Sixteen years ago, a Muslim child in Auckland wanted to learn the Holy Quran and understand the meaning.
This stirred the emotions of the father who wanted to make this a reality.
With this goal in mind, the father talked to a group of likeminded adults to get this off the ground. They discovered that such an opportunity was not available in Auckland.
Armed with this desire to address the lack of Islamic education, the father, Dr Fattah, with the help of a group of adults, started the Iqra Academy.
The Academy was established with just eight students in the living room of a parent and then in a double garage converted to a teaching space. A group of people volunteered as teachers, and ran the classes on a weekly basis.
After a time, Iqra moved out of the garage space to a hall hired by the brothers and sisters. This was run on donations, as the amount that was taken from the students was not sufficient to pay for the hall hire.
Iqra now celebrates 16 years of service to the community.
Children from all races, largely Bangladeshi and Sri Lankans, now attend Iqra. With a mere $2 coin donation for every class, Iqra is run on donations, making it affordable for every parent to educate his or her child in Islam.
Volunteers, parents, and the blessings of Allah have made Iqra a successful venture.
Dr Fattah has been running Iqra regardless of the number of students or the fluctuating level of resources.
Aisha (ra) reported that Allah’s Apostle said, “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah is the most regular and constant even though it is little” (Bukhari).
Currently, around 30 to 40 students attend Iqra, sacrificing their play and free time to study the Holy Quran and the way of the Prophet.
The children, aged from five, study an array of subjects including Hadith, Islamic History, Islamic Manners (Adab), Jurisprudence (Fiqh), Quran recitation with meaning (Tajweed), and stories of the Prophets and Sahabas.
The students also participate in speeches, Islamic songs, debates, presentations and excursions, gaining an overall education and training.
The Iqra Programme is during school terms on Saturdays from 230 pm to 5 pm at YMCA (next to the gym, across the Car Park from the Friday prayer venue). The cost per person per class is $2.
For more information, please contact Dr Sharif Fattah on 021-0423938.
Source: ‘Rocket Science,’ the monthly Newsletter of Mt Albert Islamic Trust