On Saturday 16th January, the AbaSaleh Foundation hosted their first gala event at The Venue Central in Luton to raise money for their new independent Muslim school Project. As expected the event’s theme was centred around education.
The event was fully sold out with approximately 400 people attending from a wide representation of the Muslim community including scholars, educationalists, artists, TV presenters, journalists, and charity organisation leaders; from both Luton and as far as London, Birmingham and Nottingham. It was particularly pleasing to see a good mix of different people representing different ethnicities.
The event was filled with entertainment, comedy, drama and poetry in addition to fine dining, making it a lovely evening for those attending.
The evening commenced with a beautiful Qur’an recitation by Syed Jalal Masoomi followed by the welcome and opening speech by Bilal Rizvi (Founder of the Luton School project) who outlined the vision and goal of The AbaSaleh Foundation.
The event was hosted by Nazim Ali, who is a community activist and commedian. He filled the evening with comedy and enthusiasm as money was raised for the project.
The Nasheed performances from renowned artists Ali Fadhil and the Tejani brothers, who a major highlight as they entertained with heart-warming and uplifting recitations that brought smiles to dozens of children who featured on stage.
Guests were particularly moved by the performance of Ridhyatullah Theatre who presented a captivating account of the “Achtiname of Muhammad (saw)” which is the covenant of Prophet Muhammad (saw) with the Christians of Mount Sinai scribed by Imam Ali (as) and sealed by the handprint of the Prophet himself at the Monastery of Saint Catherine in Southern Sinai, Egypt.
Eleanor Martin from Khayaal Theatre also took to the stage to perform a unique and moving spiritual storytelling of the Prophet Muhammad’s (saw) night journey (Isra’) and heavenly ascension (Mi’raj).
Sheikh Dr. Isa Jahangir, head of the Islamic College, also spoke in the evening, reminding us that AbaSalah is one of the titles of the 12th Imam (ajtf) and how appropriately fitting a name this was for a school. He expressed his pleasure and advocated his support for the Luton school project and emphasised the need for greater investment in schools and educational projects. He highlighted the gap in the UK for schools catering for the Shia community and emphasised that education remains the greatest need for the community. He drew attention to the sacrifices and the legacy left by great personalities of the past and called for us to make sacrifices with not only our money, but also knowledge, expertise and skills, to ensure a brighter and safer future for the next generation.
The AbaSaleh Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation set up in 2014 by a group of highly skilled educationists and consultants with a wealth of experience in education and community leadership, sharing a common goal and purpose; that our children have a right to high quality education without compromising on the core values of morality, ethics and service to humanity; the foundation upon which Islam was built (‘I came to perfect the noble moral traits of mankind’). The school project team is currently engaged in critical research of current models in an effort to learn lessons and build on them.
To support the AbaSaleh Foundation, please visit www.abasaleh-foundation.org