Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Introduction: Taleem Al Quran Wa Ahlulbayt: TAQWA is a circle
(Halka) of neighbourhood Momineen for a weekly joint study of Quran and
The aim of TAQWA circle to benefit from the best of the best sources of knowledge, the glorious Quran and the Ahlul-bayt, through the study of ahadith of our Holy Prophet(s) and Imams from the renowned book Al-Kafi.
The Prophet has made it clear that receiving Knowledge is from the cradle to the grave. This means we are supposed to be students all our life. It is unfortunate that the concept of student with most of us is until we are in the school / university, while it should be till death. The question is the definition of a student!
The best students not only READ from books but also ponder upon what they read. The most rewarding choice is to be a student of the Book of Allah, the Exalted. This would mean reading and also pondering upon the verses of Quran with reference to the tafaseer (commentaries). In fact a scholarly student not only reads and ponders upon, but also participates in academic discussions. According to experts in the field of education, the most productive education is by way of maximum participation that gives mental and spiritual delight. Participation means contribution, input, part taking,
and involvement. This is exactly the goal of TAQWA circles.
Imam Mohamed Baqir a.s. said “Mercy of Allah is on the person who revives knowledge.” He was requested to explain the revival of knowledge. He replied “To have DISCUSSIONS with religious and pious men”. (Usul e Kafi: Book 2: Chapter10: Tradition 7)
The Prophet s.a.w.s. said “Get together and advice each other and HOLD DISCUSSIONS. Such discussions refine your hearts. Hearts become rusted like swords and their refinement lies in ACADEMIC AND RELIGIOUS DISCUSSIONS.” (Usul e Kafi : 2: 10: 8)
The members committed to this program will, InshaAllah, feel elevated in knowledge and wisdom as time passes by.
Program: Weekly sessions of joint study of Quran and Al-Kafi the book of
Ahadith of fourteen masoomeen.
maxim number of participants in a circle is advised not to be more than 20, so that a session can be completed in 2 hours. It is advised to create a second
circles once the number crosses to 30 participants. In fact a circle (halqa) can also be just the members of a family at home.
Members: The members of the Circle will be Muslims from any sect as long as they recognize the Shia Faith as one of the sects of Islam. The Circle / Halqa can be exclusively of men, or of women, or mixed, provided the women participants are in Hijab and be seated separately. If there are a substantial number of women, they may form a separate circle. The Chairpersons and Presenters may be either men or women.
Venue: The sessions should preferably be held in the Mosque or Imam-Bargah to avail the benefit of spiritual atmosphere, or at the homes depending upon the convenience of the members. It can also be rotated between the Mosque / Imam-Bargah and the houses. There may be more than one circle, with one in each neighborhood for the convenience of participants.
Alim: It is recommended to invite an Alim failing which, an Arabic Expert or a Senior Zakir from the neighborhood to attend the sessions and share his knowledge, if the members so desire. Other wise the tafaseer (commentaries) provided by great ulma should be made good.
The Programmer: The members / host will also decide one of the members to
be the Programmer who will prepare a email-group and inform the venue, day,
the names of Chairperson and Opener of the coming session one week in
Format of Joint Study
SEATING: The gathering will be seated in the shape of a circle (halaka) on the floor, or on the furniture arranged in a manner that the participants can see each other, especially the Presenter.
CHAIR PERSON: It is recommended to encourage every member to be the Chairperson in turn. The first duty of the Chair Person is to start the session in time and conclude in the prescribed time.
The chair person is expected to be just and friendly, remind the Opener and other members whenever they go out of the way of the verses under study, should very modestly disallow a. questions irrelevant to the verses of the day, b. disallow questions over questions and c. strictly disallow challenges, controversial issues or lengthy arguments, so as to conclude the session with positive understanding and in time.
OPENER (Presenter): The
Chairperson will be the Opener (Presenter) for
the next session. It is recommended to encourage every member to be the opener in turn to motivate specially the youth to feel the pleasure and spiritual joy to ponder upon the Holy Quran and Ahadith and also develop communication skills that may create future Zakireen from among the members. He is expected to devote enough time to study a number of Tafaseer and prepare notes for a productive presentation of 40 minutes. Preparation of notes or power points is the first requirement but the presentation with eye contact (men to men and women to women) is an effective communication and for this the Opener is expected to rehearse a few times.
The Chairperson is also a stand-by Opener to present the Tafseer in the unforeseen absence of the Opener. Therefore the Chairperson is also expected to come prepared as a substitute to the Opener.
PROGRAM: The sessions shall be once a week on the days, place and time as per the decision by the Programmer according to the convenience of the majority of the members. The day or the time may change not to clash with the the dates of Idds, Viladaths and Sahadaths as per the majority convenience. There shall be no sessions during the first 12 days of Moharram and the sessions during Ramadam are a MUST because of the attachment between Ramadan and the Quran. Of course the timings cannot be during the evenings unless the Iftari is arranged.
PORTION: The first three weeks of every month (of lunar calendar) will be the study of Quran and the last week shall be Al-Kafi. The portion per session shall be in the order of the Quran letting the Opener to decide the number of verses he could cover with in the restricted time of 40 minutes. The portion from Al-Kafi per session shall be the number of Ahadith the respective Opener finds it possible to cover with in 40 minutes, since the length of Ahadith differ from two lines each to two or more pages.
FIRST PHASE: The Chairperson will draw the attention of the gathering by announcing for a Salawath / Darood on the prophet s.a.w.s . He will then start the session with the recitation of Sura e Fateha in Arabic and its translation in the language of the choice of the participants. He will introduce and welcome the guests and visitors, if any, at the beginning of the session. Then he will request the Opener to start his presentation (tafseer). Duration = 5 minutes.
SECOND PHASE: is the PRESENTATION by the Opener who can be also referred as Presenter. He will recite the verses the Quran he is going to present, in Arabic with translation followed by the presentation of his findings, strictly relevant to the verses recited and preferably with reference to the Commentaries (Tafaseer) and the Ahadith (Traditions). In the case of the Ahadith of Al-Kafi, he presents the translation and his findings. Duration = 40 minutes.
THIRD PHASE: is the QUESTION TIME: Questions are very important as per our sixth Imam who said, “Verily this knowledge (of religion) is under a lock, the keys of which are questions.” (Kafi: 2: 9:3)
In another Hadith he said, “People indeed perish because they do not ask questions.” (Kafi: 2: 9; 2)
Each member starting from the right side of the Opener is allowed to ask the Opener one question strictly relevant to the presentation of the Opener. The Opener is strictly advised not to answer questions that he is not certain about the answer. In the absence of an Alim , the Programmer will make note of the questions not answered by the Opener or not answered to the satisfaction, enquire the answers from the Ulam of his choice (in person, on phone or by email) and submit it in the next session. Duration = 15 minutes.
FOURTH PHASE: is of the INDIVIDUAL’S FINDINGS: Every member starting from the right side of the Opener may present the findings for not more than 3 minutes each, strictly relevant to the verses / ahadith of the day and avoid repetition of the findings presented by the Opener or the other participants. Of course the Opener bears the maximum responsibility to research for hours in preparing the presentation and the Chair Person also needs to be well prepared to be the opener in absence of the Opener while the other participants should also come well prepared so as not to defeat the aim of the TWAQA Circle (Halqa) to gain maximum knowledge to decorate our lifes with TAQWA in its true meaning. The individual findings should be a kind of pool for the day’s knowledge. Every member is highly recommended to come with the note book as ‘Quran Note Book’ with questions and notes prepared and as well take down notes of the power points from others.
Duration = 20 minutes.
FIFTH PHASE: The Alim / Arabic Expert or the Senior Zakir if present will correct the mistakes by others in most polite manner with out discouraging, answer the unanswered questions, and present only the important parts of Tafseer missed by the Opener. Duration = 15 minutes.
SIXTH PHASE: is the SUM UP: The Chairperson will sum up all the presentations, submit his findings and thank the participants followed with the
Duration = 10 minutes.
SEVENTH PHASE: The Programmer will announce the name of Chairperson and the Opener for the next session and also share matters relevant to the Circle. The session shall be concluded with the recitation of the last verse of sura e Baqra (in Arabic with translation) as the Dua for the day. = 5 minutes.
TOTAL DURATION = 1 hour 50 minutes
TOTAL DURATION in absence of an Alim = 1 hour 35 minutes
The above system of study with a research approach is based on the following references:
1. “Do they not then meditate on the Quran?” (Q.4: 82)
2. “Do they not then earnestly seek to understand the Quran, or are their hearts locked up by them?” (Q.47: 24)
3. “But we have indeed made the Quran easy to understand and remember; then is there any that will receive admonition?” (This verse is repeated four times in Sura-e-Qamar)
1. Imam Zainul Abideen a.s. said, “The verses of the Holy Quran are treasures. Whenever these treasures are opened, it is advisable for you to have a good look on the contents.”
1. It should be clear that no one is the founder of the idea of Taqwa Circles. It is a mix of the similar program run by the Muslim Student Association (MSA) at the University of Utah, USA, and the Jafria Association in Bahrain when one of our members visited these places during the 1980s.
2. A TAQWA Halaqa (Circle) could be just the members of one family at home or a group of many momineen. They may modify the above recommended format to a reasonable extend for their convince as long as they hold tight the Robe of Quran and of Ahlulbayt.
3. Every presentation other than quoting from the Ahadith or the tafaseer must sincerely conclude with the words "Allahu A'lam" meaning: I've said something, but only Allah(swt) knows the right.
4. In most of the places weekly tafseer is presented by an Alim where in the Alim is the speaker and the rest are the audience (licensers) while the TAQWA Circles invite the Alim to be the TEACHER and we his students. If the invited Alim appreciates and encourages the presentations by the members especially by devoted youths, some of them are likely to become the future Alim or at least a Zakir. And this has virtually happened in the circles in Hyderabad. Two of its senior members became Zakireen. One of them was invited to USA and covered the first ten majalis of Moharram at the Houza at Madiena during 1995. Two of the young members are already Ulma after returning from Qum, and two other are now in Qum, while similar program running in Ottawa, Canada, inspired a member who studied for six years in Qum and is Mashallah running Islamic classes in the University of Ottawa.
5. The members specially the youth getting the opportunity to Chair / Present a few times will develop leadership and communication skills and boost their confidence to Chair or be a good Speaker in their professional functions that may Inshallah promote their prospects.
6. Members interested to improve social relations may stay back for half an hour after the session as if they are in a club of Taqwa. In fact the Circles may plan picnics, camps and traveling together for vacations, Haj and Ziaraths.
7. A web site is hopefully to be developed to present the information of Circles at various places world over, along with the up date of the weekly programs running at each circle, make available commentaries (tafasir), answer the questions unanswered during the sessions and also make available the profile of members agreeable to be known to others for various possible benefits such as Social, Processional, Economical, Cultural and so on: all under the umbrella of TAQWA in the sense of its meaning and in the name of the organization.
For further information contact Agha Mohamed Hussain firstname.lastname@example.org