Summer Outings for Madrasa Students
The Education Institute of the Islamic Centre of England organised two end of year outings for the students of its Qur’an and Arabic language weekend madrassa.
The first group (11 years and over) were taken to Thorpe Park Resort on 16th of July 2016. A group of 40 students (boys and girls) accompanied by 8 teachers took part in this trip. The students were divided into six groups for easy supervision. Of the 40 students 12 were given free entrance tickets to Thorpe Park Resort as a reward for their constant presence in all classes and programmes organised by the Education Institute during the year.
The second outing took place on Sunday 17th of July to Legoland. A total of 33 children under 11, divided into 9 groups and supervised by 11 teachers took part in this trip. Also from among this group 13 were awarded complementary entrance tickets to Legoland for their consistency in attending the madrasa throughout the year.
All other expenditure for transport and entrance fees was met by the individual participants who also brought their own lunch packs.
Both trips started with a pick up from the Islamic Centre at 8am and ended with a drop off at 7pm at the same location. The trips were blessed with particularly good weather. They provided an opportunity for students and teachers to bond with each other and among themselves in a more relaxed and informal atmosphere.
Holy month of Ramadan Report
The first week of July this year was marked by the end of the fasting month of Ramadan and the Eid ul Fitr Celebration. On 29th Ramadan the Islamic Centre of England provided a number of services for the community from educational classes to religious programmes and of course iftars every night. This year the Centre gave out an average of 700 dinners per normal nights which doubled to 1500 during the special nights of prayers and supplications of Laylatul Qadr. The centre also held its annual Qur’an Recitation and memorisation competition over two days with participants from different communities. On the day of Eid on 7th July a 2500 strong congregation converged on the Islamic Centre for the special Eid prayer conducted by the director of the Islamic Centre Hujjatul-Islam Dr Mohammad Ali Shomali.
The Eid Sermon
In the Eid sermon Hujjatul-Islam Dr Shomali prayed to God to accept the acts of worship and fasting that the believers had undertaken during the holy month with the hope of keeping all alive to be able to benefit from another Ramadan next year. Hujjatul-Islam Shomali underscored the importance of preserving the learnings acquired during Ramadan and to make use and preserve them for the coming months until the next Ramadan.
In his second sermon Dr Shomali spoke about the necessity of continuous learning and education as Islam places no limitations on learning. He warned that ignorance and naivety can be a dangerous and damaging combination for the Muslims, as ignorant people can easily be manipulated by clever individuals with deceitful intentions. Hujjatul-Islam Shomali stressed the need to invest in education, “spending in encouraging, especially the youth to be learning about their faith and morality from pure and reliable sources”.
He referred to great well-known scholars as our point of reference and not unknown individuals who newly come to issue fatwas and misguide people. Dr Shomali encouraged everyone to take advantage the new Hawza in London which offers Islamic educational classes for every age, by enrolling for the coming educational year starting in September. He stressed that the classes are not only for those who wish to become religious scholars but for everyone.
Hujjatul-Islam Shomali also spoke about the blessing of being part of a community and of the necessity to feel part of a place by attending regularly, wherever this place may be. Someone who belongs to a place or is a regular attendee at a particular place stands a much better chance of getting help when and if in need than someone who nobody knows.
Lastly Hujjatul-Islam Shomali spoke about charity and the importance of giving; stating that charity in Islam is something that never ends. Even if we have very little it is still good to give something in charity, as charity brings blessings upon the giver as well as purification of the heart. Hujjatul-Islam Shomali concluded by giving special thanks to all the staff and volunteers who helped every day during the holy month of Ramadan.