On Saturday 16th January, the AbaSaleh Foundation team hosted their first gala event at The Venue Central, Britannia Estates, Luton. The theme was centred on Education with the purpose of raising awareness of the foundation’s vision and aims and to raise money for a new independent Muslim school in Luton
Invites went out to key community and charity organisations and local businesses. The event was attended by a wide representation of the Muslim community from scholars, educationalists, artists, TV presenters, journalists to charity organisations; from both Luton and as far as London, Birmingham and Nottingham. It was particularly pleasing to see a good mix of different people representing different ethnicities
Guests were invited to a fun filled and unforgettable experience of fine dining and entertainment at Venue Estates. It was an incredible achievement to have a complete sell out on our first gala dinner event. Close to 400 people were present for an event that was not only elegant, but inspiring for all who attended. We had tremendous feedback from many of our guests.
The evening commenced with a beautiful Qur’an recitation by Syed Jalal Masoomi followed by the welcome and opening speech by Bilal Rizvi (founder and chair of the Luton School project) who outlined the vision and goal of The AbaSaleh Foundation for the community of Luton with respect to education. Guests were entertained with heart-warming and uplifting nasheed’s from renowned artists Mullah Ali Fadhil & the Tejani brothers, who brought smiles to dozens of children’s faces when they got them on stage to participate during their performances.
The audience were particularly moved by the performance of Ridhyatullah theatre who presented a captivating account of the Achtiname of Muhammad (s.a.w) -a covenant of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) with the Christians of mount Sinai scribed by Imam Ali (a.s) and sealed by the handprint of the Prophet himself. It accorded the Christians of the world certain rights that they should not be denied under Muslim rule; a sterling example of the tolerance of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) toward Christianity. This 20 min play highlighted the miracle of the eagle using puppetry and the sealing of the covenant, which exists to the present day at the Monastery of St. Catherine in Southern Sinai, Egypt.
Eleanor Martin from Khayaal theatre took the audience through a unique and moving spiritual journey, as she retold the sublime story of love, devotion and light of the Prophet Muhammed’s (s) night journey (Isra) and heavenly ascension (Mi’raj) that has inspired audiences for a millennium.
Through the night the audience were kept entertained by stand-up comedian Brother Nazim Ali and treated to a sumptuous 3 course dinner whilst children were kept entertained with fun and games in separate crèche facilities
Sheikh Isa Jahangir, one of our esteemed scholars, opened his speech by reminding us that AbaSalah is one of the titles of the 12th Imam (ajtf) and how appropriately fitting a name this was for a school. He expressed his pleasure and advocated his support for the project and emphasised the need for greater investment in schools and educational projects. He highlighted the gap in the UK for schools catering for the Shia community and reminded us that education remains the greatest need for all communities. He drew our attention to the sacrifices and the legacy that have been left by great Muslims of the past and called for us to make our own sacrifices with not only our money, but also knowledge, expertise and skills to ensure a brighter and safer future for our children.
The AbaSaleh Gala Dinner event was hugely important in raising awareness of the school project and much needed funds, as such we were delighted at the success of the auction and the raffle tickets, thanks to Br Nazim. There were some very generous donations and pledges by some key members of the audience and well-wishers. One very happy guest was the lucky winner of a ticket to Ziyarat! The money raised will provide a much needed catalyst to take the School project forward
The AbaSaleh Foundation
The AbaSaleh Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation set up in 2014 by a group of highly skilled educationists and consultants with a wealth of experience in education and community leadership, sharing a common goal and purpose; that our children have a right to high quality education without compromising on the core values of morality, ethics and service to humanity; the foundation upon which Islam was built (‘I came to perfect the noble moral traits of mankind’). The school project team is currently engaged in critical research of current models in an effort to learn lessons and build on them.
The vision of AbaSaleh Foundation is to build an innovative school which ignites the passion for learning and raises aspirations, through a fit for purpose enriching and creative curriculum that provides opportunities in a range of subjects, embedded in the fundamental principles of akhlaq; truthfulness, positive role modelling and service. AbaSaleh aims to nurture and build both the mind and the soul of its pupils in an atmosphere of love and compassion. Its goal is to develop innovators, inventors and influential leaders that are confident and solution focussed; honourable citizens of a global community grounded in rationality, wisdom, humbleness and humanity to deal with life in the 21st Century and beyond.
Insha’Allah AbaSaleh is working towards opening an Islamic nursery and infants school in September 2016 in Luton and a fully functioning state of the arts multisport complex in 5 years’ time adapted to meet the needs of the large Muslim community as well as non-Muslims, with a view to eventually becoming a fully-fledged full time educational institute that caters for 3-18 year olds.
It is our privilege and immense pleasure to thank all who attended; distinguished scholars and representatives from various organisations both locally and nationally, and especially to those who travelled far and contributed towards making the AbaSaleh Foundation’s first Gala Dinner event a success. We were honoured to host a wonderful audience whose generosity and good wishes exceeded our expectations. particularly to those who so generously donated cash and the prizes for the raffle and pledges
A special thanks to a dedicated and committed the team who worked tirelessly day and night, particularly the events manager, who brought it all together so successfully. Sincere thanks to Venue Central for providing such an excellent location.
We ask that you remember us in your prayers and ask that the Almighty helps us in leaving a legacy that serves the need of our children and the community; an educational institute that develops confident, and honourable citizens of the future grounded in truthfulness, knowledge and wisdom
Your continued support/donations are a vital enabler for the success of this project insha’Allah.
Invest In The Future Invest In Education
AbaSaleh Foundation Project Team