building scholars – empowering communities
The IslamicText Institute was started in 2006 by Allie Khalfe and was greatly inspired by the Al-Zawiya Institute in Walmer Estate, Cape Town, as well as the Islamictext Society in Cambridge, United Kingdom, where the current heads of each respective institute is Shaykh Seraj Hendricks and Prof. Abdul Hakim Murad, both selected as one of the world’s most influential Muslim leaders.
The foundation and methodology of each mentioned institute is the Ihya ‘Ulum ul-Din –The Revitalization of the Religious Sciences of Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali. The approach is a traditional one where the Shaykh reads from classical texts and elaborates on it, so as to provide the student with a firm understanding, context and certainty regarding the text. This is also the methodology adopted by scholars at one of the oldest traditional institutes in the world -the Grand Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo.
The IslamicText Institute looks at education holistically, focusing on nourishment [tarbiya] and education [ta’lim]. These are of the essential elements and ingredients that form and bind the relationship between teacher and student.
Islam offers a complete nourishment of the mind, body and soul. This holistic nourishment process focuses on three key disciplines including, Jurisprudence [Al-Fiqh], Theology [Al-Tawhid] and Spirituality [Al-Ihsan]. The Institute uses as its point of departure, both classical and traditional texts, dating back a thousand years, as the spheres for this nourishment process.
Since its establishment, the institute laid its foundation upon classical texts like the Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din and The Beginning of Guidance of Imam al-Ghazali in the discipline of Ihsan. Commentaries on the Matn of Abu Shuja were used as the primary sources for Jurisprudence, and the Jawhara al-Tawhid of Imam Laqqani as a primary source in Theology.
Our approach seeks to unearth the purposes behind the forms and rituals, so as to produce students and scholars who can think independently and with confidence. The institute accommodates the youth and attempts to nourish them with quality education beyond formal recitation, which is no doubt one of the pillars of any Islamic educational system.
Our youth are the future and we need to empower them with confidence as they are the flag bearers of this Dīn and will need the necessary tools required to properly interact with all human beings. We aim at educating them holistically with the Prophetic ideas of mercy, tolerance and compassion toward all of creation.
The pursuit of knowledge is a spiritual journey directed at the heart, with the purpose of transformation. One of the objectives of seeking sacred knowledge is the refinement of the seeker’s moral character [al-akhlaq].
Scholars are in agreement that one of the treasures of revelation [wahi], is that it has the potential to purify mankind completely. Thus, the legal rulings concerning Islamic jurisprudence [fiqh] is aimed at the purification of the body, the spiritual teachings [ihsān] at the purification of the heart, and the laws concerning beliefs [tawhid] at the purification of the intellect. The Institute has the objective of sharing this holistic approach, nourishing learners and producing scholars who are confident in their Din, who grow in spirituality and become beacons of light in their homes and communities.
The institute offers a variety of courses from basic Arabic to detailed jurisprudence. While some opt to pursue one subject for the year, others feel they are capable of three or four. The number of subjects one wishes to pursue is at the discretion of the learner.
Sunday: 10:30-12:00 ‘Ulum Al-Quran, history & Sīrah
Monday: 10:00-11:30 Tafsir
15:30-17:00 Youth Madrasah
Tuesday: 10:00-11:30 ‘Ulum Al-Quran
15:30-17:00 Youth Madrasah
Wednesday: 19:30-21:00 Tasawwuf and Fiqh
Saturday: 09:30-11:00 Arabic
All courses are free. Learners are not under obligation to pay any monthly fees, while those attending have been a major source of support for many years. Donors noticing the value the institute has to offer, often provide strength and support as well. The youth Madrasah has a fee policy so as to sustain the educators looking after and teaching the youth during the weekly sessions. This fee is however kept to a minimal and is not per learner but rather per family. With the support of the community, the IslamicText Institute strives in providing quality education without the need to charge any fees.
The institute launched its website approximately six years ago, which has today seen over 700 000 viewers. It continues to grow with visitors from around the world, including South Africa, Saudi Arabia, USA, Malaysia and India. The Institute also launched an online education system at the start of 2017 where learners from around the globe who are unable to physically attend sessions, may receive weekly summary audios directly to their cell phones via the whatsapp application. Subjects covered include Tafsir, Tasawwuf and Arabic.
BIOGRAPHY – SHAYKH ALLIE KHALFE
Shaykh Allie Khalfe spent a decade learning various traditional texts from Shaykh Seraj and Shaykh Ahmad Hendricks who are the current Shaykhs of the Azzawia Institute in Walmer Estate, Cape Town. They in turn graduated from the Umm al-Qura University in Mecca specializing in Usūl Al-Fiqh and spent about ten years at the feet of the ocean of knowledge, Al-Sayyid Muhammad bin ‘Alawī al-Mālikī, may Allah be pleased with him. Allie received from them licence [ijāza] to transmit various branches of knowledge including Islamic Jurisprudence [Al-Fiqh], Theology [Al-Tawhīd] as well as the Spiritual Sciences [Al-Tasawwuf].
He also spent two years at the Grand Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo sitting at the feet of some of the foremost scholars alive today, including Shaykh Sa’īd Mamdūh, Shaykh ‘Alī Jumu’a, Shaykh Fat’hī ‘Abdurahmān Al-Hijāzī, Shaykh Hasan Al-Shāfi’ī and Shaykh Hishām Kāmil, may Allah be pleased with them, all of whom he read traditional texts to and received from them ijāza to transmit these texts. He is currently completing his Masters in Islamic Studies with a focus on Theology at UNISA and is the founder of The IslamicText Institute in Surrey Estate, Cape Town. He also lectures on Theology at the International Peace College of South Africa (IPSA).
Institutions are always in need of support. We welcome interested parties to make an appointment to view the premises first hand before registering their families for the various courses available. There is no doubt that supporting institutes aimed at empowering communities is one of the greatest doorways of attaining proximity to the Almighty, and at the same time serves as planting seeds, the fruits of which the soul reaps in the life to come.
To view the premises or to contribute, please contact 0714138725 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
By supporting traditional knowledge you are empowering individuals, building communities and are part and parcel of the dissemination or sacred knowledge.
Bank Standard Bank
Account name: IslamicText Inst
Account number: 071405976
Branch code: 051001 or 5009