Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) readers,

Group discussion - our youth describe how they felt when they heard about the events on December 14.

Group discussion – our youth describe how they felt when they heard about the events on December 14.

On December 14, 2012 a tragic event shocked children and adults alike around the United States. In mere minutes, the lives of students, teachers, and administrators at Sandy Hook Elementary School was turned upside down as an individual walked in and severely hurt 20 students and 6 adults. In this moment of tragedy, there were acts of heroism including teachers who tried to cover their students from being harmed by the shooter. As the nation mourned the tragedy over the coming days and weeks, attention has turned now to how such tragedies can be prevented in the future.

On Friday night, the young men in the IYG took a moment to reflect back on the events which unfolded on December 14, 2012. We discussed emotions felt upon hearing of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. Amongst the feelings described included – shock that this event took place at a school, sadness for the students, families, and teachers at the elementary school who were hurt (physically and mentally), fear if this type of event could happen at their school, and anger at the shooter that he would pick on young people unable to defend themselves.

After re-assuring our youth of the different safety procedures they have in place in their schools to keep them safe from such tragedies, we moved on to finding out what we could do to help the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary. We continued our discussion this semester on gaining inner peace by mentioning the advice Prophet Muhammad, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam, gave us on how to earn the love of Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, (which is the key to attaining inner peace). Among the acts we can do to earn Allah’s love is performing the required rituals (i.e. 5 daily prayers) and additional small good deeds (like bringing a smile to the face of a person who is having a bad day).

Armed with this knowledge, our youth wrote cards and letters to the students, teachers, and families of the Sandy Hook tragedy as a small way of trying to lift their spirits after such a difficult event. Below you can see our youth hard at work on their cards and letters:

Our young men gather around the computer screen to view a clip of a Qur'an recitation given at the vigil in Newtown in December.

Our young men gather around the computer screen to view a clip of a Qur’an recitation given at the vigil in Newtown in December.

Ata, Muhammad, Mohamed, and Murtaza work on the rough draft of their cards and letters.

Ata, Muhammad, Mohamed, and Murtaza work on the rough draft of their cards and letters.

Danyal in deep thought, pen in hand...

Danyal in deep thought, pen in hand…

 

Mustafa draws a picture to bring a smile to the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Mustafa draws a picture to bring a smile to the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School.

 

Ahmed finds a quiet spot to work on his awesome card to the parents of Sandy Hook Elementary.

Ahmed finds a quiet spot to work on his awesome card to the parents of Sandy Hook Elementary.

 

A few examples of the finished products.

A few examples of the finished products.

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