When I Was A Boarding School Student (Part 2)
At our boarding school in Southern Jakarta all activities started before dawn. We would wake up, prepare for the dawn prayer and report directly to the mosque to pray together. The morning continued with lectures from scholars and reading the Holy Qur’an before being completed with breakfast and preparing for school.
School started at 7 am and lasted until late dhuhur when we performed dhuhur in congregation in the mosque. After finishing dhuhur prayer we continued to lunch, rested a while, and then from 2 pm until asr we examined our books then ended the school day with asr prayers in congregation at the mosque. Completing asr prayer was a time that we would always look forward to because at that time we were free to do anything that we’d like.
Later we performed Maghrib prayer in congregation at the mosque then there was a lecture from scholars and afterwards we continued with reading the Holy Qur’an. Following that there was a class in each room to add to our Arabic and English vocabulary. That was where we trained and conversed in both languages while adding vocabulary words that we did not yet know.
At the school, the junior level or Tsanawiyah taught general subjects such as Math, Science, Indonesian, English, Mutholaah (inspiring stories in Arabic), and Citizenship just like at regular schools. The difference was that we received deeper religious instruction including reviewing yellow books such as Riyadhussalihin, Bulugh al-Maram, and Kifayatul akhar. There was also a deepening of Arabic rules with Nahwu and Shorof and we learned Fiqh with diverse explanations of the five schools of thought, and Faraidh (inheritance).
When I finished Tsanawiyah, I went on to the higher school level or Aliyah as my father wanted me to complete the religious materials at the school. Subject of study in Aliyah were more specific and discussed the yellow books with its 5 schools (mazhab) in more detail. At that level we were trained to be a teacher and were given the material that had learned while we were boarding students. We were also responsible for the junior students.
In grade 5 of Aliyah or the second year of high school, we were sent out of boarding school to serve in different areas and remote villages. We were assigned to create a sort of study or school and learned to solve conflicts in the area, but we were of course accompanied by a teacher. During the final class we concentrated on preparing for high school graduation and continuing to a higher level of education.
Boarding school alumni were also invited to teach at their previous school or at other university boarding schools, even they were encouraged to continue to a university abroad.
Dear Muslimah, if you want your child to obtain more Islamic knowledge, perhaps boarding schools should be an alternative to consider. Of course, there should always be an emphasis on what the children want to fit to their desires.