A Graduation Ceremony in Africa


A graduation ceremony in Africa

Mawlana Imran Attari – Head of Dawat-e-Islami’s Central Executive Committee

Noble Quran and blessed Hadith are replete with detail on the importance of scholars and their excellence.

The noble Quran commands,

فَسْـَٔلُوْۤا اَھْلَ الذِّکْرِ  اِنْ کُنْتُمْ  لَا  تَعْلَمُوْنَ (۴۳)

So ask the people of knowledge if you do not know.[1]

Furthermore, it is stated in a Hadith, اِنَّ الْعُلَمَآءَ وَرَثَةُ الْاَنْبِیَاءِ – “Indeed, the scholars are inheritors of the Prophets.”[2]

Jamiat al-Madinah is a department of Dawat-e-Islami which teaches the scholar course, traditionally known as Dars-e-Nizami. Students come to study for a lengthy period before graduating as scholars. They then enter various fields, spreading the light of knowledge wherever they go. Imam Abū ʿAlī al-Thaqafī رَحْمَةُ اللهِ عَلَيْه said, العلم حیاۃ القلب من الجھل نور العین من الظلمة – “In comparison to ignorance, knowledge is life of the heart. And in comparison to darkness, it is the light of one’s eyes.”[3]

At the time of writing (December 2023), Dawat-e-Islami has over 1,500 Jamiat al-Madinas, with over 124,000 male and female students. Until now, more than 31,000 male and female students have graduated after having completed Dars-e-Nizami and the Faizan-e-Shariat course. اَلْـحَمْـدُ لـِلّٰـه This is only growing and gaining momentum as time passes.

The Jamiat al-Madinah is Johannesburg, South Africa, is playing its part in this development. A graduation ceremony was arranged here for 10th of December 2023 at 10am. I was invited to speak at this event to encourage students and educate them. To gain this honour, I arrived at Johannesburg Airport on Saturday night on 9 December. A handful of the local Islamic brothers came to receive me. We went to the home of a brother, ate together, and had a meeting. How the following day would be spent, where I would speak, and who I would meet were some of the topics discussed.

My speech was scheduled for around midday. Although the topic was the importance of Islamic knowledge, I was to also speak about why such ceremonies are held. I mentioned the need for Islamic knowledge in these turbulent times. Before the speech, the Ameer of Ahl al-Sunnah دَامَـتْ بَـرَكَـاتُـهُـمُ الْـعَـالِـيَـهْ also sent an audio message.

After the speech, the graduation ceremony took place. Certificates were also handed out to the graduates. This event was not only for the scholars who graduated, but also for those who had completed their memorisation of the noble Quran. How excellent are such people! Stating the excellence of those who undertake this virtuous endeavour, the Greatest Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said:

A person of the Quran shall come forth on the Day of Judgement. “O Lord!”, the noble Quran will say, “Grant him a robe of honour!” The person shall be granted a great crown. “O Lord!”, the noble Quran will say, “Grant more!” The person shall then be made to wear noble garments. The noble Quran will say, “O Lord! Be pleased with him!” Allah Almighty will then be pleased with him.

Then, the person shall be told, “Continue reciting and ascending in rank. For every verse, an extra virtue will be added.[4]

It is stated in another narration, “If a memoriser of the noble Quran recites the noble Quran at night, his likeness is that of a sack filled with musk whose fragrance reaches all places. Whoever sleeps with the noble Quran in his chest, his likeness is that of a sack filled with musk that is tied up.”[5]

The ceremony was concluded with duāˈ and recitation of ṣalawāt and salam upon the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, after which we offered uhr salah in congregation. We then ate and met attendees. Then, a discussion took place with students and teachers, which was something of particular importance. Alongside this, a question-and-answer session took place with them, all of which lasted until maghrib. After offering maghrib salah in congregation, I had the honour to attend a masjid dars: one of Dawat-e-Islami’s main Islamic activities. Here, the dars was delivered in English.

We then went to meet someone, offered ʿishāˈ salah there in congregation, and conducted a meeting with the responsible brothers of South Africa, which ended at an appropriate time at night.

[1] Al-Quran, part 14, Sūrat al-Nal, verse 43; translation from Kanz al-ʿIrfān

[2] Ibn Mājah, vol. 1, p. 145, Hadith 223

[3] Faāʾil al-ʿIlm wa al-ʿUlamaˈ, p. 21

[4] Sunan al-Tirmidhī, vol. 4, p. 419, Hadith 2,924

[5] Sunan Ibn Mājah, vol. 1, p. 141, hadith 217




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