Madrasah Announcement: Change to mid-morning session from Sept 2018

Thursday, 14 June, 2018 / 29th Shahru Ramadhan, 1439 A.H

Dear Parents

Salamun 'Alaykum

Pray that you and your family are all in good health and enjoying the Divine bounties of Shahru Ramadhan. May your devotions of Shahru Ramadhan be abundantly rewarded, InshaAllah.

The Al Mahdi Madrasah is honoured to be given this opportunity by you, the parents, to be involved in the impartation of Deeni T'alim-religious education- for your children. Our team of volunteer teachers and Admin staff endeavor to always discharge this responsibility with great devotion and commitment. Undoubtedly you all would like to make this journey of learning in Madrasah for your child/ren to be one that is enjoyable and one that has an impact upon their spiritual development.

One of the factors that is key to the success in this journey of learning is the convening of Madrasah at an appropriate time of the day so as to derive the maximum benefit. This is an aspect which a number of parents and teachers have been discussing with regards to the current timing where the Madrasah is held in the afternoon session.

Background:

As you may be aware, the Al Mahdi Madrasah team held a consultation with parents, teachers and community members in June 2014, to consider a change to Madrasah timings. This consultation came about after receiving feedback from a number of parents regarding the afternoon timing, and their request for a morning session to be considered.

Alhamdulillah many families attended the consultation, and as a result the split between morning and afternoon preference was almost 50:50. Subsequently, in order to try and accommodate both preferences as best we could, the start time was shifted back to 12.30pm, allowing classes to conclude by 4pm, and it was agreed that the Madrasah would undertake a review of the session timings in the future.

Merits of imparting education during morning session:

The educational value of holding Madrasah in the mornings is something that has for a long time been near unanimously agreed upon by teachers and parents, though up until now we have been unable to facilitate this change due to a number of practical concerns which affected a number of Madrasah students. This is an issue which myself and the other Madrasah heads have spent a significant amount of time deliberating over. Many parents have also raised the suggestion to convene the Madrasah in the morning. Some have enquired as to the progress of review of the consultation previously undertaken. Subsequently, this issue was raised as a matter of importance at our most recent Madrasah Academic Heads team meeting, with a view to once again consider this proposal.

During the meeting numerous advantages of a morning session including the following were considered:

It has been proven that the attention span of students is much greater in the mornings than in the afternoon
Morning sessions will improve both the focus of students, as well as their behaviour
Previously, where students had conducted various activities in the morning prior to arriving at Madrasah, it often meant that students have struggled to concentrate or engage with the lessons
Address the typical mind set in children disliking doing serious learning activity on an afternoon in the weekend
It frees up the Saturday afternoons to allow children to enjoy the weather, particularly in the warmer spring and summer months
This will provide an uninterrupted day and a half of the weekend for families which is important for the children as well as likely to help attendance in Madrasah
All the Madaris throughout our communities in the UK, hold weekend Madrasah during the morning either on a Saturday or Sunday.
Potential to hold extracurricular activities including ball games, clubs and other projects after the formal end of Madrasah. This will promote community socialisation in our children in a fun setting; different to the formal majlis programmes at al Mahdi Centre.

Change to mid-morning Madrasah session:

Bihamdillah, after detailed discussions the Madrasah Academic Heads team has concluded that, in consideration of the foregoing and given the overwhelming evidence from academic research findings, as well as considering ahadith from our beloved Rasulallah (SAWW) on the merits of learning in the morning period, we intend to convene a Mid-morning start for the Madrasah day from the commencement of the new Academic year in Autumn term 2018. Provisionally this will commence at 10am with a finish after Dhuhrayn prayers around 1.30pm. During the winter months there will be a break for Salat and a lesson held after Salat to finish at the same time.

The greater benefit:

We appreciate that this may not be convenient to all and some of you will no doubt undergo personal and family sacrifices to adjust or forego extracurricular and sporting activities. However due to the reasons discussed above, there are overwhelming reasons for this change needing to be done in the interests of the greater good.

At the Madrasah we only have a few hours each week to impart religious knowledge to our children. Therefore, we all have a duty to maximise the impact and absorption of this knowledge so that it results in successful implementation in the Tarbiyah of our children inshaAllah.

Volunteer Teachers:

I would like to draw your attention towards our team of dedicated teachers and volunteers who are sacrificing their most valuable resource, their time, in order to impart Deeni T'alim to our children. We are passionate in being part of the development of our children and nurturing them towards being committed towards our faith as taught by the Noble Qur'an and Ahlul Bayt a.s. Whilst several teachers have expressed that though their Saturday mornings are usually spent relaxing after a busy week, or in some cases undertaking last minute preparation for Madrasah lessons, they would willingly give up these earlier hours in order to facilitate the success of the learning experience for our children. Therefore, I also urge you, parents, to consider rescheduling of morning activities as a minor inconvenience, in order to achieve a much greater long-term benefit for our children, which inshaAllah spans both this life and the next.

Your support:

Therefore the Mid-morning Madrasah session will come into effect from commencement of the new Academic year in September 2018, InshAllah.

As Madrasah will not commence official lessons until after Ashura InshaAllah, towards the end of September 2018, this will enable parents to reschedule Saturday morning activities over the next 3 months.

We greatly look forward to your support in bringing about this positive change for the Madrasah.

If, however, you have any concerns about this or the impact it may have on you or your child, please do not hesitate to contact me at the earliest; I am confident we can work together InshaAllah to resolve these.

Humble Request:

In conclusion I would like to humbly request you to kindly mention the following prayers in your duas during these final days of this blessed month:

pray for our children to be awlaadus saalih; virtuous children.
pray for the tawfiqat of all volunteers serving at Al Mahdi Madrasah.
pray for barakah and success of Madrasah in the Tarbiyah for our children.

Together with your support and Divine tawfiqat we look forward to continuing imparting Deeni T'alim to our children, InshAllah.

May the abundant blessings of Shahru Ramadhan continue to encompass you all, Sawm Maqbul. Iltimasi Dua.

Shukran.

With salams andduas,

Fazle Abbas Datoo
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Resident Alim
Wessex Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat

Al Mahdi Centre
Fontley Road
Titchfield, Fareham
Hampshire, PO15 6QR
England

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