Monday, November 20, 2006

RE: Questions

So the questions the high schoolers asked . . .

I forgot the 4th grade story-telling rule. Apparently the content after the climax matters! Maybe I didn't want to tell the rest of the story because it wasn't as great? Alhamdulillah for having been informed that it was OK to say, "I don't know" right before being put in the hotseat! Knowing the children understood I wasn't a scholar eased the pressure of answering the questions.

Q: Do men who kill themselves for Allah get 40 virgins?
A: Killing yourself is against Islam. Therefore, there can be no reward for killing yourself.

Q:What does Islam say about homosexuality?
A: Islam says we are each tested in different ways. Some people's faith in God is tested when they are attracted to people of the same gender. The desire is accepted and considered natural, a "test" of sorts. However, acting on that desire as with certain other desires, is in fact a sin.

So there you have it. Those were the LAME answers I gave.

On a lighter note, I did a similar mosque tour with a group of 7th graders last Thursday. I loved that group. Sooo cute and innocent, and open minded. There kids are students at private Catholic school, in the Tender Loin (TL). The school is tuition free because nobody in the TL can afford tuition. Their school days go until 5-6pm, because the school provides extra time for them to do their homework at school. A lot of them go home to studio apartments and bad family situations, where homework likely would not get done.

I think the tour groups need to be told in advance they will need to take off their shoes. Note to self, talk to tour coordinator. The kids made jokes about smelly feet and holey socks.

They had already learned the five pillars. So I quizzed them on it.

They asked questions about prayer, pictures, covering, mosque architecture, community events, etc.

The best part: they had learned how to say, "As Salaam Alaikum" before coming! So they tried it out on me.

They watched us pray Asr which then led to questions begging explanation of the gender segregation during prayer. Afterwards they actually took a walk around the prayer hall and were VERY INTRIGUED by the Imam's prayer rug and khutbah chair!

On our way out, a few of the kids came back to test out some additional Arabic they had learned somewhere. They were so proud of themselves for being able to say the Kalima in Arabic.

I've concluded I like pre-high school kids much much better than high school kids. High school does something to a child's innocence.

. . . Alhamdulillah . . .


Bean said...

great answers and that's such a great program thing that takes kids on field trips to the masjid.

Marya said...

aww. cute.

i miss you z. :)

Merusha said...

I liked this post =)