Osman NiazJanuary 21, 2018Community History ProjectHafiz Shafiullah Barakzai is one of the Daily Maktab and Sunday Maktab teachers at Masjid Al-Huda. He is a young aspiring, energetic and humble teacher who is looked up to by manystudents. He has dedicated so much of his time serving his community.Q1: What is your official title at the masjid?A1:I am a student first and foremost. I have no specific title and aside from accomplishments, Iam a student and a servant of the community.Q2: What made you want to hifz the Quran?A2: Alhamdulillah it was a personal choice. Also with the guidance of my parents and teacherswho introduced the idea and it was something that I wanted to do and pursue. Alhamdulillah,initially it was to make Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala happy and to please Him Subhanahu WaTa'ala.Q3: At what age did you start memorizing the Quran?A3: I started reading at a very young age starting from the Qaidah and then the reading of theQuran. Once I officially started attending the madrassa I had to repeat the Quran and fine tunesome of the readings. I was about 10 or 11 years old when I started memorizing.Q4: How long did it take you to complete memorizing the Quran?A4: It took me about two and half years to complete memorizing the Quran which I completedat the age of thirteen.Q5: What do you find most challenging about your work?A5: Dealing with children, it is difficult in the first place. So, aside from children misbehavingin the class which is not the difficult part. The most challenging part is what may lead tomaking the person or breaking the person. It’s a fine line of the words you say and actions youtake as well as the choices you make which can have a positive or negative effect on the child.You have to be cautious at all times of the things you say and the things that you do that canimpact the child.Q6: How long has Masjid Al-Huda been here?A6: The actual building I believe has been here since 1866. This was when the building wasofficially founded as a place of worship. The building was originally a church and wasOsman NiazJanuary 21, 2018renovated in the late1920s. The building was abandoned in the early 2000s. It was convertedinto a masjid approximately in 2013.Q7: What type of programs and classes does the masjid offer?A7: We have classes that range from fiqh courses, jurisprudence, tafsir, daily Maktab Quranclasses, Sunday Maktab, daily hadith sessions after Isha prayers and Arabic courses.Q8: Do you see a good turn out of people attending the programs and classes?A8: Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala ultimately has the power and only through the will of AllahSubhanahu Wa Ta'ala one has the power to guide the people and change their condition.Alhamdulillah, by offering the courses and being able to converse with the people and consolewith the people is the means to get to that. Alhamdulillah, seeing people attending the prayersand classes benefiting from them spiritually. The turnout is alhamdulillah amazing and it willonly get better inshaAllah. We have had many people come and accept Islam and change theirlives alhamdulillah.Q9: Does the community support the masjid, its classes and programs?A9: Of couse, the community benefits by attending, contributing and ultimately by making duas.If it was not for the community we would not have the programs. I remember when starting theSunday Maktab program we reached out to the Daily Quran Maktab students to attend. Many ofthose students attend and support the Sunday Maktab, alhamdulillah.Q10: Lastly, what advice would you give to young Muslim boys and girls?A10: I think from all the things you could potentially do right or wrong and many things that Ican say. Ultimately, I think in the society that we live in, the community plays a big role and thecompany we keep. So, if a person adopts good company as the Prophet Muhammad sallallahualayhi wasallam had said a person adopting good company is one who is befriending someonecarrying perfume with him. Generally, if they smell well then you will smell nice as well. If theywill be interested in perfume and that will be their hobby then you will adopt the same hobby bybefriending them. Similarly, if you befriend a bad person as the Prophet sallallahu alayhiwasallam gives the example of the blacksmith. So, if someone is always dealing with coal andfire you will eventually get that burning smell and get dirty. Company is very important. If youkeep good company it will definelty have an effect on you and if you keep bad company it willhave an effect on you. Having good company and always staying connected to the masjid. Withthe society being like the flood waters, the masjid is like a safe haven.