In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
Assalamu ʿalaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.
Building individuals and making them righteous, effective leaders and reformers in this life is one of the most important goals of Islam. Allah has sent us divine guidance through the Prophet Muḥammad (pbuh) and the revelation of the Holy Qurʾan, which contains the best methodologies for education and reform. In following this guidance, Muslims can rise to the Qurʾanic call to be “the best of nations” and serve as role models in benefitting humankind.
The first revelation to our Prophet (pbuh) came in the form of a divine command related to the concept of education: “Read, in the name of your Lord who created . . . Who taught by the pen.” With this verse, Allah established a foundational ethos of continuous learning which prepared the Prophet (pbuh) and his followers for what was to come: establishing a virtuous and just society, whose contributions to humanity are still alive today throughout the world. In addition, Allah sent the angel Gabriel every year during Ramadan to read and study the Qurʾan with the Prophet (pbuh), nurturing his faith through learning
and mentorship. The Prophet’s (pbuh) experiences and the revelation he was given served as a constant training ground for fulfilling his mission of conveying the message of Islam, purifying the hearts of his followers, and mentoring them to be global ambassadors of righteousness.
Muslims in America should be proud of their progress in establishing Islamic centers, schools, and other civic organizations aimed at preserving the identity of Muslims while also advocating for Islam and its followers. No one doubts the importance of this great work. However, during the twenty-three years of his prophetic mission, the Prophet (pbuh) only built one mosque (al-Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina). Yet, when he stood at Mount ʿArafa before leaving this world, the exhortations of his Farewell Sermon awed and inspired no fewer than one hundred thousand Companions—one hundred thousand students graduating from the school of Muḥammad (pbuh). Rather than focus all our efforts on the building of structures, we must emulate the example of our noble Prophet (pbuh) by investing in the education and training of our future leaders.
In fulfillment of this mission, the Boston Islamic Seminary will follow in the footsteps of our Prophet (pbuh) to educate, mentor, and train the next generation of Muslim leadership. We aim to train leaders who are grounded in the Islamic tradition and prepared to navigate both the challenges and the opportunities of today—leaders who will inspire young people and communities to reach their potential as ambassadors of Islam, modeling and conveying Allah’s guidance to mankind with clarity, integrity, and compassion.
I am confident that this is a cause our entire community will rally around, holding fast to the rope of Allah, united together. This will ensure not only that we safeguard and protect the faith of our children and future generations but also that we fulfill our purpose and potential as contributors to a more beautiful, vibrant, and God-conscious humanity, inshaʾAllah.
In closing, I pray that Allah make us sincere followers of our beloved Prophet (pbuh) so that we may be among his eternal companions in Jannah. Ameen!
Dr. Basyouny Nehela
President, and Dean of Academic Affairs