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Ahadiya School's Movement in Sri Lanka

 

by Ifthikhar Aziz

 

The Ahadiya School's Movement was started way back in December 1951 - 52 years ago.

My late Father, Marhoom M.H.Abdul Aziz was an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Ceylon and had, by the Grace of Almighty allah, a very lucrative practice. In early 1951, he was approached by a Muslim couple from Galle to seek ways and means of getting their only daughter back into the family-fold, in spite of the fact that she had eloped with a non-Muslim.Now, this was a much respected,conventional and fairly religious Muslim family from Galle and this incident created such a rumpus at that time that it was causing them great pain of mind and utter humiliation, not only because she had eloped with a non-Muslim but also because he happened to be a person doing a menial job-a postman, if I can remember right..

Attempta to get the girl back failed and they had to have the couple hauled before the Courts and while my late Father was questioning the girl why she resorted to this course of action and whether she was aware that it was "haram" to not only elope but also marry a non-Muslim man unless of course,he accepts the religion of Islam, the girl said that she was not aware of any such restrictions nor was she conversant with the basic tenets of Islam. He was able to get the girl to repent, change her mind and revert back to her parents, by the Grace and Mercy of Almighty Allah, but this incident set him thinking.

He was worried that most of the problems faced by our community then- and upon reflection, even now in my view- was due to a lack of knowledge of the basics of Islam.

He was convinced that a start must be made to impart the basic teachings from a tender age to our little Muslim brothers and sisters and with this in mind, he invited a few Ulemas, led by the late Moulavi Lafir Alim from Galle, professionals like late District Judge A.M. Ameen, late Proctor A.H.L.A.Saleem, Barrister A.L.M. Hashim and others to join him in this task of starting Sunday Schools for Muslim children.

The first such school was started in Talapitiya, Galle, his birth place in December 1951 and followed soon by a similar Ahadiya School at the Bambalapitiya Mosque. A few other such Ahadiya schools sprang up within the next three years and were running smoothly until 2nd August 1954 ( 4th day of Dhul Haj ) , it was the Will of the Creator that my beloved Father's soul be re-called back to Him, at a relatively young age of 44  "Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajioon". He was a perfectly fit and healthy person who exercised himself regularly and with no previous ailments but as we believe, the Almighty Knows best and His Will prevails.

By the Grace of the Almighty, the Ahadiya School's Movement has grown by leaps and bounds and is to be found in almost every part of the island.It is supported by a very dedicated band of committed social workers and is recognized by the Government of Sri Lanka as a credible Institution of Islamic learning.

The Movement owns a large block of land which housed a vibrant Ahadiya Academy which provided higher learning and Vocational Training activities but somehow, this has fallen back and it would be good if you can identify some organization or philanthropist/s who may be interested in re-kindling this Institute.It is a 50 acre block of land based in Kulliyapitiya,close to Kurunegala.

Until his demise about an year ago (2002), Haji A.H.L.A.Saleem was the President of the Ceylon Islamic Instructions Society, which is the controlling body of the Ahadiya School's Movement. At present, my brother Shibly heads the Movement.