When a friend of mine asked me a few nights ago if I was interested in an 'aqeedah* class for college students, I asked: who is teaching it? and when is it?
To answer the first--the imam. I might not have explained on my blog how much respect I have for this man, for his knowledge of Islam, for his manners, for the gentle way he gives advice. Whenever I can, I attend two different classes he offers, one specifically for sisters that is Riyadh-us-Saliheen, and another that is on Qur'an (which seems to be regularly canceled as soon as I make it a habit to attend--no class for the last three weeks, for example.) I love the classes with the imam, I really do; I should say his English isn't the best but I hardly ever have a problem understanding him and because he speaks with knowledge and conviction, his message is clear and powerful. And his manners are just impeccable so I love going to his classes even if I don't learn anything new as far as the hadith or Qur'an, because I can still learn manners from him, alhamdulillah.
The second answer was that it's on Sundays between maghrib and isha... which is excellent timing for me--it's a time I'm typically free.
So here's a class that I'm interested in, with a sheikh I adore, at a convenient time, so I'm like hey, sign me up! And I literally cannot wait for this class to start--will be this Sunday inshaAllah.
What's interesting though is that I just did get an email about it through the MSA announcing it, which described the class as "a serious educational course for people who want to go beyond the basics of Islam." Beyond the basics of Islam? Aqeedah? My understanding was that it was actually obligatory for all Muslims to understand aqeedah--is that wrong? Isn't that an interesting way to describe a course? I'm afraid that it might discourage people from taking it who should. Yet, at the same time, it might encourage people to take it who are more serious about Islam. We'll see how it goes inshaaAllah.
I know I'm excited about it, regardless of the level of the class. Like I said above, if nothing else I can learn more etiquette from the sheikh, but I think I will learn plenty inshaaAllah. This week there is a "sample class" and a meeting during the MSA meeting to discuss the objectives of the class. I'll miss it because I have a meeting scheduled at the same time to plan a party for new muslimahs. Actually, the meeting is to set the program, and I'm the MC for the event so I need to be there and iron out some details to ensure that well-meaning sisters don't charge the stage to embarrass themselves and other guests, the planning committee, or all Muslims. This is new for me... and I ask Allah to help me. :-)
*'Aqeedah is Islamic creed