FACTS & HISTORY
The Kawthar Learning Circle (KLC) is a hybrid Islamic educational program and community, blending mostly online learning with in-person classes and encounters. KLC was officially incorporated on May 28, 2019 in British Columbia, Canada, though informal operations have been in place since 2016.
KLC traces its roots to 2016 when a group of close-knit, dedicated Muslims who had been residing in Montreal, Canada, were thirsty for advanced Islamic knowledge from a qualified, prominent, and knowledgeable scholar who is also a graduate of the Islamic seminary. After meeting with Huj. Dr. Mohammad Ali Shomali during his visits to Canada and discerning his aptitude, vast knowledge, and great wisdom, several attempts were made to learn from him in a formal and structured way over the internet (since Dr. Shomali is based in London, UK). At first Dr. Shomali hesitated, in part because of the uncertainties surrounding the efficacy of an online program at the time. After several more petitions, however, he agreed under the condition that eight to ten people from four cities sign up. This is in keeping with his special interest in collective learning. In a matter of only a few weeks, and merely by word of mouth, more than thirty eager students from seven cities had signed up.
OUR MISSION & VISION
The mission of the Kawthar Learning Circle (KLC) is to promote Islamic education, strengthen religious understanding through dialogue and bridge-building, and cultivate students around the world with a comprehensive Islamic foundation as well as a strong sense of fellowship and community.
The vision of the Kawthar Learning Circle (KLC) is for our graduates to live by and to be instrumental in delivering the universal message of mercy, peace, and justice
OUR NINE CORE VALUES
1 Truthfulness & Trustworthiness
We believe that truthfulness is a fundamental virtue from which other virtues blossom. We strive to seek the truth, acknowledge the truth, defend the truth, speak the truth, adapt ourselves to the truth, be with the truthful, enjoin one another to become more truthful, and reflect the truth.
We believe in the importance of being honest with God, with our own selves, and with each other. We believe that lying is the key to all evil and that the litmus test for genuine faith is in being truthful and returning trusts. We believe in keeping our promises, regardless of to whom they are made.
2 Turning to God and Doing Good
We believe that religion is a matter of turning our face to God and being a benefactor in this world. We believe that the Qur’an and the Ahl al-Bayt are two precious sources of guidance and knowledge. We strive to hold onto these two and apply the teachings found therein in our lives
3 Lifelong Pursuit of Knowledge
We believe in the value of seeking knowledge for life. We are prepared to exert a lot of effort and make sacrifices in order to gain knowledge. We believe that pursuing useful knowledge is a must for all people, regardless of age, gender, profession, or circumstances. We believe that pursuing knowledge is more important than pursuing wealth. We strive to seek knowledge, gain knowledge, share knowledge, and apply what we learn. We believe that gaining useful knowledge and understanding (ma’rifah) is a sacred endeavor that, if obtained and applied honestly, leads to enlightenment and success. We strive to better know ourselves and the world around us. We believe that a knowledgeable person is a person who not only has gained knowledge but also has developed a real thirst for knowledge.
4 Patience & Perseverance
We believe that perseverance (istiqamah) is a cornerstone of success in its truest sense. We believe in working hard, sticking to our commitments, studying hard, practicing patience, and exercising perseverance. Istiqamah is so essential to us that we have made it our code word.
5 Humility & Selflessness
We consider all of creation to be sacred. We believe that as we deepen our knowledge and understanding, we also grow in our humility. We believe that a low ego facilitates among other things a greater openness to the truth, flexibility, consideration for others, and love for others. We believe that serving others is more important than serving ourselves. We regularly ask ourselves, “What can I do for others?” We strive to make room for others to thrive. We take pride in the good that others achieve.
6 Wisdom & Rationality
We believe that the intellect (‘aql) is a precious and reliable tool with which we can arrive at the truth and reach greater heights. We consider the intellect to be an authoritative source for understanding the truth. We feel responsible to exercise our intellect, strengthen it, and check our beliefs against it. We believe that wisdom is a special gift from God for which we must qualify ourselves by, among other things, living with piety and virtue, being humble and patient, gaining and applying useful knowledge, and learning from life experiences.
7 Social Wilayah & Unity
We consider ourselves to be a single unit and family. We are enthusiastic about bringing people together and working together. We promote dialogue, bridge-building, and community-building. We are eager to build purposeful relationships grounded in fraternity and a shared vision. We aim to pave the way for a united world, even in the smallest of ways. We believe that we are more powerful and successful as a community rather than as individuals. We believe in a communal approach to learning, where we support one another in our endeavor to develop intellectually and spiritually. (See M.A. Shomali, A Probe into Social Wilayah and Its Social Dimensions).
8 Peace & Justice
We believe that God wishes for peace and justice to reign supreme. We have hope in a future world filled with peace and justice. We strive to deliver peace and justice in our spheres of influences. We strive to be just with our own selves, with others, and even with animals and plants. We believe that there is never an excuse to behave in an unjust manner, and that there is no person, no matter how evil they might be, with whom we should not deal with justly. We believe that in order to achieve anything good, it must necessarily be done through just means.
We believe that God is the source and supplier of all honor and dignity, and that He has granted honor and dignity to all children of Adam and Eve. We believe in treating people with respect and dignity. We strive to be honorable, to honor others, and to be with the honorable. We believe that preserving our dignity is no less important than preserving our life. We believe that being truthful and with the truthful, being virtuous, gaining knowledge, and serving others all add to our honor
THE IDEA BEHIND OUR NAME
As to the meaning behind our institution’s name, the Arabic word “kawthar” refers to a heavenly fountain of abundance, light, and knowledge. It is also associated with Lady Fatimah (a), the saintly and sagacious daughter of Prophet Muhammad (s), by whom we are inspired to embark on a journey of learning. The word “circle” is evoked to capture the spirit of collective learning.
LANDMARKS IN KLC'S HISTORY
For years, the Kawthar Learning Circle has striven to educate and serve. To widen our reach, solidify best practices, and pave the way for similar institutions to be academically recognized, we are now committed to a process of accreditation. As of December 2021 the KLC is in the process of seeking accreditation through Cognia—the largest education improvement organization in the world—via its partner, Al-Kisa Foundation.