Few people realise how far the Shia Ithna’asheri Madressa has come in such a short time, or what an impact it has made on our community here and further a field. As you will see, from relatively modest beginnings it has flourished into the industrious organisation it is today. This history of the Madressa serves to illustrate what has been achieved so far, and is a tribute to all those whose ideas and efforts have gone into building a healthy future for our next generation…
On 13th January 1985, the London Jamaat first opened the doors of the Shia Ithna’asheri Madressa. Its main aim was to meet the growing religious needs of the children of our community. The Sunday classes were held at the newly-acquired Huseini Shia Islamic Centre in Stanmore, and consisted of a mere five classes and 60 students learning an elementary syllabus. Yet, in under a month the number of students had swelled to over a hundred, and within a year there were 15 classes and 262 students on register, and an established syllabus had been put into place.
As the Madressa grew, so did the efficiency with which it ran. In 1987 the Madressa began the process of computerising administrative data, and took the important decision to become a self-financing body with the introduction of a voluntary tuition fee. The Madressa teaching syllabus also underwent a comprehensive revision in the taught subjects of Tareekh, Fiqh, Akhlaq and Holy Qur’an, which still remain at the core of the Madressa system today. Arabic & Farsi have since been introduced as a fifth subject along with adult education classes, special needs and learning support classes.
By 1988, the Madressa had grown to 380 students and moved to occupy larger premises at Park High School in Harrow. In the next few years, there was a increase in the size of the community taking Madressa to a peak of 500 students.
The 1990s heralded the growth of the Madressa on new fronts, both within the educational structure and in extra-curricular activities. The Madressa introduced teacher training workshops and awareness seminars to improve teaching and communication skills. Not only were these new pursuits of educational value, but also promoted community participation in many extra-curricular activities. These included annual sports days, summer camps, and annual activity trips.
In 1998, the Madressa was able to return to the renovated Husseini Islamic Centre in Stanmore, and now occupies all the available classroom space at the Centre each Sunday. Today the Shia Ithna’asheri Madressa boasts over 100 teachers and volunteers, around 750 students and 25 classes. It is a recognised driving force amongst our Madressas world-wide with the syllabus having been adopted by other Madressas across the globe. Today the Madressa is still flourishing. The teaching material is constantly being revised to keep it up to date, and new teaching methods have been introduced. And for the new millenium, the Shia Ithna’asheri Madressa has branched out onto the Internet giving students worldwide free access to the teaching material and manuals.
The Shia Ithna-asheri Madressa is the pride of the community and a tribute to the vision and foresight of those who saw its usefulness all those years ago. May Allah bless all those who have given their time and effort, both in the past and present, to help in imparting knowledge about His religion to our children.
Past Principals of the Madressa
2012 – Present
Past Ladies Coordinators
2014 – Present
2006 – 2014
Masumabai Jaffer / Sadiqabai Asgharali
1997 – 2003
1994 – 1997
Marhuma Zehrabai Khaku
Classes 1-4: Ladies Coordinator
2013 – Present