Out of the Darkness and Into the Light – The Darul Qasim Sunday Tafsīr

For over 22 years, Shaykh Mohammed Amin Kholwadia, founder of Darul Qasim, has been teaching Tafsīr with inspiring consistency to thousands. Rain or shine, you will find individuals from all walks of life gathered at the feet of this great scholar.  There is no prerequisite for entering this space and listening to the Shaykh.  Abdul Wahab Suleiman, a Sunday Tafsīr Student, excitedly shares, “I’m in this class of scholars, PhDs, people who are muftīs, and on the younger side teenagers.”  All are united in their thirst for learning.  

Reflecting more on the role Tafsīr plays in his life, Abdul Wahab shares,

“The Sunday Tafsīr inspires me in so many ways.  […] There hasn’t been a day where I didn’t feel [I learned] something that was inspirational…that was relevant to my life. And it’s not just me.”  

Abdul Wahab’s words take us beyond inspiration and into the relevance of the knowledge being imparted in this setting. It is this relevance that Dr. Choukri Heddouchi [Chair, Department of Arabic and Dean of Students] chooses to elaborate on. He shares, there are two things that you get from attending the Sunday Tafsīr. First, “essentials that in a sense do not change regardless of time and space…but that tends to be a little abstract.”  The second is more concrete. “He will deal with the reality today, in the light of those lessons.” This approach is what made things “click” for Dr. Choukri. A new gate in his quest for more knowledge was opened and he walked through it with great certainty and belief  that Shaykh Amin is a scholar of exceptionally high caliber.

About twenty years ago, Dr. Choukri was first exposed to Shaykh Amin and Darul Qasim through the Sunday Tafsīr class.  Although Darul Qasim was still in its early infancy, he was inspired and motivated to begin teaching at Darul Qasim on a volunteer basis.  

Maria Baig, First Year Student in the Intermediate Islamic Studies Program, finds in every session a sense of self-renewal and reminders that she can apply throughout the week.  What really stands out to her is the Shaykh’s style of speaking. “I love [how] he speaks in a way that not only […] people born here in the West can relate to” but others as well. His method of teaching “also touches our spiritual aspect as well.” In attending Sunday Tafsīr she feels, “I’m actually learning, […] understanding, and I’m actually able to apply it to my life.”

The Sunday Tafsīr class is Shaykh Amin’s and Darul Qasim’s communal offering.  It is an unwavering commitment and service to all seekers of knowledge.  Hafiz Noman Zaheer, Darul Qasim’s National Director, shares:

“Shaykh has been doing Tafsīr every Sunday consistently for over 22 years, may Allah ﷻ preserve him.  The impact of this consistency to thousands over these years is evident in these testimonials.  One of the signs of sincerity is consistency. Despite very small crowds at times, Shaykh has never missed fulfilling his responsibility towards the Ummah.”

Shaykh Amin, through his consistency in providing this service, demonstrates the gate of knowledge is always open. You must take the initiative and walk through it. Taking those first steps and remaining committed is transformative, as shared in the testimonials above. Abdul Wahab perhaps puts it most eloquently,

“We are all learning from Shaykh. We are not leaving without learning something inspirational …that is applicable in our lives. I feel that I’m learning something that is taking me out of the darkness and into the light.”