In the name of Allaah The Most Merciful The Most Gracious

Hello, my name is Daawood and welcome to The Darul Arqam.  Two years after embracing Islaam,  I followed the advice of many brothers in my community and travelled abroad, with the intention of suspending my studies at university for a year and dedicating it to Islaamic disciplines. That was in 2002 and Mauritania has been my home for the past ten years.  I began my studies at Intafasheet,  a small village devoted to the memorization of Qur’aan, located 50 kilometers outside the capital.  Later I relocated to Umm ul-Qura to study various texts i.e. Aqeedah, Arabic, etc. For the last two and a half years, I’ve been residing here in Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania and working as an English teacher.

Last year, I spent Ramadaan of 2010 (1431 Hijri) at the Mahdharah (traditional Islaamic school) where I first began my studies at. It’s from the ways of the salaf that they would leave off all studies and focus on the Qur’aan during this month. I spent days smilimg,  looking at children who’ve been sent here from various parts of the Muslim world to learn the Book of Allaah. Many have been sent here with only the clothes on their backs and a small sack of provisions. Looking forward to returning to their homes, villages, and cities as Huffaadh ul-Qur’aan. Then desiring to return here once again to continue their studies in the Arabic language and other sciences of the Deen. Nothing is asked from them except that they work hard and be sincere.

My smiles soon turned into frowns and then tears when I asked myself “where are our children?” What programs are we involving  our children in that makes us feel free from having to send them to places like this? Something has to be done. “What can I do?”, I asked.  After reading a tafsir of the ayat “and spend out of what We have provided for them”, I was reminded that provisions aren’t only wealth; it also includes knowledge, position, and other blessings of Allaah. We often get hung up on not having the funds to do the things that need to be done.

After the Eid I sought to put a program together for our children. With the help of some brothers with similar plans to meet our similar demands, we’ve come together and founded Darul Arqam. A school from us, for us and by us, and the focus is our youth. For the brothers and sisters who’ve had the opportunities to travel and taste the path of seeking knowledge, you  know better than anyone else that it doesn’t start at adulthood, it starts at childhood.  It is said that the education of the youth is like writing in stone where as the education of the adults is like writing in water.

When we read the biographies of the scholars of the present and the past, we see that they’ve memorised the book of Allaah before reaching the age of maturity. They made sacrifices- no, excuse me- their parents made sacrifices. Their mothers let up their wings, put their trust in Allaah and allowed them to go on the path of knowledge. Their fathers supported them morally and financially so that their hearts and bodies would be free to tread the path. They sacrificed for the ummah, for Allaah’s religion.

We’re ready to put our children in institutions for twelve years of their precious lives, for what? Afterwards what can they do. Put your child twelve years next to a doctor, they’re going to be a doctor. Twelve years next to judge, they’re going to be a judge. Put them next to a scholar and they’re going to be a scholar, by the permission of Allaah. We know the merits of knowledgeand we know the hadeeth about the decrease in knowledge and the rise in ignorance.

Do your part! Be part of the solution and not the problem.