Being born a Muslim is said to be the biggest blessing that Allah can bestow upon one, but being brought up in a Muslim household alone is not enough to teach and guide you in the Islamic way of life. Islamic education is especially important in the present day and age, where misinformation is rife, good religious education is hard to find, and parents and family support systems are unable to guide – in as comprehensive a way as before – children in the teachings and ways of Islam. This is why the concept of ‘ahadiya’ is so very important, to ensure children grow up to become good Muslims and good citizens of Sri Lanka.
The Galle Fort Ahadiya, run by the Galle Muslim Cultural Association, is the first ahadiya to be set up in Sri Lanka and provides religious education to Muslim children residing in and around the Galle Fort for free. Classes are conducted every Sunday morning from 8.30am to 10.30am for grades 1 to 11, and presently about 150 students of varying ages are enrolled.
The ahadiya plays an integral role in the nurturing and growth of a Muslim soul. While most schools do teach Islam, the ahadiya educates children in the practical applications of Islam. From reading and understanding the Quran to dua and prayer to how to behave in various circumstances, the facility of the ahadiya is unparalleled in inculcating the Islamic way of life in young and impressionable children who can so easily and unknowingly adopt bad behaviours and carry them into adult life.
The Ahadiya of the Galle Fort, having pioneered this model in Sri Lanka in 1951, welcomes its students with loving arms and educates them in practical applications of Islam in an environment that cedes to brotherhood. GMCA continues to play a pioneering role in fashioning well rounded and educated Muslim citizens in the country.