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

Every week durig the IYG Fall/Spring/Summer Program, our youth typically spend time within the friendly confines of the ISGL (the Islamic Center/mosque in our community). Quite often we enter inside, enjoy an activity, and leave without stopping to really get to know more about this interesting center that we all frequently visit. On Friday night, our youth were given the opportunity to search for hidden gems and treasure (in the form of some very sticky stickers) amongst the various rooms in the ISGL. To find each hidden gem, our youth had to solve a series of challeneging questions and riddles to reveal clues about where to find the hidden treasure.

After we finsihed our massive treasure hunt (oh it was indeed massive), we huddled in the library and discussed a treasure that every masjid possesses but few Muslims really fully appreciate. This treasure is provided by Allah, azza wa jal, and contains gem after gem after beautiful gem within it. What is this great treasure you ask? It is the Qur’an. For within the Qur’an, Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, has answered many burning questions human beings think about (what is my purpose in life, who made me, what are my duties and responsibilities towards my family, friends, and community, and so forth); more importantly this treasure contains within it a roadmap to better understand Allah, azza wa jal, and how we can develop a stronger relationship with our Creator. Our mentors demonstrated this by reviewing one small surah (or chapter) we often recite in our daily prayers but don’t tend to reflect upon its verses  much. This surah contains four verses and is titled “Surat Al-Ikhlas (Sincerity)”. Why is it such an amazing surah? Well, we’ll leave that for you to explore and find out 🙂

Our youth break apart into their treasure hunting teams. Nurideen pops out behind Murtaza to say hello. Basim meanwhile relaxes against the wall as he gets himself mentally ready for the treasure hunt!

Our youth break apart into their treasure hunting teams. Nurideen pops out behind Murtaza to say hello. Basim meanwhile relaxes against the wall as he gets himself mentally ready for the treasure hunt!

Our teams are off to the races! Murtaza and Omar quickly count the number of different labeled envelopes present above the donation box. How many different labeled envelopes would they find?

Our teams are off to the races! Murtaza and Omar quickly count the number of different labeled envelopes present above the donation box. How many different labeled envelopes would they find?

Ahmed, Abdelrahman, and Karikm search the bookshelevs for stickets. Danyal is too tired to search right now...

Ahmed, Abdelrahman, and Karim search the bookshelevs for stickers. Danyal is too tired to search right now…

Oooo look!!! Mujtaba's team found a sticker! Meanwhile Muhammad finishes his assessment to determine the number of functioning wudu stations present in the men's wudu area.

Oooo look!!! Mujtaba’s team found two stickers! Meanwhile Baha and Muhammad finish their assessment to determine the number of functioning wudu stations present in the men’s wudu area.

Team collision! Danyal and Abdelrahman attempt to count the number of steps in the ISGL stairwell but Ahmed and Mujtaba disrupt the flow of their counting.

Team collision! Danyal and Abdelrahman attempt to count the number of steps in the ISGL stairwell but Ahmed and Mujtaba disrupt the flow of their counting. We smell sabotage!

One team seems befuddled by a clue to the hidden treasure...where's our treasure!!!

One team seems befuddled by a clue to the hidden treasure…where’s our treasure!!!

Mustafa and Hamza take their tnr counting steps. Basim appears to be feling a bit cold so he has donned a festive winter jacket as he mines for hidden gems in the basement.

Mustafa and Hamza take their turn counting steps. Basim appears to be feeling a bit cold so he has donned a festive winter jacket as he mines for hidden gems in the basement.

Our youth look to the sky (or ceiling?) to determine the total number of lights present in the main prayer hall.

Our youth look to the sky (or ceiling?) to determine the total number of lights present in the main prayer hall.

That’s all for now! We look forward to seeing y’all again next week, same time, same blog, with the same (youth) characters!

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