Markaz AbdulLateef Centre for Quranic Memorisation and Arabic Studies, otherwise known as Khalwatu Tanzeel has graduated 130 hufaadh – an Arabic word for those who have successfully completed the full memorisation of the Noble Quran.
The centre, located in Oko-Oba, Agege Local Government Area of Lagos State, is owned by a renowned Islamic Scholar, Legal Practitioner and immediate past Commissioner for Home Affairs, Lagos state, Dr AbdulHakeem AbdulLateef .
Khalwatu Tanzeel, which began in 2015, would be the first to graduate such a large number of Hufaadh – about 130, at a single event in the history of Quranic Memorisation in the southwest region of the country.
The first edition was held in 2017 and no fewer than 78 Qur’an Memorisers were produced. Many of the first set alumni, we reliably gathered, are now in various universities within and outside the country, pursuing different courses in Sciences, Humanities, Engineering, Communications, among others, without letting go of their knowledge of the Qur’an.
While welcoming guests, parents, families and friends of the graduands to the event held at the Agege Stadium, Agege, in compliance with COVID-19 protocols and regulations, Dr AbdulLateef said, “today, we are celebrating 130 new graduands of the Qur’an.
“Four years ago, we did graduation for 78 Hufaadh. This is a great feat in Nigeria. We only record this in countries like Saudi Arabia, Somalia or maybe in the Northern part of the country. Now, we have brought it to the comfort of our environment,” he added.
Abdul Lateef, also fondly referred to as Hon. Iyepe by his hundreds of thousands of admirers stated that the centre was established to enhance morality and build the character of the students who will be leaders of tomorrow.
According to him, “We want people to eschew violence, imbibe righteousness, decency, charity and do away with man’s inhumanity to man and give the right interpretation to the verses of the Qur’an and ensure that these young ones commit the Qur’an to memory at this age when they aren’t distracted about the happenings in the society.”
The former Lagos Commissioner for Home Affairs said the centre ensures that there is a balance between western and Islamic education, saying that students only get admitted into the centre after completing their primary school education.
As part of measures to ensure balance between western and Islamic education, AbdulLateef said Khalwatu Tanzeel admits students only after they might have completed their primary school education.
“When they finish the Memorisation of the Qur’an and become very fluent in speaking Arabic as a language, which is one of the three major languages in the world, they would have learnt Islamic tenets at a young age to live a decent live. Then they will proceed to the secondary school after which they become professionals in different Fields,” he added.
Benefits of the Qur’an
Speaking on the benefits of the memorisation of the Quran, the centre’s Director of Studies, Alhaja Bilikis AbdulLateef said it widens their brain, adding that, “they are not here to play, they are here to learn.”
According to her, For somebody to memorise the whole of the Qur’an in just three years, you should know it is a very great work. It’s not a joke. That is how we train them. No matter how, when they get to their various schools, they would be leaders because they have already learnt the words of Allah.
“There’s a testament when one of them was graduating, the mum came to me and said I’ve seen one of the miracles of the Qur’an, that my child that was not in school for like three years, after just one sitting for the examination, he got 8As and that is one of the benefits of the Qur’an because it widens their brains. It tells them to be serious, focused. That is exactly what we do at Markaz AbdulLateef.”
The Director of Studies, while elucidating on the three-year training at the centre, she said, “The first year is the preliminary level. They get to learn the alphabets, how to join the alphabets of the Qur’an and read. They started learning bit by bit and we teach them Arabic at the preliminary level.
“Then the second stage when they get to year 2, we divide the Qur’an into three stages. There’s one stage from Suratul Nas till one-quarter of the Qur’an in the first year, by the second year they would have started from that stage to the next next stage – Suratul Qaf which is middle of the Qur’an.
“From Suratul Qaf till Suratul Baqarah, that is the third stage. So, no matter the level of Arabic they might have learnt, when they come to Markaz AbdulLateef, we make sure that we take them back. We start from the preliminary level. We let them understand the language. They study Arabic, so they know everything about Arabic studies because it is the language of the Qur’an and when they are reading, they are meant to understand what they are reading so that there won’t be any issue at the end of the day,” she added.
Correcting erroneous beliefs about Islam
Using the Qur’an to correct the erroneous beliefs about Islam, one of the guest speakers, Sheikh AbdurRahman Ahmad described the Qur’an as the ‘Grundnorm’, a German word for order and rule.
“It is the constitution. it’s the book of ethics, the book of morals in Islam, to that extent it has benefits. At another level, it sharpens their intellect because memorizing the 600-page revealed book and recalling it goes a long way in training the brain and the mind, as well as character training.
“The discipline that goes into the memorisation of the Qur’an will go a long way in ensuring the entrenchment of discipline in their lives. Children their age are still playing football and many other things, but at this age, they have this much imprinted in their brain, that tells you that they’re ready to take on the world,” he added.
Other Scholars who spoke at the gathering of the occasion included Sheikh Abdul Fatai Thanni, Sheikh Moshood Ramadan, and Sheikh Dhikrullah Shafii, among others.
Sheikh Shafii, the Grand Mufti of Conference of Islamic Organisations (CIO), while speaking on relating with the Quran, said, “we must believe in it, see it as a divinely revealed book from God that will guide our lives. It’s a must for all to read it, make use of it and if we want to judge, we must use it.”
Addressing the graduands, Sheikh Shafii told them to shun evil deeds of any kind, saying committing them can make them to easily forget the memorised portions of the Qur’an.
He said, “My children, I advise you, you are not like those who haven’t memorised the Qur’an. Your conduct now must change. Sins are a hindrance to effective and sustained memorisation of the Qur’an. Also, not revising regularly can be a factor. Parents should assist these children to achieve these feats.”
The graduands received their certificates after reciting different portions of the Qur’an in melodious voices that brought tears and joy to the faces of the families and friends that came to celebrate the Qur’an with them.
One of the elated graduands, Abdulhameed, a 14-year-old son of Prof. Ibrahim Oreagba, the President of the Islamic Medical Association of Nigeria, IMAN related his 4 years experience at Markaz Abdul Lateef.
He said, “my experience in Khalwah was somehow scary at first, but it turned out to be wonderful and I hope every new student gets to experience that, because it was exciting. I was able to share all these memories with my friends and memorizing the Qur’an became easier”.
“At the beginning, I’d find it hard to memorize because I was not so vast, but my ustaz was very strict and discipline, which made me focus more on memorizing and becoming better, and with this, I was able to finish in just two years, Alhamdulillah. So, memorizing, to me, has become very easy and I’m thankful to my ustaz and I hope to be able to pass my knowledge to other people,” he noted.