Friday night at the masjid usually brings with it another exciting youth group event. Yesterday evening proved no different. Last night’s festivities began with a short discussion entitled “From Greedy to Needy.” The topic shed light on the issue of how different members of our local community struggle each day just to find enough food to eat (or feed their families).

Some community members face a tough choice of using their hard-earned money to either pay for food at the grocery store or pay the monthly bills (rent, water, electricity, and so forth). Our youth sometimes fail to realize that there are kids in their schools and neighborhoods whose parents face this difficult choice. To help our youth gain a deeper appreciation for the duty we have as Muslims to look out for and care for the needy members of our community, we looked at the first 3 verses of Surat al-Ma’oon. As our youth are currently involved in a community service project to collect as many canned goods as possible to donate to the local Food Finders Food Bank, the discussion was a timely one.

Don't be fooled by the innocent smiles on their faces (and t-shirt). Under the guise of friendliness lies an intense desire to win

After our short discussion, youth paired up with a partner for a friendly game of Islamic Jeopardy. Each team of youth then had to choose a unique team name. Ma shaa Allah we have several creative youngins amongst our group. Check out the names each team came up with below:

  • Team MujAli (Mujtaba and Ali K)

    You have gotta love the cool names our youth came up with for team names

  • Team MurtAmine (Murtaza and Amine)
  • Team Halal H.A.M. (Hazem, Amr, and Muhammad A)
  • Team Purple Pineapple (Amir, Ali A, and Omar)
  • Team Ninja Assassins/Uber-Swagg (Mohamed E and Yacoub)

The game of Islamic Jeopardy works as follows. There are 2 rounds in the game. Each round consists of 5 different categories/topics. Under each topic there are 5 different questions each worth a different point value. Point values in round 1 vary from 100 to 500 points. Point values double in round 2 and vary from 200 to 1000 points. When a question is selected, teams have to buzz in before other teams to take a shot at answering the question. A team earns positive points if they answer a question correctly and loses points if they get a question wrong. After two rounds, there is a final question (called Final Jeopardy) which each team must answer. Depending on the answer provided and how many points each team has earned up to the final question, a winner is declared.

Oh wither would all these boxes go

Salah came up with a brilliant idea for our Islamic Jeopardy game. Since the youth are currently running a food drive, why not give each team that answers a question correctly in Jeopardy a box of macaroni and cheese (to put in their food drive box). The winning team would earn a 6-pound behemoth can of tomato paste for the food drive (yes we do things big in Indiana).

To say the least, once the youth saw the boxes of food, their eyes lit up. The excitement in the room was palpable; the intensity of the game was raised a couple of notches higher. Which team would emerge victorious after a long 2 rounds of competition. You must read on to find out!

On the table of course

As round 1 began, MurtAmine began with a flurry of correct responses. As the rest of the teams groaned, MurtAmine went after all of the 500 point questions. Not to be outdone, Team Ninja Assassins broke Team MurtAmine’s momentum by correctly answering a question about the companions of the Prophet, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam. However, they made a fatal mistake in the selection of the next question – they chose a question from the category involving facts about Purdue University. This category allowed a once dormant Team MujAli to rapidly ascend into first place. In between the competitive battle which was raging on between teams MujAli, Ninja Assassins, and MurtAmine, teams Purple Pineapple and Halal H.A.M. were able to break through and answer a few questions.

As Amine concentrates hard_Yacoub takes a moment to smile for the camera

Round 1 ended with Team MujAli in the lead (2100 points). Team MurtAmine (1700) and  Team Uber-Swagg (formerly known as Team Ninja Assassins) were trailing close behind.

Scores after round 1 - Team Purple Pineapple not doing so hot

After a 10 minute break to allow for the young minds to refresh themselves, the competition resumed. Things began to heat up as the lead switched between teams. At one point Team MurtAmine seemed to seize control of the game with a series of correct answers on Muslim scientists. Unfortunately for them, a couple of missed questions later and they found themselves back in second-place.

The intensity of the game turned up a few notches as we reached the final questions


Team Halal H.A.M. breaks through and answers a question correctly!

As the second round came to a close, three teams emerged as contenders for the 6-pound can of tomato paste (and the right to be named Islamic Jeopardy Champs 2011). These three teams (MurtAmine, MujAli, and Uber-Swagg) kept trading places throughout the game. After a difficult final jeopardy question about the names of prophets found in the title of surahs in the Holy Qur’an, the final scores were revealed:

The final scores after an hour of intense competition...even the whiteboard broke a sweat due to the heat

4 of the 5 teams correctly answered the final jeopardy question. Unfortunately for the rest of the teams, one of those 4 teams to correctly guess the answer was Team MujAli.

The mac and cheese have all found new homes alhamdulillah

With their correct response, Team MujAli (9001 Jeopardy points) took their place as champions of the Islamic Jeopardy competition.

We are the champions, my friend...check out the 6 pound can of tomato paste in Ali's arms

One measly point behind this team was Team MurtAmine which finished in second-place (9000 Jeopardy points).

Second-place is not always that bad, especially when you can earn two armfuls full of boxed goods

In third-place were the hipsters named Team Uber-Swagg.

Folks please meet the team which could not decide on a name. What started as Ninja Assassins ended as Team Uber-Swagg (good grief who comes up with these team names?)

Fourth-place team Purple Pineapple didn’t stick around for the photo shoot unfortunately. We can confirm that this team did indeed earn a few boxes of macaroni and cheese for their food drive box.

And bringing up the rear was Team Halal H.A.M. These young lads put forth great effort yesterday but were simply out-buzzed by their fellow competitors. In shaa Allah these guys will spend the next few months preparing for a re-match.

Amr and Muhammad were feeling great after Round 1

Their joy came to a screeching halt at the end of the game

A special thank you goes out to our youth (and their parents) for making Islamic Jeopardy a rocking-awesome experience!