don’t do that so much because I know what note taking is like. For most of you, you can’t even understand your own chicken scratch notes three hours after having written them. And when you are focused on transcribing everything I’m saying, you’re not actually thinking about what is being said as your mind is exhausted in dictation. That is a waste of your brain juice and it is counterproductive. Trust your teacher. Anything you really need written out, I’ve already written it for you. C. Have courage and ask. When you’re confused, don’t be intimidated by me or anyone else in the room. Have the courage to ask any question or for any concept to be explained again. You didn’t come to learn Arabic to impress anyone, except Allah. Be fearless and ask. As part of building that confidence in you, I will ask tons of questions in class and expect all of you to answer together out loud. I don’t pick on individual students because the anxiety for many of them is so bad that their entire life flashes before their eyes. So don’t worry, I won’t do that, but I will constantly encourage you to take initiative. Embarrassing you in class, though thoroughly enjoyable as a teacher, is not something I will ever do. D. Memorize what you’re asked to. There isn’t a lot of memorization to do but whatever I ask you to learn by heart you must do it. You cannot skip it. Some of you are convinced you are terrible at memorizing, and I’m convinced that you’re wrong and I’ll prove it to you insha Allah. My assistants and I will be there to help, and most importantly with the help of each other you will be fine. Don’t underestimate yourself and psych yourself out. Whatever needs to be memorized, we will do it in class together. E. Don’t do any homework. Here’s a fun expectation for these 10 days; don’t do any homework. Yup, I said it. No homework. You know why? Because I know you won’t do it. We are spending hours together everyday consecutively. It will feel like you never left at one point. I want you to give me your 100% in class. I don’t need anything else from you if you can do that. F. You won’t write anything in Arabic. For many of you, your Arabic handwriting is non existent and for others I can’t tell if its Korean or Arabic you wrote and neither can you. So its ok, we will use English to learn classical Arabic. I know that sounds crazy, but that’s what my method has always been for teaching Arabic and the Qur’an. Use what you do know to get you to what you don’t know. I want the burden of having to write things in Arabic lifted from you so you can focus on concepts and retention. Anything that takes away from that goal is a distraction. g. Laugh at my jokes. I will fail you if you don’t. Practice pretending to laugh in front of the mirror from now. You will be graded on this. I’m joking. Or am I? 4. GETTING A HEAD START This section is not for all of you. Those of you that would like to have an easier time in class and can afford to make the time before we begin, it wouldn’t hurt to start going through unit 1 of the Arabic with Husna series on Bayyinah.TV. The starting points are similar but not the same. Even if you don’t finish all of unit 1, some vague familiarity will ease your learning in class. My theory is that the fundamentals should be taught twice over at least before moving forward. I want you to be so good at them you can teach them off the top of your head. A second round is already part of the curriculum beyond the ten day intensive you’re coming to, but if you get this head start it will be the icing on the Arabic cake. 5. QURAN STUDY Before we end each class we are going to engage in a 30-45 minute in depth study of Surat Ale Imran. I started this series in Ramadan, where I reached up to ayah 52. Recordings of previous sessions are in the in-depth section of bayyinah.tv. You don’t have to go through that to benefit, but the enthusiasts among you are welcome to start. I want you to gain your basic Arabic and at the same time get a taste of how beautiful in depth engagement with the Qur’an can be. 6. THOUGHT PROCESS VS. INFORMATION As your teacher I’m not interested in delivering information to you. You can access far more information than I will ever deliver to you in the information age. My job as a teacher is to teach you how to develop the right thought process for solving Arabic riddles. That’s really what this boils down to. Problem solving. It's almost going to feel like you’re sitting in math class. Knowing the answer is useless if you don’t know how you got there. When you’re not sitting in my class anymore, you will rely on that thought process that you developed to engage portions of the Qur’an that we didn’t cover. 7. MAKING SENSE OF THE THREE KINDS OF STUDY MATERIALS Workbook You will be given a printed workbook on the first day of class and you will also be emailed a pdf version ahead of time as I know some of you prefer to work off your laptops and tablets instead. Transcript Before each session ends, you will notice a new email in your inbox. It will be an organized transcript of everything I taught you that day, and by that I mean not only the information that was taught but also the thought process I walked you through to get to the conclusions for each concept. This is why I don’t want you to take exhaustive notes in class and just focus; because I take better notes than you and you’re welcome. Dream Textbooks By the end of the course, the complete Dream curriculum textbooks will be available for purchase. This is optional. Materials from the textbook relevant to each lesson will be sent to you regardless in PDF format but if you’d like a physical copy of the complete set of books in your hands, you have that option. Just remember, it isn’t just the books that get this stuff in your head; you need the right thought process for each concept taught by the teacher that helps you internalize and then retain each of these concepts. But the books will help. 8. BEYOND THE FIRST TEN DAYS Once this course is over, my lead teaching assistant, Ustadh Maaz will send you detailed instructions on your follow up studies online, and questions about time commitment and schedule will all be answered thoroughly. For now, know that after the fundamentals, I only need 3 days a week from you with a one hour commitment each of those days maximum. The exact hour of the day you dedicate is going to be up to you. There will be three additional days every week of live review and Q&A sessions that are optional for you to take advantage of. Finally, I’m really happy that you’re doing this and I’m honored that you trusted me as your teacher. I make a firm commitment to give you my very best and I hope you can respond in kind as we are all trying to do this for a cause worthy of our utmost. I am praying for your success, and for an enjoyable labor of love. Respectfully, Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan
Session 4: My Curriculum
One might think of faith as an intangible thing; perhaps a set of ideas and beliefs that can influence a persons feelings, perspective and even behavior. Regardless of its power, it is something that resides in the conscience and it isn’t considered something you can touch or feel with the five senses. When someone asks you what you’ve accomplished, you’re expected to be able to point to something tangible. You’re supposed to be able to say that you graduated and earned a degree or you bought a house or got a job or won the match or earned x amount of money etc. These and other accomplishments become ones measure of value and success and much of our world revolves around them. Understandably so. Now to the point. The faithful of Madina lost and lost badly. Uhud was demoralizing militarily, economically, strategically, socially and psychologically. It is occasions like these that Allah teaches us something only He can. That your tangible, measurable and very much felt losses pale in comparison to what you’ve gained...a credential that the world around you may not see any value in but the truth is, all else only has value through it. You have passed the test of faith. While the only place ones heart and mind goes to is defeat and tragedy, and that is so because that’s all you can tangibly gauge, Allah tells you of a gain greater than any other. Iman. My current obsession is the DreamWorldwide project. I want to see it succeed. I’ll be talking about ambition in my next post but before I do, I wish to couch those thoughts and root them in a humbling reality. Our project at Bayyinah , or for that matter any efforts of any Muslims anywhere, shall be gauged by two standards; people’s and Allah’s. People will measure success and failure by statistics and opinions. Allah has declared that the only gauge for its value will be whether or not faith, or iman, remained fortified regardless of the outwardly outcome. Did the slave remain humble like a slave should in face of outwardly success? Did the slave remain grateful and hopeful as the slave should in face of outwardly disappointment. Did the slave remain focused on his or her own pursuit of the Master’s favor and forgiveness or did the service that was supposedly being provided as a dedication to the Master become a distraction from the Master? It is the right answers to these questions that mean our work was successful. May Allah grant our project true success and never let us lose sight of it. May Allah grant all good and sincere efforts of the faithful the same. Ok bye Oh yes and السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
Session 3 yawl
Hey sorry everyone no session yet. Got tied up getting ready for copenhagen. Will start in an hour إن شاء الله
Hey everyone my live thingamajig gonna start in about 80 min. السلام عليكم And Ok bye
There are certain occasions in the prophet’s (ص) life that Allah Himself comments on extensively making them timeless treasures of universal wisdom. Uhud is one such occasion captured in the latter part Surat Ale Imran. The lessons are many (that’s an understatement) but one in particular is circling in my mind nowadays. Here are some thoughts about how on two occasions Allah teaches us something remarkable about faith or iman in these revelations: Uhud, for those of you who don’t know (and it’s ok if you don’t) was a terrible calamity for the faithful. The loss of some of the dearest companions of the prophet (ص) along with a sudden turn of events that even included a near death experience for our beloved (ص). The shock, the sense of defeat, the debilitating grief was described by Allah Himself as غما بغم (grief atop grief). In the midst of all this travesty, Allah says He did this to see who truly believes. He did this. Think about that. He didn’t say the enemy did it. He did it. All for what? So as to expose the truly genuinely faithful. We learn here the purpose of defeat, of loss, of calamity and of grief that keeps on compounding. He just wants to see who holds to his or her faith and still continues to believe in a God that loves, that protects, that nurtures and cares! He also tells all of us that we are supremely victorious above all else, الأعلون, if we are truly faithful. I was thinking about all this as I get ready for the launch of the DreamWorldwide program in Copenhagen this Friday. My team and I are excited to meet the students and have a successful program and yet I can’t help but think about this reminder. What’s the connection? Instead of making this a super long post, I’ll let you think about that for a bit, if you’re so inclined, and will write about it pretty soon إن شاء الله. والسلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته Oh and I almost forgot OK bye
Nouman Ali Khan is a Muslim speaker and the CEO and founder of Bayyinah Institute, an Arabic studies, educational institution in the United States. His early education in Arabic started in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and continued in Pakistan. His serious Arabic training began in 1999 in the United States. He has been teaching Modern Standard and Classical Arabic at various venues for several years with over 10,000 students nationwide.qur'anic arabic family friends photoshop design muslims islam
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