This course was delivered live for Ulama and maktab/madrasah teachers specifically. It is currently not available as a live course although further live iterations will be announced soon inshaAllah. For anyone who would not like to wait, we have left enrolment open as per details below so that you can view the recorded lessons.
According to a survey in the US, 23 percent of born Muslims have left Islam, the majority have become atheist. A statistic like that should make us panic. But we seem completely unfazed. Yet 23% is almost 1 in 4. That means, on average, almost every family is affected. We simply don’t know it because the majority of ex-Muslims leave their faith in secret.
Maybe it is nowhere near this bad where you and I are, but one case is bad enough and everyone we have spoken to directly has testified to witnessing many cases. There’s good reason to believe this. According to research recently done by St Mary’s University, 70 percent of young people in Britain no longer associate with a religion. Muslims are not excluded from such statistics.
The simple reason is that atheistic discourse is all around us: in school, in the media, and in popular culture. Atheism is the fastest growing belief system, and its supporting pillars of science, secularism, materialism and liberalism are embedded everywhere. Where is the Islamic counter narrative? Is it not certain that our children are digesting these ideas and even agreeing with them without knowing Islam’s stance about them? Many young people eventually become convinced of these ideas and when they see Islam or Muslims contradicting them (often based on layers of misunderstanding), they give up Islam.
The question is, if the danger is a certainty, how can we be confident we have taken the right safety measures. The only appropriate safety measure is to teach the foundational proofs of Islam to all Muslims, and give them critical tools to see the fallacies of atheism and its key pillars. What percentage of our children have been given this safety measure or anything akin to it?
To our knowledge, this is not even taught in Darul Ulooms where are imams are taught. If that is true, then most Darul Uloom graduates, our imams and teachers, are not teaching it to their students (that’s 70% of our children). This is another obvious conclusion.
Are people leaving Islam because Islam is a weak religion that does not have the answers to the questions that have caused doubts in their minds? Or is it simply that they do not know the answers, do not know how to source the answers, or were never taught their faith in a way that made them more resilient to the intellectual, social, and psychological challenges that are bombarding all faith communities in this day and age? How are we going to answer this question practically?
At Mawarid Lifestyle, we launched a course titled ‘How to Protect Our Iman in Today’s Climate’ to help Muslims answer these questions for themselves and their loved ones. We now teach the content of this course to young people too. It is not a course that lists objections against Islam and then lists their answers but one that simply teaches people the foundational proofs of Islam in a manner that intuitively responds to the most popular objections.
This particular training course for Ulama aims to run through the content of this course and then highlight to ulama what pedagogical tools they must employ to make the content effective for young people. Most ulama will be familiar with a great deal of the content, but there are other things to consider when teaching it to people, especially young people in our maktabs and madrasahs.
It is our hope and dua, that the key components of this course and its aims will be embedded in every maktab/madrasah curriculum in the country. This is possible if all or most ulama know how to deal with the fitna of atheism and embed this teaching in the education they provide to our young.
How this course came about
To help our ulama understand the seriousness of this fitna, we can share with you that this course came about after we were contacted by a fellow imam whose community had lost six young teenagers to atheism. They felt the need for this type of course so they could tackle this problem better locally.
Length of the training course
Discounts for Maktabs/Madrasahs/organisations
We encourage maktab heads to enrol all their teachers on the course. We are happy to offer discounts on the basis of bulk registrations. Please get in touch with us about this.
Online via zoom with all sessions recorded and recordings uploaded to Mawaridlifestyle.com. Participants can access the recordings and content after the course is concluded.
InshaAllah, we will offer on site live iterations in future. If you are interested for your organisation, get in touch.
The course presentation and reading material will be provided for participants to study and use for their own classes.
If the training course is for an organisation, then all participants will be registered and enrolled on to the mawaridlifestyle.com learning management system after their details are taken via an online form.
Brief Teacher Bio
Shaykh Shams Adduha Muhammad
Shaykh Shams Adduha Muhammad is a co-founder and the former director of Ebrahim College (EC), an Islamic seminary in East London that trains Muslim faith leaders of the future.
Shaykh Shams has led EC to become a leading contemporary Muslim seminary and one of the largest adult Islamic education providers in the UK. After 17 years at EC, he left to focus on consulting and grass root work. He set up Mawarid Lifestyle (ML).
Shaykh Shams is himself an Islamic seminary graduate and has an MA in Islamic studies from the university of London. He has also worked as an Imam, a teacher and deputy head of an independent Islamic school, and a translator of classical Islamic works.
Shaykh Shams is particularly interested in contextualising traditional Islamic studies for British Muslims and faith leaders. Currently, he teaches courses at Mawarid Lifestyle, mentors young people on ML’s Youth Mentoring Programme, and counsels people who are struggling with doubts in their iman. All of his current work can be accessed at mawaridlifestyle.com.