2020 has been a year of confusion, fear and uncertainty. It has been a very challenging year for us at Lote Tree as we have tried to maintain our community focussed da’wah (madressah, adult monthly classes, dhikr gatherings etc) as well as increasing the scope of what we offer to the Milton Keynes Muslim community. Despite all the challenges we faced, we are in our fourth year and this is what we achieved, with all praise and thanks to Allah.
- Over the past 12 months we have:
- Started a dedicated one year adult education program – Roots Program
- Started Lote Tree Book Club where we have read 4 books as a group
- Gained charity status with the Charities Commission
- Brought over 12 different Shaykhs to teach in Milton Keynes (over half in-person)
- Moved to a large venue at Margaret Powell House
- Continued writing blog posts on our website
- Two of our volunteers cycled from MK to London in Ramadan to raise over £3000 for Lote Tree
- We continued with our madressah both in-person and online (during lockdown)
- We finished our long-term monthly course with Shaykh Ahmed Saad on Creed (this started on 24th July 2018 and was completed on 21 April 2020)
- We started a new, long-term monthly course with Shaykh Ahmed Saad on the Principles of Tafseer
- Had numerous teachers host Ramadan FM shows
- Grew our YouTube video channel – Lote-Tree MK to 78 subscribers and 82 videos
Sadly, due to Covid, we were unable this year to hold a weekend retreat, a community BBQ, a community iftar or any reflection rambles. We were also hampered from expanding our madressah as planned.
Despite the challenges over the past 12 months we have met many milestones and set ourselves new targets.
Our greatest blessing is perhaps to have gotten charity status. This is a recognition of what we have achieved in the short time since we came into being. Another positive is that we increased the size of our venue which allows us to be a dedicated Covid secure environment and one of our Trustees is a dedicated Covid compliance officer.
Another huge achievement is that we started a one year adult learning program. This was always a goal of Lote Tree because we now have the makings of an Islamic learning program from 5 year olds through to 16+.
We were also fortunate to have taken on a new volunteer teacher and have acquired the services of a dedicated part-time madressah administrator to help us move towards NRCSE madressah qualification and then to OFSTED regulation – this would make us the only madressah in MK having this qualification.
We have continued with monthly adult classes covering a wide range of subjects from da’wah, to the principles of tafseer, as well as Imam al-Haddad’s Book of Assistance.
There is a lot more which can be said, but ultimately success is from Allah.
Goals for 2021
Our main goal for 2021 is volunteer teacher recruitment. We are keen to increase our madressah, but we don’t want to compromise on our unique low student to teacher ratio which is unprecedented in a madressah environment. The teachers we are looking for don’t need to be scholars, ‘alims or muftis (in fact we’d prefer if they were not). What we are looking for is passion, enthusiasm, strong English speaking ability with a hunger to learn and benefit the next generation of Muslims. If that sounds like you then don’t hesitate in dropping us an email at madressah@lote- tree.org to find out more. In terms of commitment, the classes are only during school term and are Monday-Wednesday 5.30pm – 7pm and we are looking for both males and females. The only requirement in addition to the above is the ability to confidently recite the Quran with the correct pronunciation – however even with that we are willing to help teach someone to get them up to speed as required. Otherwise full training and resources are provided.
Our other goals are to get back into the classroom and continue learning and if Allah allows to continue to offer spiritual nourishment to the Muslims of Milton Keynes.
I would like to finish by thanking, from the bottom of my heart, those people who volunteer their time to organise classes and teach classes and also our honourable donors who donate their hard earned money so that we can continue this work of da’wah. Every person who benefits will be a reward for you on the Day of Judgement.
If you wish to donate or set-up a standing order please do so here http://www.lote-tree.org/donate/ alhamdulillah we have people from as far as Bradford and London who have monthly standing orders set-up and reaping the reward despite never having attended a Lote Tree class.
Lote Tree is here to teach Muslims in Milton Keynes about Allah so that they can increase their faith and attachment to him (SWA).
May Allah bring us closer to Him in 2021
Trustee of Lote Tree Traditional Learning