What is ILF?
The Islamic Learning Foundation (ILF) is an institute developed to provide a solid foundation of Islamic literacy and spiritual development. Considering the myriad social and ideological challenges the Muslim community faces, ILF has been created to give American Muslims the necessary tools for intellectual and spiritual maturation. Ultimately, we wish to build a community of student activists who have internalized the Prophetic personality–noble and resilient.
What Sets ILF Apart?
There are many institutions of Islamic education available to the Muslim community. Each institution brings their own unique methodology of religious instruction, thus fortifying the greater Muslim community through this rich diversity.
ILF seeks to provide a holistic approach of Islamic personality-development through mentorship and didactics. We intend to build a movement of students of the Islamic sciences that have a strong foundation in the Islamic tradition and research methodology. It is this community of students and scholars–with relationships of mutual growth–that shall transcend theoretics to engage the ideological and spiritual ills of society. It is this fusion of knowledge and activism that inspires our entire project.
What Has ILF Done So Far?
The Islamic Learning Foundation has established state-of-the-art classrooms with multimedia and streaming capabilities in multiple cities around the country. Hundreds of students have benefited from the various courses by ILF covering a variety of subjects with an emphasis on integrating modern research and traditional Islamic studies. ILF has also provided opportunities for students to receive Ijazaat (traditional licenses of learning) for hadith collections such as the Forty Hadith of Imam Nawawi and the Shamail of Imam Tirmidhi.
One of our core offerings is the Summer Intensive Program – Indisputable Truth. This program provides students with 60 hours of instruction, laying out principles of Islamic thought rooted in knowledge of the Quran, Sunnah and scholarly discourse. This program also provides students with the intellectual anchoring required to work through doubts and questions about Islam’s authenticity and truth.
ILF also has a “Bridge to Quranic Arabic program” where it has sponsored students from the United States, enabling them to study with experts in Arabic instruction and Quran in Cairo and Madinah. Some students have chosen to continue their studies at Al-Azhar and Al-Madinah University with continued sponsorship. They have since returned, serving the community in various capacities as Imams, Arabic instructors, and Islamic studies teachers.
What is next for ILF?
A thorough study circle system has been developed as an Activist Development Program spanning all levels of Islamic literacy. This weekly program shall provide Islamic workers with foundational Islamic knowledge as well as the essential tools for grounding Islamic thought with established principles of research from the robust Islamic intellectual tradition. The Mentor Development Program shall provide more rigorous study with an emphasis on production of Islamic thought as well as social leadership skills.
Activist and Mentor Development Program
As part of ICNA Chicago, the Islamic Learning Foundation has established a community center in the Chicagoland area. At the ICNA Center, we have built a community that is welcoming and inclusive for all people no matter their personal state. Whether it be the new Muslim who is seeking an entry point into the community or the young man or woman who is struggling with their faith, they have a home at the ICNA center. With the forthcoming community cafe, coffee and refreshments will accompany our diverse activities developed for all ages. This will be a place where the entire family can enjoy good company and programming.
One year Islamic Studies program
ILF plans to establish a full-time, 1-year Islamic studies program. This program shall provide instruction of the foundational Islamic sciences while providing essential skill development such as writing arts, speaking craft, therapeutic listening, crisis management, project management, and research methodology. This program is unique in that it will be one of very few programs in the country which will be taught entirely in the English language. However, elective Arabic studies will also be available for students interested.