The past few days have been volatile, to say the least. To make matters more tricky, I'm ill and have recurring fever bouts.
But there's one thing that really got my spirits up high. Many months ago, I was thinking (under what could've been a moonless night) that all the bayaans, hadiths and lectures that are given on the topic of Islam in Tamil-language madarasahs were inadequate. They were inadequate in the sense that they failed to enable the student to visualise the facts, obscuring the logic behind the facts. This thus hindered the ability to increase the faith that arises out of simple reasoning and the examination of facts. Lack of strong faith produces students (and people in general) who ritualise Islam - i.e., they fail to see the meaning and significance behind each and every prescribed act of worship.
In my own small capacity, I gained the support of a few of the older students and my wife to start a class that combined visual aids, and a motion picture, in primarily explaining the story of Islam. We hoped that through this, the students could obtain an overall contextual background of why they were Muslims in the first place, and the meaning of Islam through the experiences of the first Muslims in history.
"The Message", a movie I believe is good as a historical document but poor as a blockbuster chart-topper, was just the movie to help the students visualise the various stages of nascent Islam. Combining other forms of visual media, the class proceeded smoothly yesterday, and everyone involved had a good feeling about its impact on the students. And of course, prizes for an answer (be it right or wrong) always helps.
Insha Allah, I hope the sessions can continue to share with the students the Islam they should practice in their lives.