Until recently, the Muslim community of Oxford was devoid of a Muslim girls school. Set up in September 2002, the Iqra School project aimed to remedy this situation by establishing the first full-time Islamic school in the City of Oxford. And the project team set to work at astonishing speed:
`Alhamdullilah (Praise be to God), Iqra Girls School was opened only a year later in September 2003 and currently has 22 students enrolled. The school aims to provide a high standard of Islamic and national curriculum education within a safe and friendly environment. We have the intention of moulding each student to become well-educated, well-mannered Muslims, Insha'Allah (God Willing)', said Mr Hojjat Ramzy, chairman of the Iqra School Committee.
Parents of the girls attending the school are also impressed with the education that they are receiving. Mrs Hussain, who has two daughters at the school, commented:
`I am very happy that they can attend an Islamic School in Oxford
... Thanks to Allah the community opened this school and we are very pleased to have an Islamic school in Oxford and need to keep it running.'
Mr Shirazi was equally complimentary:
`I bring my daughters over 15 miles from out of Oxford because I know the importance of my children attending an Islamic school instead of mainstream schools as I fear they will lose their identity as Muslims and will not gain sufficient knowledge of Islam. We need to keep the school open and expand it to other year groups for all of the other children hoping to attend the Islamic school in Oxford, Insha'Allah (God Willing).'
The main hurdle the school is now facing is in securing adequate funding to see it through the present academic year. Unfortunately, the relatively small Oxford Muslim community has found it difficult to raise sufficient money to cover the running costs of the school and there is a shortfall of £30,000. `If adequate finances are not secured the future of the school is in question. We are appealing to our Muslim brothers and sisters in the UK and elsewhere to help us save this school', said Mr Ramzy.
"And whatever you spend in charity or devotion, be sure God is well aware of it."
Can you help?
Donations can be in the form of single donations, standing orders and non-interest bearing loans. Payment can be made directly to Iqra School Oxford (Institute) account:
Bank: National Westminster Bank.
Address: Oxford East Branch, 189 Cowley Rd, Oxford, OX4 1UY,UK.
Account no: 74502395 Sort code: 60-16-06 Charity Registration No: 1101152
For further information or to arrange a visit please contact:
Iqra School Administration, C/o 8 St. Omer Road, Oxford, OX4 3HB
Tel: +44 (0)1865 714398 Email: