The North West of England is home to thousands of Muslims. In Bolton, Blackburn, Preston, Burnley, Oldham, Rochdale and Manchester, Muslims constitute a significant proportion of the population. Bolton is a well-known town situated in the heart of the North West, where many Muslims reside. The Muslim youth of this area, and across England, are growing up in a multicultural and multi-religious society. It is of utmost importance that we, as a religious group, ensure that the youth are able to assimilate and adjust to their surroundings. Furthermore, it is important to do it in a way that is conducive to good relations with the indigenous population, as well as the Muslims who come from a variety of cultures.
Education should aim at the balanced growth of the total personality of man through the training of man’s spirit, intellect, his rational self, feelings and bodily senses. Education should cater therefore for the growth of man in all its aspects: spiritual, intellectual, imaginative, physical, scientific, linguistic, both individually and collectively and motivate all aspects towards goodness and the attainment of perfection. The ultimate aim of Muslim education lies in the realization of complete submission to Allah on the level of the individual, the community and humanity at large.
The Muslims have established or instigated movements to establish institutions of higher education and academic research, or developed private schools for the Muslim youth, in order to attain the above goals. It is an awe inspiring task which can only be undertaken by committed and faithful individuals. The purpose of Islamic education is not to cram the pupil’s head with facts but to prepare them for a life of purity and sincerity. This total commitment to character-building based on the ideals of Islamic ethics is the highest goal of Islamic education.
Al Jamiatul Islamiyah is an example of such an effort, to motivate, inspire, educate and rekindle the spark within the hearts of those youth who are growing up within this country. It aims to provide both religious and secular education to Muslims in an environment which is conducive to their learning and spiritual being.
It would follow then that the aim of an Islamic school is to provide an environment which allows the student to realize these ideals and gain an education that enhances his spiritual, intellectual, imaginative, physical, scientific and linguistic growth. Using the above definition as an informative guide, one would expect an Islamic school then, to have facilities and a programme of learning that allows a pupil to develop his/her sense of spirituality and build a positive relationship with God which becomes manifest in doing righteous deeds.