Sunday, March 1, 2015

New Islamic school in Granada | "By the fig and the olive..."

Bismillah.



Imagine. It's going to be beautiful, bi-iznillah.

If you have children of school-going age in 2017, you should have them enrolled in the new school that is being planned in Granada.

We had the privilege of hearing about the school project from Al Hafiz Bashir Castineira, the newly appointed Director of Fundacion Mezquita de Granada - the Foundation of Granada Mosque, tasked to bring the school project to successful completion.

Brother Bashir is now in KL with three other colleagues for a fundraising on the first mosque for Seville since the fall of the great Al Andalus civilization in Spain. The focus of their trip is on the Seville mosque but having heard him speak about the school project in Granada, I can't help but relish dreaming the beautiful dream - a school for the young ones, amid olive trees, engulfed by the breeze from a nearby lake in the outskirts of beautiful Granada. 

The school, according to Bashir, will be for 400 girls and 400 boys sitting for both primary and secondary education. Some will come in daily, some will get to experience it as a boarding school. It will adopt both Spanish and British curriculum and will thus have Spanish and English as its medium. Majority of the students will be Spanish from Granada and the neighboring towns but a good number of international students is expected.  It will be a fee-paying school but not everyone in Granada or anywhere else could afford the fee, therefore a waqaf program and scholarships will be arranged.

The plot of land where the school will be built has been identified. It is about 20 minutes drive from Granada city center. Flanked by a lake, the land is now home to some 3000 olive trees. The trees will have to make way for the school building obviously but there should be enough left for olive oil production that could bring income to the school's waqaf scheme.

The girls and boys will study separately. "There will be a high wall separating them" - Bashir mentioned jokingly. The school will have all Muslim teachers and a strong emphasis will be given on akhlak (Islamic behaviors) so from this perspective it will be an Islamic school. The school project would cost around 60 Million Euros. For the purpose of securing funding from various parties, the project is divided into eight phases. It is a big project under the purview of Fundacion Educativa al Andalus of which Haji Malik A. Ruiz is President.  

Ending the interview with Al-Falah online TV, Bashir said the Foundation welcomes sponsorship from anyone and everyone. He also invites the audience to visit Granada to appreciate not only its glorious past but also the exciting future that the beautiful city and its people anticipate.

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This is Bashir's second visit to Malaysia. He was here in June 2014 representing Spain in the International Musabaqah (Quran recital) competition. We had the honor of listening to him recite several verses from Surah Al-Imran. Bashir who had, three weeks ago, completed memorization of the Quran explained the meanings of the verses he recited. He said, we should reflect on the signs of Allah in His creation. In whatever situations we are in, we must reflect upon the signs of Allah, when we are walking, sleeping, eating, doing business, travelling, when we are in the countryside or in the city, we must look at the signs of Allah. The verse which he recited, ends with a good du'a:
"Our Lord, and grant us what You promised us through Your messengers and do not disgrace us on the Day of Resurrection. Indeed, You do not fail in [Your] promise." [Translation by Royal Al Bayt Institute]

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Let's pray so that Allah - Who swears by the fig and the olive - would reward those who believe and do righteous deeds, with a reward, uninterrupted, as stated in Surah At-Tin. Those who work in support of the deen for the good of the deen, for the sake of Allah and His beloved Messenger. Ameen.


Al Hafiz Bashir Castineira reciting verses of Surah Al-Imran

Do visit www.mezquitadegranada.com for more information or if you wish to support the school project and/or the Granada Mosque's maintenance.


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