By Mayssa Masri
Through the ups and downs during this pandemic, one major win for the Good Tree Institute has been growing to a national institute and welcoming new students from across the globe. While in-person classes are on hold for now, we hope you continue to plug into our growing community as we continue to focus on strengthening our spiritual connection from our homes.
Here’s what we’re doing to connect with our students virtually!
1. We’ve created a virtual support system for newcomers to the Muslim faith called the Sadeeq Program.
Sadeeq means "companion" in Arabic. This new program offers support to new Muslims and those looking to develop deeper connections within the Muslim community. The goal of this program is to encourage sincere and spiritual companionships, provide educational resources, and social connections. By providing converts a virtual safe space where they can turn to for personal support and have their questions answered, we can continue to create a close-knit community who look out for each other.
2. We’ve expanded our marketing team!
While Good Tree Institute is based locally in Arizona, our ultimate goal has been to become a nationally recognized institute. With the help of some of your donations this past #GivingTuesday, we were able to continue the expansion of our digital marketing efforts and grow our audience reach, while also cultivating an online community of our current students. We’re excited to see the fruits of our labor through the results of growing our online presence. As we flourish as a national institution, we will be able to reach more people, provide more virtual resources, free courses, and create a network of students passionate about their Islamic faith and strengthening their spiritual connection. We look forward to continue to connect with you all virtually. Speaking of, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube!
3. Our classes, programs, and retreats are 100% virtual.
For the time being, our in-person classes are on hold, but we have used this as an opportunity to connect with more students and expand the free and paid programs offered at our institute. We had so much reservation about taking our in-person programs to an online format and missing out on those in-person interactions we love. However, we were still able to study together, support each other, and gain that inspiration from the Quran while still maintaining a safe space, exploratory, and open environment virtually. We’ve seen major successes since we’ve gone virtual. For the year 2020 alone, we have had over 500 students attend our programs. During our most recent virtual retreat, 40% of our participants joined from out of state or out of the country— before going virtual, the majority of our audience resided in Arizona. Since one of our goals is to help as many people as we can experience the beauty of personally connecting to God, this has been a huge blessing, especially during these difficult times. You can register for our upcoming courses here.
4. We host engaging monthly Facebook and Instagram live videos. Over the past few months, we’ve held several exciting live videos hosted by Good Tree students, board members, and guest speakers. We’ve touched on topics like strengthening our faith, students creating friendships at our institute, and maintaining our spiritual connection during Covid-19. Our most successful Facebook live video yet was our #GivingTuesday fundraising program, where we discussed reflecting on the year of 2020, and creating a powerful 2021.
5. Free online classes available to everyone. Another pro to increasing our virtual programming and courses is being able to offer them for free! One of our free courses, Quran & Me, is a 6-week community program where people of different ages and backgrounds can come together and experience the in-depth meaning of the words and roots of the Quran. We even offer discounted classes and giveaways on social media!
6. We’re releasing an app soon— available for Android, iOS and web . You asked, we answered. In the near future, Good Tree Institute will release an app that will provide Quran students with unique study tools they need to succeed in our courses. The app will feature a similar teaching technique that we follow in our courses, which will support students in their journey to understanding the Quran, learning Arabic and root words, and accessing study materials. We won’t spoil all the details, but get excited!
As we collectively settle into this norm of socially distancing, we plan to continue to expand nationally and grow a virtual safe space for our online community. You can learn more about our courses, programs, and other updates on our website.
Interested in joining our upcoming courses this winter? Registration is now open for Roots of the Quran, Quran & Me, and Seeds of Wisdom. We look forward to seeing you all soon for our upcoming courses and welcome you to the Good Tree family.
Good Tree Institute
Connection is fundamental to us as spiritual beings. When we are connected, we operate at our full capacity, and love and generosity permeates in everything we do.
When it’s missing from someone’s life, it’s painfully evident.
What others say about Good Tree:
Good Tree paves a way to Allah through His words with a perception never before seen.”
By Dr. Fawzia Mai Tung -
Once again, I entered the workshop, this time a full house
with a number of out-of-state participants, with the firm
intention NOT to cry. This time, I will be very objective and
realistic. I will take notes, I will discuss, I will analyze the
assigned verses from the Qur'an. I will not keep on raising
my hand to give some feedback unless it's very impersonal. I
will be professional. And then it happened, again and
again. My tears would flow unbidden.
How does she do it? Dr. Nadia Katrangi is a rather small
figure wearing glasses and hijab. Her qualifications on the
other hand are rather big, both professionally as a medical
doctor and theologically in the sciences of the Qur'an. Her
voice is rather gentle, though at times hard as steel. She
does not lecture non-stop throughout the two-day retreat. Rather, she presents briefly, and her assistants take
turns moderating the discussions and interpretations. Occasionally, the participants are assigned some activity. At other times, they watch an illustrative video clip.
Entitled "What's My Reception?", this retreat on November 4-5 in Phoenix, Arizona studied surahs At-Tariq, al-A'la, and al-Ghashiyah. Rather familiar ones. Indeed, all the retreats at the Seeds of Wisdom so far were
focused on the Juzu 'Amma. Then, after delving into the roots of every single word, the participants were invited to look retrospectively at their own life and apply the derived meanings onto it. This seemingly very mundane activity has deeply stirring results.
My only saving grace was that I wasn't the only one choking up or sobbing. Other participants also seemed to loosen old emotional knots. At one point, as Dr. Nadia invited us to delve further into the point, one
participant piped up, "in that case, we shall need more tissue boxes!"
We left the retreat with a new "40-day challenge" invitation, a folder full of notes and a resolve to come