Channel: Bilal Philips
We are knife, a Salam alikoum to all the wives who are watching our today's online conference. And we are honored here we have Dr. Bill Phillips joining from Qatar. And we have brother feather joining from Istanbul and I'm joining from Toronto. So we're all around the place.
And Santa Monica conducted a survey. How are you doing today? To all the watch
online conference, and so
are you from Qatar? We have further and further joining from Istanbul and I'm joining from Toronto. So we're all around the place from the LA and Santa Monica. Someone Yeah, okay. Sorry. Yeah, the background. Okay. So, let's start with the introductions first. So let me start with Dr. Bill Phillips. And most of you who are watching this probably, you know, this individual, mashallah I've benefit from his work many, many years ago. And he is he is most well known for his author of many, many books. And he does, he did a lot of things when it comes to Islamic education. And I think one of this, one of his achievements is funding the International Open University, formerly known
Islamic online university since 2010. MashAllah they have educated over 600,000, Muslims students, may Allah reward them, and they are ever growing. And for those of you who are seeking knowledge, in, in,
in the path of Allah spawn salah, not only the Islamic knowledge, but also just go and check out Islamic, sorry, underneath Open University that this is the URL as you can see, and you will see the the de D teach a lot of
subjects, you can learn, and it's also equity, right, it's affordable and accessible. And it's something worth checking out. This is what we suggest, go and check it out and also have
coach feather. He's a serial entrepreneur, he's, he's the founder of Brady Bunch, when you buy started like 11 years ago, is a one Islamic Montessori kindergarten, but now they have over hundreds of campuses in Malaysia, they also expanded the neighboring countries Baray, Singapore, Indonesia, and now I feathers in Istanbul establishing HQ there he want to expand and take over the world Inshallah, in a good way.
He they are joining. So they both are one of the reasons we will discuss today how to work together how to work in union in Oman. And the reason I invited two individuals are they are, they are both in
the they have established a lot. And also both in education, because this is what I believe in, in the long term, this is where the education whether we can make this a lot. And also
so having said that,
let me let's start discussion, inshallah. And for those of you who are watching, you can you can ask your questions. We have some assistants here who can pick up the questions, we can also get them answered from Dr. biller or whether federal as well.
So having said that,
the questions let me start with the questions.
So question for both of you, as you know, is an aroma and Islam process and I'm always kind of urged to work together. But however, unfortunately, in this day and age, we don't see much cooperation. Right. And from my experience building online university that for it's been more than 10 years now Dr. Bilal, and by the fact that you also have been in the business more than 1011 years, you both have grown your organizations to extend Alhumdulillah and it doesn't happen on its own. It's not a one person's job. So somehow you have figured out in it, how to do it an organization way. So my question is,
what were the challenges you faced, during the setup?
on your journey to get to where you are today? Maybe Dr. Pillai would like to go first and share your experience.
Well, Bismillah salatu salam ala Rasulillah.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
The challenges of setting up the university
includes the individual challenges of
being qualified to do that job. So it starts with experience. I mean, I started in Medina in the 70s. I taught high school, junior high school in the 80s, Islamic junior high school teaching Islamic studies etc. And I have not to part of the time I started the teaching the primary school to for filling in fourth summer weren't available. And
and in the 90s, I became a university professor, I had completed my PhD and teaching in university, the American University in the way. And beginning of 2000, I set up a department for Islamic studies in Preston University in Edgemont. And so the step the steps towards the evolution of the university, the online university were
steps which came out of the necessity of the circumstance, because Okay, I'd set up a department of Islamic Studies, and you know, Hamdulillah, it was growing, developing, I brought on more people. And
at that point,
I was raised, I was asked certain questions by
people who were followers of some of my programs, lectures, etc, etc. And they wanted to know about Islamic websites where they could study Islam.
So they asked, you know, what about this particular website, which is a popular one. So I went there.
as I went through the pages and saw the material and saw the, what the course was set up, how it was set up, etc, I came to realize that this website was not really presenting
mainstream Islam. It was it was off on another tangent.
And, and, you know, I felt shy to tell people No, no, don't go there, as best I could say was okay, you know, in areas of aqidah, better you look elsewhere. But at least in areas of Hadith, okay, they do have a difficult, there are some there's benefit there. And, you know, like this, I had to carefully word, you know, what I was saying to people, not telling them to go their whole heartedly, because of the dangers that I saw there, but at the same time,
being open enough to say to them, Well, okay, that's all that's available online, but there were no alternatives. So what do you tell people don't go period, you know, so, at that point, I realized, I need to do something here, I need to try get online and set up something that people can reliably come to and not worry about, you know, the content being off here, you know, left or right or whatever. So, that is what it was, like, you know, a, as they call it, you know, necessity being the mother of invention, right? You know, so it was me now having to try to get online, and I tried from back then that was about 2001. I tried, but, you know, the cost to get learning management systems
at that time was just massive. I say, you know, too big, we had to pay every year, you know, some huge numbers $100,000 or something crazy stuff. So
I tried doing something, you know, my son was studying it at the time, and he set up a database and we tried to do it, but you know, it wasn't enough. So the database started to crumble after about a year he was losing data.
Okay, we better shut this down before we hurt other people, you know, so we had to apologize and shut it down until coming up in 2007. Then, the learning management system Moodle, you know, an Australian
Australian educator, he created the system and gave it to the world hamdulillah May Allah bless him, guide him
and once that showed up, then we realized okay, now it's
Time to really go ahead and do it. So we started to build it up from there. You know, I also worked
online with knowledge International University in Riyadh,
that university gave me the experience of setting up a department of Islamic Studies online and running it, and
learning knowing what
I should do and what I shouldn't do. So by
2009, I was invited to India to set up a university in, in Chennai, South India. So I went there, set up the university.
saw my plans, or understood my plans to set up an international university, though we didn't call it that. But the plan was something like the International University Islamic University of Islamabad, they have also in Uganda, they have also in Bangladesh, you know, and you have in Malaysia I, Aum. So this was the, this was the plan, but we didn't call it that. But they understood. So after it was set up, and we've got it going, and everything else my visa ran out, I needed to know make a new visa, work visa, no work visa, I say
And at that point,
put together enough material that 2010, were able to launch the University, with the Islamic Studies, focusing on Islamic Studies, with the cooperation of a number of different
educators, etc. You know, because the condition that
I required of all of the instructors was that they have sufficient Islamic background, and this instructors for other than the Islamic courses, it was a Sharia program was the main program, but there were side programs going on at the same time, I expanded the the normal curriculum for Sharia, to include areas where graduates from Islamic universities generally
tend not to be prepared, you know, when they graduate and come back home to their countries, you know, they are expected to teach, but they didn't learn any teaching methodology, or they're expected to lead, but they didn't learn any management and administration. Or they're, you know, required to counsel, but they didn't study any psychology and counseling, etc, you know, and so on. It, they come back, they don't have any IT skills, you know, 100 world has moved forward into the world of I think they're still back in, you know, three it times, and so on and so forth. So all of the critical areas, which I felt were necessary for a proper graduate of an Islamic program, I tried
to add these as like minors, which the students would have to also take.
So that required cooperation finding instructors who are going to teach these other areas it Business Administration, education, but all of them would teach their subjects from an Islamic perspective, they have to have enough knowledge and have enough concern and care, you know, is what I had to hear when I interviewed the the instructors, they had to have that care and concern in order for them to fit into the program. So this is where cooperation reaching out beyond you know, where the main program was reaching out beyond that, to include others and Hamdulillah. From there just developed an expanded hamdulillah with each step. Those miners became departments. So now we
offer a degree in education, a degree in Islamic psychology, degree in Islamic banking and finance degree also in IT degree also
in Business Administration, and agricultural economics now, this dad actually wasn't one of the miners, but we started we're looking for the other courses which are
greatly needed in the developing world. You know, we stayed away from the high tech areas where graduates will just be sucked into the West, and they will not benefit their countries. So we focused, we said agricultural economics, you know, public health,
masculine communications, these, these are the kind of fields which are greatly needed, and
people couldn't afford. So one of the keys for the rapid growth of the university was our affordability. You know, that this is collaborating with the OMA making the knowledge accessible to the MoMA, this was the this was the concept, you know,
from a business perspective,
to have 100 students paying $1,000 Each
is much more attractive than 1000 students paying $100 Each, much too much overhead, right? Too much overhead, too much hassle. Too much additional hassle. Yes, exactly. You know, once you're there, you got 1000 students paying 100, and you're getting the same as 1000, as 100,000. So naturally, as a businessman, you're gonna go for 100,000. But because the international university, so I'm gonna University was not a business, you know, we I didn't look at it as a business. I looked at it as extension of service to the OMA.
Having studied, I had a responsibility to share what I learned, you know, with the OMA, it began, as I explained, and it says, level by level. Absolutely. I mean, one of the things will be there also some interesting intrapreneurs, who are watching this, you know, they may be right now, when they look at Islamic University said big organization with the big numbers, but based on what you said is what I'm learning is, first of all, you did your homework, what I mean is that you mentioned you said, you started teaching early, like late 70s 80s 90s, right in 2000s, right? You've been teaching like 3040 years. And all this time, it's not like you turn it on one day, again, I'm gonna be this
and just you don't do this, it just takes time you gain your experience. And you also mentioned that you didn't set out to be I'm going to open a university. But when you saw there was a need, but the need was not being met. Is that okay? We have to do this, like it took a time. And you also mentioned the frustration was 2000. Right? Like then, until you finance I mean, officially launch, it took another nine years when the things were probably Moodle came out and technology made available. But having said that, so that the one of the beautiful things like when we come to this things and share your story, the backstory, not where you are today, but the backstory, it actually
gets people thinking, Okay, Dr. Bill Phillips was not made in one day, it took probably 40 years. 50 years. So, you know, because sometimes this these days, you know, intrapreneurs, they want to do something in two months. Like, is that work? Is it always working? said no, it's in the making, it takes time. So alhamdulillah thank you for sharing the story. If you don't want to share me, Shay, can you tell us like, we know the number of students but how big is this stuff? today? It's not gonna University. In terms of staff.
The the numbers are, you know, someplace in the neighborhood of about 300.
Actually, the big number that you mentioned, half a million is a half a million who, who registered in the university, you know, but you know, online study has a massive dropout rate. That's another thing. Another thing is a dropout rate. So, um, you know,
we, you know, we our actual numbers are more, you know, 6000 7000 students were studying in the university, and over the years numbers have built up gradually. But
Hamdulillah you know, the bottom line is that, you know, we have managed to reach a point where
we have the most diverse student body of any university in the world, though we can't compare to Harvard.
You know, University of London, terms of money and all these other things
we have students from 229 Different countries
almost covered every country in the world. Yeah, no, no we have we have maybe only North Korea
maybe like that we don't have students from but virtually we've had students from virtually all of these countries you know, and I'm the law you know, this is in and of itself, you know, a great achievement. We tried to get it you know, in the Guinness Book of World Records, but they just made it difficult in what this and they need that and they want this they all have to be aligned together and
there was obvious they didn't want to give us that record, you know, maybe we'll try again you know, in a year or do whatever but maybe again, this will not notice but Allah subhanaw taala in danger said taking record everything you do, may Allah reward you. service to them anyway to get his idea was only for further public relations. Yeah, you know, we can claim it you know, you know, I mean, this is the I say it openly no problem. Okay, prove it. Okay. You give me a squat which has 229 Different countries give me one university in the world that is that
Islamic online university
Thank you, thank you for sharing your story.
But further, would you like to share your story as well? How like, how was the your journey? Like it's not easy to build with a one campus now we have over 100 campuses, Mashallah. We also employ many, many educators and tell tell us your story briefly. Mashallah, I think initially when you mentioned that we're going to have to be like, I was like, I mean, this like this slide, I don't know he's, he's like in the sky. I'm like on the ground. That is focusing on the university student. I mean, of course, everybody knows that the Bilal in the world.
But I think now, I mean, I've always believed in you know, and Allah mission Aloma guru Maka, Allah, Allah mascarene I think there's a reason for Allah to
get us together. And listening to you where you mentioned that you know, the starting of the operation officially is in 2010 it is exactly similar to bring a bunch. We I left my corporate world in 2008 I was a sales director with Dell computers. And then I bought over a kidney garden and then started any Knighten that can get into brainy bunch first campus
in 2010. So basically baby by Joseph started in 2010. And then when you mentioned also may you when you mentioned that current actives to the you have about 7000 which is about the same with us now. Hamdulillah this year, we managed to reach about 9000 students and and I started to see now I think where you were because I thought that you guys are like oriental like million students then maybe we can we can we can we can try to leverage what you can but now I see that how we should work together. Because Allah tourbillon daughter, maybe the online university before the pandemic was not that important. Maybe to some, you know, I'll do I believe is important, but maybe for most people,
they don't see the interactions of the values. But because of the pandemic, everybody had to go online right now and I started to see like stronger collaborations we can work because I've always believed that every Muslim I know I used to work with a project from Alma grip initially, I told them like you guys conducting very good nice program every year bringing all the shade from around the world. But I said they must be a curriculum for a believer who wanted to practice the religion like properly with the with the proper knowledge, they can go through to a curriculum right so you know just come and teach them one topics and then leave them and then wait for another class for
another three months when I began to finish the basic foundation of the Islamic knowledge so when I saw Islamic online university mashallah we should make it a compulsory for Muslim who do not go to full fledged Islamic school to have a minimum diploma in Islamic Studies from Islamic online university so we can we can we can work together on that now I started to see that any listening to you when you started is exactly why we started as well. I started because I was worried when I got my own
Then I was worried about their Islamic upbringing unless you have the knowledge I don't have that knowledge. I have only lived a bit early but I have received in great concern and that's the reason why we start the Brady Bunch we were worried in Malaysia about 10 years ago most of us most of the even anti now majority are still doing that but again incompetent years ago, most of the young parents at the time we were worried about our English the English of our children because we don't speak English that well we we are we are not native speakers. I don't speak English that well he did as compared to anyone else of course my English now is a little bit more better for Malaysian
standards but Hamdulillah He says that the world for me to go around the world has been English but we were worried at that time English most of the parents were worried on English and at that time for early childhood education Islamic English education is not
available it's not much let you have maybe like two three school so my journey I have to travel like myself and my wife and I was still working we have to travel almost two hours to three hours a day to send my two years old son to an English Islamic school because we worry about Islamic obviously there's the main concern and second is their English because we don't speak their words. So we travel almost two hours a day just to send him to that school
when you say English because you want to teach them English you want to make him to the better for the future right because the future obviously obviously because we know that English now is the spoken language of the world right? So the main like we see our brothers in Turkey here they have like the best product of the word mashallah but nobody knows about their product or at least not in my country. We don't know that the geese I mean we know that hbJ has been helicopters and on but he also built
you know the WC toilet mashallah, this is my first time my experience there I see a toilet that I believe very close for the Muslim to practice the proper Tahara so because unlike other systems where I'm in Asia, we are using the wet toilet system where we use the BDA right so normally our toilet or wet you go to the public toilet is very difficult to maintain cleanliness in a wet toilet is very difficult. So you go to Europe they don't have what you go to Japan okay, they invented but you cannot use your hand to wash but in Turkey they have invented a system that you can use your hand you can use what and is still a dry toilet Mashallah. But because of the language barrier,
probably we wouldn't know their product. So that's why I still believe the English currently of course for for the Muslim we learn Arabic for us to understand the Quran
in our religion, but I think English is very, very important. So I think now now I started to see the connection why we have to be with Dr. Bilal, Philip, mashallah you have done an amazing job, Mashallah. And when you say you ask the question, the challenges, I think for us, I think for most of us, when we believe that what we do is a mass, especially for our religion, especially fulfilling, continuing the mission of the Prophet, remember, our beloved prophet, the first 13 years of Islam focusing on Aqeedah because these are Kedah, when you get it right, you can be saved from the punishment of Hell, which is the most important for us, right? That's, that's of the hereafter.
So when you do something that of that greater costs, the challenges is just the hurdles that you have to go through. I mean, we don't calculate I believe that they will be.
will share the same with me, the word, I'm sure you have like many hurdles, many challenges, financial resources, you know, to get people to be able to teach what you wanted to teach. It's not easy, even though I'm not a teacher, but I know what I wanted to provide to our children we want to provide the environment that these children will nourish to become mature to become a good believer who those those who want to obey Allah, and follow the teachings of the Prophet. So that's basically this way in our school our our tagline is success in both worlds. We want to raise a child who wanted to be successful not just here, in this world, but also in the hereafter. But at that time,
even now, most of the Islamic school I still perceive that we are going after here after only not this one. So that was the perception. So there is a reason why we had to choose the name does not represent a typical Sunday school we use the word brainy bunch, you know, it is a bunch of bringing children which we believe every children are born bringing. So
when when listening to you, the care and concern you use the word the care and
concert, the same thing that we have. And that was the basically the startup the fundamental spirit that we always have in baby page. The we always think on how we can impact the children. With all the technologies, the advancement now we're talking about Metaverse, you know, I think Islamic online university need to start thinking about Metaverse, universities. You have to we have to prepare somehow. And but I believe in terms of getting the right roadmap. I think one of the things that we discovered reading maruf insha Allah maybe after the session, we need to have a meeting to discuss about I just I just asked my my team when Dr. Bilal was talking I got the idea of you asking
me like they saw me online school right? What's the plan? What's the plan? What discipline was the plan? So Islamic Allah you see they use the brand I owe you right? Islamic online university. So Islamic online school is
very simple, right? So I just asked my team to secure the domain yes now, mashallah, this is one of the things that they believe that I think we need to do it urgently because today, if you Google, Islamic online, school, none, nobody is offering. I got a lot of requests, not because of the enemy alone, a lot of other Islamic school will be Kuno. Open the school, a lot of private, Islamic school closed down. A lot of private, his sermons closed down because they are not ready for the online environment, you have the experience. We have the curriculum that we have started 10 years ago now. Hamdulillah, very much. It's not just a kindergarten, we have our elementary program. We have our
international high school program. We we use the Montessori as the pedagogy only. It's not it's not a curriculum. But the way we teach we have, we have we have actually developed what we call as a spice curriculum framework. Spice stands for spiritual, physical, intellectual, creative and emotional where the children instead of getting the ABC grades or you know, the Caribbean examinations, but we assess on their basically ability to muster an ability to impact so that's basically what we are focusing on. So in in Brady Bunch, I think now, we are already exceeding this question, but just to explain, so the
Brady Bunch, where we started with the setting the intention for the children and the parents and the teachers. And then after that, we set the mastery goal so that they can learn to master and the second one or the third one is once the master to learn to practice and also because it's just no no point for you to learn and master but you don't practice. But even if you focus and push them to practice, if they do not do the next one, which is impact impact is when we started to teach others you know, our beloved Prophet mentioned in one of the others. The best of you are the one who learn Quran and teach Quran. Tallinn Mata loom. So this year, we are going to measure our children even at
the kindergarten level, like five years old can teach the four years old. How to Play
when where we move to Istanbul, we have a neighbor from she she's an Algerian, she speaks fluent Arabic, Mashallah. And then when she came to my house, because she was playing with my daughter, she's seven years old. And then I asked, do you learn how to play? She said, No, I do. I never learned how to play.
And then did you when she went to school and asked about the school whether she learned Islam in school? No, no, no yoke, she mentioned, but she speaks fluent English and Arabic. Because she's Algerian. She also speak a little bit of French. And I said, Do you know how to pray because she can speak good Arabic, right? She said, No, she didn't. She learned she didn't know. They, as a Christian, seven years old daughter, I mean a girl. And do you want to pray say, of course I want to pray. And then I get my daughter to teach her how to do as she they play together. And immediately she went back home and play with the mother. And then when she came back, day after day, she she
told me who I pray with my mother, my mom is very happy. You see a lot of these families, a lot of these types of children is just waiting for us to do the Dawa. To call them to obey Allah they are ready to obey Allah, the Arcada is already in their heart. But if we are not able to provide the opportunities for them to learn, to have the br to have the environment for them to learn on how to be in what to do. They're not going to be they're not going to be so that's the reason why we decided to ask
Pretty much. And to do brainy bunch, of course we need resources, but Alhamdulillah now we have the resources will have, like, you know, millions of potential students that are able to learn Islamic Studies doesn't matter, whatever their background, this is what we believe in very bunch. We believe that anyone can be whatever you want to be if they want to be, you know, so because we believe if they want, they will be able to put effort and we can get them we can provide them training and so on. So I think I'm so blessed
and honored. And I don't know, maybe I speak too much. But I just think that's
coincident, which I don't believe coincidence, I don't believe in coincidence, I believe everything is pre planned by Allah. And we are just on the right path that maybe this meeting today, tonight is one of the significant for us to come up with a unified action plan, not just to provide the education, education is only one portion that we have to do after that we have to prepare the environment for them to practice, you know, the community, the economy, providing the free rebar society, you know, if we study I'm actually a little bit shy to use Hadith admin. We have the villa villa with me. But, you know, there's no other way for me to do it right? When Allah Misha la
Katakana Leconfield are Sunni. That was what Hassan needs. The success of us in this world is only when we follow the teaching of the Prophet the way the Prophet do. So what the Prophet did is focusing on the Arcada. And then after that, the
the Hegira happened, right, the original happened with unser remodulin With the left to each other is so solid, that they live to each other, they've sacrificed everything, and they live together, they pray together. And what they did after that is when the Prophet created the first Islam market, which is not today, we didn't do that humbly like the education basis them but we didn't do the marketplace. But because of the marketplace in unify the strength basically strengthen the OMA at the time it was become the becoming the fundamental of Islamic economy, before Islam actually go beyond
Arab soil and you know, all the way to the world. And even if you see in Turkey, like for instance, the rule almost instantly is the control or the market, when they control the market, they control what comes in, what is the trending, what people gonna use. So, that's why it is very, very important. I will second part of initiative, the Malaka Ico the online more of the offline mode, that is really really needed. Today, more so than ever, especially when we are trying to prepare our children to become fully practicing Muslim inshallah. Inshallah. So yeah, one of the things that similarities as I said as well online Islamic online university mashallah it started just Islamic
studies, but now that was saying mashallah, he and his team he built us the traditional Open University today. You can go you can study it, you can study let's say, business management, you can study many other things he mentioned and one of the I think you know, the beautiful part one of the introduction Open University is that
look at almost any university in the world the study on the decision almost the same thing you know, there is the one thing that's missing that's the most important thing is Allah spawn salah. Right? They almost forget it, like the teaching that everything is just done. So this is one of the beautiful things like international law university is that the the honor Allah sponsor in the center like we do as Muslims should do in anything we do anything with each web to be conscious, right almost one Salah has presence and blessings. And I think that's another unique point for Islamic online university and having said that, Islamic online mercy right now, they focus on the when they
when someone finished school, is it right, Dr. Bill Phillips, when they finished high school, then that's when you that's when they can apply to Islamic law universities. Okay. Well, not actually. Students who are in high school, we have what they call a jumpstart program. Okay. Okay. Students who are in high school, okay, can take courses from the Islamic online university. I didn't know that. Okay. And once they graduate from high school, those credits are converted into university credits. Wow. Yeah, this exists in the US, you know, I never heard of it before, you know, bringing on board with us, you know, educators etc, from the US and not to made me aware of this Subhanallah
Great, good idea, you know, so we offered courses which are free
courses for the, you know, young people who are still in high school, whatever they could take, but we never can, you know, conceived of this idea that they could actually be taking, you know, degree courses, which once they graduate, maybe that 50% of their first year program is already done, you know,
because of the, the opportunities that are available, but
at the same time, you know, that the students are able to do it that way, we also encourage students who are already in
degree programs, in the universities, in their locales, etc, etc, to do a double degree, they can do it an Islamic state, you know, I owe you internationalism university degree, at the same time. So they will graduate, you know, whether they're in economics or whatever, they will graduate, like their other, you know, colleagues, but they will have that added edge, they've also taken a degree in it along with it. So when you apply for a job, not only do I have a degree in business, you also have one in it, obviously, they're gonna say, hey, get that one. That's the better one. So, you know, we have encouraged and, in fact, actually, in terms of our Islamic studies, I would say, well,
over 50% of our students have already got their degrees, and they never had a chance to access Islamic studies. So they're going back and doing it that way. Some are actually just using it to learn English, we have many Arabs who enjoy
it, because they have an exposure to Islamic studies, you know, in their countries, in Arabic, etc, etc. So they figured it would be fairly easy. They would just, and at the same time, they're hearing English all the time, they have to be communicating, they have to be writing and also, so they build their English, but they were shocked, because they came in thinking, Oh, this would be like Mickey Mouse, you know?
Because we have, you know, we've studied, you know, Islamic studies here and there all these courses and lectures.
This is a real serious program. No, I'm the law, you know, we have many commendations from them, you know, our our brothers and sisters who have studied with us judge to improve their English to get
started does serve that dual purpose. But, you know, I wanted to mention fuddle, that, actually, back in the 90s, I was concerned about primary and secondary education. Okay, I met a number of other educators from different parts of the world, you know, Yusuf Islam was, was one of the configures in that period, you know, we had many discussions, and but what I could see was that the main focus was
Islamic studies, you know, to develop new curriculums for Islamic Studies, new books and stuff for Islamic.
I think we need to go beyond this, just this topic studies, this challenge here needs, we need to bring this to all of our subjects, you know, I preached that I presented it, I lectured on it. And you know, and Humla, during the mid to late 90s, I produced 56 books
kindergarten grade, level one, kindergarten to upper and lower kindergarten, grade one, grade two, grade three, there were English readers, for students who are learning English, they're studying in English, they have readers, which will build their English accordingly. So, you know, I launched that in the latter part of the 90s. You know, it's spreading all across the world. But this was supposed to be a sample of what could be done. I was hoping that some people would say, Yeah, this is what we need. And we need it in mathematics. We need it in, you know, science, we need it in jobs in social studies. Because that's really what the point is where we have to get to, you know, where
we have our own textbooks, which are teaching what is out there, what is in that field, what knowledge they need to know, but teaching it all from an Islamic perspective. So, you know, I was on it in the early 2000s. You know, I was giving lectures in the UK here, there, I traveled to different parts of the Muslim world from Southern Mindanao, all the way to southern South America, Guyana, visiting Islamic schools, talking to the students and you know, encouraging the schools to get engaged in developing in this way that where we're creating
content which can benefit the OMA but you know,
One of the things that I found out right, as I traveled all the way through Malaysia, through, you know, Asia, through India, Pakistan,
through Africa, to South America, North America, when I visited the schools.
And I'm focusing here now on high school students, grade 11, grade 12. They're, they're either graduating or about to graduate.
And I gave a lecture, which was called the Taliban. Of course, whenever I brought this lecture, the administration's were saying, oh, to Taliban,
that the Taliban, you're thinking, this is only to draw people's attention. Taliban when you have one Taalib student, and you have another Taliban student, you now have Taliban, two students. So I'm targeting the two students, who are the two students. The two students are, on one hand, the true Muslim students, and the other hand, the fake Muslim students. Hmm. So I introduced this concept to the high school graduates and I came in Pakistan, I went and did this in the universities, in the medical universities in the, you know, science universities. It's
the fake Muslim student, and the true Muslim student. And I would ask the students,
what do you think you are? Are you true Muslims to Muslim students? Yeah, they all put their hands up. Yeah, we're all true Muslims. I said, Okay, listen, you all remember the litmus test, which you would take in science to determine whether something is alkaline or whether it's acidic? Okay. I have a litmus test. I want you to test to take to prove whether you are a true Muslim student or a fake Muslim students.
Okay, yeah, we're ready. Just said, Okay. Put your hands up.
Put your hands up. And say after me, while lie, I have never cheated on any test or examination standards went down like no. Hands, it just
call 1000 students, students, universe 1000 students, three 510 had their hands up. Yeah. I said,
you know, when we talk about the problems of the Muslim countries today,
the corruption and everything that is in there, you know, when we get rid of these corrupt administrators, and we replace them with you,
I think is going to be any different.
it's not going to be any different.
Until we can get a generation where when we ask them to swear by Allah will lie. I've never cheated on any test or examination.
Until we can produce that Sahaba generation, and they will not be able to lead the most the whole world again. It's a dream, you know, we think of Muslims becoming the leaders of the world against others. Until we establish that foundation. We can never, it's just talk.
So what I what I pointed out to them, this is the problem, you know, that we're faced with that the majority of students are fake Muslim students. A fake Muslim student is one who is a student first.
He's the Muslim. Second by accident.
He was second by accident. He just accidentally is a Muslim. But in terms of being a student, he's the same as all the other students who are Buddhists, Hindus, the atheist, everything else, he's just like them. And what are the students in the world most noted for whether you're coming from China, you're
cheating, the biggest cheats in the world?
The biggest, nobody can beat them.
The biggest cheats in the world. So hey, you know, we have a huge challenge here.
And we need to tackle this from the primary level secondary level. And this is why I mean, I've been keen on trying to establish you know, and an online Islamic school, high school junior high. I just went through about four different schools. Actually, you think there's none but there are in America I've already spoken.
With more than five
Islam Islamic online, modern educational schools in New York and New Jersey and Maryland and etc, there they exist.
You know, it's still it's not many men, the need is far greater than what's available, no doubt, and maybe exists but not as big as Islamic University. We don't know that Mike has didn't maybe
because they're just now starting to appear. Hmm. You know, so they're still in very early stages. But this is the point here that our main target should be bringing morality back into the classroom.
They say Western secondary education, removed morality from the classroom. That was the process of secularization, remove morality now is democratic. What did we all agree on is good is good, or we all agree on is bad is bad. So if today we agree on something tomorrow, we can change our minds and make something else make the opposite, you know, so there's no moral compass, we need to bring that moral compass back into the classroom. So I developed a series of, of steps, which I called, you know, the LPI, because
people had been discussing from the early 80s, you know,
it's vital for Okay, Dr. Ismail, photo op and others about Islamization of education. But that's a huge topic.
What I saw as something doable is Islamization of the lesson plans. Oh, you are able because as they say, this is where the rubber hits the road. If you are able to Islamize the lesson plan, you got the ball rolling. You know later, as we're moving forward, we'll also deal with the whole educational structure and its demise everything but that's a huge philosophical, you know, intellectual study and, and actually back in the late 70s, they had gathered up, you know, major educators from all over the Muslim world in Makkah. They had a series of conferences, which they did, and they wrote an encyclopedia on the Islamization of knowledge. But if you ask anybody, have
you ever read this? Have you ever seen
or read it? It just remained in the shelf? You know? It's too intellectual. We need something right now.
Right now, exactly today, we can start doing it today. So I established five principles. The five principles of lesson plan, Islamization it's, of course available in our institute on an IOU, one of IOUs functions there. And I've taught it in Nigeria, in Ghana, in Malaysia and in the Philippines, etc, etc. I've tried to encourage people to get engaged in this process, Islamization
of the lesson plans, so hamdulillah there are some people who have seen the grave importance wave need and you know, have been working together from here and they're from in the US from Nigeria, from from India, etc. It still hasn't gelled. You know, perhaps Fazal, this would be, you know, a point a definite an important point of
synergy that we can, you know, launch and get that established because some of the schools I spoke with and I invited them I said, you know, you can take these courses free for us, it's no problem. You know, the more teachers that have this consciousness where they can Islam eyes, the classes, the better for the Ummah, you know,
the way to reach that point where our graduating students can say, Yes, well, Llahi I've never cheated on any test or examination.
That's the turning point. That's, that's when Islamic education or Islamic education has become a reality. Until we reach that point, then it's just talk.
If we're doing something towards it, then 100 Lights talk with action, walking the talk as is, right. So, you know, primary education though you see me focused in
Higher Education, etc. I've never forgotten primary education. You know, it's been important enough for me to write 56 books.
These books just for, you know, pre kindergarten, kindergarten, you know, lower and upper and grade one, grade two, grade three, you can't get any more basic than that. But as I said, this was in a, because my focus was on higher education. That's where I was at the time that I produced it already with a university professor, etc.
This, I was just doing that to show what can be done.
If you put your mind to it, if you're clear on the goals, etc, it can be done. I did it for English. This is just English as the language actually teachers of Islamic studies are using this series, which I did. It's called the Eman reading series. They're using this series to teach Islamic studies because it's colorful, you know, it is multicultural, and the themes etc are suitable for the children, they can relate to it, they love it, you know, they love this series.
And that's what we need to have our math books doing. We need to have our science books doing all of the different fields need to be developed from this perspective, with and with, that's where we need to reach with everything. But practically speaking, now we need the lesson plan Islamisation implementation on a day to day basis, so that we have a plan ongoing and running which can create that generation ready to swear. While lie Talai belie cheated on any test or examination.
I mean, muscle I mean, sure. I didn't I didn't know that you you were that? I mean, of course you're passionate education but for liberal education, I didn't know because one of the things I like about brainy bunch is that when we're talking
about a felon is that he was saying our division of Greenbank is like this for kindergarten, right mainly is like three four to six. They want to do during this time.
They want to teach kids how to pray, right because in this day, kids are thinking they just practice what you do digit Do you want to teach them how to pray properly in JAMA sometimes you can see them you know, one Imam doing some and also you also teach the basic characters of sooner right like the from the sooner it's so powerful. And a couple of months back, I remember where the fellow who said, My show this amazing vision. Why don't we in this three to six years we also teach them how to read Quran, you know, at the time and that's a Hamdulillah we have another startup Quran era. We are coming together now we actually yesterday we were meeting like 15 teachers from a rather fabulous
team and we are teaching them how to do it in school now inshallah in February we gonna do the premiere launch, we are teaching them how to read Quran as well. So why am I mentioning is that today? I didn't know this would happen like that today is like saying okay, let's share some examples how it does but now what I'm seeing shake is that on the one hand mashallah you have the Islamic online university you build a solid foundation when it comes to higher education and coach further by the Federal brainy branch and with many others the team they build the preliminary what we are missing is a school so maybe inshallah we hope from this meeting from this initiation
something comes fruitful, so we can build the school as well so we will prepare the kindergarten so they will end up Islamic online university inshallah you know, so this is the way I'm thinking so we can take the OMA from the from there when the younger the three four year old right that we try to educate them individually the best way so they find the right path inshallah they will they go to school and eventually got Islam they're gonna university that's the that's the that's the hope that's the dream inshallah but as you said, we have to take a small step we have to take practical steps here right now. And not like just thinking in the cloud Hi, but actually actual practical
steps in sha Allah and that's that's what I hope for. That's me we make dua for in sha Allah and will be also one hour on the call if anything, any last things you want to mention Doctor below to the video in our bedroom, a roof and the villa mashallah I think I really love your framework of thinking. I mean, I do not want to say that we think alike will be I try to think like, like you because I'm too small compared to whatever that you have achieved and what you have. But mashallah, I mean, I'm, I'm a very practical
percent. And I've always I have a big dream. We want to take the big step, but I believe the breaking down that big step into the baby steps. So I think just the reason why probably we started kindergarten, because we were the fees that caught up the leaders, we have to fix first what we feed our young children, because these corrupt leaders can only be changed from these young children that we nurture correctly from the beginning. We use the word right education today, one of the largest and biggest problem of the world is, all the children in the world majority of them are race, not to become successful in this world, not to become successful in the hereafter. Because that's basically
their design. They purposely made it that way. Because they do not want people to obey Allah. So there is easy when they don't obey Allah, they will just follow the their way. There we is, meaning they get to be the slave to the system, they're going to be saved to the Rebbe based system, the financial system, the the entertainment and so on. So, when you mentioned one of the things that we have said, Dr. Bilal, I think today, if we study the big institution, the education institution, for bringing bias, we always benchmark ourselves with that kind of
organization like Kumaun, for instance, come on, just teach mathematics and English, but mainly mathematics from Japan, they have 10 million children in the world who are attending Kumaon at the cutting edge. I mean, the one I mean, the current moment, they have 10 million students worldwide. So when I saw the numbers, I see why I be the one who ultimately the lead. I mean, okay, we understand technology, maybe economy we are behind by education is something that is very, very so dear to us the Muslim because that's like the foundation of knowledge. Right? And, and just and then I put when we started really by saying, as we go, we put that 1 million as our target. And but we
didn't we never pursue like, all out towards the numbers, because we were building the fundamentals. And by Hamdulillah, because of the enemy, and we started to do and, you know, prepare some things we been working over the years, we have our own small college English called Ragda. College, we bought the college were full, I served with the ministry. And at the time, the college, only offering Islamic
agency only early child education. So when we took over, we tried to integrate Islamic content inside the college. But one of the thing that I've created because what we see when we wanted to open the schools from kindergarten, elementary and high school, our biggest challenge is these teachers that we are hiring, they do not have a good Islamic teaching. They do not unless their Islamic teachers, even Islamic teachers, they just teaching the subject as a subject, that it is a by the 80s Dawa the Sierra just like, you know, repeating the knowledge that they learn and then just imparting on imparting downloading the content into the children. So when we do not want them
to just download the information, because I told the teachers, if you just want to do this, I can just get recorded. We have YouTube today, we can learn everything just online just by listening. But we want them to
educate, so educate. It's not just teaching because teaching is easy. If you can't when you have to do more than just teaching, you need to coach because when you teach them you need to coach them to understand and to practice and to provide impact. And you need to have not just during when they are a student also beyond that, because a true believers, they love each other. Like they love themselves, right? They want to be the best. So one of the thing one of the challenge that we always face is a teacher training program. So we been doing a lot of enhancements. I started with where we started a Brady Bunch one of the thing is, of course our biggest challenge in Malaysia back then is
to get a teacher who can even speak in English, Islamic practice, they can they know how to teach solar, they can recycle Alhamdulillah emission, not too bad, but we go to Indonesia Mashallah. But you'd be surprised then teachers that we interview not even one not easy to get one who can recite al Fatiha, you go to India is far more worse. We used to have one school in India, I personally attended the interviews. You can even get like you know, few teachers that 10 of them. You can even get one who know how to pray and not even reciting Fatiha. And I think this is one of the big challenge and when you mentioned about the Islamization of the lesson plan, I think that is
beautifully specified and maybe what we can work together is to quickly later inshallah find times maybe I need to
Fly to Qatar, if it's possible, I get my team to come and then we sit down and then we come up with a certificate program of on the pedagogy, the methodology of Islam maizing. The lesson plan, I think we can do that quickly. Because I wanted our teachers from the kindergarten, kindergarten is much more easier. It's almost there. But the primary, the elementary, the lower elementary, they have a different module, we have actually created a diploma program for elementary teaching for for for Islamic school. Because a lot of schools, a lot of private schools, when they hire teachers, for the teachers in elementary, they just hire based on their preference, okay, I like to teach math, Okay,
you go in this mess. I'm a graduate from Alaska, okay, you teach Islam, but how to teach to this young Linus nobody teach them they don't have that program. So we created the curriculum, but maybe we you you can help us to enhance making simplify. So we can start first with the certificate in Islam maizing. The lesson plan, I think that's basically needs a specific program that we can do that we must do that immediately. And, actually, we have
the sister in Nigeria, sister,
Fatima Hamza, who has her own school there, which is from K, kindergarten to grade 12. And she very much came on board with this idea of Islamization and all this, you know, Islamization and she studied it, and she studied the program, which I thought and she absorbed all that with her own educational background, she studied more. So now she is sort of like the leader of this project. So, you know, she would be, you know, ideal to help you in that process of developing the curriculum. And because she studied it on a much higher level and put all this bits and pieces together. So definitely, we would be happy to cooperate with you. And also right now, you know, we are just in
the process in the Gambia, where the headquarters in university is, we're in the process of developing, you know, a teacher's training course, for them, we have a degree in education already, but specifically, what was needed by the government was the green education specializing in certain areas. So, we have developed a new curriculum, which addresses those particular areas, which the government asked for the government in the Gambia. So in this way, you know, already our department and everything is thinking in this in these directions, I mean, the idea of presenting everything from Islamic perspective, that's already there, no teacher is hired in the university, regardless of
the discipline, without confirming that they have an Islamic background, they have Islamic concern, they understand the importance of of what they're doing being a bother that this teaching process is not just a job, it is it is worship. And at the same way that you have to be very careful about, you know, Your Worship, you know, you make sure you make will do properly they make will do properly, you will just, you know, sabotaged everything the same way in terms of education, if you don't get the proper information, you don't have the proper techniques, etc, then you're sabotaging you know, you are cheating the children. So, so the point is that we already have this in play and being
worked with to be good to, again, bring our teams together, you know, and the week because we have accreditation, you know, we have an official accreditation Shala we should go up in the UNESCO list very shortly. We're in the country list already, as you know, one of the leading accredited universities in the Gambia. So, you know, we this early childhood education instead very important, especially for the Brady Bunch schools across so developing a particular program for them, which all your teachers would need to take to make sure that they are okay, you've given them something you've given them ideas, you've helped them sort on so but actually be specialized in early childhood
education from an Islamic perspective. So this inshallah is a way in shallow in which we can work together. And we came here to discuss a partnership so we are making the partnership initial setup, I think it's a beautiful example. Isn't it like to show to lead by example, not just by theories and talks, but actually okay, this is something interesting. Let's take a I'm humbly, we are blessed to be the stage initial stage of this May Allah may Allah reward and make this
activity blessed in here and hereafter it will be beneficial for us
any any last things because I because I want to know the Father. Sorry.
You know, I saw point
I would like to end the broadcast. In one hour. It's a one hour, we can discuss what country I just ended broadcast. So at last thing on the broadcast, we can mention, but even the broadcast ending will stay like 1015 minutes, we'll talk and we can, of course, we'll set the mean to another meeting. Inshallah. I just want to get people's people's questions you said? Sure. So I have some question. Exactly. I have some comments and questions, for example, is someone doing it like, I think from LinkedIn, Salaam Alaikum Dr. Phil mashallah you have not aged as I remember you is one of my teachers at banana tree yet.
That's in Indian in Riyadh. Yes.
And another brother
another brother from Adnan. Smiley is saying, Thanks for sharing your stories. I'd like to offer scholarly published service for your institute. Maybe someone from your position can reach out to them. If you're interested in
on LinkedIn. I think we'll share it with the sister. Amen. So then we have sister Haifa on LinkedIn. She was saying salam alaikum Hamdulillah I was an early childhood teacher Islamic school in the US. And we did teach Quran to toddlers to instill the standard values preschool meaning three plus school should be our main benchmark. Okay. Dr. Bilal sharing the lesson plans with Islam, Islamic schools of North America will be very useful. Let's just say I think the common they are making.
These are all the questions I can see on the chat, what I'm looking at.
That's all if any last parting words would like to get the Bilal to belong first and because rather than we'll end the live broadcast, but we can stay online, we can discuss other things inshallah. So having said that, Dr. Bilal
anything would like to mention, maybe you want to tell all my viewers to join on international law university, because we are open for the spring, but I think you've done that already.
Anyway, you know, people are welcome to join at any time, but our official start date, to starting dates every years, March, and September, but each each semester is six months, actually, five months, and there was a break of one month break in between. But now we welcome
everybody and anybody. And we do hope that inshallah you can all share with us the experience of studying in IOU, which I always like to refer to as the Hajj experience. Because when you join any class,
you will be with 400 300 other students from all over the Muslim world, Muslims. And we're also now implementing in the process of implementing group study from that perspective, so that the students who normally there is group study, but it's, we're just
students are sending in questions to each other, and they tried to answer for each other, etc. But now, you know, we're training it into an actual requirement of the students you are in your class, whether it's it, whatever that you are, you'll be given assignments that you and four other students have to do together. Now, we had students individually doing assignments every semester, but we're just trying to propose now and we're in the process of trying to work out the details of it, you know, how they can study together, write that assignment together, you know, each one contributing from that group,
interacting with students from required to interact with students from all over the Muslim world, you know, and, and doing that every semester in every subject. I feel this has also helped to mature the students in terms of working together the idea of the unity, you know, unity of the OMA and the motto of the International Science.
establishing education right changing the nation through education based on a law statement. In the law utilizing the common Hatha Yoga Roma reinforce him that a law doesn't change the condition of people until they change. They need to change. So this is like changing the nation through Islam ized authentic education
any last words brother and father, from you what, you know we are on a expansion, maybe you want to mention where they can people can go they want to help us and expansion franchise a Brady Bunch if you want to mention briefly, yes. So where we use the word franchise people will perceive this differently. Like we are a business oriented, profit oriented.
I mean, I will say where we started this and even in whatever that we do, as a Muslim, there's no such thing of we just do this for profit, because there's no such thing. Whatever that we do is only to see the pleasure of Allah to see the blessing of Allah. And whatever they we do is we are trying to do it sustainably. So that the impact that we provide, it's not just for our generation, but it's go beyond until the end of day. So, because of that, because of that I was searching is different. And now we are providing an opportunities, you know, providing an opportunities for all concerned. I want I want to I want to use the word from Dr. Bilal, there is a concern, we must have the same
concept those concerned Muslim concerned believers, that we are worried when we see people who do not obey Allah, who do not following the Sunnah of the Prophet, not because we want to feel that they are not Islamic, we certainly know because we live them, we want them to be successful in both worlds. So now hamdulillah bunch is offering a partnership programs, Id licensing or franchising, with or without capital, with or without some people, they have money, but they don't have time. Some people, they don't have money, but they have time.
Especially like the Islamic online university graduates or alumni or even students for that matter. Like,
because when you join I O you, you definitely have the same concept, the same concept. We call it the Lisa Sumati, the worthiness of our beloved prophet, prophet does not worry that the UMA will be suffered of not having enough food, not enough, well, he's not worried about that, because you know that Allah will provide everything. But he's worried that a lot of his Zuma will enter hellfire. He's worried a lot of the OMA who do not obey Allah who do not follow his teaching will not be successful in the hereafter in those who are not successful in the Hereafter, almost guaranteed not successful in this world. So for that hamdulillah
Shala, right. All concern, Muslim, to join us in this journey to create 1 million impact to the Muslim children worldwide. If you look at the data, Dr. Bilal, we have about 245 million Muslim children worldwide. Ah, below six is
India alone, we have 28 million in Indonesia, we have about 28 million of Muslim children below CC Sol. And if you look at the numbers, we need em, because a lot of people today they were raised by the capitalist system, they know the brand, they go to the school because of the particular brand and so on white kimono Tamilian because they were successful in doing their own that was their vision of marketing is Dawa. Right? And because of that people choose the kind of school can be school, for instance, why after so I mean, whatever that Muslim have, we should be able to come up. This is also one of the projects that maybe we can work together, which is to come up with the
Islamic curriculum like Cambridge, but the one that we already Islam aside, of course, this is a big project is a long term project, but we have to start somewhere. So that's also another thing that we wanted to do. So I would like to invite all alumni. Of course, I owe you. He served on the Bilal and the team, to let's group up and let's work together. First, of course, help us to establish the first 1000 School 1000 schools targeting to impact 1 million children in 10 years, meaning we need about 66,667 Teachers worldwide just to offer and teach Islamic Child Care Islamic kindergarten. So because of
All the young couples they have to go to work today. Now they don't have parents who supporting or grandparents who think to take care of children. So they need to send to a childcare. So let's be this childcare worldwide, so that our children, especially at the Golden Age below six years old, where they will just absorb everything, you teach them Allah they will exalt you teach them the sooner they will absorb you teach them the behavior. Like for instance, in our school embedding by the first month of every year, we will reset back the education and teaching them ground rule just to teach them adapt just to teach them how to walk how to talk how to pull a posture, how to wear
shoes, how to put your shoes on the shoe that is small little thing you know how not to smile how to eat the suit no way how to enter toilet how to say this small little thing that you didn't do, but we teach them in the baby step process. So that they get the the strong fundamentals of
the for the for their upbringing, so the Isha Allah with the right fundamentals, we can add on as they go and group to be successful Muslim and also when they leave Brady Bunch kindergarten, for instance, although majority of our school or kindergarten, we have now Hamdulillah, almost 1000 Teachers altogether, our group we have about 1008 and stuff, but mainly our teachers, especially in the kindergarten.
But the key together, we also try to reconnect them to our alumni network so that they can also be aligned so that they won't be in too far. Astray annually. We wanted to do a program maybe we can also work together. Like now I wanted to commit to you Shala all our high school students get to be compulsory to take a stoma, diploma SME studies from IO, u insha. Allah and hopefully for our alumni, we can also do the encouragement, if I can force everyone I will force everyone because everybody must possess the right knowledge to practice to become a good practicing Muslim, because without the knowledge, they won't be able to do it correctly. Without being able to do correctly
they won't be able to be successful in this world and in the hereafter. So Inshallah, please all I owe you alumni, students, and of course supporters. Think the opportunities that we have, and, of course, the second stage later Inshallah, maybe in the next call, we get the focus on Islamic economy, the building blocks of Islamic economy, the fundamental, the education is the core, but the practical is the more Amala you know, we spend in our daily life in our seven hours just to be in the transaction. So we must strive to put the effort and continuously improve, to provide the online and offline Amala to follow the Sharia, to follow what Allah have guided us through the teachings of
our beloved prophet, of course, with the guide of our musi teacher,
our Allah Insha Allah, Allah.
Salam Alaikum, thank you very much for all of you for being here and also published the URLs you can check for both of the projects, Islamic online university, traditional university or bunnyranch. Thank you for being here. I also thank you, Dr. Bill Phillips. I know you're very busy person, and by the Federal for your time, we all accept this from us. And until we see you next time, salaam alaikum.