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ELC – Vision, Mission & Recent Achievements

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ELC – Vision, Mission and Recent Achievements

1.1 Introduction

The Hujjat ELC (English Listening Centre) operates out of the first floor of Hujjat Imambara, Stanmore. We offer a parallel programme in English to the main jamaat programme during Muharram, Safar, Ramadhan and wafat programmes throughout the year. There are no parallel programmes during wiladats, as the programme in the main hall during these events is normally in English.

The ELC reports directly to the Executive Committee of Hujjat Imambara and we are currently funded by both the EC as well as donations from jammat members.

Within the ELC, we have a vision, mission, strategic aims and objectives and we have identified key tasks that will contribute to realisation of all of the above.

1.2 Vision – Our Ambition for the Future

It is recognised that English is the preferred language of communication amongst most young Khoja Shia Ithnatheri’s living in London today. Therefore this coupled with the fact that we in a political climate where many Muslims feel demonised or feel that in some ways Islam is associated with negative elements in society such as terrorism or extremism, makes it all the more important to offer a religious service at the mosque that is delivered in English so that people feel empowered and better equipped to deal with the challenges of the modern day. Therefore our vision for the ELC is to grow from strength to strength until we become one of the most respected, credible and trusted of Shia Ithnatheri institutions that offers first class and highly effective programmes in English that really make a real difference to the lives of all attendees.

1.3 Mission – Our Reason for Existing / Engage, Facilitate Learning, Empower, Enable and Connect

Our mission is to offer religious programmes in English that will
· Engage with people in order to increase their awareness of Allah as well increase their awareness of the community;
· Facilitate learning and empower all those who are attending to live their lives in accordance with the teachings of the Ahlul-bayt;
· Enable people to hold Shia Muslim beliefs as well as lead full, active and integrated lives in the West;
· Connect with, support and train those individuals who are interested in becoming future speakers and / or reciters.

In achieving our mission, the ELC will:
· build on our successes and learn from our mistakes in order to continue our practice of providing high quality programmes – on a consistent basis – both to all those attendees who are physically present during each programme as well as those who are listening via live webcast;
· consistently invite speakers – both existing and potential – who are able to engage and meet the needs and expectations of all those who are attending;.
· continuously consult with and seek feedback from our attendees

1.4 Profile

From its very humble beginnings some twenty or so years ago – catering primarily for the youth of our community – today in 2007, the Hujjat ELC has evolved offering a parallel service to the programme in the main hall.

Furthermore we now attract a wide range of attendees including, youths, adults and even senior citizens. For example on some of the major nights during Ramadhan and Muharram, we attract in excess of 1500 people to the ELC (this includes both ladies and gents who are physically present as well as those tuning in via live web cast) all wanting to be engaged in a spiritual programme in English.

One of our aims moving forward, is to continue to provide an ELC service that adds value to the community as a whole, through the delivery of highly effective programmes that both engage people and enable learning.

Therefore in order to achieve this, we will continue to invite and encourage speakers and reciters of the highest order, both existing as well as up and coming, from within our own internal talent pool in Stanmore as well as externally from the domestic UK and international stage – all with a view towards reinforcing and increasing the spirituality of our many and varied attendees. During this past Ramadhan 1428, we were graced with speakers such as Muallim Maqbool Rahim, Muallim Jaffer Ladak, Muallim Abbas Ismail and Muallim Mehdi Hassan during the nights of Qadr. All of these programmes were indeed very well received. Furthermore during Ashre Muharram 1429, we look forward to welcoming Sheikh Usama Ulatar from Vancouver BC – inshallah.

Indeed during this period of ELC change comes new ideas and fresh developments. One such development we have had in the last few months is the ELC Logo. We recently held a competition in which we asked members of the community to create a new logo. Alhumdulilah, the competition was well received with over 70 entries being submitted. These were short listed down to 3, and the committee voted for the winner – Sister Zeenat Datoo– who won a cash prize of £200, £100 of which she donated to a charity of her choice. It is this new logo that we had great pleasure in launching on 23rd night of Ramadhan. (See attached). To mark this event, the ELC Team also developed a bookmark with the new ELC logo on one side and a very interesting parable on the other side – which was distributed to all attendees on that night.

For the ELC to be successful, we need two vital components:

One of these is “Teamwork.” Indeed within the ELC, we have a number of different teams – all working together towards one common aim.
For Example:
-Team of Mukih’s,
-Publicity Team,
-AV Team,
-Team of Marahals,
-Team of Volunteers,
-Team of Location Preparers,
-Team of people who source the various speakers and reciters
-The ELC Ladies Team

All of these teams deserve a mention, because without them, it would indeed be very difficult to deliver our ELC programmes.

The second vital component is a supportive EC. Indeed on this point, it is important to recognise the unprecedented support that the ELC has received from the recently elected EC. Already within their short time in office, President Kkakaji and his Executive Committee have really delivered on meeting many of our needs and expectations. Furthermore they have promised us continued and full support moving forward.

Inshallah during this forthcoming Ashre Muharram, our guest external speaker will be Shiekh Usama Alatar from Vancouver BC. All ELC programmes during the 12 nights will be held in the marquee for gents and upstairs in the ELC room for the ladies. As well as delivering lectures, Shiekh Usama is also world renowned for his recitations of latimiyyat and duas – which the ELC intend to take full advantage of while he is with us during the12 days. Furthermore on the day of Ashura, Shiekh Usama will be reciting a Maqtal in English as part of the main programme in the marquee.

In addition to the first 12 days of Muharram, the ELC will be running parallel programmes throughout Muharram and Safar during the various Shahadats. We will also be running a full programme for 10 days during Ashre Zainabiya; our guest speaker during this time will be Sheikh Mahmood Khalfan. Details of our Ashre Zainabiya programmes will be publicised closer to the time.

As we approach the final countdown to the “Remembrance of Muharram” – may Allah (SWT) give us all the strength to ensure that as the ELC Team, we are able to deliver a highly effective parallel English Listening Service to our community – both in terms of “quality” as well as in “organisation” of our programmes. Our aim during these nights of remembrance is to create an azadare feel in the ELC that will enable our congregations in both the gents and the ladies to engage in a feast of sorrowful, poetic recitations, lamenting and grieving to chants of “Ya Husayn” and generally providing maximum opportunity to commemorate the tragedy of Kerbala – inshallah.

Finally if you would like to become part of the ELC Team or if you feel there are areas where you feel we can improve our service to the community, then please do not hesitate to feed this back to any member of the team or email to info@hujjatelc.org.

With Salaams and Duas

Kassam Jaffer
Chairman Hujjat ELC- Stanmore

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