Monthly Archives: November 2013

Establishing your own Special Madrasahs

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The following is an outline of what I believe is necessary to establish a successful Madrasah that provides support for children with Special Needs/additional needs.

Madrasah Consultation

When delivering a ‘Madrasah Education’ to children with Special Educational Needs (SEN), it would be highly recommend to implement the following:

Individual Education Plan (IEP)
Upon enrolling into the Madrasah, it is recommended that the Madrasah ask the parent to provide them with a copy of the child’s IEP. These can be obtained from the school the child currently attends. This will help the Madrasah implement and compliment any approaches the school have adopted maintaining a consistent approach when educating the child.

The IEP will also enable the Madrasah to deliver ‘Madrasah Education’ that is tailored to the child’s specific coping needs with reference to the duration of the time and ratio’s needed (for example does the child only learn on a one to one basis or amongst a group)

Diagnosis
A copy of the child’s diagnosis should be obtained to establish the recommended advices from professionals working with the child such as Speech and Language Therapists, Physiotherapists and so on.

Assessment
It is often the case that some children are able to excel above and beyond the capabilities of the average child. Therefore to determine the child’s ability in all of these area’s, a baseline assessment should be done with the child in the following areas:

Reading: The Arabic Alphabet/Qu’raan
Speaking: Tajweed (are they able to articulate all letters?)
Memorising: Are the able to retain information quicker or slower than the average child

Madrasah Timetable
The delivery of Madrasah Education should be done with the following guidelines in place:

Sessions should be no longer than 20 minutes with a starter and finisher of 5 mins that introduces the session and then goes over what has been covered at the end, encompassing 30 minutes overall.
If a child displays difficulty sitting amongst a large group then smaller groups would be recommended, in some cases one to one’s maybe necessary.

There are three basic types of learning styles. The three most common are visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic. Learning, depends on our senses to process the information around us. Most people tend to use one of their senses more than the others. Madrasah lesson plans should demonstrate this understanding by adopting this approach where possible.

For further questions about this consultation email specialmadrasahs@live.co.uk
Donations can be made at: http://www.gofundme.com/specialmadrasahs
Updates can be found at our website: http://specialmadrasahs.wix.com/spot

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Single Mothers Sail, float or sink?

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Single Mothers Sail, float or sink?

As the day begins I open my eyes praying I feel better than yesterday. To my dismay the feeling of weakness still lingers in my body! I take a big sigh and call up work to tell them the bad news. At the back of my mind I think, “Oh no, another day off work, I might loose my job, this is going to affect me financially, there are so many things I can do, maybe I can go in and just take it really slow”?????????

Life as a single mother has to be one of the most challenging roles. maintaining an abundance of tasks and responsibilities. I’ve met many single mothers, and their drive to achieve amazes me. So this blog is definitely dedicated to my sisters who I know push forward through hardship after hardship.

In the space of a day, from the moment I wake up its all go, till eventually I collapse on my bed exhausted from the non stop task load of work that seems endless. I know there are some mothers who are married and endure the same intensity of hardship. Looking on the bright side I’m grateful that I’m not one of them ladies who in addition to everything else on my task load, has to cook and clean for a man who contributes nothing more than another mouth to feed in the household!

However in the midst of these trials, when disaster strikes, there nothing is more wonderful than seeing your hard work pay-off when the compassion of your children blossoms like a flower. My son offering to aid me in the necessities of getting through the day while I lay on the sofa temporarily disabled from attending to the chores of a daily routine. My daughter asking me constantly what I want and catapulting into nurse mode treating me just the way I do her. A feel guiltlessness engulfs me as I contemplate whether I’m robbing my children of an experience to be kids like everyone else.

Some mothers Sail through this experience supported by families that step in to fill in the vacancy of an absent father. While some mothers, every now and then float on an ocean called ‘what to do next’, exhausted, stoned, depressed or stunned by life’s relay of ongoing journey. And finally there are the mothers who sink, unable to cope with the world above water, so they sink by the sheer weight of demands they cannot meet and retreat to the depths of the sea bed to figure out how to find the strength to swim back to the top and see the light!

Where ever you are on this Ocean of life, dear single mothers, I salute you, you’re doing a great job!

Praying my health is restored so I can get back to what I do best 🙂

MANufactured Islam

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Out of pure love, I’ve been contacted by an abundance of people that have left me with emails, books and writings that all prove that the niqaab is in fact a heavily influenced interpretation of man’s contribution to how women look. Now I’m in no position at present to conclude whether this evidence is correct immediately due to my own time restrictions. However it does highlight to me something of great importance.

If like myself, women have taken some serious time out to go through what they consider to be a thorough journey towards achieving a firm understanding about the position of ‘hijaab’ in Islam. Then there is clearly a very strong influence that has been placed in shaping this understanding.

My inability to understand Arabic at present puts me at an immediate disadvantage as I’m faced with two options. One is to learn Arabic, cutting out the middle men. Two is to investigate to the best of my ability, the reliability of the sources I take my information from. And after much contemplation I decided to do a bit of both! In my spare time I slowly work towards learning Arabic, whilst shifting through a load of biographies helping me determine who Allah has blessed with wisdom.

It seems very apparent that Allah has aided mankind to achieve any answers to burning questions by various means. The means are the practice of praying Istikarah (Prayer or counsel or guidance) and also observing signs (eg:Imam Ahmed RA upon reading his biography I could see he demonstrated manners and character that exceed most in their goodness Masha Allah).

Both helped me decide on who from an array of inheritors of knowledge I should take a firm stance from.

‘Knowledge precedes action’, and although I would love to rush towards letting my hair blow in the wind, when I leave my house, at present my certainty that this would not benefit me in the this dunya (material world) akhirah (afterlife) has not yet been achieved.

Furthermore it is another reminder that until I reach a natural inclination to stop practising what many consider to be a cultural practice, it would be a clear in justice of oppression to rush me or remove my right to arrive at this decision myself.

I’d like to take the opportunity at this point to thank all of those that have shown me nothing but love at this point in my life and have continued to support me through the good and the bad 🙂

After hardship comes ease, Allahu Akbar

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After hardship comes ease, Allahu Akbar

For the last two years I’ve been on Islam Channel, Unity FM and any other Muslim media to address a project that was very close to my heart.

My son never settled well into Madrasah’s which were typically for 2 hours long with approximately 20-30 children to one teacher. The consequence of this meant he would often get labelled as the naughty one.

I then ran my own Madrasah’s and discovered that often one of the main hurdles in facilitating a Madrasah, that is inclusive, was having a balance of staff that were qualified and experienced enough to manage these classes.

This is how Special Madrasahs began! From that point on I made it my mission to raise this issue amongst the community, highlighting our failure to acknowledge or give all children the same opportunities.

Parents began to contact me, crying about their own experiences trying to get support. The children and people I met all helped me see the bigger picture and problem.

I was overwhelmed with what I saw, and I couldn’t stay quite about it so my mission began. It was on my third attempt where I was ready to give up that one of the parents cried out to me, “But sister you promised! What is it with this Muslim Community, All I want is for my son to learn Qu’raan like other children”. She said exactly what I was whispering in my heart. At this point I decided that even if I had just one student, I would begin the Madrasah and pray that things would change.

I told this mother no matter what I would honour my promise and to make dua. I then shared a post on the ‘Special Madrasahs’ page explaining my sorrow. Alhamdulilah a couple of sisters quickly got in touch offering there support.

A couple of months later by the Grace of Allah SWT I’m now receiving much support, Masha Allah. And I wanted to write this blog for a couple of reasons.

Firstly never to give up standing for what is right. At the moment I’m full of emotions as donations and messages of support come in. Allah really is the best of planners, and After Hardship really does come Ease! I can now contact all of the parents and share with them my joy.

Secondly learning how to teach children who learn differently from us may be difficult, but it is better than doing nothing at all. I’ve now been contacted by other Madrasah’s who have either reached out saying they want to open up their doors, or to tell me about their own difficulties.

I do not have all the answers, and Allah knows that my goal was to bring together the right people so we could deliver the right Madrasah Education in sha Allah.

I hope people see the purpose of this blog and can take some good from it. A list of professionals are slowly coming together ensuring we can deliver only the best for the best, Our Lord Allah SWT.

Alhamdulilahi Rabill Alameen (Praise be to Allah the Lord of Mankind)

If you’d like to donate please visit this page: http://www.gofundme.com/50ynas

For more details about Special Madrasahs please visit our website: http://specialmadrasahs.wix.com/spot