Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) fellow readers,

Saturday afternoon provided a forum for our young men to learn the skill of debating. Often when we think of the word “debate” we get images in our mind of two parties yelling at the top of their lungs over a contentious issue, insults being cast in the direction of a political candidate, food being thrown across a cafeteria, and audiences jumping up and down in glee as the party/group they are cheering for scores a point with the judges. This was not the purpose of the IYG Debates. Two weeks prior, at our Shakes & Juices Competition, Br. Adil dished out topic assignments our youth would have to prepare for in addition to the rules for the debate. The object of the debates was to provide a forum for our youth to learn how to prepare and communicate information on a topic or issue about their faith which they may face in school, with their friends, or on a sports team/school club/community organization. However it was critical that our young men learned how to convey their message or argument in a polite manner (without yelling or using verbal insults). Topics ranged from shari’ah law being perceived as a threat to the well-being of the U.S. to the lack of dating pre-marriage in Islam leads to failed marriages. Youth were split up into pairs. Two pairs would prepare and debate one issue (one group supporting the argument presented forth and one debating against the topic set forth).

Youth under the age of 10 were given a different assignment altogether. To help them get into the practice of becoming comfortable delivering a presentation to an audience, our 7-10 year-old young men were asked to prepare a top 10 list of what they love about being a Muslim. From PowerPoint presentations to a story book to a top ten list, our youth put forth some impressive presentations ma shaa Allah.

How does a debate at the IYG look like? Well take a look at the pictures below to find out!

Judge Adil getting ready to hear the arguments of our young debaters…

I wonder what criteria our youth will be judged by…

Murtaza kicks-off the debate with his opening remarks on the process of marriage in Islam.

Danyal goes away to his happy place as Amr writes away furiously in preparation for the crossfire round.

Crossfire round…everybody duck!

Br. Ihsan helps our young lads pick-up some refreshing snacks in-between debate numero uno and Dhuhr prayer.

Group 1 gets feedback from Adil on their wonderful effort!

Group 2 debates Shari’ah Law and its impact on the U.S.

Muhammad begins our presentations on 10 things he loves about being a Muslim.

Ahmed breaks out his fabulous presentation…

He’s followed quickly by his younger bro’ Mohamed.

Hazim needs a little bit of help to reach the podium to present his top 10 list.

Mustafa delivers an impressive timed presentation with cool pictures!

Shujath closes the show with STORY TIME!

A drawing in Shujath’s book – very impressive ma shaa Allah!

Congratulations to the following debaters and presenters on winning the first-ever IYG Debates:

– Concept of marriage in Islam and does it lead to happy marriages (Amr and Danyal)

– Shari’ah Law and the U.S. (Hamza and Mujtaba)

– 10 Things I Love About Being a Muslim (Shujath and Mustafa)