Dream Program Update & 2 Arab Folk Tales


Our weekly exam got postponed until tomorrow afternoon, so this has freed up some time and I thought I’d share a little about what we are doing in Dream right now towards the final stretch of the program.

This is how our school day goes for 4/6 days of our week:

8-8:30: Grammatical analysis of an ayah from Surat al Qaaf (we are almost finished, then we will go to Surat TaHa).  We read from the book, Irabul Mufassil.  The idea behind the grammatical analysis of the ayah (“irab”) is for us to do the analysis ourselves the night before in the way that Ustadh Nouman taught us/according to his grammar and then to look at another text which takes an extremely Classical approach.  This way we not only familiarize ourselves with another grammarian’s opinion, but we also get practice reading an Arabic text.

8:30-9:45: Reading from a classical tafsir of Surat TaHa with Imam Zia of the Irving Masjid.  We are learning how to read a classical tafsir text (Tafsir al Saadi), which is actually quite intense, and our teacher himself is equally as intense aH and this makes us diligently do our preparatory work before we come to class.  This is my favorite part of the day, surprisingly enough!

10-1: Studying Cambridge’s 2nd book in its Arabic textbook series in small groups with native Arab speakers as our teachers.  This is the most tedious part of the day.  We are practicing our reading of the texts, our writing, learning and practicing different sentence constructions, and mostly we are practicing our speaking, which can be quite painful.  It is not necessarily the most exciting part of the day, but it is crucial and we all understand, although sometimes we undermine, its importance for us as Arabic students.  Ustadh Nouman himself says that we might think that studying Cambridge is a waste of time or that it is boring, but it is because of our study of Cambridge Book 1 that has got us to the point where we have already been dabbling in the reading of 3 classical texts and are currently continuing with 1 of them and reading 2 others as well.

1:30-2:30: Reading from Samirraai’s balagha (rhetoric) in the Qur’an book.  We do this session with Ustadh Nouman, and this is also mainly to work on our reading.  We just got through the preface of the book (which is painful in each and every book, regardless of the language; the preface is meant to be ignored just like an instruction manual) and we started in the first chapter, so now the content has really picked up and has gotten aH a lot easier to understand since it is not scratching the surface of abstract concepts.

As you can tell, we are focusing on developing our reading and the common theme of Surat TaHa is due to the fact that Sh. ANJ will be doing an in-depth tafsir of that surah in June iA for the Qur’an Intensive students, and we will also sit in on that.  The grammatical analysis of the surah is crucial to our understanding of the basic meaning and some of the nuances of the surah.  The tafsir of it will iA help us have a better background about the surah and then we will have a more comprehensive understanding of the surah with Sh. ANJ’s tafsir.  The balagha book will not directly help us with Surat TaHa, but it will indirectly help us understand general ideas of balagha/rhetoric in the Qur’an and we will iA be able to benefit from this content in all of our Qur’an reading.

We are continuing with weekly exams on Cambridge (and probably a little bit from the readings we are doing sprinkled here and there in our exams.)  Our workload has increased by what seems like tenfold, it seems like we have at least 5 hours (and I think this is an underestimate) of homework to do every day now.  I actually am enjoying the work load because it is keeping me on track and focused and I love feeling so productive!

We are also continuing with our weekly Sunday darsul Qur’an, known as “Qur’an Days” where Ustadh Nouman will do a running translation of 3/4 of a Juz and a light macro-tafsir, one that focuses on major concepts and tying together different parts within the surah and with other surahs as well.

Now for the fun part of the post 🙂 We went over 2 stories this week, I think they are Arab folk tales.  They are very short and very cheeky and they put a smile on my face, so I thought I’d share to help spread the joy 🙂

Juha and the People 

One day Juha spoke to the people and said, “Do you know what I am going to say to you all?”

They said, “No, we don’t know.”

He said, “Your ignorance, in that case, is better for you.”  Then he left.

And after some days, Juha returned to the people and said, “Do you know what I am going to say to you?”

They answered, “Yes, we do know.”

Then Juha said, “Your knowing, in that case, is better for you.”  Then he left.

And after some dawys, he returned today and he said, “Do you know what I am going to say to you?”

Half of them said, “Yes, we know,” and the other half of them said, “No, we don’t know.”

Then Juha laughed and he said, “In that case, the ones who know among you inform the ignorant.”  Then he left.

The King and His Minister

-shared with us this morning with the mA amazing Ustadh Taysir, the Arab grandfather that none of us ever had but that all of us wish to  have 🙂 

A king would go hunting every day with his minister.  They would go out every morning, and come back every night with nothing.  The king was upset, but his minister said, “Maybe there is khayr/good in this.”

Then one day, the king went out with his minister as usual, but he fell in a ditch and his finger got cut off.  (I am not sure how.)  The minister said, “Maybe there is khayr in this” and the king got angry and fired the minister and told him to leave.

The next day, the king went out into the forest to hunt, but he didn’t know the way and he got lost.  Cannibals found him and kidnapped him to take him to their chief so that they could feast on him.  They were getting ready to roast up the king when the chief of the cannibals said, “Inspect him for any defects, because I do not eat anyone if he has any defects.”  So they found his 4-fingered hand and the chief ordered for the king to be kicked out of their village.  So the king was saved and he left from their encampment and returned to the palace.  There he met the minister he had fired the day before and he told him the story of the cannibals and he said to him, “You were right, there was khayr in my cut finger!”  And the minister said, “There was khayr in you firing me yesterday, because had I gone with you today, I would’ve been eaten!”

😀 cute stories, are they not?

We are taking Meaningful Prayer with Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda this weekend at the Irving Masjid, aH.  This seminar was organized so that the Dream students could attend one while we were here.  We just got back from Houston and Divine Speech a few weeks ago, and now aH we have another Bayyinah Seminar in store for us this weekend.

From my Spring Break last week, I present to you: Corona Del Mar Beach!

The park near UC Irvine


5 Responses to “Dream Program Update & 2 Arab Folk Tales”

  1. 1 wajiha
    March 24, 2012 at 7:13 am

    Jazak Allah Khair for sharing. that was interesting! Such an amazing program, MashAllah.

  2. 2 Sami Hoda
    March 31, 2012 at 12:26 am

    Good stuff! We’re doing similar in Toronto.

    • April 1, 2012 at 4:52 am

      I’m not aware of the program which is in Toronto, what is it called? That’s awesome mA!

      • 4 Sami Hoda
        April 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm

        Shariah Program. Give my salam to your parents btw.

      • April 7, 2012 at 2:59 am

        That sounds awesome, I haven’t heard of it until now.

        I asked Ustadh Nouman if any students took it, and he said he didn’t know if anyone had taken it, but he wants us all to take it and take it periodically so that we can see if we are improving.

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