Read what our students have to say!
NIHAL MUBARAK, 27 - IQRA FELLOWSHIP
“I joined Boston Islamic Seminary’s Iqra Fellowship seeking a space where I could interact and engage with fellow Muslims about Islam in a holistic manner. As a graduate student and instructor at a liberal arts college in Boston, I found myself facing many challenges that often contradicted my worldview as a Muslim, and I wanted to be able to have access to the necessary vocabulary and understanding of certain concepts so that I could tackle these challenges. Alhamdulillah, being in the program exposed me to topics and ideas I hadn’t considered before, and I have gained a newfound perspective as a Muslim in America”.
ZAINAB, 26 - QUR'ANIC IMMERSION: SURAH ALKAHF
“I avidly tune into the Surah Al-Kahf immersion sessions every Friday from the UK. I have never before been a part of such an innovative seminar. It is truly inspiring to hear other brothers and sisters from around the world actively engage in the pursuit to better their knowledge and recitation. The commentaries have also been enlightening and as a result I have myself become more reflective when reading the passages of the holy Qur’an. JazakAllah Khair for letting us be a part of such enriching lessons and may everyone involved be rewarded immensely!”
NUHA MUNTASSER, 24 - TAZKIYYATUN-NAFS WORKSHOP, IQRA FELLOWSHIP
“My experience with BIS has been transformative. I have had direct access to scholars and their knowledge Alhamduallah in a way I have never experienced before. We’ve deeply explored the Muslim experience academically, challenging many of my previously held beliefs and narratives. I am forever grateful to BIS, the scholars and the organizers for this experience”.
TAHMINA MATTUBAR - QURANIC COMMUNICATION
“After a long search, I found what I was looking for Alhamdullilah!
For several months, I have been searching for some type of class or training that would help me to be a better communicator. The nature of my profession requires me to not only talk in the classroom but also to express myself clearly during meetings and conferences. In class we discussed the variations of people that we communicate with and the importance of knowing your audience and recognizing that members of said audience will have their own agenda, as people usually do. I have become more and more aware of the different platforms where I need to communicate and I felt that sometimes my message does not get across. In order to help myself to become a better communicator, I wanted to learn about effective communication and apply practical skills in my daily communications. I came across a few classes and such but nothing that was pushing me to register.
Then Alhamdullilah Boston Islamic Seminary posted this class. I book marked this class immediately. In my search, and reaching this class, I wanted to share the following verse:
Allah (SWT) says in the Quran, “O you who have believed, fear Allah and seek the means [of nearness] to Him and strive in His cause that you may succeed” (5:35).
I was making lots of dua for some type of class to better my communication. This class hit the nail on the head. The Quran has the best communication with examples that include every relationship and circumstance. Allah guided me and made a way for me for this issue that I was dealing with. Alhamdullilah”
EHSUN SIDDIQUI - QURANIC COMMUNICATION
“This class is something I needed for a long time. I’ve often been a very nervous communicator, but this class has given me numerous tools to examine my own communication.”
FATIMA - IQRA FELLOWSHIP
“I came across the Iqra Fellowship while looking through the Boston Islamic Seminary Course offerings. It is an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with a variety of disciplines, and situate and critically analyze them through a comparative perspective on philosophical traditions. The teachers are incredibly kind and knowledgeable, and have touched me with their sincerity and efforts. I am grateful to all of them and the organizing team, and highly recommend the program to all interested students and young professionals.”
ANONYMOUS - IQRA FELLOWSHIP
“When I first heard about the Iqra Fellowship, I had just moved back with in with my family to focus on my health and finishing my Masters’ thesis. I converted to Islam while I was in California so moving back home was complicated at first. During my first Ramadan with my Christian family I spent a lot of time at a nearby Mosque volunteering. I befriended another convert there who suggested I apply to this program. I have a lot to learn and needed an avenue to maintain a connection to Islam so I eagerly applied.
The acceptance to this program came at such an imperative time in my life because I was struggling with my Iman and I was left with a hunger for truth. Having been called self righteous for trying to be more religious, I was often troubled by rage, hate, pain and bad decisions. I was fighting to remain Muslim because of hopelessness. Nevertheless, I managed to hold on tight to the notion of a one true God that protected me mercifully even when I refused to protect myself, much like the days when I was transitioning from Christianity to an Agnostic perception on religion. My distrust for people and Islam was increasing at the time I began this program and my self education on this religion was not efficient to keep the rusty wheels of my Iman rolling.
Iqra Fellowship began with the introduction to Islamic world view, addressing it’s ontology and epistemology by Dr. El Tobgui. Then, the lectures delved into comparisons with modern western materialistic, humanistic worldview. The discussions we engaged addressed logical fallacy and politics, reigniting my passion for seeking knowledge and philosophical discussions. We discussed the logic behind the hadiths and sunnah and compared similarities between religions. This fellowship reached out to my intellectuality to rekindle the flames of my Iman. The more lectures I attended the more invested I became, so much so that when I got into a car accident that totaled my car I began taking two buses and a train just to get to class in the winter despite the fact that I am highly sensitive to cold temperatures due to a medical condition.
There were times that I was frustrated with some of the things that were discussed such as women’s rights, racism and other issues of systematic oppression but it was topics that needed to be addressed and I appreciated the opportunity to engage in controversial topics with such professionalism.
What I loved about this fellowship is that it incorporated lectures on various topics such as art, philosophy, science and politics. One of my favorite lectures was by a sister who addressed liberalism, feminism and modesty quite elegantly. The lecture addressed the complexity surrounding the hijab around the time that I was feeling pressure from those around me to take off my turban/hijab. This lecture by sister Janan Delgado served as a reminder that modesty was an act of worship to God whether or not people perceive it as a choice of self expression.
It was not just the lectures that had a positive impact on my life; It was one of the reading assignments for these lectures that help me see the importance of surrounding oneself with people that do not take you away from the straight path. That reading and lecture facilitated my decisions to remain in Boston with my supportive Christian family than reconcile and move back with someone who was forced to memorize the Quran without understanding the importance of the lessons within.
Iqra Fellowship provided me with a community of individuals who were eager to learn how to get on or stay on the straight path. The majority of my cohort was comprised educated women who were interested in learning about their religion and improving themselves.
Moreover, the mandatory MAS youth retreat served as a touching reminder to what is important in life while providing an avenue to create friendships with like-minded yet diverse individuals. The lectures at that event provided reminders, examples and information on the 5 R’s of tawba, tawakul and the importance of having faith in Gods plan, for He is the best of planners. I am grateful for my experience at the Iqra Fellowship program. I am grateful for the teachers and the students.
They say you are the company that you keep, so by providing a network of youth interested in Islam and self improvement, Iqra provides the ingredients and recipe for a successful Islamic community”.