It is with the Blessing of Allah that as Australian Muslims we have built Masjids, Musallahs, and Islamic Schools that are a major part of Islamic infrastructure in Australia.
Yet we feel the need for a comprehensive structured approach for Islamic learning, training and development within our families, friends and peers groups.
The Islamic Foundation for Education & Welfare (IFEW), based on its more than 30 years track record in the field of Islamic education and training is launching a well structured and organized Usrah Network programme for the Australian Muslim community.
The word Usrah, an Arabic word literally means family. However its technical usage is widely referred to a family group organized for the sake of learning and practicing Islam. Thus Usrah is similar to a study circle or Halaqa, a close knit group of family members, peer groups or Muslims organized in a locality with the aim of learning and practicing Islam and imparting it to others.
Usrah has been practised in some form in Egypt, Malaysia, South Asia as Halaqa and in Western countries including Australia in the form of study circles as well. The involvement of a family is more effective because of the blood bondages, cultural ties, and language similarities amongst each other.
There are different ways and means of running and conducting an Usrah program. It is very beneficial for a group of individuals having different levels and stages of knowledge and practice of Islamic directives.
As the living families or neighbour families have the advantage of having common participation in many activities, Usrah is very useful for the demonstration and performance of Islamic practices in a small group.
The Islamic Foundation for Education and Welfare has determined the following important factors to be discussed and formulated for a successful Usrah program, preferably to implement in the near future.
1. Successful comprehension of ideas: The group must have the level of knowledge and the fundamental aspects of Islam so that they can fully participate in the discussion and expression of ideas coming up in different ways in the minds of participants. For this it is better to have at least three types of Usrahs as distinct Usrahs:
a. Children Usrahs up to the age of 12 years.
b. Teenagers Usrahs between 12-18 years.
c. Adult Usrahs, all the other persons who can be accommodated in this group.
2. Vehicle of language for Usrah: It is a big problem in a plural society. Every developed or developing society adopts one common language as the method of instruction in its country. Mostly this language is a conspicuous language, English, French, German, Greek, Arabic, Japanese, etc. Unfortunately the migrated persons from countries of other languages have the language problem between the new adopted language and their home country language. There is no other way except to eventually get the people acquainted with three languages for Islamic Usrah:
a. Adopted country’s language
b. Mother tongue (language of originating country).
c. Arabic language.
As a stop-gap management, we should have at least two groups: one very familiar with the adopted language, and the second one familiar with the home country language.
3. Every Usrah should have a competent coordinator, well-acquainted with both these languages, as well as basic knowledge of Islam and its practice in contemporary society. He/She should be the main guide and facilitator for initiating and establishing the Usrah together with having simultaneous training of the organisers as well as Nazims for future stability and successful running of Usrah.
In order to understand the full Usrah Network programme, how to conduct it and how to network please please visit IFEW website and browse the resource materials and download them: www.usrah.ifew.com
For further information contact: IFEW Usrah Network Administrator
Phone: +61 2 9823 2063
Mailing address: PO Box 111, Bonnyrigg, NSW 2177