Free classes to uplift the less fortunate

2018-06-12 06:01
Free classes are being offered to empower Muslim residents in Mitchell’s Plain.

Free classes are being offered to empower Muslim residents in Mitchell’s Plain.

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A local madrassa has set out to empower and uplift the community through various free educational classes.

As-Sayyidaat, based in Hengelaar Street, offers a variety of classes including parent intervention programmes, aalimah classes, part-time imam classes and hifthul-Quran classes.

“The Holy Quran and teachings of the Holy Prophet PBUH is the standard against which Muslims weigh every facet of life. This tenet ascertains the prerequisite of knowledge for every Muslim in order to live consistently with divine teachings. Both the Holy Quran and Prophetic traditions advocate the acquisition of knowledge. Henceforth, when we look through the annals of history, we find that Muslims were on the forefront of every science. However, this remains a virtue to those who perceive the glory of divine teachings,” says Haafith Mogammat Jones, who founded the project at the madrassa.

“This being said, it has become a phenomenon among many children who grow up in less fortunate circumstances to drop out of school when they reach adolescence. Surveys may suggest various reasons and cases might differ from one another. When adolescents drop out of school they usually abandon every other educational component and slowly lose interest in matters that lead to spiritual enhancement and living constructive lifestyles. This tendency causes an imparity in basic education and moral and ethical values.”

He adds that many adolescents are forced to drop out of school and then work due to extremely poor household conditions, often before they successfully complete secondary school.

“They give up on any attempt of reaching for the dreams they had as little children. During their condensed learning phase these children rarely get the opportunity to spare another chance to study further. I find that adolescents simply adapt and resume the precedent set by their precursors due to extended periods of conditioning by their immediate settings through cognitive learning, observational and audial input. Simply put, after many years they find it easy to embrace the conventional lifestyle,” says Jones. “There is hope for a better life, however in many cases this trend perpetuates due to a lack of awareness and exposure to the scope of favourable opportunities that exist for these adolescents. Many children do not have educated and cognisant role models in their home setting.”

Further, he says for many others it comes down to poor decision making as a result of lack of better judgement, giving up hope of success or setting long term goals.

These are some of the reasons that motivated Jones to initiate this project.

Classes are available to any Muslim resident of Mitchell’s Plain.

As-Sayyidaat offers this opportunity in the hope of making a difference in people’s lives and homes while acquiring the essentials to grow both in spirituality and independence­.

“Our mission is to promote spiritual guidance, social development and self-empowerment,” says Jones.

All programmes are run by Muallimah Gadijah Alexander, Imam Riedwaan Brandt, Haafith Ashraf Lewis, Haafith Mogammat Jones, Muallimah Asia Small and Muallimah Solegah Isaacs who all volunteer their time.

“We encourage anyone interested in volunteering to come and visit or contact us. Our doors are especially open to all Darul-Uloom (Institute for Higher Islamic Education) graduates. Any persons specialising in social development and written and verbal communications – and willing to volunteer – are welcome to come and assist us and share their expertise on scheduled occasions,” says Jones.

“There has been a growing interest in the programmes since we started in January, especially among young men. Although we don’t have any age restrictions with regard to the students, we encourage our students to present classes to the elderly on alternative evenings due to limited space at the school,” he says.

“What makes this initiative important is the fact that residents in Beacon Valley and Mitchell’s Plain are very fortunate to have another Darul-Uloom on their doorsteps. Intake is subject to availability of space. However, anyone interested in attending is welcome to come and visit or contact us.”

The following classes are on offer:

. Aalimah Classes: For this four-year Arabic-intensive course, applicants should be proficient in English and Quran recitation. Applicants who do not meet these requirements have to complete an extended programme. Classes are from Mondays to Thursdays from 08:30 to 12:30 and on Fridays from 08:30 to 11:00. Times are structured to cater for those parents who have to drop off and fetch their children from school.

. Aalim/Imam Classes: This course runs parallel to the Aalimah course on a part -time basis. It is perfect for high school learners, working men who want to study and those involved in missionary work. Classes are on Saturday evenings from 19:00 to 21:00 and on Sundays from 10:30 to 13:00 during Ramadan. Criteria are the same as above.

. Hifthul-Quran: This course is for those who want to memorise the Holy Quran and those who wish to improve their recitation. Classes are from Mondays to Thursdays from 08:30 to 12:45 and on Fridays from 08:30 to 11:00 for both men and women. The duration of this course depends solely on the ability of the individual. Beginners start to recite the Quran within three weeks. Thereafter they concentrate on visual recitation for at least two months before memorising.

“Among other pertinent skills, we intend to facilitate our learners by assisting them with completing Grade 12 and equipping them with computer literacy skills during the course of their studies at As-Sayyidaat,” says Jones.

V For more information contact the principal, Imam Riedwaan, on 071 831 8630 or the vice-principal, Muallimah Gadijah, on 076 071 8672 or sayyidaatinstfl­@­gmail.com.

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