At Harvard University in 1968, the Ghazis questioned how they would teach Islam to their children. Deciding to make America home, they knew they had to nourish their children’s fitrah with more than the memorization of Islamic tenets. Even more, they wanted their children’s Islamic education to positively impact those around them.
Their answer? As educators – by training and vocation - they conceived an entire curriculum of Islamic Studies, based on the traditional madrasah syllabus yet framed within a modern educational methodology. Inspired by Jewish and Catholic approaches to religious education, they created rudimentary syllabi, textbooks and workbooks.
Along the way, they gathered like-minded Islamic educators and professionals until, in 1983, their collective efforts coalesced to found IQRA’ International Educational Foundation. Since then, the Ghazis and the IQRA’ staff created the defining Program of Islamic Studies, which includes 150 books of syllabi, textbooks, workbooks and teacher’s guides.
As the Muslim community grew, so did their educational needs. IQRA’ designed workshops and assessment tools for school administrators and teachers, coaching for parents to nurture their children’s classroom experience, and school events for children.
All this, sprung from the concern of two parents.
Today, IQRA' calls Skokie, Illinois home. Staffed by educators, professionals, and volunteers, we grew to become synonymous with Islamic education worldwide. Our Program of Islamic Studies is one of the most widely used in the Islamic world, and our textbooks are trusted where ever Muslim communities are established. From Muslim-majority countries like Indonesia, to Muslim communities in Siberia, IQRA's Islamic school curriculum is recognized for seamlessly weaving together Islam and modern education. Our approach to education is nuanced, for we consider such things as pedagogy and grade readability when we design our textbooks and workbooks. The standards we set for ourselves is something licensed teachers appreciate. What solidifies that trust is that we submit our school textbooks to the scrutiny of Islamic scholars and educators. Teachers can trust that our school books are authentic.
It's why the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) and the Republic of Singapore trusted IQRA' to design its Islamic curriculum.
Our scope is not limited to textbooks and workbooks, however. IQRA' collaborates with Strategic Measurement and Evaluation - leaders in educational assessment - to design and implement the first Islamic Studies Standardized Test (ISST). The use of this test give teachers a tool to measure retention and aptitude, and enables easy transfer of students between Islamic schools. IQRA' also facilitates training programs that offer accreditation for teachers and administrators to effectively run schools and classrooms. And IQRA' recognizes that Islamic learning must extend outside the classroom, which is why we facilitate coaching for parents and students, and hold Islamic book fairs at Islamic schools.
Our history and scope of our vision is why we believe IQRA' is where Islamic education begins.
"Read! In the Name of
Your Lord Who Created,"
- Surah Al-Alaq
Our vision is to take the Divine Command of "Read!" and turn it into a concrete Islamic education.
"Acquire knowledge and
impart it to the people."
- Prophet Muhammad (s)
Our mission is to develop an Islamic curriculum for Islamic schools; support school administrators and teachers with workshops and assessment tools; and extend Islamic learning outside the classroom with programs for parents and students.
"Though I am not the best of you, I have been given authority among you. Aid me if I do well,"
- Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r)
With separate talents, combined passion for Islamic education, and partnerships with fellow educators, Drs. Abidullah and Tasneema Ghazi founded IQRA' and created its Program of Islamic Studies.
IQRA’ believes that all Muslims have a responsibility to exhibit the beauty of Islam by example. IQRA's bedrock are the teachings of the Qur'an and the wisdom of the Prophet Muhammad (s). We view as sacred the ethical values taught by all Divine Messages and Prophetic figures. For humanity to benefit from the Islamic tradition, IQRA' believes that the hearts and minds of our children must be cultivated by a religious education. That education must be of the highest standards as well as sensitive to what is cognitively appropriate to a child's age.
A religious education is not about indoctrination. IQRA' exists to nourish the natural religion that Allah gave to every single human being. Children - more so than anyone else - are most sensitive to what is right and what is wrong.
Muslims should show good will to all people by positively engaging their communities, no matter where they live.
Parents invest in Islamic schools to ensure their children receive a quality education. We believe in setting the highest standards for that education. Quality curriculum, teachers, administrators, Islamic schools - all must combine to ensure that Muslims can help make the world a better place.
A part of the Islamic creed is the belief in past revelations, the messengers that brought them, and the prophets that affirmed them. We also value all peoples because they come from Allah, the Creator of all things. These values must be taught to our Muslim children to prevent the sin of sanctimonious pride.
Knowledge without action is ignorance. The Prophet Muhammad (s) considered a person withholding it as the greatest miser. And many scholars have commented that the first Qur'anic verse of "Iqra!" revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (s) is a divine injunction to pursue knowledge.