Selling Religion?

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Bro Sujimy recently posted this video online and we have some thoughts about it?

Have you yourself ever ask these question? Why are all the classes charged and why is it so expensive? Are there no free classes?

If you watch the video above…

Well from our end yes we do get this question a lot over the years.

Firstly.. Are there any free classes out there?

Yes. There is plenty out there.

Example.

Madrasah Nurinsan
– Their programs are mostly free as they source out funds from donors to cover their operating costs. You can visit their website www.nurinsan.sg

Revamp Truthseekers
– Run by Ustaz Aydarus Alhabshi also runs several classes which are free. Most of the courses conducted are at basic level where people want to learn solat and read the quran. Their focus is more on the people on the street with zero background in Islam.

MYF ( Muslim Youth Forum )
– MYF led by Ustaz Zahid Zin and friends also runs free weekly sessions. They have both free and paid courses at their centers.

Mosques
– Just head down to any mosque office and ask for the weekly kuliahs. These are free too.

From our observations usually the free lessons whether at  mosques or other centers can cover more than foundation knowledge and usually follows a particular book. Example of such lesson such as the kuliah tafsir classes by the current and soon to be outgoing Mufti, Dr Fatris Bakaram being delivered on Sundays at Masjid Darul Makmur. You can view our reviews on his lecture here.

In some cases these lectures have been going on for years and for someone without the foundation knowledge may find it difficult to follow. To ask them to restart from the basic or the start of the book maybe quite impossible. In these cases these lectures are hardly in small groups.. Usually it is an open concept at the prayer hall.

Paying for courses / classes

If you seek information, there is a abundance on the internet just watch the thousands of youtube video but if you seek real knowledge, much sacrifice needs to taken which may come in monetary, time and commitment not just from you but also from the teachers and organisers.

Hence comes the paid classes and madrasahs. When structure and modules comes into place there are many players involved such as curriculum developers,  teachers, replacement teachers and many more. Hence the increased in costs just to maintain such activities. Example are the ADIL classes developed by MUIS which is run by various mosques in Singapore. These classes have one time or monthly fees which can cater for 20-40pax per class.  You can find the list of ADIL classes here. They are heavily subsidised.

Giving money to the teachers 

In the video above, Ustazah Nadia Hanim shared about aunties who would shake her hand and while doing so will give her some money for the exchange of knowledge that Ustazah shared in the class and the aunties would say,

“This is a small amount compared to the knowledge that you have shared with us”. 

Ustazah continued explaining that these aunties understood the value that she brings cannot be priced but they would still give us much as they would so that they too would receive the blessings and with hope the knowledge can be applied in their life.

So why do other organisers like Islamicevents.sg charge?

Honestly we would do free programs if we are able to cover the venue, marketing and teachers’ costs. However we also have other operating costs such as staff salaries, equipments and more to continue operating in Singapore. Living in one of the most expensive countries comes at a price.

So if you really are in tight situations and want to attend lessons and courses, how do you get help or support? 

The most important thing a student would do is to show up for classes no matter what situation they are into. These is the adab and commitment any teacher would ask for. Especially if you are being sponsored or subsidised. We say this because we have sponsored students before but they never turn up.

Funds wise there are many ways to get it. You just need to ask the right people or organisations to get it. However there is always a qualification process.

INFAQ KNOWLEDGE

We started raising funds under this program called INFAQ Knowledge in Aug 2019. Since then we have used the funds to subsidise our Quran Reading at Home program for families that could not afford the full fee.

In time to come, it will be utilise to keep some of our programs going due to dwindling number of students in specific courses.

Example. 20 pax attended module 1. By Module 2, only 10 pax remains and by Module 3 only 6 pax are left. As the numbers dwindled the operational cost of such classes does not get lesser. We still pay the same fee to the teachers for their time and knowledge and same rental fees. With infaq knowledge, it keeps the classes going until they finish that course.

So how does this fund works? 

If you are interested in a specific course and you don’t have enough funds. Email to us at [email protected] with Subject – Need help to subsidise or finance –  ” Name of Course”.

Our staff will then reply you with a set of questions. Answer truthfully and we will consider your applications. This may take 14-30 days.

If your application is approved and we have sufficient funds to support it, we will begin to inform the teacher or course organisers and transfer to them the funds. The student do not get the money directly as we don’t wish to see any inappropriate use of it.

For those who wish to support this cause, please refer to the infaq website

Conclusion

Are we selling the religion?

As Ustaz Taufik shared in the video above. There are a few school of thoughts. We have to choose one that fits our Singapore context and to survive the challenges to upkeep our organisations afloat.

So we hope those reading this article understand that it’s not just as easily said to trust Allah swt but Rasulullah saw also said, “Tie the camel first, then trust Allah swt fully”.

Anas ibn Malik reported: A man said, “O Messenger of Allah, should I tie my camel and trust in Allah, or should I leave her untied and trust in Allah?” The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Tie her and trust in Allah.

Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2517

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