Magazine article Islamic Horizons

Strivers in Their Own Class

Magazine article Islamic Horizons

Strivers in Their Own Class

Article excerpt

THIS ISSUE OF ISLAMIC HORIZONS includes an account of the weekend schools that form the bedrock of the Muslim American community empowering future generations.

SoundVision estimates that the weekend Islamic school is the place where the largest number of Muslim children in America learn about Islam. It adds that there are about half a million students in these schools as compared to about 15,000 in full-time Islamic schools.

The author, Tasneema Ghazi, wears many hats when it comes to pioneering Islamic education. She is the co-founder, with her husband, the inimitable Abidullah Ghazi, of IQRA International Educational Foundation, a nonprofit organization that creates Islamic studies textbooks and educational materials, primarily for children.

There are many who strived and are striving to enrich the future generation with a sound education for the head and the heart. There are glowing examples like Dr. Abdul-Sahib Hashim, an active and energetic Iraqi pediatrician who started his Islamic activities at the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C. Every Sunday, he drove 262 miles round-trip from Cumberland, Maryland, to 2551 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., to help his children obtain an Islamic education. That was the only choice available in the region then. It was here that he saw the need and developed textbooks for Islamic schools.

Others may have made lesser commutes but examples abound of Muslim parents investing their hard-earned weekends and communities giving time and support to ensure that they transmit the gift of faith to the next generation. It was a real jihad.

From 1968 to 1985, Hashim wrote 20 books forming the series of "Islamic Books for Beginners," which were initially printed in MSA's own printing press. These were the standard textbooks used in most weekend schools - the early Islamic school textbooks originated in North America. …

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