By Shakirah Thebus
The vastness and splendour of the City of Cape town Council chambers seemed a befitting venue to host this year’s Madina Institute graduation ceremony. Draped in their black ropes, the smiles on the faces of the students who have completed the One Year Usul Ud Din course offered at the institute was that of humility, awe and immense gratitude for the year that was. A much-anticipated moment for, not only the students, but for the staff and management team, as well as the parents of the new graduates.
The event commenced with a formal procession led by the founding director of the institute Shaykh Muhammad bin Yahya al Ninowy, along with senior lecturers, board of trustees, and faculty members followed by the string of learners beaming behind them.
Much like every year, the event cannot commence before verses of the Holy Qur’aan is read. Qari Harun Moos, the principal Imam at the Nawawi Institute in Wynberg opened the hearts up with his melodious recitation of the, followed by graduates from the Madina Hifz institute, Hafhidhat Zahra Hendricks and Hafhidhat Amiena Adjiet
This year’s special guests included Shaykh Ali Laraki (UK), Shaykh Mawlay Mortada Elboumashouli (Morocco) amd Shaykh Riad Fataar from the Muslim Judicial Council, among the few. What made this year’s ceremony more significant was that hufaadth from the offshoot Madina Hifz school graduated alongside the Usul Ud din students.
Madina Institute’s registrar, Asgher Mukhtar addressed those who gathered with heartfelt words of appreciation to all, especially the students who have made this year a memorable one.
Founding director, Shaykh Muhammad bin Yahya an-Ninowy delivered the keynote address to the attentive attendees.
“For the students as graduates from higher learning institutions, you may be focused with the notion of many Islamic crisis’s in the world today, sometimes it can be quite an overwhelming thing, going out to the world and trying to find solutions after your education, the point of learning is to practice, and to apply that which you’ve learnt.”
“Reform is more needed than ever,” urged Shaykh an-Ninowy.
“Madina comes to look at reform from a critical perspective and that’s exactly what we want to teach. We want to invite clashing of the minds, but not clashing of the hearts, because clashing of the minds yields the best. Uncritical following and imitation of Eastern and or Western thought or any other tradition, has harmed Muslims and have resulted in a deep sense of loss and impoverishment of the Islamic philosophy of living.”
Valedictorian, Moegammad Thaakir Abrahams speaking on behalf of the class of 2019, expressed that he was unable to answer the question many would ask about his time at the institute. The impassioned student described it as more of a tangible experience, one in which words often don’t do justice in conveying.
Awards were also given to principals of schools based in Cape Town for their exceptional work they do in moulding future leaders of tomorrow.
This year’s top achievers included: top student Mohammed Fazlé Ahmed Mukhtar, in second Thameenah Abrahams and in third Ammaarah Adjiet. The Abdur Rashid Brown, given in honor of the late Shaykh Abdur Rashid Brown, a senior lecturer and one of the founding members at the institute, was awarded to Mogamat Sedick Peters.
Applications for the One year program for 2020 are still open for both the one year Usul al Din program with a minimum requirement of Matric and the 3 year BA in Usul al Din with a minimum requirement of a Bachelors pass.
For more information on the program and/ or the application process, you may contact the administrative office on +27 (0)21 421 9027 or www.madinainstitute.ac.za