9. The Great Hall where we held the seminar was (not surprisingly) thronged with students, housing a total of 500+ individuals for Free Friday, and the 245+ enrolled students throughout the first weekend. Masha’Allah Tabarak’Allah, this was our third SOLD OUT seminar since the birth of our student body. New Q.Madinatayn milestone? We thinks so…
The AlMaghrib-esque lighting painted the room warm shades of purple, illuminating the stage where both Sheikh Yaser and our American Sign Language interpreters appeared. The local chapter of Global Deaf Muslim provided these interpreters to assist the handful of deaf Muslims attending Free Friday Night. Alhamdulillah, it was our Qabeelah’s greatest honor to host them.
Videos, interactive questionaires, role plays (with student participation, of course), and classroom activities are essential to the AlMaghrib learning experience. This is demonstrated in the photo below, where students join Sheikh Yaser Birjas in reenacting “Salat ul-Khawf”–the prayer of fear during times of war.
7. Purple-hijabed volunteers hosted a Q.Madinatayn sisters social during the lunch break; our AlMaghrib sisters participated actively in a few rounds of “Two Truths, One Lie” and various games that cultivated a bond of sisterhood. In one activity, the Ameerah asked, “Agree or disagree? Rice and bananas is where it’s at!”
Because we love our Somali students…
One student wrote on Facebook: “What I really love about these classes (besides the amazing amount of knowledge we gain Alhamdulillah) is that we really get a sense of community. It builds great bonds of sisterhood and brotherhood. And all these memorable moments are like inside jokes between everyone in the Qabeelah. Subhan Allah, I still can’t believe it’s over.”
6. It was Sunday, day three of Divine Link and students were awaiting the last hour before lunch break, until we had an unexpected surprise visit. Who’s the special guest?! Here are some clues: 1. Author of last Ramadan’s Taraweeh Truffles video series and 2. founder of DiscoverU, Time Travel Master, Heart Wheel Journal, Niche Hero Leadership and the world renowned AlMaghrib Institute. Need we say more?
Yes… Our Qabeelah skyped with Sheikh Muhammad AlShareef–who woulda thunk it? We’ll have more on this surprise visit soon, Insha’Allah.
5. In our first seminar, Love Notes, Qabeelat Madinatayn fell in love with Sheikh Yaser’s trademark expression, “Ya Jama’ah!” We all waited eagerly during Divine Link for the sound of those familiar words, but found ourselves disappointed… Until students sent in a mass petition to the Sheikh’s table, that is.
SEVENTY. Yeah, because he’s that awesome.
4. How do you fix your Salah after messing up in sujood? What happens if the Imam of a congregation makes the intention to pray Maghrib while it’s time for ‘Asr prayer–does your prayer count? What are the obligatory actions in Salah and what are the recommended ones? What do you do if the person next to you won’t do “foot-to-foot, shoulder-to-shoulder?”
These are festering questions that have long gained prominence in Muslim minds. As for our Divine Link students-they’ve received their answers, and now nothing stands in their way between them and a perfect Salah.
3. Divine Link cupcakes? Brothers and sisters enrolled in the Q.Madinatayn cupcake competition unleashed their stable of baking skills during the second weekend, and the winner of the PRETTIEST, TASTIEST and QUICKEST cupcakes to be sold out was offered $50 off our next AlMaghrib seminar. Sisters Jessica and Toni–whose submissions are pictured below–reigned supreme, as their delectable cupcake assortments pleased Sh. Yaser and our judges most.
Mmmm, tasty… Check out the runners up.
2. In the seminar’s final moments, Sheikh Yaser promised to rid us of our Salah dilemmas once and for all. “I want you to write down all your excuses for neglecting prayer on your sheet of paper,” he said. Moments later, those fragile sheets of paper where we penned down our excuses transformed into paper airplanes. “When I count to three, I want you all to throw your excuses as far as you can. One… Two… Three!!!”
And awayyyy they went… To infinity and beyond.
1. Cupcakes, paper airplanes and inside jokes aside, there remains one unparalleled memory in the hearts of all Divine Link students: the lessons learned on savoring the sweetness of Salah.