Friday`s Halaqah For Girls
East London, Ilford
Haleema, Bilal, Mahnoor, Rafia, Wasifa, Rasikha, Sara, Zahra, Kinza, Faria, Madiha, Neha, Shahlaa, Alina, Tahleel, Hadiqa, Huniya, Sanaa, Shamaila, Tasleem, Farah, Shaleela, Rafiah, Aminah, Zeenat, Safia, Faaria.
Alhamdulillah by the blessings of Almighty Allah and His beloved Prophet (saw), for the past four years we have had the opportunity to attend a weekly halaqa for girls only every Friday. Students in this class range from the age of 6 to 13. It is at this stage of life that children are the most impressionable; which is why it is important that from a young age, Islamic halaqas are attended.
We have covered a wide range of different topics, such as seerah, husne akhlaaq, (beautiful manners) famous personalities, tasawuf (spiritualism), Islam in the West, rights of women in Islam and the virtues of the months in the Islamic calendar as well as many more.
The attendance, punctuality as well as the behaviour of the students is of a very high standard. Every student attends the class dressed in the correct Islamic attire and having the correct intention and the correct adab of sitting in a mehfil of dhikr is stressed at the beginning of each lesson so students can derive the most from the gathering.
The class starts promptly at 4:30 and begins with the recitation of a short surah from the Quran and in order to give barakah to the gathering we then recite the first three verses of Qasida Burda Sharif (poem of the scarf).
The Sister then begins her talk, during which we take notes and are encouraged to ask questions and be interactive. For homework, we are asked to compile a short essay based on the talk delivered. We try to be creative as possible and over the past we have produced posters, scrolls as well as models based on the topic of the lecture. Each student hopes receive the “Best Homework” honour and on most weeks the competition is very high and the Sister is often spoilt for choice.
In addition to the “Best Homework” honour is the “Student Of The Month” award. The Sister closely monitors all of us over the month, and at the end of the month she presents the student she feels has contributed the most to the class with a gift. This award is based on the student’s punctuality, behaviour, attendance and participation
We enjoy attending this halaqa, as the topics are delivered in an informal and enjoyable way. We have learnt a lot of things that we didn’t know before, for example, I never knew that sins blacken and harden our heart. Shamaila, a new student to the class said “I didn’t know it was that easy to get rewards and have your sins forgiven just by participating in a gathering of zikr.”
Every few months, we are asked to review our notes and pick a topic to do a presentation on in small groups, the best group presentation is awarded a prize. We love doing presentations in front of the rest of the class and it’s fun watching others!
I think this class has made me a better Muslim, I’ve learnt there is a lot more to Islam than just reading quran and namaz. I think it is important for everyone to have a link in any Islamic study circle because it is not as if we get taught about Islam in schools.
By Shamaila, Sara, Kinza and Zahra