All of us have heard Plato’s saying, “beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”. While that sounds true to a certain extent, we at Al Manarat Heights Islamic School believe that “true beauty lies in our character (akhlaaq)”. Apart from tirelessly working to impart an Islamic education to our students, at Al Manarat Heights, we spend a lot of time developing our students’ character Islamically as well. Although this character-development happens in our classroom teaching daily, we have devised a fun and interactive annual schoolwide event to take a more hands-on approach to this important activity.
Starting in 2018, we have organized an annual themed competitive event for the entire school where every student and their class teacher is expected to participate actively. There is a group of judges assigned who choose the top three winning teams and recognize them with prizes. We call this event the “Beauty Revolution” and we believe that it brings together all our students in learning important life lessons on the Islamic concepts of Beauty and Humility.
This year’s chosen theme is “Al Ashraa Al Mubashira” or the “Ten who Received the Glad Tidings”, based on the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who said “Abu Bakr will be in Paradise, ‘Umar will be in Paradise, ‘Uthmaan will be in Paradise, ‘Ali will be in Paradise, Talhah will be in Paradise, al-Zubayr will be in Paradise, ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf will be in Paradise, Sa’d will be in Paradise, Sa’eed will be in Paradise, and Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarraah will be in Paradise.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 3680). Sa’d is Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas, and Sa’eed is Sa’eed ibn Zayd (may Allah be pleased with them all).
Each class with its 15-20 students shall be participating as a team, and they will be assigned one of the ten Sahabas. They will be primarily judged on two important aspects: External Beauty and Internal Beauty.
The elements of External Beauty are quite intuitive and require students to ensure that their surroundings (classrooms) and their personal selves are exceptionally neat, clean, and highly presentable. Classrooms can be decorated to look more presentable, and each class teacher will help their students to achieve this goal. All students in the class will also be judged on their personal appearance and hygiene, not limited to their uniforms being ironed and clean, their oral hygiene being on-point, their hairs and nails trimmed as well as their shoes being clean. Class teachers will be observing for displays of teamwork, dedication, and organizational skills in their students to achieve the External Beauty goals.
The Internal Beauty element is the one that’s more complex and requires absolute dedication and a thirst for knowledge. Each class will be required to present an in-depth profile of their assigned Sahaba. As part of this presentation, each class is expected to answer questions such as: Who was this Sahaba? How did he lead his life? What were his personality and character traits that should be modelled by the Muslims of today? What can we learn from him and apply in our day-to-day lives? What is the concept of a pioneer and how does it relate to their Sahaba? Class teachers will guide their students to access the knowledge about their assigned Sahaba and to prepare a strong presentation on the life and times of each Sahaba, highlighting the character traits that can be emulated by us today. It is also expected of each class to take heed on what an esteemed honor it is and to ponder upon why their assigned Sahaba was already chosen by Allah SWT to go to Paradise (Jannah). This will be the key concept of the Internal Beauty element of the competition and each student in the class will be required to participate in this presentation as part of improving their public speaking and communication skills.
The Judges will look for the best presentable class that also displays great knowledge and derives beautiful lessons on their assigned Sahaba, to grant them the first prize followed by next two winners. All other students will be awarded participation certificates and recognized for all their efforts for this competition.
We envision that the key takeaways from this competitive event are that our students relate more closely with the Sahabas and their struggles, to apply the learnings in each of their lives today and choose worthy role models from amongst them to emulate and grow up as worthy believers.