Photo (above): Third grade students showing their posters before the Black History Month Silent Parade.
Black History Month Speaker-
Sister SarahJameela Martin
UAP was pleased to welcome back Sister SarahJameela Martin as a guest speaker during Black History Month. Sister SarahJameela is the President of the Muslim Women's Association of Pittsburgh, a retired educator and administrator, an author, and a local historian.
This year, Sister SarahJameela focused on the story of Nana Asma'u and the Sokoto Caliphate in two separate sessions. For the younger students, Sister SarahJameela surprised her audience with an energetic rap and engaging questions. She captured the attention of the older students with a brief history lesson about the founder of the Sokoto Caliphate, Uthman Dan Fodio, and his daughter Nana Asma'u. She then dove into more detail about the tradition of female scholars, poets, and educators in Africa. Sister SarahJameela explained how Nana Asma'u's poetry was based on the Quran. In fact, she helped spread Islam and led many people to convert.
UAP is always delighted to benefit from the knowledge of Sister SarahJameela, and deeply thanks her for this visit.
Photo (above): Black History Month Guest Speaker Sister SarahJameela Martin speaking to UAP students.
Visiting Imam, Hafiz Nazmul Sakib
On Wednesday, March 15, a visiting Imam, Hafiz Nazmul Sakib from Bangladesh, took some time out from his schedule to make an appearance at UAP during Dhuhr prayer.
After leading the prayer, he spoke to UAP students about his experiences memorizing the Quran. He inspired many students by telling them that he memorized the entire Quran in only 2 years at a young age! Also surprising to our young scholars was the fact that Hafiz Nazmul Sakib would read verses hundreds of times when working on his memorization.
He has won many Quran recitation competitions internationally in the last 10 years. Students were amazed at his many accomplishments, which include winning 1st place in the Dubai Quran Competition in 2013. Hafiz Nazmul Sakib gave a few students the chance to recite Quran for the group, and he led them in a call-and-response recitation of Surah al-Fatiha, gently correcting pronunciation through his example.
UAP students and staff were moved and inspired, and thank Hafiz Nazmul Sakib for his valuable visit.
On Monday, March 20, UAP students and staff invited their families to the annual Welcome Ramadan Program at the school.
Imam Amro Elaswalli from MAP led Dhuhr prayer, and then students, staff, and parents moved to the cafeteria for the next part of the program. Eighth grade student Muhammad opened the program with a recitation of the Quran. Next up, the crowd-favorite Pre-K students performed "The Five Pillars of Islam" nasheed. First grade students moved the audience with a nasheed entitled, "Ahlan, Ahlan, Ya Ramadan," followed by 4th and 5th graders acting out "Family in Ramadan."
After the student presentations, Imam Amro gave a short talk about Ramadan, which included trivia questions for the students. Students then visited several activity stations, including story time, making a musaharati drum, etching duaa on special scratch-art paper, scientific miracles in the Quran, and an Arabic fishing game. The most fun for students possibly came at the end of the event, however, when they got to break not 1 but 2 pinatas with our Principal Mrs. Bader!
This year, the Pre-K class also participated in their own special Welcome Ramadan event. While they enjoyed story time and a pinata like the older children, Pre-K students additionally made 4 different Ramadan crafts for their families to enjoy.
UAP Student Advances to Regional Spelling Bee
Eighth grade student Muhammad Niazi advanced to the Western Pennsylvania Regional Spelling Bee. He was one of 10 students from the area to move on to the in person round. Muhammad finished 5th overall in the Western PA region, slightly higher than last year’s winner (in 6th place).
The UAP family congratulates Muhammad on his accomplishment, and looks forward to our school winners reaching even higher levels of achievement next year.
February’s Guest Speaker:
Sister Asiya Uwimana
In February, UAP welcomed guest speaker Sister Asiya Uwimana to UAP as part of our Character Development Program. Sister Asiya is a nurse, board member at the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh, and former ICP Sunday School teacher. She is also a former student of some current UAP teachers, and currently runs the YANE Teen Girls Program at ICP.
Sister Asiya started her talk on Compassion by asking questions and giving the students a chance to share what they knew about what nurses do, compassion, empathy, and Prophet Isa (as). She spoke about what compassion is, specifically feeling concern for other people and the need to help others. She also discussed empathy, or the ability to relate to what others are feeling. Students stayed engaged the entire time, in part because of prizes for correct answers!
Sister Asiya then discussed her experiences as a nurse, and how when she helps others, she feels like Allah is happy with her. In addition, students listened to some ways that nurses show compassion, such as smiling at patients (which is sunnah!). Next, Sister Asiya spoke about the miracle of Prophet Isa (as) being born, as well as how he performed miracles (through Allah) that showed Allah's compassion for humans. Although all prophets were kind and compassionate men, emphasis was put on the compassion that Isa (as) felt for his own mother, Maryam, and how we should show our parents compassion as well.
Sister Asiya also touched on black history in Islam. She mentioned some of the historical figures, and how compassion was shared in their lives, such as Umm Aiman who helped take care of Prophet Muhammad (saws) and Bilal, the first muaadthin and a freed slave. Students were reminded to say Bismillah arRahman arRaheem before we do anything (in the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Compassionate). They also heard how Prophet Muhammad (saws) was compassionate to the not just the sick, hurt, and weak, but to all people.
Students then brainstormed ways to be compassionate Muslims, including: trying to help cheer up those who are sad, making others happy, giving people gifts, helping someone who's struggling, making duaa for those who are sad to be happy, being kind to parents, helping with homework, carrying something heavy, passing out papers or supplies in class, and helping parents clean the house.
At the end, Sister Asiya took questions about all topics she spoke on. Then Mrs. Bader asked students to make duaa for Sister Asiya, as well as those impacted by the earthquakes in Syria and Turkey. Finally, she reiterated that we need to have compassion for others because when one part of the body (ummah) hurts, the whole body hurts.
Middle School Students Welcome Imam Chris Back to UAP
Students in grades 6-8 enjoyed two an engaging discussions this March with Imam Chris from ICP, as part of an effort to enhance their Islamic Studies education. Students prepared questions for the Imam ahead of time, and he addressed many of them, including the following topics:
*Accepting Islam *Personal Questions *Aqeedah (Big Bang, Shaytan, Prophet Adam, differences between Muslims) *Ibadah (wudu with socks on, missing and making up prayers, zakat, making Hajj) *Hair Dye and Piercings *Music and Instruments
*Haram and Halal Professions
*Day of Judgement
In shaa Allah we will continue these discussions after Ramadan. UAP middle schoolers thank Imam Chris for his time and efforts in helping them better understand these Islamic topics.
UAP students and staff took a fun and educational field trip to the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History in Oakland. Students explored many interesting topics, including dinosaurs, fossils, the Arctic, birds, animals from North America and Africa, minerals and gems, and Native American cultures.
Character Development Program: March
March’s Theme of the Month is Patience. Reinforce this at home by reminding students of the life of Prophet Isa (as), and his compassion towards all people.
Character Development Program: April
April’s Theme of the Month is Commitment. Students are encouraged to start a new hobby, habit, or activity this month.
Visit our website below for a complete list of required supplies for each grade level.
During the month of Ramadan, no hot lunch is served at UAP.
Hot lunch will resume after Eid ul-Fitr, in shaa Allah.
On Saturday, March 25, UAP held it’s annual Ramadan Fundraiser on the University of Pittsburgh Campus, at the William Pitt Union. Fundraising is still underway, so please consider donating! Visit our website for all the ways you can give back to UAP this Ramadan.
Photo (below): Middle School Students performed “The People of the Cave” play at the Ramadan Fundraiser.
Follow your child(ren)’s progress and achievements on Class Dojo. Please email your child(ren)’s homeroom teacher to be connected!
Students Love the Dojo Store!
As part of our PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) approach, students earn Dojo points and redeem them at the Dojo Store for prizes. Help your child(ren) by donating an item for the Dojo Store.