By: Zainab Baqri
As summer comes to an end, students all around the nation, of different races and religions, are preparing for the start of the new school year. Of course, devout students practicing Islam, Christianity, or Judaism are also preparing for the start of Sunday School. Along with the trepidation that comes with the fear of future tests and homework, students also experience the happiness of seeing their old friends and anticipation at making new ones. After all, summer does get lonely without the company of your friends and community.
Sunday School is an extremely important factor in our lives, especially as Shias. In this day and age, through resources such as the media and textbooks, Muslim children are exposed to countless new ideas, opinions, and biases concerning Islam. The roots of our very religion are publicly questioned, our religious practices misunderstood, and our core values tested. In these trying times, it is imperative that we are firm in our iman (faith). Through sending our children to Sunday School, we are securing their Islamic foundations. Of all times, this is when it is most important for us Shias to have answers to the questions of others; we must be prepared to defend our religion and justify its principles.
Madressa gives us the opportunity to learn our religion correctly and properly in an Islamic atmosphere, while also allowing us to interact with other Shias from our community that are facing the same issues we are. As a student of JIC’s Imam Ali School myself, I can honestly say that Sunday school made me more confident in my understanding of Islam and greatly contributed to the knowledge I needed to successfully defend and practice my religion. Throughout the course of this year, we covered a variety of topics such as najaasat, sajda-e-sahu, namaaz-e-shab, and many other topics. These youth discussions allowed me to have a better foundation in my fiqh knowledge. With a better foundation in my Islamic knowledge, I am able to easily respond to the questions I face when I am at school and elsewhere. More importantly, I now feel a lot more confident in practicing my religion.