Quran Focus Academy Blog

New York City’s public schools will close in observance of the two Muslim holy days of Eid

New York will become the nation’s first major metropolis to close its public schools in observance of the two most sacred Muslim holy days, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday.

Several municipalities across the country — including in Massachusetts, Michigan and New Jersey — have moved in recent years to include the holy days, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, in their school calendars. But New York City, with its 1.1 million schoolchildren, dwarfs the others in its size and symbolism.

For Muslim activists, who have spent years trying to raise their political profile, the mayor’s announcement was taken as a significant victory, and an indication that they had matured as a constituency with tangible influence on public policy.

“When these holidays are recognized, it’s a sign that Muslims have a role in the political and social fabric of America,” said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group.

At least six school districts nationally, including Cambridge, Mass.; Dearborn, Mich.; Burlington, Vt.; and Paterson and South Brunswick, N.J., have granted days off for the major Muslim holidays. Many more districts recognize the holidays in other ways, such as noting them on the school calendar or granting excused absences for observant students.

In New York, a group of Muslims has spent nine years pressing for inclusion on the city’s school calendar, which already recognizes several Jewish and Christian holidays. Muslims make up about 10 percent of the student body in the city’s public schools, according to a 2008 study by Columbia University.

Mr. de Blasio had no objections: He pledged as a candidate in 2013 to close schools on the two Muslim holy days. On Wednesday, the mayor said that the changes would take effect in the coming academic year.

Eid al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim, or Abraham, to sacrifice his son to God. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of fasting for Ramadan, which is signaled by the sighting of the crescent moon.

The exact timing of the holy days changes year to year because they are based on a lunar calendar. In the coming school year, classes will start a day earlier in September to account for Eid al-Adha, which falls on Sept. 24, a Thursday; in 2016, Eid al-Fitr falls during the summer.

In interviews on Wednesday, Muslim students and parents reacted with delight. Ilham Atmani, who was born in Morocco and lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, said she had been frustrated having to take her four children out of classes. “I know that Muslims are a minority, but we have to be recognized,” she said.

Helal Chowdhury, 15, a sophomore at Brooklyn Technical High School, said that every year he had to choose between celebrating the holidays with his family and going to school so he would not fall behind. Helal, who wants to be a doctor, said he had had a perfect attendance record for the past several years and that school always seemed to win.

“This is a big step forward,” Helal said. “We’ve been waiting a long time for this.”

Speaking at a school gymnasium in Bay Ridge on Wednesday, Mr. de Blasio, flanked by jubilant Muslim activists and city officials, was asked if he was concerned about a right-wing backlash to his decision.

“People who will criticize it, I think, should go back and look at the Constitution of the United States,” Mr. de Blasio said. “We are a nation that was built to be multifaith, multicultural.”

Mr. de Blasio often ends his news conferences by reciting a version of the day’s announcement in Spanish. As he prepared to do so on Wednesday, the mayor paused. “I will now talk about the Eid holidays in Spanish,” he said. “Only in New York, brothers and sisters.”

Holy Quran Park Dubai, UAE

The opening of the Holy Quran Park in Dubai is in sight, and final touches are being given to the park. Paving of the roads and parking construction is currently ongoing, the Dubai Municipality has announced.

“The General Maintenance Department is currently preparing for the construction of the pavement and parking at the Holy Quran Park in Al Khawaneej,” the concerned department said.

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Holy Quran Park, Dubai

The 64-hectare park is expected to be completed and opened for public in September this year.

The new attraction is intended to educate the public about the Holy Quran and its miracles, and will showcase all plants mentioned in the Holy Quran and available in the UAE.

Fig, pomegranate, olive, corn, leek, garlic, onion, lentil, barley, wheat, ginger, pumpkin, watermelon, tamarind, seder, vineyards, bananas, cucumbers and basil are some of the species that will be planted in the theme park.

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A view of Holy Quran Park in Al Khawaneej, UAE

Of the 54 species mentioned in the Holy Quran, 35 will be showcased inside the park while the remaining 15 species will be grown in green houses and 20 outside.

The park will also have a tunnel which will exhibit the miracles described in the Holy Quran in the form of images and audio material, in addition to tracks for running, cycling and sand walking, an Umrah corner, outside theatre, fountains, desert garden, palm oasis and a lake.

After completing the paving of 8,000 square meters and the provision of 200 parking spaces, the area will be cleaned and prepared for opening.

The total cost of the project is estimated at around Dh27 million.

Online Quran Tutor

Quran Focus Academy is the best place for online Quran Reading. We have excellent programs that enable kids, older children, grown ups and new Muslims to learn Quran at Home. We provide one to one Quran Classes with male & female Quran teachers.
Students of all ages ranging from 4 to 70 can learn Quran reading with us. Its a great opportunity for Muslims to learn Quran recitation at their most convenient time. All you need is a computer with a headphone and an Internet Connection.
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Our Quran Teachers
All our Quran teachers have experience of teaching Holy Quran online to English speaking students. Our male & female Quran tutors have excellent interpretational skills to gain motivation & encouragement in students to increase knowledge of the Quran more & more.
Our program is available to individuals of all ages, from children to old people, without any distinction.Our One to One classes enable the tutors and students on where to start from. Tutors usually assess the current level of the student and recommend on where to start from, either from the very first or any other level.

Family/ Multiple Students discount

Students Discount (%) Payable Fee (%)
1st Student Nil 100 %
2nd Student 10 % 90 %
3rd Student 10 % 90 %
The monthly fee of our program are among the lowest on the web. Please Sign Up for one week Free Trial.

Quran Institute

Quran Focus is the best place for online Quran Reading. We have excellent programs that enable kids, older children, grown ups and new Muslims to learn Quran at Home. We provide one to one Quran Classes with male & female Quran teachers. Students of all ages ranging from 4 to 70 can learn Quran reading with us. Its a great opportunity for Muslims to learn Quran recitation at their most convenient time. All you need is a computer with a headphone and an Internet Connection.
Quran Reading PayPal
Our Quran Teachers
All our Quran teachers have experience of teaching Holy Quran online to English speaking students. Our male & female Quran tutors have excellent interpretational skills to gain motivation & encouragement in students to increase knowledge of the Quran more & more.
Our program is available to individuals of all ages, from children to old people, without any distinction.Our One to One classes enable the tutors and students on where to start from. Tutors usually assess the current level of the student and recommend on where to start from, either from the very first or any other level.

Family/ Multiple Students discount

Students Discount (%) Payable Fee (%)
1st Student Nil 100 %
2nd Student 10 % 90 %
3rd Student 10 % 90 %
The fees of our program are among the lowest on the web. Please Sign Up for one week Free Trial.

Quran Home School

Quran Focus is the best place for online Quran Reading. We have excellent programs that enable kids, older children, grown ups and new Muslims to learn Quran at Home. We provide one to one Quran Classes with male & female Quran teachers. Students of all ages ranging from 4 to 70 can learn Quran reading with us. Its a great opportunity for Muslims to learn Quran recitation at their most convenient time. All you need is a computer with a headphone and an Internet Connection.
Quran Reading PayPal
Our Quran Teachers
All our Quran teachers have experience of teaching Holy Quran online to English speaking students. Our male & female Quran tutors have excellent interpretational skills to gain motivation & encouragement in students to increase knowledge of the Quran more & more.
Our program is available to individuals of all ages, from children to old people, without any distinction.

Our One to One classes enable the tutors and students on where to start from. Tutors usually assess the current level of the student and recommend on where to start from, either from the very first or any other level.

Family/ Multiple Students discount

Students Discount (%) Payable Fee (%)
1st Student Nil 100 %
2nd Student 10 % 90 %
3rd Student 10 % 90 %
The fees of our program are among the lowest on the web. Please Sign Up for one week Free Trial.

International Quran Recital Competition, Malaya

The International Quran Recital Competition or Tilawah Al-Quran is the international Islamic Quran recital event that is held annually since 1961 in Malaysia.

Tunku Abdul Rahman (first Malaysian premier) was a founder of the International Quran Recital Competition. The program was started on 9 March 1961 at Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur and 7 countries took part in this competition including Singapore, Brunei, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Sarawak and Malaya.

 

Annual UK Competition for Boys in the Hifz of the Quran

19th Annual UK Competition for Boys in the Hifz of the Qur’an 1435H/2014
Albirr Foundation UK hosts an annual competition in the Hifz of the Qur’an in order to encourage memorisation of the Holy Qur’an amongst young Muslims living in the United Kingdom.

Winners of the competition are rewarded with generous cash prizes and certificates of achievement presented in the Prize Giving Ceremony which immediately follows the competition.

19th Annual UK Competition for Boys

All entries must be received by 18 May 2014.
The competition will be held on Sunday, 7 September 2014.
Competition venue: Madina Masjid, Mount Pleasant Trust Purwell Lane Batley WF17 7NQ

There are 3 categories for entry into the competition:

Group A , Complete Quran - Hifz of complete Quran

First prize £5000
Second prize £3200
Third prize £2000
Runner Up 1 £1000
Runner Up 2 £1000

Group B , First 20 Ajza - Hifz of the first 20 Ajza

First prize £3700
Second prize £1600
Third prize £1000
Runner Up 1 £700
Runner Up 2 £700

Group C , First 10 Ajza - Hifz of the first 10 Ajza

First prize £2200
Second prize £1100
Third prize £800
Runner Up 1 £500
Runner Up 2 £500

Programme:

Sunday 7th September 2014
08.30am – 01.30pm The Competition
01.30pm – 03.00pm Salatul Zuhr & Lunch
03.00pm – 05.00pm Awards Presentation

The contestants should not be over 22 years of age on the 7th September 14.
Refreshments will be served throughout the day.

Holy Quran classes in Braille

Kozhikode: In a first of its kind campaign in the state and possibly the country, the Assabah Society for the Blind, Kerala, India is giving door-to-door lessons to the visually impaired  in reading  the holy Quran in Braille.

In a first holy Quran classes in Braille.jpg
The campaign is expected to benefit around 75,000 blind and visually impaired people across the state, who are incapable of reading Arabic in Braille.
P.T. Muhammed Mustafa, a teacher in the Meenchantha Government Vocational Higher Secondary School in Kozhikode and secretary of the Assabah Society, says the campaign mainly aims to help blind people who have not  learnt to read the Quran or are incapable of going to institutions to learn it due to lack of  assistance, physical disability or age.
The classes were inaugurated on Saturday by S.P. Mammookoya, a 73-year-old blind man, reciting the Quran with the help of Mr P.A. Abdul Kareem, a teacher in the Kolathara Calicut School for the handicapped in Kozhikode.
A teacher of the same school, P.T. Rasiyabi helped A.V. Tasleema of Mankavu, who went blind while studying in Class VIII,  recite the Quran in braille.
While  female teachers will hold the free classes for women , male trainers will do the same for men every Saturday and Sunday , making them competent in reciting the Quran in braille in three months, according to Mr. Mustafa, who reveals  that the association has so far received around 500  applications from the district.
“The braille version of the Quran is not printed here. We import it from the Gulf, ” he explained.

The growing influence of Muslim tourists around the world

(ON) – In cold, wintry London, Ahmed and his wife have recently returned from their honeymoon in the Maldives. In their late twenties, this British Muslim couple had dreamed about an archetypal paradise island escape, but they were also looking for some extras: halal food, and a place that would be accommodating of their Muslim sensibilities.

“We didn’t want the headache of worrying about what to eat and looking for halal restaurants”, says Ahmed. He also wanted to ensure that his wife could enjoy swimming while observing her modest dress. “This was a place where private pools are available with the rooms.” And, he adds, referring to the all over swimsuit that Muslim women are rapidly adopting around the world: “Even if she did want to swim in public, she wouldn’t have got stared at in her burqini.”

Ahmed and his wife are part of a growing global trend of Muslim travellers seeking out destinations and services that fit with their Islamic aspirations. It’s part of the upsurge of the Muslim consumer market, worth an estimated $2.1tn. Over 90 per cent of Muslims say their faith affects their consumption.

In 2011, Muslims spent an estimated $126bn on travel and tourism, an amount predicted to rise to $192bn by 2020 – and that is without counting the religious pilgrimages of hajj and umrah. This expenditure accounted for more than 12 per cent of total global outbound tourism expenditure in 2011, according to the World Tourism Organisation.

Global revenue from Muslim tourists is expected to rise 4.8 per cent a year over the next eight years, compared with a global average of 3.8 per cent. Both Muslim majority and Muslim minority countries are exploring what kind of brand positioning they want to establish to attract this growing business. As yet, there are no clear leaders, so it’s a space that is wide open for destination and service branding.

Some Muslim travellers’ aspirations are relatively straightforward. Most commonly asked for is easy-to-access and plentiful halal food. Mosques and other places to pray are also important. Hotels that offer facilities segregated by gender such as spas, pools and even access to beaches are well received.

Muslim travelers are looking for the “halal” label on hotels, restaurants and even airlines when they travel. Fifty per cent of Muslim travellers would use halal-friendly facilities if they existed and 30 per cent would seek strict Sharia-compliant services. For some Muslim travellers, hotels that do not serve alcohol are also important. Qatar’s Retaj Marketing & Project Management will invest $500m in Turkey to build Islamic Shariah-compliant hotels. Also important are small touches like in-room indicators of the direction of prayer, Qurans and prayer mats, and bathroom hygiene facilities.

Some Muslim travellers are looking to connect with Muslim populations in other countries to learn more about the ‘ummah’, the global Muslim nation and its heritage and, for some, visiting sites from Muslim history is important. Tour operators in Japan are finding a seam of Muslim visitors from nearby Malaysia willing to pay above average prices in the knowledge that their Muslim requirements will be safeguarded. Japan is turning to Asian Muslims from Indonesia and Malaysia to make up for a fall in Chinese visitors.

In Australia, Queensland tourism is positioning itself as Muslim-friendly in a bid to attract a growing number of Muslim tourists from nearby Indonesia. The state of Victoria has launched a major tourism campaign in the Middle East, including Arabic/English visitor guides. Not to be outdone, New Zealand businesses are being offered workshops on reaching out to the halal tourism industry. Countries with minority Muslim populations are starting to see them as assets when it comes to attracting Muslim tourists, either through food availability or as an incentive to visit the extended ‘ummah’. China’s Muslim Ningxia province is being positioned in this way, vying for Muslim tourists especially from the Middle East and southeast Asia. Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau hopes to increase its number of halal certified eateries to attract more visitors from Muslim nations. Thailand, too, is developing its halal eating capabilities and reaching out to the nearby Indonesian market, and promoting the fact that “a few thousand spas already have their unique herbal treatments in halal form.” With Ramadan now falling during the hotter summer months for Muslims in the northern hemisphere, at least one Thai hotel chain is offering Ramadan hotel packages: inclusive meals are served after dark and right through the night rather than in the day time.

In Europe, the European Commission has called for greater promotion of inward Muslim tourism, thinking specifically about Islamic historical sites as a draw for travellers. Monaco is seeking to woo Saudi tourists. A Bosnian halal authority feels that its cultural heritage as well as its location could make it a major halal tourist destination. Albania is intensifying its efforts to boost tourism and economic co-operation with Saudi Arabia. And World Halal Development is training the European hospitality industry on halal practices.

Of course, Muslim nations like Turkey, Malaysia and Egypt are proving to be among the fastest in tapping into this segment. And they also offer good insights into some of the tentative brand positionings being laid out. Turkey’s efforts are often described as halal holidays. The phrase sharia tourism is bandied about for Indonesia. Indonesia’s ministry of tourism has recently spoken about its strategy of reaching out to Muslim travellers through an Islamic experience. Egypt has been treading cautiously on using words like halal, sharia or Islamic due to the importance of tourism to their economy from a range of countries around the world, as well as the sensitive domestic political situation. Authorities seem to have settled on calling their efforts ‘family tourism’, which is enough to hint to Muslim travellers about the kind of facilities they can expect. These nations are all offering their services as part of Muslim-friendly tourism. But there is a specific trend drawing on the pride among Muslims as Muslims: the growth of the Islamic travel experience.

The small nation state of Brunei has launched the Brunei Islamic experience, in efforts to establish the country as an Islamic destination for Muslims around the world. It’s part of a wider effort that includes establishing the Brunei Halal brand, which again is being positioned as a service to the wider Muslim ummah. Malaysia is marketing a Malaysia Islamic experience. For example, it recently promoted religious tourism packages around an international Quran festival to attract tourists from Asean countries. In Saudi Arabia pilgrimage visas were once extremely restrictive in duration as well as location – being available only for Mecca and Medina. These are being increasingly lengthened to offer pilgrims the chance for some tourism. And Saudi Arabia’s inherent conservatism is marketed as an asset for families in particular. Saudi Arabia wants to build its tourism business by promoting the Kingdom as the land of Islam and a cultural hub.

The Muslim travel segment is undoubtedly extremely attractive for countries and service providers. But they need to think carefully about how they brand themselves to appeal to Muslim sensibilities. And these branding claims need to be meticulously and substantively supported by the services and experiences available once the tourists arrive. From luxury to roughing it, historical sites to mosques to spas, the branding opportunities are vast. And at $126bn, the rewards are vast, too.

Shelina Janmohamed is Vice President of Ogilvy Noor, the world’s first bespoke consultancy for building brands with Muslim consumers. Ogilvy Noor is part of Ogilvy & Mather.

13th Quran Recitation Competition Held In Tokyo

The 13th Annual Quran Recitation Competition in Japan was held at the Arabic Islamic Institute, Tokyo on Monday December 31, 2012.

quran-competition

The event started at 1:30pm and ended at 1am (1st Jan 2013). This event was organized by Japan Islamic Trust, Masjid Otsuka, with the cooperation of the Arabic Islamic Institute, Tokyo, and was sponsored by The Holy Quran Memorization Organization, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (بجدة لهيئة العالمية لتحفيظ القرآن الكريم ا رابطة العالم الإسلامي) along with some local businesses.

The basic aim of the competition was to strengthen the link among the Muslim community members in Japan with the Quran, to help increase the knowledge of, and love for the Quran, to help develop interest in the Quran recitation, to motivate memorizing, reciting and reviewing Quran, and to help develop skills in reading and reciting the Quran, and invite Muslims to engage in a great religious activity on the new year`s eve.

Although, the event has been taking place for the past 13 years, however, the number of participants this year, was incredibly huge. More than 134 children participated in the competition.  Last year, there were around 80 participants from all over Japan.

saudi-ambassador-to-japan

The Chief Guest of this mega event was the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Japan, Dr. Abdulaziz A Turkistani. . He lauded the efforts made by the kids and their parents and teachers to memorize Quran.  He further expressed the hope that more and more children will participate in the competition in the coming years.

Japan Islamic Trust (JIT) plans to hold even bigger events in the future as well.