With the begining of our eighth school year, thinking of the very first days I volunteered with Om Al-Qura Arabic and Islamic Studies school. Came to my mind the words of Imam Khalid Al-Azhari, who started this school in the basement of Ottawa Main Mosque. With the help of brother Ali Binsilim, the first school principal, the school then moved to a catholic school premise nearby the mosque and this is when I have joined the team as a teacher.
“Teaching is fun!” is what Imam Khalid Al-Azhari told me when I presented signs of tiredness. His message to us was to get the students memorize Quran as much as possible. I stood there startled thinking of all the values that they should digest not just memorize. Little time spent in school and how could it be best used! I am still striving for this balance and without the reader’s help, very little could be presumed.
Yes the reader is you, whoever you happen to be and below is my message to everyone of you.
To the principal & vice principal:
Reminder to stay focused on the students interest and set processes and procedures to allow for succession planning and knowledge transfer. Be fair and objective in all decisions and invest in staff and students. Students will be our future leaders ISA. Work on continuous improvement and ask for the help of Allah. الله المستعان
To the teachers:
Treat the students as you would like your own kids be treated. Do your work for the sake of Allah and present it in the best way possible. Kids learn from your actions way more than they learn from your words. Never stop learning, you cannot give what you do not have. Work on growing your personality as you see the kids grow. Work together as a team and share your knowledge, “sadaqa jariya” accepted from all ISA. Engage parents for the best interest of the students and respect students and family privacy.
Your role to meet the school objectives is more important than any other roles. Whether you are in the front line, the sports guru, the social worker, the supply teacher, the teacher assistant, the Sheik, or the snack organizer, your work when done in the best way for the sake of Allah is conveying a very important message to the students. This message will help them affiliate to the community with pride and will teach them how to give back and help the community.
Your kids are your responsibility, we can only help them as much as you want us to help. Work with the school, with the mosque, engage with good friends and make sure your actions convey what you want your kids to learn. Invest in Islamic schools, Quran programs and community activities for your kids to help them affiliate with the Islamic community. Consult with the school for educational resources and parental seminars. We are more than happy to organize events for parents. Support the school and volunteer some hours, you will give and yet get at the same time.
To graduate students and volunteers
Your help and support is greatly needed and highly appreciated. Help us offer your fellow students more than what was offered to you. We need your creativity and competence and will offer you leadership roles and training. Committed volunteers will be awarded at the end of the year. Come back to school, have fun, make friends and present our values to the younger generation.
These are the best years of your life, seek knowledge even if in China. Love your culture and be proud of your Canadian citizenship and your Muslim identity. Allah loves you and wants the best for you. Be up to the challenge and get prepared for life with knowledge and faith.
Helping spread knowledge is one of the best “sadaqa jariya” you could ever do. Support families who cannot afford the school fees by donating or by offering a scholarship. Your support is greatly appreciated by the school and highly rewarded by Allah ISA.
Amal Hassanein, MEng, MBA
Om Al-Qura School Principal
Chief Engineer at Shared Services Canada