Education in Dar al-Mustofa, Tareem

After 3 years, my little brother has returned to Malaysia from Tareem for the holidays this Ramadhan. At 22 years of age, he has become a fully grown young man. However, shyness remains one of his main traits. I am glad to see how Hadramawt has changed him. It has indeed put him in the right path. Exactly what he has been dreaming of since his adolescence.

In 2016, my brother had departed for Tareem, Yemen to continue his religious studies in an islamic school known as Dar al-Mustofa (House of The Chosen One). When I was told that he was heading to one of the failed states in the world, I had feared for his life! My mother then had explained how Habib Ali Zainal Abidin had suggested that my brother should pursue his studies after graduating from Madrasah al-Attas. Knowing Habib Ali, I felt definite that what my brother had chosen to do was for the sake of Allah.

Is Dar al-Mustafa, Yemen safe?

Alhamdulillah Tareem was safe from the wars that erupted in the South of Yemen. I heard that there were minimal incidents of crossfires but Dar al-Mustafa was safe from any conflicts. I suppose it is due to the barokah of its teachers and the learning students. May Allah always continue to Protect them from any harm.

What is the Nature of Learning in Dar al-Mustofa?

It is a must for students to be well versed in the Arabic language before they are able to enroll for their core courses. Habib ‘Umar bin Hafiz who is the Dean insists that everyone speaks no other language than Arabic in Dar al-Mustafa. That is why the students chose to study in Yemen in the first place anyway.

Their campus is convenient with basic facilities. One thing though. One should understand that Tareem is a place of no worldly luxury life. If you are a student of Islam who intends to seek knowledge and embark on a true spiritual cleansing journey, then Tareem is the best place for you. Thus, before really opting to further your religious studies in Dar al-Mustafa, you must make sure that you have tuned into the right mindset. However, if you are looking for a more modern setting, then it is better that you head off to Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and the likes.

Certificates, pointers and examination results are not a priority in Dar al-Mustafa. Instead Habib ‘Umar greatly emphasizes in deep understanding in knowledge. This is because he does not want the students to chase cosmetic achievements but he believes in learning and adopting it as a way of life. Which is the life of our beloved Prophet S.A.W.

What is the Objective of Dar al- Mustafa as an Islamic educational institution?

Its objectives consists of 3 facets; Knowledge, Suluk and Dakwah. Firstly is the enable the students to attain authentic Islamic Knowledge from its great scholars of ahlussunnah wal jama’ah. These knowledge are acquired or passed down by the method of sanad which can be traced back from Prophet Muhammad S.A.W.

Believe it or not, the practice of teaching knowledge by passing down to the future generations is not only practiced via the chains of scholars to their students but also culturally maintained in families in Yemen.The sharing of knowledge in unbroken chains (sanad) is a strong practice there.

Then there is Suluk where the students seek to be close to Allah SWT by cleansing their hearts and strengthening spirituality. Throughout the day, besides attending lectures, students would come together for sessions of dhikr and recitations. They have a small kitab of compilation of dhikr known as the Khulasah. Habib ‘Umar bin Hafez hopes to create more emulators if not close copies of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W.

Finally there is the Dakwah. Students of Dar al-Mustafa are taught with various methods to spread Islam and Sunnah of the Prophet S.A.W. When the time comes, selected students would set out to certain places to do dakwah.

Currently, there are students who have graduated from Dar al-Mustafa and are doing dakwah with a more modern approach that suits the current trend. It is hoped that Dar al-Mustafa will keep on producing more excellent students who will continue the responsilibites of dakwah like our beloved Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. Insyaa Allah!

Interested in pursuing your studies in Dar al-Mustafa? Visit their site at http://www.thedowra.org . By the way, they also have Dar al-Zahra for the girls.

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