Sunday, 11 December 2022 / 16 Jumada Al-Awwal 1444
All Praise is due to Almighty Allah, the Lord of the Worlds and Peace and Salutations be upon
our Beloved Prophet, Nabi Muhammad (SAW).
Respected Ulama Kiraam, Brothers, Sisters and Children.
As Salaam- u- Alaikum- wa –Rahmatul- Allahi- wa-Barakatuh.
Ahlan-Wa-Sahlan -Wa -Marhaban. Welcome to our Jalsah.
Alhamdulillah, we are having a public Jalsah for the first time since 2019. Our 2020 and 2021 Jalsah’s were conducted virtually, due to the abnormal circumstances of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
We are glad that this difficulty is in the past as we have missed having our brothers and sisters at our Jalsah having lunch together.
Alhamdulillah, this year, Abas Mohamed Hussein and Mohamed Abdulllahi Ahmed (Somalia), Shammah Dassu (Botswana)will be completing their Hifz Ul Qur’an.
Imaam Ismail Aboojee, Imaam Musa Peace Monisi, and Imaam Hamza Mhlengi Issa (South Africa), and Imaam Abdou Rakib, Imaam Roihidou Ben Zayade (Comores) and Ahmed Bensouda (Gambia)will be graduating from our Imaam Dawaah Course.
Moulana Kafita Kayembe Aly (Congo), Moulana Ariful Hasan (Bangladesh), Moulana Mohammad Sakeeb(India) and Moulana Yusuf Sibisi (South Africa) will be completing their Aalim Course and will soon be reading their last Hadith of Sahih al-Bukhari today, Insha’Allah.
Moulana Sakeeb and Moulana Ariful Hasan will also be graduating as Qaris, as they complete their Qiraat Sabah Asharah course.
About our students:
Alhamdulillah, we have approximately 60 students studying at Madrassa An-Noor for the Blind and they come from 20 different countries. All of them board and lodge at the Madrassa. We have a few day scholars as well. Additionally, we conduct an online program for students including females wishing to study remotely. Our online students hail both locally as well as from India, Switzerland, Indonesia and the United States. Anyone wishing to join our online classes are welcome.
At Madrassa An-Noor for the Blind, we encourage our students to have a healthy lifestyle. Our students keep fit in our gymnasium and have tournaments for Blind cricket, goalball and swimming
Our activities this year:
The Qiraat department at Madrassa An-Noor is supervised by Moulana Moosa Suleman. He teaches the Qiraa’aat Sabha Ashara modes of recitation.
Madrassa An-Noor for the Blind will now also be offering a Takhasus (specialized qualification for our graduates who wish to further their studies of Tafseer, Hadith, Fiqh and Qiraat).
Alhamdulillah, we have been officially accredited by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) to offer the Imaam and Muallim course at our Madrassa.
We have a weekly Anjuman (gathering) where students are divided into groups and they present Qira’at, Bayaans, Nazams and Poetry. Teachers are present to assess and mentor the students. These programs equip the students with the necessary skills and experience required for public speaking and Da’wah.
Throughout the year we consistently conduct numerous programs and competitions such as our Annual Qiraat, Nazam and Bayan Jalsas. Our students look forward to these opportunities to display their talents, while competing with each other. Each Jalsah is adjudicated by external Ulama and Qurra.
We also conduct Arabic and English Braille classes, Qur’an Diction, English Spelling Bees and Mathematics and Computer Literacy Olympiads during the year. Participants are judged and prizes are awarded to the winners.
With regards to Life skills, we have focused on Orientation Mobility, and have conducted 12 virtual Zoom training sessions this year with brother Bashir Ebrahim of Vision Australia. We use the K-12 International Orientation and Mobility curriculum which entails laterality, balance, trailing, navigation and body protection.
We have introduced a structured secular curriculum with English, Mathematics and Computers to enhance our students’ holistic development. Qualified teachers teach daily classes these subjects at the Madrassa and through Zoom.
As of last year, we have shipped containers of the Braille Qur’an, Hadith and syllabus books to Thailand, Malawi, India and Kenya. Our aim is that every blind person should have a Braille Qur’an and every Masjid in the world should have a copy available, Insha’Allah. We are currently producing Qur’ans for the United Kingdom and Pakistan, Insha’Allah.
We have placed a special order for large print Qur’ans with the Taj Company in Lahore, Pakistan. These will assist the partially sighted as well as elderly people to easily recite the Holy Qur’an. Alhamdulillah, our container is on the way to us.
Our Maktab program is one of our major focus areas in terms of our outreach efforts. Maktabs have been established in Pakistan, India, Thailand, Albania, Somalia, Ethiopia, Malawi, Kenya and Senegal.A Maktab for the blind can be established anywhere in the world using our Blind Islamic Multimedia Program (BIMP). This program contains the Braille Qur’an and various Islamic books read with human and automated voices.
We have custom-built a state of the art recording studio and use advanced technology to digitally record Islamic literature. All of our Islamic audiobooks are available for free download on our website (www.mnblind.org).Thousands of Islamic PDF documents are now also available for free download on our website.
This year we hosted two teachers, Sheikh Baba Mbaye from Senegal, and Mufti Noaman Nazirhusen Malek from Albania, who completed the “Teach the Teachers” training course. Sheikh Mbaye has already established a Maktab for the blind in his home country. Should anyone wish to copy our model, we are ready to assist, Insha Allah.
Due to the war in Russia and Ukraine, our visiting teachers from Kazan and Dagestan were unable to arrive for their teachers training.
We were informed by Brother Khaled Hassan of the United Kingdom about a village in south-eastern Mauritania where the vast majority of people are blind, Subhanallah. Each of the 50 families living in Daliguemba Aithnayn village typically consists of 8 members. An average of 6 members per household are blind. We have offered our full support and are currently planning a program to assist.
We attended the sixth All India Braille Qur’an conference that was held virtually. The conference took place on the 13th March 2022 and was attended by various delegates from different states of India. Alhamdulillah, in this conference, many matters were discussed regarding the advancement of Islamic education for the blind
A few of our graduates, Moulana Muhammad Ali and Moulana Asyid Abobaker from Malaysia, and Moulana Islah Busakorn from Thailand, visited us in November. They reconnected with their teachers and gave us a detailed report of their activities in their respective countries. We assisted them with resources to aid in their teaching.
Many blind individuals suffer social challenges. We assist financially with their medical needs, groceries, rent and housing. We also ‘match-make’ suitable partners for our blind brothers and sisters around the world.
This year, we convened an Old Student’s reunion at Madrassa An-Noor for our ex-students, both male and female. The positive feedback was very encouraging.
We travelled to Canada where Almighty Allah blessed us with the opportunity of ‘Bismillah’ initiating our Noor-ul-Qur’an Braille Primer to Qur’an teacher, Sister Ruwayda of Zanzibar who is based in Toronto. We also presented a paper titled ‘Making the Qur’an Accessible to Blind Muslims’ at the Global Disability Conference hosted by Deen.
In Pakistan our graduate Moulana Waqar Yunus facilitated for us a meeting with Madrassas that run under the supervision at Baytul-Ilm. Altogether, there are 13 Madrassas and 7 schools catering for the Blind in Karachi and 17 Maktabs are running in the rest of Pakistan. Alhamdulillah.
In November, our principal visited the Organización Nacional de Ciegos Españoles (ONCE) in Spain,to form a strategic information-sharing partnership. Moulana Murchie also visited Islamic institutes in Spain and Portugal. We had the opportunity of initiating ‘Bismillah’ of our Noor-ul-Qur’an Braille Primer with a Madrassa in Al Andalus.
Brother Yaseen Mahomed attended the Orientation and Mobility Association of South Africa’s annual conference held in Worcester, Cape Town. Technology of white canes using sensors for improved mobility including tactile maps were displayed.
Our team attended the SANZAF National Conference on Blindness in Cape Town, from the 14th to 16th November 2022, where different teaching methodologies for the disabled were discussed.
Update on the construction:
Alhamdulillah, we have completed construction on the multi-purpose Hall and the education and Administration block. Offices and classes have settled happily in the new premises.
We have also just completed the building of our new Braille Press. The previous building became small for our needs. This new structure will allow us to streamline production, accommodate high-stacking of books, and enable smooth container dispatch of our Braille Qur’ans for global receipt, Insha’Allah.
We are currently excavating and filling to make the platform for our Masjid. Once the land settles, we will start construction of the Masjid which will accommodate males, with a special section for females, Insha’Allah. As we are situated on the Johannesburg-Durban N3, many travellers presently use our temporary facilities and Madrassa An-Noor hopes to provide a convenient break in the travels of brothers and sisters seeking Salaah facilities, rest and recreation for children.
Respected Brothers and Sisters, Madrassa An-Noor for the Blind would not be possible without Allah’s Fadhl and Mercy. Your Duas, assistance and support is sought and greatly appreciated. It is only Almighty Allah who can reward you. May Almighty Allah continuously bless you. Ameen.
May Allah bless our Parents, Families, Teachers, Trustees, Donors, Supporters, Well-wishers and each and every person of the Ummah. We especially mention our appreciation to our team of Ustaads and staff of Madrassa An-Noor for the Blind, the communities of Howick, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa and the Ummah.
Insha’Allah, may Allah help us in our mission to guide every Blind person in the world to the Light and Noor of Islam, Bi Idhnil Allah. Aameen
May Allah Ta’ala forgive us our shortcomings and accept our efforts and reward us all in this world and the Hereafter. Ameen.
Hassan AK Murchie