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March 19, 2014

As-salamu ‘alaykum



When in September, after receiving from a descendant of Shaykh Zarruq the oral and written authorization to recite the world-famous Wazifah Zarruqiyyah called “The Ship of rescue for whoever in Allah seeks refuge” I discussed with him a string of general and specific matters, he placed the emphasis on the need to share the median wisdom of the Madrasah Zarruqiyyah with a wide range of people. The secret, he said, was to bring to them the gentle rain, dosing it so as for it to benefit and fertilize, as opposed to the excess measure of a flood which harms and desiccates.

It is for this reason that we have conceived the idea of a portable “Sulwan for Dummies” Institute, which is not meant as a pejorative description but simply as a tool to highlight our desire to make the classical Islamic way more accessible.
This is in fact an age of vast fragmentation, due to the historically unprecedented reality of an ummah bereft of recognized political authority and an organized polity.  
Levels vary drastically between one and the other component of this ummah subjected to centrifugal pressure.
We deemed it thus essential to build bridges and to cement bonds, to trim down the language, to address a non-specialist human zone: not in order to undermine the purity of the classical palette, but to integrate it into a new context, where the speed level of most students, participants and users is markedly different from the speed level of instructors and thinkers trained in the classical Islamic sciences, such as myself.

This is the direction now treaded by the “simplified Sulwan”: cultivating the healthy plant of the good word as good tree in this epoch of stratified devolution, and making it flourish in enlightened gardens through a variety of means:

-    Online courses and lessons: Arabic, tafsir, fiqh etc, all made simpler
-    A permanent Q&A section which strives to facilitate understanding of the classical Din
-    Articles and contributions posted on this website and liaisons with other worthy projects
-    Videos, games teaching aspects of Islam, magazine, plays, dialogues, publications.

All of that is for beginners and intermediate level, for men and for women.

We want eventually the “simplified Sulwan” to run partly as a branch in the “European” (= Rumi) world of such authentic institutions as Qarawiyyin and the original Zaytunah.

What we have in mind is an annual subscription fee, reasonably priced since we are disinterested in a “market of knowledge”, which grants access to all or most of the activities of the institute.
We are exploring live platforms such as Skype + Twiddla, Wiziq, MeetingBurner etc, so as to offer courses in the most elegantly professional way.

At present, we would like any potential participant, user or sponsor to contact us at, particularly to underline:

- The subjects which interest you as far as courses are concerned
- The preferred time of the day and format (live, recorded, mixed etc)
- The themes you would like to see covered in articles etc posted onsite: from the meaning of what we recite in prayer to more complex subjects

Ahmad ‘Ali al-‘Adani

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