By Jawaria Tahir ‘18 and Ufaq Tahir ‘18
The Muslim Student Association (MSA) taught small things about a big religion with a guest speaker who gave a lecture on the power of Basmala.
Basmala refers to the short version of the phrase “Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim.” Muslims say this phrase before beginning any task and means “In the name of God”.
MSA President Mohammad Khan ‘17 said the event was highly requested among the kids. “I wanted to go back to the basics and this was one of the basic fundamentals of the religion,” he said.
Noor Asif ‘17 attended the event and said, “Many only say it because they’ve been told to say it. The whole point is to introduce the basics and then get people involved in that way.”
Vice President of MSA Ikra Islam ‘19 said, “We don’t really know why we say it. It really helps to remind people why we say it and what the outcome of it is, and that’s going to help a lot of people.”
Students who have been attending MSA since last year knew the speaker because he gave a lecture last year on a similar event.
“The event that we had last year was on women’s rights in Islam and welcoming the month of Ramadan,” said Khan.
Mohammad first spoke to the guest speaker to tell him he needed students to understand the basics. The students were given a choice between understanding the Quran, parent’s rights, and the power of Basmala.
Since they didn’t get to do an event on parent’s rights, Khan plans on holding an event to teach the history of the Quran at a later date.
Khan emphasized parent’s rights because he said there are interesting stories and narrations of what a person can get from parent’s rights.
The speaker, Ahmed Elsamanoudy, is a third year college student, who went to an Islamic school and said early middle school years was when he was routed to lecturing. Teachers directed him to start and he continued to lecture once he could direct himself.
Elsamanoudy said, “I don’t have one community center or mosque that I lecture at. It depends on my ability and work schedule. The rest of the time I volunteer at different places.”
Elsamanoudy ended a series of lectures at Baruch College and that’s when Khan contacted him to ask to give the lecture.
Khan said, “This year we’re trying to get a new speaker to come in every three months.”
The speaker was Khan’s best choice because he’s around the same age as high school students so he understands the youth.
Kareem Ibrahim ‘18 said he went because it seemed like a great opportunity at the school.
After the lecture was done, some students took to the hallway to perform the sunset prayer, while others ate the food that was served.