Teaching Updates + Ramadan Resolutions


The last time I posted, I was just starting out with an all new vigorous teaching schedule. A lot has happened since then to be honest, a lot of progress and a lot of learning and self-discovery and reflections. I’m loving the accountability that comes with teaching; it keeps me on my toes since I’m not just working on MY goal but it’s somebody else’s goal as well. The teacher-student interaction and the sense that I can actually help somebody attain something substantial and worthwhile. That being said, its a big humongous responsibility and it hasn’t been an easy ride. Even when I’m not teaching, the students are always on my mind.. what can I do to make their learning experience easier, maybe even enjoyable? Am I impacting them the way my teachers impacted me? Why am I doing this? What can I do to maximize the benefit? 

Teaching is a lot about self-growth. I learn something new from each of my students… especially since our classes are all one-on-one… they inspire me to do more. Be a better person. I’ll be rushing through the day to check off other responsibilities and very often I’ll collapse at my desk for a class at the very last minute, take a deep breath and begin. Two minutes in and I’m in another world entirely. I get lost in the fathah and the kasrah and the dhammah and the  madd laazim. The dagger alif and the istitaalah of the dhaadh. The alif has a sharp laam but don’t stress too much on the hamzah…the baa, taa and thaa are boats… the raa can be written in so many different ways.. trying to perfect each characteristic, correct every error and iron out every little glitch. The huroof al muqata’aat. Just the huroof al muqata’aat. 


 For the longest time in the first few days of Ramadan, I had been too busy with teaching to properly contemplate on what I want need to achieve this year. Seemingly, this Ramadan has not been one of my most productive ones in terms of Quran khatms or any of that other goodness. But there’s so much more to it than that! I do realize that one of my main targets has been to build habits that last a lifetime… more efficiency and consistency. And SO, I’ve been focusing more on tiny bits (like one long Surah) a day, rather than 3 or 4 juz in a day, which is quite different from the way I was going in the past few years. I want to have a consistent  habit of perfecting a little of what I memorized everyday, rather than speed walk through the whole Quran. Not to say that completing a few khatms in Ramadan is bad, no, it’s just not what I see myself doing every single day for the rest of the year.

It’s been about trying to live ‘ibadah. To do normal routine activities with hope for reward and total reliance on Allah, to do things like laundry and cooking and cleaning because they are a part of an intentionally Muslim lifestyle and not just because they are necessities. I feel like it’s a workout for the soul. You exert all that energy and push all those muscles and you’ve worked yourself up to a sweat, heart pumping, blood pulsing and a few hours later you’re in immensely satisfying pain because *it worked*. Whether your struggle is patience, commitment, frugality or selflessness.. it will feel like a soul workout. 

Another target has been to be more grateful. To live life like a gift. 

To focus on things that matter the most.

-Umm Saifullah 


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