“A Learning Circle of Knowledge”
by Shakirah Idris
Seeking Knowledge Is An Obligation Upon Every Muslim, Be It A Man Or A Woman – Mishkaat
The Muslim Sisters Halaqa is a weekly gathering of sisters that began several years ago at ICLI and became a circle of knowledge consisting of a group of culturally diverse sisters, coming together for the sole purpose of pursuing knowledge of our Deen, and building a strong bond of sisterhood. Our halaqa has also been a place and source for us to share and learn from each other, as well as to develop and gain a greater respect and appreciation of our cultural differences. The halaqa enriches and benefits our lives through our commonality of faith, interactions and discussions. It has broadened our faith and love for one another.
A person who goes out in search of knowledge is in Allah’s way (that is, in His cause) till he/she returns. (Tirmidhi)
The Muslim Sisters Halaqa provides a range of Islamic learning activities each week, including teachers who are learned and well-versed in many disciplines of Islam, ranging from fiqh (jurisprudence) to teaching Islamic Studies, Qur’an and Tajweed. The climate is one that is caring, nurturing and respectful towards all that attend. The halaqa also provides a full program consisting of Quran recitations and discussions, Arabic/Tajweed, Ahadith, sister-to-sister presentations, monthly socials and discussions that are relative as well as pertinent to our Deen and our respective roles in our families, communities and society. We occasionally invite guest speakers to our halaqa to educate and enlighten us in their respective fields and areas of expertise. During our halaqa sessions our focus is on fulfilling the different levels of knowledge and understanding and developing informed and educated Muslimahs to better serve our Deen.
“O mankind, verily we have created you from a single male and female and made you into peoples and tribes that you may know each other. Verily, the most noble of you is the most God-fearing and Allah is Most Knowledgeable, Most Aware.” (Qur’an 43:13)
Over the years, the halaqa has provided weekly presentations by sisters for the purposes of learning, implementation, and for the preparation of dawah – an integral component of our program. The subjects expand and cover a wide range of topics substantiated and based on Qur’an and Sunnah. Some of the topics covered in the past include: “Becoming Closer to Allah,” “Creating Good Muslim Relations,” “Preparations for Ramadan,” “Kindness to Parents, Neighbors and Relatives,” “The Rituals of Hajj,” “Developing Kushoo (Concentration) in Our Prayers,” “Islamic Manners and Adab,” “Prophet Muhammad – A Mercy for All Mankind,” “Family Matters and Raising Children in Islam,” and “Treasures from the Quran and Ahadith.”
“The person who goes forth in search of knowledge strives hard in the way of Allah until he returns.” – Tirmidhi
Islam attaches a great deal of importance to knowledge, learning and education. When the Qur’an was first revealed, the first word of its first verse was ‘Iqra’ which means to read. Education is therefore an important starting point for every human activity, and for all humanity.
“Read in the name of your Lord who created, created man from a clot. Read, for your Lord is most Generous, Who teaches by means of the pen, teaches man what he does not know.” (Qur’an 96:1-5)
Throughout the past years, the halaqa sisters have participated in many events and activities including annual Eid programs and celebrations, distribution of food during Eid, fruit baskets, ICLI community iftars, pre-Ramadan picnic and BBQ, the Muslim Day Parade, Westbury Street Fair Dawah Table, ICLI Spring Bazaar, Qurbani, providing relief for earthquake and tsunami victims, matrimonial services and Project: S.O.S. – a charitable outreach program to support and help our sisters in need.
In a hadith narrated by Abu Umamah and ascribed to the Prophet (peace be upon him) we read: “Allah, His angels and the inhabitants of heavens and earth; nay, even the ant in its hole and the whales in the sea, pray for the one who teaches people what is good.
“Our motto is: “Building a strong sisterhood in a respectful and caring learning environment, based on the Qur’an and Sunnah of our Prophet (SWS).”
Our future goals are to continuously provide a quality Islamic education to sisters in regard to our Deen, and to begin focusing on Dawah works and inviting others to explore Islam.
Our halaqa programs are held every Saturday at ICLI from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. All sisters are welcome and invited to attend. For more information, please contact ICLI at (516) 333-3495 or E-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). (Qur’an 49:13)