Thursday, October 21, 2010

Will You Reach The Finish Line? | One Month at Bayyinah Dream

Something which we learned in this past month at Bayyinah is that studying sacred knowledge of our religion is truly a privilege. Many people are given the opportunity to start seeking knowledge but not everyone has the chance to finish seeking it.

Alhamdulillah yesterday we completed our first month at Bayyinah. Our level of reading, writing, recitation, and comprehension fluency of the arabic language as progressed very far. Reading without tashkeel, comprehending most of what we are reading, and speaking is almost a norm for the students. Though we are still here, there is no guarantee that we will remain for the remaining nine months. At the same time we will only be speaking Arabic on and around the campus by the end of December, inshaAllah.

Since the start of classes till now a few students have had to pull out of the program due to medical and family emergencies. Think about it, they did not do something wrong which caused them to leave. Rather, it was simply the will of Allah. No one except our Lord knows what is good or bad for us.

There were some questions asked by some of the you guys. I've tried to answer them as thoroughly as possible:

1. What do you do after 3 pm?
After 3pm is our break time. Usually we shoot around some pool, play some ping pong, or simply go home. We have the facilities at Bayyinah to have a good time alhamdulillah. At the same time there are many brothers and sisters who stick around for an extra hour or so and continue with their studies and/or finishing up homework.

2. How much review is a student doing daily regularly?
As for Qur'an, the huffadh are currently reviewing about a juz a day along with tajweed lessons taught four days a week by Ustadh Wisam Sharieff. As for grammar, we usually study from 2-4 hours daily depending on our workload.

3. Is the schedule something you can see yourself doing seriously for 10 months or will a few breaks be necessary? (i.e. too intense all the time)
The schedule is very doable, alhamdulillah. People do end up getting tired, but it's not something which getting a drink or a power nap can't get rid of. As for breaks, we have off during Eid, national holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, 4th of July, etc), as well as every Friday. So there is more then enough room to breathe.

4. What helped students get in? (what things they studied or institutes they attended beforehand that helped them in the Dream Program, what things help the organizers of the Dream program determine whether to accept a student or not).
Well, for the most part getting in was not extremely difficult, alhamdulillah. Bayyinah wants students who are committed to learning and spreading the deen. But at the same time they want only the best-of-the-best. They prefer people who have good manners, productive study habits, and are willing to work to the edge. There are no specific institutes which someone must attend for Bayyinah to accept a student's application.

Some things which will help you get in are some common items:
  1. Good study manners + akhlaq. This will probably be one of the first (if not the first) item you should work on.
  2. Goals. Bayyinah wants to make sure you know what you are getting into when applying. One must understand that this will be a 24/7 commitment. Remember, you can go to Egypt, Syria, or Jordan to study as well. So make sure to have a reason as to why you picked Bayyinah..rationalize it!
  3. Quran Recitation. It doesn't have to be amazing. As long as you can recognize letters and generally read you should be okay.
  4. Knowledge, Qur'an, etc will follow. But if you have more Islamic seminars/classes under your belt it will hold some weight, but don't make it your focus. Make sure to perfect the above two and follow it with the third point.
Are there any international students at Bayyinah this year?
No international students are currently present in the program. All students are based in the United States.

How do sisters practice tajweed?
Generally everyone sits in the same class and recites along with Ustadh Wisam. Later on the students split up into groups and recite amongst each other; sisters and brothers in their own groups respectively.

Let us know what else you'd like to know!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ten Days Later | Reflections from Bayyinah Dream

After finishing up ten days of Bayyinah Dream; starting class at 7:30am to 3pm and studying from 6pm to 10pm, 11pm, 12am, and sometimes even 1am, I am happy to say that I am truly seeing the fruits of of this program in myself.

After just ten days in this program I truly feel overwhelmed with tranquility, satisfaction, and purpose. For years I have been reading the Qur'an without fully comprehending that which my lips were reciting. But after only ten days here I am starting to understand, comprehend, and speak in Arabic more then I have ever done in my life! At the same time I have to say in my opinion that there is no Islamic science more heart-opening and eye-tearing then the Arabic language.

The assignments, class discussions, exams, slowly shifting into Arabic conversation in all of my classes have all whole-heartedly contributed to getting to where I am at now in my knowledge and application of the Arabic language. Perhaps I am speaking from an emotional perspective and not much rationale, but I would not hesitate to say that Bayyinah Dream is probably the most advanced and solid full-time Arabic program in the west. Considering there are students here who have come from recognized Islamic institutions to learn arabic, Bayyinah has truly set a standard in these past ten days as to how Arabic should be studied in the United States.

InshaAllah I will try to post up gems and pictures from the classes when a get a chance during the week (if you have not already noticed this blog get's 1-2 updates per week as we are studying here from literally sunrise till sunset.

If you want to study Arabic at Bayyinah for 10 months and have an excuse of not being able to do so due to school/work/family etc, then make du'aa. A good portion of students at the program are families who have young children and spouses who migrated from one state to another simply for the Dream Program.

Applications are opening up in November. Make your arrangements starting now and make yourself available to study the book of Allah for 10 months.

Let us know what you think and want to hear about!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

What Is the Schedule Like? | Bayyinah Dream

**Updated Sunday schedule. 9/26/2010

Many people have been inquiring about the daily schedule at the Dream program; so we'll go over it here:

Classes are from Saturday to Thursday, 6 days a week with Friday off. Saturday is an all day review session with a new lesson of Quranic Vocabulary. Sundays are Exams. Our schedule from Monday to Thursday is the following:

  • Fajr: 6:15am
  • Class Begins: 7:30am
  • 7:30am - 8:45: Conversational Arabic; taught by Ustadh Nuh Faris
  • 8:45am - 9:10am: Break
  • 9:10am - 11:10am: Quranic Arabic, taught by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan
  • 11:10am - 11:30am: Break
  • 11:30am - 1pm: Quranic Arabic, taught by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan
  • 1pm - 1:45pm: Break, Lunch, Dhuhr
  • 1:45pm - 3pm: Tajweed/Quran, taught by Ustadh Wisam Sharieff
Friday is off.

  • Fajr: 6:15am
  • Class Begins: 7:30am
  • 7:30am - 8:45: Conversational Arabic; taught by Ustadh Nuh Faris
  • 8:45am - 9:10am: Break
  • 9:10am - 11:10am: Quranic Arabic REVIEW, taught by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan
  • 11:10am - 11:30am: Break
  • 11:30am - 1pm: Quranic Vocabulary, taught by Ustadha Menahal Begawala
  • 1pm - 1:45pm: Break, Lunch, Dhuhr
  • 1:45pm - 3pm: Tajweed/Quran, taught by Shaykh Nadim Bashir
  • Fajr: 6:15am
  • Testing Begins: 7:30am
  • 1pm: Testing Ends
  • 1pm-1:40pm: Break
  • 1:40pm: Dhuhr
  • 2pm: Tafseer, taught by Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan
In summary, the program is very intense. There is no room to spread yourself thin by taking part in numerous activities.

Comment below and let us know what you would like to know about!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 1 of Bayyinah Dream | Etiquettes of the Student of Knowledge

By the grace of Allah Bayyinah Dream kicked off its first day of classes on Monday, September 20, 2010. 61 students from all over the United States have gathered to utilize these next 10 months in establishing a link with the book of Allah by deeply studying Arabic, tajweed, and other fundamental principles of learning the Qur’an.

The day began with Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan congratulating all of the students who had made it to the Bayyinah campus to study Arabic for the next 10 months. He then went on to introduce all of the instructors at the program. There were those whom everyone was familiar with and those who were new to the Bayyinah student body. None the less, it was heavily emphasized that all of these teachers need to be shown respect at all times.

A point which Ustadh Wisam made to us is that it is not from the etiquettes of studying knowledge to think of your teacher as your best friend. Many of the students coming to this program have been very free with the instructors when interacting with them. We need to understand that when we are studying knowledge our relationship with our teachers MUST be one of a student and teacher. It is the only way knowledge will come to us.

Imam Shafi said, "I would be careful in the turning of the pages of my book hence to not disturb my teacher, Imam Malik." Imam Shafi'i was afraid to drink water in front of Imam Malik because of the position of his head going higher then Imam Ahmed was not considered appropriate to him. This gives us a short glimpse of how our pious predecessors used to be around their teachers. We may not deal with our teacher perhaps in this way, but it definitely gives us some insight as to what direction we should be headed towards.

Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda began the first session with the etiquettes of the student of knowledge. Though some of the instructors also touched on the subject as well, Shaykh Abdul Nasir gave a whole session on it. Here are some gems from what he explained to all of us:

  1. Intention

a. Those who are studying knowledge need to understand the big struggle they will have. Numerous ahadith tell us that Hell will be the place for a person who studied knowledge for any other reason outside of coming closer to Allah. The first person to be thrown into hell will be the one who studied Islam just to be called “one who has knowledge” by the people around him.

b. People will always want to be in your place; hence appreciate it. Studying knowledge is a true blessing of Allah.

c. Know why you are here. You have spent your money and time to make it to this school to study. It is only correct to spend every minute in the service of learning and getting closer to Allah while you are studying full time.

d. Maintaining one’s sincerity can become the biggest challenge after studying due to people over-praising you when you left to study.

e. Imam Abu Hanifah used to say, “Whoever seeks knowledge in order to better his akhirah, then he has received the blessing of true knowledge. And the one who seeks knowledge to tell others that he is better than them, they will not gain any benefit from the knowledge and they are of the losers.

i. Our outcome of studying must be to get closer to Allah.

f. The reason we are studying is because we want to go to Jannah. That’s it!

2. Etiquette

a. How do you conduct and carry yourself?

i. Realize who you are and that you will represent knowledge.

ii. The author of al-Hidayah (a book of Hanafi fiqh) said, “One of the greatest forms of corruption is a scholar who is ill-mannered. But that which is worse is an ignorant person who tries to practice the deen. Yet both of these people end up becoming a test and trial for the masses.”

iii. Imam Abu Hanifah used to tell his students to dress nicely and look educated. - - This is so the masses will not take lightly what students of knowledge have to offer.

b. Ali (R) said knowledge is not achieved except through 6 things:

1. Applied Intellect

- Don’t sit in class on cruise control, always hit the pedal to the metal. Take in everything which the teacher asys.

2. Obsession of Knowledge

- Absorb everything. Make knowledge your number one passion.

3. Be Responsible

- Plan ahead and have everything you need.

a. Housing, laundry, pens, pencils. This shows the commitment you have to knowledge.

b. It’s not worth missing notes because you forgot your pencil or paper.

4. Direction from a Teacher

- You’ll be doing the heavy lifting, but you need the personal trainer to help you go in the right direction.

5. Have an extended period of time

- You need to put time aside to study.

- It doesn’t come without sacrifice.

- A hadith’s status is determined by the person who narrated and how much time he spent with his teacher.

- Until you dedicate yourself fully to knowledge will you gain it. And when you start gaining it you’ll only get a little at a time.

3. Good Companionship

i. Chose someone who carries themselves with respect and are particular with their deen.

- Find people who have abstinent lifestyles. Though they may be allowed to do some acts, because they are studying knowledge they will refrain.

a. Though it is okay to hang out in a mall, it is not proper for the student of knowledge to hang out in a mall when he should be dedicating himself to studying knowledge.

ii. Someone who is emotionally stable

- Find someone who isn’t mad, sad, etc all the time. Look for the person whose emotions don’t go up and down in every situation.

- Find someone who is intelligent and always studies outside of class time.

b. Types of people to avoid

i. Run away from someone who is lazy

- Laziness is the poison of the talib al-‘ilm

- The Prophet (SAW) used to ask Allah for refuge from laziness everyday.

ii. Avoid negligent people

iii. People who talk a lot

- Find someone who only speaks that which is good. Look for someone who only opens his mouth to benefit others.

iv. People who always cause trouble

- Self explanatory.

v. Someone who instigates problems between people.

Please leave your comments below and let us know what you would like to hear about! We will be updating at minimum once a week, inshaAllah.

Let us know what you think below. Jazakam Allahu Khayr!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pictures of the Bayyinah Dream Campus

Check out the pictures from the Dream Campus!

Welcome to Bayyinah Students! will include experiences, reflections, posts, videos, gems, and much more from the Bayyinah Dream program currently happening in Dallas, Texas.

We will also eventually add testimonials from the Bayyinah travelling courses and summer program.

Stay tuned!