Many people will be looking back over this year and asking themselves what they’ve done. Here at Lote Tree, alhamdulillah, we are proud to look back at the most exciting year we’ve had since we started in 2017.
Over the past 12 months we have:
- Brought over 12 different Shaykhs to teach in Milton Keynes
- Written over 12 blog posts on our website
- Rented our own venue
- Started 3 madressah groups
- Held a weekend retreat, a BBQ, a community iftar and a reflection ramble.
- Run four short courses
- Run a one-day course
- Continued and started long term monthly courses
- Run an archery taster course
- Run a ladies’ specific course
- Brought an international calligrapher to teach
- Held gatherings to remember important Islamic dates
- Started a fortnightly Converts’ Circle
- Started an adult’s reading Arabic class for beginners
- Applied for charity status
- Had 2 teachers host Ramadan FM shows
- Started a YouTube video channel – Lote-Tree MK which has 39 subscribers
- Had our madressah students perform on stage at the Great Get Together Iftar
Over the past 12 months we have met many milestones and set ourselves new targets.
Our greatest blessing is perhaps to have gotten our own venue to start a madressah with 7 voluntary teachers and 2 voluntary teaching assistants. In March 2019 we started with a children’s madressah aimed at those aged between 5-9 years of age and were at capacity within a couple of days of advertising. From September we were able to introduce a girls’ youth madressah and a boys’ youth madressah. Both of these also reached capacity within a few days. The madressah has its own bank account which covers the cost of room hire as well as incidental costs. We have a waiting list for all 3 groups and we are looking for opportunities to move to a larger venue and increase our teachers so that we can take on new students. Our youth are our hope and we need to do all that we can to ensure we are meeting their educational needs so that they can grow in their faith. Our madressah has a huge advantage that our teachers are born/bred in the UK, they know the language, customs, challenges and how to balance living in the UK whilst holding tight to their faith.
For adults, we have brought a range of scholars to Milton Keynes and held one off talks, short and long courses. Our teachers have come to us from all over the UK and some have committed on a regular basis travelling to us from London and Birmingham. We are completely run by volunteers and alhamdulillah your regular donations have allowed us to honour our visiting Shaykhs by compensating them for their travel costs and a donation towards their time. We are fortuante that one of the UK’s (if not the world’s) leading scholars, Shaykh Ahmed Saad, has made a long term commitment to teaching for Lote Tree in Milton Keynes every fortnight. In addition we have recently had Shaykh Hassan Shire from London, a young scholar who was born and raised in London, also committed to giving his time for da’wah in teaching adults in MK on a monthly basis. 2020 shows potential for much more in the way of adult learning as we already have a full programme for every week in January with new and old Shaykhs bringing the Prophetic inheritence to us in MK.
Local teachers also covered subjects such as the Major Sins, The Ten Promised Paradise (part 1), 40 hadith on Ramadan, Fiqh of Fasting and Women’s purification and prayer.
Our last weekend retreat in April allowed us to host 3 Shaykhs who have previously taught in MK and tackle a very important subject of Raising Muslim Children. We are hoping to build upon this with a retreat in April 2020 (before Ramadan) on the Tafsir of the Surah al-Kahf – watch this space.
We were able to honour some of the important Islamic dates in 2019 such as the battle of badr, the first ten days of dhul-hijjah and the tenth of muharram. We plan to honour more important Islamic dates in the year 2020 so that Muslims are more aware of our history and important religious festivals outside of Ramadan and Eid.
One of the advantages of living in Milton Keynes is the expansive nature we have on our doorstep. We held our first Reflection Ramble with Shaykh Hassan Shire as we walked around Teardrop Lakes to soak in the nature around us before having a reminder from Shaykh Hassan. We couldn’t continue with this due to the change in the weather, we will inshallah pick this up in the Spring of 2020.
Sunnah sports is an important area and we held an archery taster session which was a huge success. We want to bring archery courses to MK and are looking into the feasibility of this in 2020 as well as other sunnah sports.
During Rabi’ul awwal we took the first half of a text on the description of the Prophet (SAW) by the late Shaykh Kattani as taught by Shaykh Ahmed Saad. We hope to complete that text in 2020 so people can connect themselves to the best of creation.
One of our teachers who is a convert set-up a fortnightly convert circle for new Muslims to benefit. A range of topics have been covered such as the Prophet (SAW), Sahaba, Love and Tradition. We hope to expand our services aimed at new Muslims in 2020 so as to be able to meet their, often, specific challenges.
There is a lot more which can be said, but ultimately success is from Allah.
Lote Tree is here to teach Muslims in Milton Keynes about Allah so that they can increase their faith and attachment to him (SWA). We have so much in the pipeline for spreading Islamic knowledge in Milton Keynes by means of English speaking and Western cultured Scholars. January 2020 is already full of arranged talks with Shaykh Muhammad Dhakir, Shaykh Ahmed Saad, Shaykh Hassan Shire and Sayyid Zain al-Haddad.
For true benefit we would love to hear from you about what courses, classes and events you would like in MK. If you have read this far, please spend 2 further minutes by completing this short online form so we know what other classes/events may benefit.
May Allah bring us closer to Him in 2020