Lupon Workshop: Faces with Smiles

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Faces and Smiles

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It was such an honor to visit this community, even though the travel was another 3 hours it was so worth it. We left the city after Fajr prayer, and unfortunately I was asleep during the travel and couldn’t take photos of the beautiful scenery on the way, and when I was able, I was too awestruck that I forget to pull out the camera and take a snap. Ma sha Allah.

If ever you have been in Davao and you are a nature lover; I recommend that you travel further to its neighboring places like Lupon. Lupon has a great resource of untouched nature, yes, beauty of nature at its finest. Just a great trip, travel during sunrise or sunset and do not take a nap during the travel. (which I did and regret)

When we arrived at the venue, I was happy to see kids wearing uniforms with veils and the little boys wearing what they locally call as “tutob” (kufi cap), from that moment I knew that place was blessed with such a community of ilm seekers. Ma sha Allah.

In my surprise, when I entered the venue I saw two of my mentors back in college, Sir Ed Fernandez and Ma’am Gemima Valderrama, both in my journalism class. They were there to cover the event (which actually made me feel like I was reporting in class when I did the lecture) – just to be clear since the event was for women only, Ma’am Gemima was the only one who entered the room.

I was arranging the materials on the table when the participants started to arrive, one kid ran after the other, and such a sight lit up my spirit- yes, I was going to teach a class with many kids! For many times, my classes were filled with grown ups and this was the first time I had kids to teach. (I love teaching any age, but to teach young minds is just brings such different impact on me!)

Maybe because it is something I wasn’t been able to have, to learn the deen in such an early age like theirs and I always believe that this is the way Allah Azza Wa Jall is letting me make up with those wasted years of mine, to teach kids. Alhamdulillah.

This was one of the most lively and fun workshops I’ve ever conducted, wallah, it was both the kids and their teachers from the madrasah who brought such fun in the class. They were all jolly and there was no dull moment, it was full of love and happiness.

But this was also the workshop where I was asked too many times if I was married. Just makes me feel very cared and loved, when some elders came up just to secretly tell me that I should get married soon. Ma sha Allah. I love you all for the sake of Allah.

This was the workshop where I was first called Ustadha, such a high label, that I had to thoroughly explain to the kids that I am in no way an Ustadha and asked them to just call me “Ate” but kids are kids, they continued calling me such.

Some may find it amusing but I found it scary in a way that one should be reminded of how they are doing with their deen, if such labels are worth it for them, as for me, I am but just a student of the deen. May Allah guide us all. Amin.

This very short trip and experience in Lupon, gave me such a great time to practice Al Muhasabah, reminded me to really check and think of what is the purpose of our actions.

Indeed, more than seeing eager minds to learn Arabic Calligraphy, this workshop was a reminder for me, of how a mother and daughter relationship should be. It was so emotional that on our way back, after the tiring day, while I was holding my niece on my hand as she slept, tears fell from my eyes remembering my mother Allah yer7ama, indeed, how blessed are those who are still with their mothers.

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Photos from the Workshop

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• Sister Zuhairah, Sister Sherrie and Sister Jehan, the three beauties behind Akhirah Events Specialist, as well as the event. Jazakumullahu Khayran for all the love and support. May Allah Azza Wa Jall bless and help you more with organizing events in the service of Islam.

• Ma’am Gem and Sir Ed, thank you so much for making time to travel and come over to the event.

• My sister and her family, jazakallahu Khayran for traveling over with me to Lupon.

• And of course to my family, for their ever loving support, especially my father for allowing me to go and teach.

May Allah Azza Wa Jall accept it all from us. Amin

Love and prayers,

Sister Zee

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Jazak Allahu Khayran for viewing.

Kindly remember my mother Allah yer7ama in your ad’iyah. May Allah Azza Wa Jall have mercy on her soul and grant her Jannatul Firdaus. Amin

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