Monday, August 15, 2011

An inspiring success story of a Muslim School in Mumbai

An inspiring, enlightening success story of a Muslim School with a difference. It is worth emulating all over the country. Hats off to people behind Al-Muminah School.

• 6500 Muslim students enrolled in 16 Islamic Schools in Mumbai.
• Islamic schools affiliated either to Maharashtra board or CBSE.
• Every subject is taught with an Islamic Perspective.
• Computer Science & General Knowledge is part of the curriculum.
• Senior Girls are also taught self-defense.
• Microsoft Paint is learnt by Writing "Allah Hu Akbar" in Urdu.
• Windows Media Player is used to listen to lessons of the Quran.
• Rotation of Earth is described as Act of Allah's Mercy.
 A report in Headlines Today. Here.

THEY sing "A for Allah, B for Bismillah"; run around their classrooms properly covered from head to toe, know Arabic almost as well as they do English, don't watch TV but are familiar with the most advanced general knowledge books and CDs.
Say "Salaam Aleikum!" to the first batch of toddlers to enrol in Mumbai's four "Islamic" English schools started over the last two years. Combining the study of Islam with a regular academic curriculum, these schools aim to produce a radically different generation of Muslims: English-speaking, academically on par with the best, and thoroughly Islamic in conduct and appearance.
Housed on one or sometimes two floors of old buildings in the city's Muslim quarter, they have yet to acquire a fully qualified staff, run only till Std. II or III, haven't yet got official recognition, but are already turning away applicants.
Their USP is their irresistible combination of religious and secular education. Most Muslim children start learning the Quran by age seven, and almost all of them end up resenting this additional burden, which cuts into their limited play/rest time, and makes little sense to them. In these new schools, Arabic is taught from nursery, to enable children to understand the Quran instead of merely learning it by rote and then "putting it away on a shelf, forgotten," as Dr. Shehnaz Shaikh puts it. But it wasn't just this belated homecoming that prompted her to risk starting the Al Mu'minah Girls High School, where her younger daughter joins 124 others in singing "Be careful little eyes what you see, as Allah is watching you". The frequent taunts faced by her elder daughter in one of Mumbai's best-known English schools, brought back bitter memories.
From a report in The Hindu dated October 19, 2003. Here

"Ba Ba black sheep. 
Do you pray to God? 
Yes sir! Yes sir! Allah is my Lord. 
He created the moon and sun. 
He created us, each and everyone!
This is how the girls of Al-Mu’minah School recited Ba Ba black sheep. A school annual function generally brings to mind some song and dance sequences by children. But the Al-Mu’minah School annual function was a function with a difference. Confident toddlers of Al-Mu’minah, the Islamic Academic School, enthralled the audience with performances ranging from recitation of the Quran to Islamic personality show. The auditorium was resonating with the praise and glory of Allah. Three and a half-year-old Sadiyah Shaikh of Lower KG not only recited the Surah Al-Fateha and Surah Al-Baqarah, but also gave the English translation of both. 
What was astonishing was that this three and a half-year-old tiny tot understood what she was reciting. When she was reciting “Dhalikal kitabu la raiba fih” and “This is the Book” she picked up the Quran and demonstrated to the audience that indeed Quran is the book wherein is no doubt, a guidance for the God-fearing. The audience which mainly consisted of the parents of the school kids were overwhelmed when the students gave a demonstration of how they spend the day remembering Allah by reciting the duas to be said at different times of the day, right from waking up until going back to sleep. It was indeed amazing to see the small girls recite duas on waking up, before entering the toilet, on leaving the toilet, before eating, after eating, after drinking milk, on wearing clothes, when looking in the mirror and these duas have been learnt by the children with English translations.

A report in Islamic Voice March 2002. Here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful effort by Dr Shahnaz Shaikh and her team. We need such schools in each and every city.


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