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Scholars to Leaders

Many young Muslims graduate successfully from various Dar-ul Ulooms, (centers of traditional Islamic knowledge), with deep insight into the traditional sciences of Islam such as the Quran and Sunnah through the dars-e nizami. They have a good grounding in these fields and are well versed in the traditional texts of Quran, Hadeeth and fiqha, a must have for the future leadership role in the community.

These to-be-leaders of a community are expected to manage a range of varied tasks in the community on graduation, yet often are not given the time, support (infrastructure and people) or training required to deal with problems as diverse as spiritual needs, unemployment; poverty; disenchanted youth susceptible to being misled by extreme factors; alcoholism; drug abuse; domestic violence; divorce counseling; disputes; communal factors and negative media coverage.

Consequently, though they come out of these Dar-ul Ulooms with the necessary traditional knowledge, it has been noticed that they are generally ill equipped to impart their learning to others effectively and fulfill their role as community leaders, teachers, imams, managers and committee members to their full potential in this day and age.

Very little time, if any, is spent on teacher training and on continuing professional development such as communication, pastoral, listening and media skills. These scholars need to be equipped with tools to face the challenges of the modern world and contemporary issues and events.

They need to be aware of ways of interacting and communicating through mediums such as social networking, websites and other technologies and be aware of the global picture.

As leaders of the Muslim community (the second largest majority in India), as spiritual wayfarers (Sufis), as Indian citizens and members of the larger community, they need to be aware of their responsibilities and be able to apply their knowledge and skills for the benefit of the larger community. The need for continuing professional development is important to articulate, implement their knowledge and be confident in their identity as Muslim Indian citizens.

Such development will enhance communication, negotiation, engaged dialogue and representation skills so that they could operate more effectively and confidently within their own and the larger community. It will enhance group understanding, bridge building and how best to learn and live from and alongside one another, through discussions, seminars and continuous dialogue.

Keeping such professional development of these scholars in mind, Shaikhul Hind Educational & Charitable Trust has established National Institute for Faith Leadership (NIFL) to impart training, encompassing a large variety of modules, to the newly qualified scholars from Dar-ul Ulooms to become successful community leaders.