This summer I had the opportunity to meet Husna, eldest daughter of Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan. Students all around the world, including my siblings and I, have learned a lot of Arabic grammar through watching and participating in the Arabic with Husna series on BayyinahTV. This series has made such a huge impact on thousands of students worldwide that I was eager to hear Husna’s perspective on the classes. The shy, yet confident 11-year-old had many inspiring things to say when I interviewed her.
Husna has been studying Arabic with her father informally ever since she was five. He taught her little by little until 2011 when he started “Arabic with Husna.” In the ten to fifteen minute videos posted on BayyinahTV, Husna’s father teaches her Arabic grammatical concepts in an easy-to-understand and kid-friendly manner. Not only has Husna benefited by gaining a very strong hold on Arabic grammar, but numerous subscribers of BayyinahTV have also learned from the videos.
These videos have been viewed in homes, schools, masjids, and Islamic community centers throughout the world by over 7,000 students. When asked whether this knowledge disturbs her concentration during class, Husna said that she was initially a little shy and nervous about the camera. But eventually she was able to ignore the camera. “I don’t feel awkward because the camera is behind me,” she says.
When people approach her and ask her about the Arabic videos, Husna sometimes feels a little embarrassed. She is happy that she has the opportunity to help lots of people, but she also “just likes being treated normal.”
Husna enjoys the Arabic classes a lot. She likes “sitting in a cozy room” learning a wonderful language. “There really isn’t anything I dislike about it,” she says thoughtfully. “Except sometimes when he [my dad] tickles me, it’s a little weird.” Husna appreciates her father as a teacher. “I feel more relaxed because he is teaching.”
Husna recognizes the importance of learning Arabic. She strongly believes that learning Arabic is important for understanding the Qur’an. “If I just read it and not understand it, then there’s not much benefit,” she states. Husna wants to read the Qur’an and understand it directly. She knows the Arabic classes are helping her get to that point and she encourages other kids to also study Arabic.
(Attention, writers! Muslim Kids Matter is a regular feature at Muslim Matters. New articles for kids are posted every other Sunday. You’re welcome to send in your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org.)