Muslim Education Foundation was established in 2005 to provide strategic leadership for a vision of education rooted in the Qur’anic worldview.
MEF is dedicated to providing authentic Islamic educational resources and professional development training to educators.
These resources are developed using primary sources and are based on the Qurʾānic worldview which considers every human being to have been born on the innate nature (fiṭra).
This natural disposition is imbued with sound reason, a marked tendency to be and do good, recognize and serve the Creator. Our lived experiences may distort or enhance these innate dispositions. Education allows us to maintain a healthy relationship with this innate fiṭra.
MEF approach to education is based on this fundamental philosophy and it is guided by the First Principles.
Muslim educators are invited to join this global effort to train the next generation of educators.
MEF Governing Structure
Muslim Education Foundation works under the direct guidance of an International Advisory Board and a local Board.
International Advisory Board
Seyyed Hossein Nasr is University Professor of Islamic Studies at The George Washington University. He is the author of over sixty books and five hundred articles, and is the subject of a number of books, articles, and edited collections, including a volume dedicated to his thought in the famous Library of Living Philosophers series entitled The Philosophy of Seyyed Hossein Nasr (2001).
Among Professor Nasr’s many influential publications are Science and Civilization in Islam (1968), Knowledge and the Sacred (1989), A Young Muslim’s Guide to the Modern World (1994), Religion and the Order of Nature (1996), Islamic Philosophy from Its Origins to the Present (2007), The Garden of Truth (2007), The Study Quran (2015), and Islam, Science, Muslims, and Technology: Seyyed Hossein Nasr in Conversation with Muzaffar Iqbal.
Tan Sri Professor Dr Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas was born in Bogor, West Java, on 5 September, 1931. In 1937 he joined his paternal relations in Johor Bahru. He received his early education in Sukabumi and Johor Bahru. He later studied at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, England and, subsequently, at the University of Malaya, Singapore, McGill University, Canada and the University of London, England.
Tan Sri Syed Naquib received his M.A and Ph.D. (1965) from McGill University, and the University of London respectively with a special focus on Islamic philosophy, theology and metaphysics. His two-volume doctoral thesis on The Mysticism of Hamzah Fansuri remains the most important and comprehensive work to-date on one of the greatest and perhaps most controversial Sufi scholars in the Malay world. He returned to Malaysia in 1964, and in 1965 became the Head of the Division of Literature in the Department of Malay Studies at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. Between 1968 and 1970 he served as the Dean of the Faculty of Arts. He later in 1970 became one of the founders of the National University Malaysia where he founded and directed the Institute of Malay Language, Literature, and Culture (IBKKM).
Professor al-Attas’ poineering work on Islamic education is recognized as foundational and he has inspired three generations of Muslim scholars.
Shaykh Abdalla Idris Ali is known as one of the “pillars of Muslim community in North America”. He has spent a life time in service of the Muslim communities in North America. He began his work in Education in Canada as a teacher of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the Islamic Centre of Toronto (Jami Mosque). He has served as the Director of Education at the Islamic Center and coordinated the Heritage Language program for Peel, Scarborough and Toronto Boards of Education. Later, he was appointed as the Principal of the full-time Islamic Summer School, Imam and Director of the Islamic Center of Toronto, (Jami Mosque). In 1982, laid down the foundation of the first full-time Islamic school in Canada and served as the Principal of the Islamic Community School (now ISNA School). He is a member of the Executive Council of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). He has also served as a member on the Board of Trustees for the Islamic Teaching Centre (ITC) and North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), Board of Advisors of many national and international Islamic organizations.
He is a founding member of the Council of Islamic Schools in North America (CISNA). He developed and implemented Islamic and Arabic Studies curricula for elementary and junior high students. He has written various articles in Islamic Horizons and was a member of the American Trust Publications (ATP) Editorial Board. In 1998, he moved to the United States as a curriculum consultant to the Universal Foundation, and then was appointed Director for the Center for Islamic Education in North America (CIENA) at the foundation in Kansas City, Missouri. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of IBERR (International Board of Educational Research and Resources) serving minority communities in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Britain, South Africa and Nigeria
MEF Local Board
Dr. Muzaffar Iqbal (President, MEF) has held academic and research positions at University of Saskatchewan (1979-1984), University of Wisconsin-Madison (1984-85), and Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University (1986-87). During 1990-1996, he worked as Director Scientific Information, Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH). He was Director (Scientific Information), Pakistan Academy of Sciences during 1997-98.
In 1999, Dr. Iqbal became the Program Director for the Muslim World for the Science-Religion Course Program of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (CTNS), Berkeley, USA, a position he held until the end of the Program in 2001.
Over the past thirty years, his research and publications have focused on three broad areas within the framework of Muslim encounter with modernity: (i) the impact of this encounter on Muslim self-understanding of their spiritual and intellectual traditions; (ii) the relationship between Islam and science and the role of modern science and technology in the reshaping of the spiritual, intellectual, and social landscape of the Muslim world; and (iii), Qur’anic studies, including Western academic studies on the Qur’an. His books and articles and articles have been translated into Persian, Bahasa Indonesia, Albanian, and Korean.
He is the General Editor of the Integrated Encyclopedia of the Qur’an (2009–), a 7-Volume English-language reference work on the Qur’an exclusively based on fourteen centuries of Muslim scholarship.
He is also the Series Editor of Islam and Science: Historic and Contemporary Perspectives, a four-volume work that brings together the most important and influential articles on various aspects of the relationship between Islam and science from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present. Between 2003 and 2017, he was the editor of Islam and Science (renamed as Islamic Sciences in 2013), a journal that explores, from Islamic perspectives, religious and philosophical implications of data and theories originating in the physical, biological, and social sciences.
Shaykh Sherif El-Sayed (Vice President) is an Azhari scholar who has served Muslim community of North America for many years. Currently he is the Imam of the MCE Mosque. He specialized in Hadith and Tafsir studies. He is involved with a number of educational initiatives, including teaching of the Qur’an, Hadith, and Sira.
Abuu Khalifa (Secretary-Treasurer) is an engineer with deep interest in Islam and Islamic education. He has studied Islam in a traditional way.
Ustadha Abir Ebrahim holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Ain Shams University in Egypt, a Bachelor of Arts in Islamic Science Education from Imam University of Islamic Sciences in Dubai, a Bachelor of Arts in Islamic Education from the International University of Islamic Sciences UAE (branch of Madinah University), as well as a Diploma in Dawah.
Along with her formal education, she has received a sanad in Qur’an Tajweed, Arabic Grammar (nahwa), Fiqh of the Four Schools of Thought as well as in Hadith Bukhari and Muslim.
Ustadha Abir has taught at various masaajid in Edmonton. She is currently spearheading the establishment of Amana Academy and working as a settlement counsellor at Catholic Social Services.
Over the course of last 17 years MEF has striven to integrate faith and learning.
Timeline of MEF Initiatives
Inaugural Meeting for MEF 3:30 pm April 24, 2005
Official Launch of MEF in Edmonton, 2006, featuring the (presentation)
Networking and outreach to all Islamic schools in Canada
- Concentric Circles, Nurturing Awe and Wonder in Early Learning, A Foundational Approach, August 2006 by Elma Harder
- “Nurturing Awe and Wonder in Early Learning” by Elma Harder in New Horizons, Sept/Oct 2020
- “The Vision of Sakinah Circle and its Pedagogical Approach” chapter in upcoming publication
Retreats at Strathcona Wilderness Center with Muslim Women’s Network (MWN)
- “Learning for Life: Nurturing Seeds” Sept 6-7, 2002
- “Learning from the Sahabiat” January 25-26, 2003
- “Marvels of Motherhood” May 17-18, 2003
- “Reflections on Contemplation” January 10-11, 2004
- “Learning to Learn” May 12-13, 2007 with Haji Haroon
- MEF partnership with Argyll Centre for Home Education to explore possibilities
- Community meeting on December 12, 2006 at the Argyll Centre to gauge the Muslim community 300 attendees confirmed the interest was high
- “Doorways to Islamic Civilization” – afterschool programming at Argyll Centre for Home Education in the spring of 2007
- Onsite enrichment program at Argyll Centre for home schoolers 4 days/week 2007-8
- A two-year pilot program (K-3) Sakinah Circle at Argyll Centre 2008-2010
- Full program begins at Grace Martin School 2010-11
- Ongoing support, resource development and PD for teachers
Presentations by Dr. Muzaffar Iqbal
- Team Workshop, August 7, 2008, Wuddistan
- Teacher Training College in Ray, Iran, 2008
- Sharif Universtiy, Tehran,
- Baqir ul-Ulum, Qom, 2005
- Shifa International Medical College, Islamabad
- Islamic Schools League of America, Annual Conference 2014
- Victoria, B.C. workshop, 2015
Presentations by Elma Harder and Noor Iqbal
- “Holistic Education in the Islamic Spirit”, Weekend Workshop in London, UK March 29-30, 2008
- Edmonton Islamic Academy, Teacher Workshop, 2009
- “Bringing Critique to the Homeschooling Table: What Nourishes Our Children?” Toronto Homeschoolers 101, August, 2010
Islamic Teacher Education Program (ITEP) Course Instructor – Elma Harder, 2012
- Peace Village, Fremont California 2012
- Consultancy with Sitara School, Islamabad, Pakistan 2012
- Consultancy with A Centre for Wonder, Bahrain, 2014
Looking into the Future
From Muslim to Islamic Schools is a cutting-edge program.