Seniors Ridwan Oyebamiji and Mohammed Kuziez teach Qur’an

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Ridwan Oyebamiji

Senior Mohammed Kuziez leads the assembly right before dismissal. Kuziez co-teaches with senior Ridwan Oyebamiji at Al-Iman Saturday School. “They recite what we assigned them in class, and we give them a grade on that,” Kuziez said. “Based on their grades throughout the semester, we give them a final grade for the semester based on different categories. There’s behavior, classwork, homework and pronunciation.”

After school and on the weekends, seniors Ridwan Oyebamiji and Mohamed Kuziez teach Qur’an in Arabic to students between seven and 12 years old. As an action that their prophet Muhammad did, it is important for Muslims to know portions of the Qur’an.

Oyebamiji was asked to teach this class by his former teacher. He uses the skills he learned in his own class to help him teach his students and hopes to impact them in the same way he was impacted by his teachers.

“Each student has their own lesson, so their assignment is to memorize the portion of Qur’an that they’re given. It may be two or three sentences, sometimes one, depending on their level and proficiency,” Oyebamiji said. “I hope that I can learn and grow to be able to teach them and give them what their needs are, respectively, and be able to serve to their needs. That’s what this is all about, and I hope that in the future my students remember me and say, ‘this teacher really helped me connect with my religion.’” 

The experience Kuziez gathered learning Qur’an helped him in teaching younger students.

“I’ve been involved with it for a while. I was a student there from preschool until four or five years ago. I started teaching my freshman year,” Kuziez said. “Most of the time, I co-teach with one other teacher. I never took any classes learning how to teach, but I spent about six years of my life memorizing Qur’an.”

Kuziez learned to adapt to his schedule as a high school student and a teacher. 

“The hardest part is managing my schedule. Sometimes I leave my house at 6:45 [a.m.] and I won’t get home until 9 [p.m.],” Kuziez said. “I have to figure out how to finish all my homework and everything.” 

Teaching methods depend on the student’s ability to read and recite the passages. Though not every student recites every passage perfectly, Oyebamiji is determined to impact his students.

“Sometimes I’ll read it word by word and they’ll repeat after me, or I’ll read it to them for the students who are advanced or who have memorized a lot more,” Oyebamiji said. “It depends on each student. If they’re struggling with it, I’ll just tell them to keep repeating it. I think it’s quite amazing to have an impact on my student’s lives mainly because I know that what I do is just to help them understand the religion more and connect with God. That’s just one way of doing it.”

Regardless of a person’s ability to memorize well, it is important for all Muslims to make an effort to learn Qur’an.

“It’s very heavily emphasized to try to learn what you can. Some people struggle to memorize, but whatever you can do, you’re encouraged to do,” Kuziez said. “Even if you don’t know Arabic, you’re encouraged to understand meanings and verses and the meanings behind them because we do believe that it’s the word of God directly to us.”