Musa Ramsey is an Islamic Studies teacher presently instructing at Al-Iman School Raleigh North Carolina. He has taught there for ten years along with various other institutions of learning for over 20 years. He has served as a contract chaplain for the Department of Defense and N.C. Department of Public Safety. Musa has served twenty - one years in the United States Army with over fifteen years of experience as a first line supervisor, instructor and manager.
For eight years Musa has been directing Al-Iman School's Saturday Hifz program. Presently, he is an active member of the Islamic Center of Raleigh where he conducts weekly lectures on various topics and works with the local dawah committee servicing to help promote a better understanding of Islam and its way of life.
My Mission Statement
Al-Iman School's Islamic Studies course seeks to create a challenging learning environment that encourages high expectations for Islamic knowledge and practice of the religion. Our instructional approach puts emphasis on the traditional practice of memorizing supplications (al-ad‘īyah) and Al-Adhkar. We strive to promote a safe, orderly, and caring environment where learning can take place. Each student’s self-esteem is cultivated by establishing a positive teacher and student relationship that supports high expectations. We work to have our parents, teachers, and community members actively involved in our students’ learning.
Six Overarching Goals of Islamic Studies:
- To develop and cultivate a strong love and consciousness of Allah and His Messenger, Muhammad (sallallahu alaiyhi wa sallam)
- Believe and realize that Allah is capable of doing all things.
- Become knowledgeable about the commands and prohibitions and practices of the religion.
- To cultivate good manners and character.
- Develop a sound Islamic identity and sense of dignity.
- To invite other towards Islam and articulate the great benefits of the religion.
My General Belief and Philosophy about Education!
Upholding the Trust
One of the hallmarks of Islamic life and practice is to pursue and disseminate sacred knowledge. I consider it to be a great honor and trust (amaanat) to serve as a teacher tasked with the responsibility of educating others about the religion of Allah. To fulfill this weighty duty and responsibility it is crucial that one seek knowledge as an Islamic Studies teacher and sincerely strive to put it into practice in one’s life. Of course, this cannot be possible except through reading and applying the Book of Allah and following the sunnah of His beloved Prophet and Messenger Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam). I believe that the highest standard of professionalism is embodied in holding oneself accountable in the sight of Allah and recognizing that working in an Islamic school is a great responsibility and trust (amaanat).
Cultivating Students (Tarbiyah)
I consider Islamic education of children to be an obligatory responsibility that rest upon the shoulders of every Muslim adult. The educational framework and structure of an Islamic school must formulate its foundation upon the principles of tarbiyah, which is the basic approach of educating children Islamically. Tarbiyah refers to the systematic development and training of children in the light of Islamic teachings. It is a continuous and comprehensive process of developing beliefs, character, manners, and Islamic practice in the lives of students. Of course, incorporated in this process is the concern to develop their intellectual capacity through mathematics, language arts, science and technology, as well as stimulating a deep-rooted concern for humanity as a whole. Service learning projects such as helping the needy, visiting the sick, or community cleanup are all wonderful ways to develop and cultivating a concern for others. I believe a central quality of cultivating and developing students must stem from a sense of love, compassion, and mercy.
My Fundamental Beliefs About Education
The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) addressed the children of Al-Madina at a young age and taught them to understand that Allah’s help and support can only come through upholding principles of the religion. The fundamental belief that one will be compensated for one’s deeds is a concept that everyone must develop and understand. This is why the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) laid the foundation of Islamic life and practice based on Belief that Allah has the right to be worshipped alone and that He is capable of doing all things (Al-Qadeer). Once this fundamental belief is ingrained in the minds and hearts of our children, they will be able to make choices based on their faith and belief in Allah.
As educators our overall goal and objective should be to cultivate and equip Muslim students with a mind or way of thinking that will enable them to integrate into a diverse environment understanding who they are and where their success is obtained. The teachings of salat, fasting, supplication, and thikr are all designed to cultivate a sense of nearness and obedience to Allah. Understanding the goals and objectives of these practices will give the Muslim student the strength needed to endure the challenges of peer pressure and alienation. Of course, coaching and reasoning with our children will help in the process of developing confidence and eliminating doubt but the foundation of their attachment can only come through a sincere personal belief and a desire to please Allah. Without these components a child will inevitably experience distance from Allah and feelings of insecurity and estrangement. As a result, they will naturally incline towards the social environment around them. I am aware that this process is easier said than done, therefore I’m an advocate to create more options that will help our children maintain their Islamic life and practice, such as organizing high schools and colleges for them. If Additional time is needed to cultivate strong beliefs and Islamic identity, we as adults must organize our time and resources to create options that will support the development of our children before allowing them to enter into an environment wherein, they are incapable of preserving their Islamic life and practice. The responsibility rest on the shoulders of us all!
An Educational Process Worth Reflecting Upon
One of the early scholars in Islam explained the process of true Islamic education. Yusuf ibn ‘Ubayd (Rahimaullah) said,
- With good manners – you will understand knowledge
- With knowledge – your actions will be corrected
- With correct actions – wisdom will be obtained
- With wisdom – Zuhd (abstention) will be developed
- With zuhd – comes abandoning (the unnecessary concerns of) this dunya (world)
- With abandoning this dunya – comes the desire for the Hereafter
- With desire for the Hereafter – the pleasure of Allah is obtained.
Islamic Studies Teacher