I was mulling over the things I wanted to blog about today and there were so many that I couldn’t decide. Then, I remember I’d never really talked about the wonderful weekly Islamic class I go to – Towards the Light. It’s time I share with everyone, the great aspects of this course!
Towards the Light is a three-year Quran course in English run by Al-Huda for busy housewives, working women and students. It’s a weekly course (Saturdays) so that it’s not difficult for people to attend, especially those with busy schedules. The timings aren’t inconvenient either – 3:00 to 6:30 pm with Asr break is just about perfect for everyone.
The course is run by a team of highly dedicated young volunteers, who, with their meticulous planning and organization, make every part of the experience even more fun than expected. The classes are held at the private residence of the course administrator, Maryam Wasti, whose In-laws have given away a large portion of the ground floor to holding such classes throughout the week.
One wonderful aspect of the course is that it is based on semesters. There are six semesters to the complete course and it’s up to the students to take whichever semester they want, or join in the three-year course at any semester. The successive semesters don’t clash with each other so you never feel like you’ve missed something.
The course structre is really simple too and revolves around the core – the Quran. First, there’s a half-hour Tajweed class, taken by Maryam Tariq. Wow, she’s such an amazing teacher! Her voice is clear and she recites the Quran in a very melodious voice. This term, she taught us the general Makharij (points of articulation of the Arabic letters) and alongside a number of Surahs from the 30th Juz. We also memorized the ninety-nine names of Allah (swt) as part of this semester’s course.
Next, there’s the Quran Reflection class taken by Dr. Imrana Khan – another wonderful experience! There’s a wealth of knowledge to be gained in this class and even people who come for the first time at ‘Listeners’ are taken in by the experience. Dr. Imrana was formerly a Biochemistry lecturer at Dow Medical College and also appeared on TV shows as host/compere. Later on, when she started frequenting Al-Huda, it changed her point of view on life and now, she’s associated with the Islamic organization on a full-time basis. She adopts a very simple approach to the Quran, giving references to authenic Ahadith, historical facts, modern researches, discoveries and current affairs. We cover two Rukuh with her before the Asr prayer break and two afterwards – thus, it’s a two hour class.
Finally, there are the ‘groups’, under the supervision of the volunteers there. The students are divided into different groups, named according to the pious ladies ofIslam… Khadija(ra), Aisha (ra), Fatima (ra) and Maryam (ra). During this group time, of about forty-five minutes, we
- read through one of the coursebooks prescribed for the semester. These books are based on the theme of the semester. For example, the theme for this semester was ‘Love for Allah (swt), Love for Rasool-Allah (saw)’. Thus, we covered ‘The Muslim’s Belief’ by Saikh Uthaymeen and ‘Following the Sunnah’.
- discuss the weekly activities. This is another fun bit… we’re assigned a simple weekly activity and we discuss it the following week to see how well we did it. For example, we had one activity where we had to try and eat more Tayyab/pure and healthy food during the week. We also gave up soft-drinks for the week. The acitivies are based on specific Quran ayah covered each week.
- memorize the word-to-word translations of one Rukuh each week. This has really helped me understand the Quran better! Alhamdolillah, I can now understand quite a lot of the Quran when it is being recited in Arabic. It’s a whole new, wonderful feeling.
After the group discussion time, we’re free to take refreshments and leave. The enivronment is so cosy and comfortable that you wish the course wouldn’t end at all! There’s a big lawn at the back of the house and at the end of the class, sitting there with the other students in the group discussion is very relaxing.
The course also holds a party each semester – a completely segregated and themed party. Besides the dressing up part (which is always fun) and the food (yummy), there were other fun activities too – a relay race, a quiz, a skit, etc.
If you’ve got any female relatives, friends, siblings, children above thirteen, then this is definitely a course worth-taking! Or if you can’t join the course full-time, there’s always the option of coming as a ‘Listener’.
Here are some details to help you get started:
Venue: House # 12-B, Khayaban-e-Sehr, Phase 6, Defense, Karachi.
Administrator: Maryam Wasti
Volunteers/teachers: Dr. Imrana Khan, Maryam Tariq, Maryam Mansoor, Yumna Akhtar
Semesters: Jan-June, Aug-Dec
Charges: Rs. 1500/- each semester (includes relevant books).