I address this letter to the Muslims of Norwich in the hope that it finds you all well and enjoying the blessings of Allah inwardly and outwardly, and trusting that this Risala from a Grateful Father will find its way to the attention of Hajja Fatimah Dennis, Hajj Uthman Morrison and all those whose vision, patience and efforts have led to the establishment in Larache of the Wazania Madrasah for Girls, alhamdulillah.
Since my wife, Na’ima, and I returned from a recent ten-day visit to the Madrasah in early December, we felt an immense need that our community appreciate the excellence of what is taking place there, and writing this letter has been the best way for us to openly convey the impressions we gained. Regrettably, I am in no position to do justice to the day-to-day organisational exertions and the other behind-the-scenes realities that in all such cases tend to remain unsung, and so I must excuse myself in advance for the narrowness of my viewpoint, which is exclusively informed by being the father of one of the students. Put simply, I am overwhelmed by the light, baraka and success of this endeavour – and by the light, baraka, elegance and sweet nobility of character of the young ladies studying there.
The impact of my experience in Larache leads me to reflect on the teachings of our Shaykh, who, by the mercy of Allah, is the living guidance our community benefits from, and who has most recently brought to the fore of his discourse the twin themes of recognition of the times within which one lives and the paramountcy of knowing the names of things as the fulfilment of our Adamic nature – there can be no better foundation and preparation for this knowledge than the commitment of the heart to Qur’an (as well as Qur’an to the heart) and the company of those who transmit it, strive for it and embody it.
The work of our Shaykh manifests in the achievements of his people, and although our projects over the years have come and gone, traces and resonances from them remain and in many cases continue to bear fruit or influence in the way of Allah. However, one effort of his community has yielded unqualified success – the education of our people in the deen of Allah and His Messenger, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam – and nothing can surpass the absorption of the Book of Allah into the heart of the obedient slave. We have all witnessed, with a justifiable sense of satisfaction and admiration, the huffadh of Qur’an who have emerged from the Madrasah of Mallorca reciting in unison; young men immersed in an ocean of light and healing – the healing for an ummah that is reeling from misguidance and loss. This is the work of our Shaykh embodied – but especially noteworthy in this time, is his insistence upon the pivotal role of women in the deen. Therefore, what a timely response and what an invaluable service then, to be educating these future mothers and teachers in the revelation – al ummahat ul-madaris!
Another blessing Allah has bestowed upon our Shaykh, is his insistence upon the relevance and application of the Qur’an in practice and in reflection. Besides turning to Qur’an at every beginning to remind and find guidance, the living example of the Shaykh is that Qur’an is of vital, essential importance to us in all our affairs. Would it not be true to say that we find the Rasulullah in the Qur’an and the Qur’an in the Rasulullah, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam? A key manifestation of the living sunnah of Rasulullah, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, is contained in the adab we show the Qur’an and persistence upon its incorporation into our lives individually and collectively; the groundwork and the proof for this is the successful cultivation of young people for whom the Qur’an is their familiar companion.
What was especially impressive for both Na’ima and I was the quiet, subtle determination exemplified by Hajja Fatimah, both in the establishment and day-to-day running of the Madrasah. Bear in mind we are talking about a madrasah for young women, spearheaded by a woman – the very proof of our Shaykh’s teaching. May Allah protect his secret and protect each of those whose purity of intention and efforts have been in seeking the reward from Allah and not for praise or gratitude from us.. I personally also need to make mention of my wife’s role in fulfilling the vision that our eldest daughter should be in the first class of the Madrasah in Morocco. Now our second daughter has declared her intention to be in the class next year. Alhamdulillah.
May Allah reward all those who have contributed to the Wazania Madrasah project, those who participate in it in any way and those who support it. Alhamdulillah.
Hajj Mahmud Lund