By Areej Hashmi

 

Middle school was the hardest time in my life. I was socially isolated, I had a terrible character, I had the worst possible relationship with my family, and I was depressed. It was at this lonely time in my life that I started attending Al Huda Institute.

 

At Al Huda, I met amazing individuals who were ambitious, involved in their communities, and had characters that reminded me of the Prophet (pbuh). These women had found inner peace through what they learnt from the Quran and Sunnah at this institute and had become leaders and role models in their communities. These women were the ones who helped me find the solutions to my problems.

 

At Al Huda, I learnt to rely on Allah, the All-Seeing, the All-Knowing. At this establishment, I learnt to be grateful for everything in life- the good and the bad- and through that gratefulness I was able to find the patience needed to deal with the problems I have faced so far in life. Through what I learnt there, I was able to fix my self esteem, my character, and greatly improve my self control. I was able to fight depression and come out so much stronger, so much bolder, so sure of my decisions. I was able to find myself, understand who I am, and regain my self worth. At Al Huda, I was able to heal.

 

After I started attending this institution, I became more involved in the community. I led and helped out with several philanthropic projects with this organization and others, such as, coat drives, food drives, a tree planting event for the One Million Trees initiative, and so much more. I ran for the position of Charity in my public school’s student council and presented my campaign speech to an audience of about a thousand people. I was even chosen as an ambassador for French and bilingualism and invited to New Brunswick to participate in a week of activities with Canadians from all over the country. My effort, time management skills, and overall marks at school also dramatically improved. And that was all because of what I learnt at Al Huda.    

 

Al Huda Institute, my Institute, my home-away-from-home, the place that saved me, that transformed me, and that made me who I am today, that place is being accused of breeding terrorists, of radicalizing its students, of preaching extremism. How can I believe this when I have seen nothing but immense goodness come out of this organization?

 

Al Huda Institute is an exceptional institute and many respected figures in the Muslim community have spoken out and shown their support; Omar Suleiman, Hena Zuberi and Yasir Qadhi to name a few. Former students, current students, people who have had contact with members from the Al Huda community, and even non-Muslims are telling the world what they learnt from here using the hashtag “AlHudaTaughtMe”. Check it out on Facebook and Twitter!

 

Despite the fear we may feel as a result of the islamophobia environment and the accusations being made against the institute, we have to remember that, “Allah is with the believers”, and continue working in His way (Quran 8:19).

 

Al Huda Institute is still open, by the grace of Allah, and will remain open inshaAllah.

 

 

About The Author

Areej Hashmi

Writer & Editor for MY Voice; studying Translation at York University; Al Huda TQE graduate; avid knowledge-seeker & languages-lover.

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