The Ottawa Muslim Association (OMA) Sunday School was established in 1967 by the Ottawa Muslim Association (OMA) to meet its objectives under Articles 2.4.2 & 2.4.4 of the OMA Constitution to teach fundamentals of Islamic faith and moral principles of the religion of Islam (to Muslim youth from age 6 to teenagers) and has been operating since 1967 in the Ottawa Mosque location at 251 Northwestern Ave, Ottawa, Ontario, K1Y 0M1) intended to serve the Muslim community of Ottawa and the surrounding areas.
The following objectives have been set based on the input and feedback by the parents as well as the school experience over the past many years. Achieving these objectives is a joint responsibility of the school and the parents. The scope of educational activities at the school is optimized for the available space and the limited teaching-hours (about 100 hours/year) available.
The primary objective of the OMA School is to provide basic understanding of the ‘Fundamentals of Islam’ appropriate at the age level of the students, i.e.
- Islamic Beliefs (Aqeeda) – Articles of Faith
- Islamic Practices (Ibadat) – Five Pillars of Islam
Including practical details of (Salah / Wudu, Fasting, Zakah and Hajj)
- Seerah of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
- Stories of the Prophets and the lessons learned from the stories of the Prophets
- Lessons from the Quran and from the ‘Sunnah and Hadiths’ of the Prophet (pbuh)
- Lessons on Islamic Ethics/ Akhlaq (Expectation of Moral Conduct and Behaviour )
- Brief introduction to some early Muslim elders/ leaders and to the World of Islam.
Islamic Studies are covered in six different graduated levels (classes) in addition to a
Primary (entry) Level for children age 6.
The second objective of the school is to enable the students gradually to read the text of the Qur’an with proper pronunciation. Quranic text reading is achieved in Level 1 to Level 4 graduated levels, starting from ‘alif, baa taa’ to reading the Qur’an fluently with proper pronunciation. Level 5 and 6 are dedicated to provide emphasis on ‘tajweed’ as well as gaining additional fluency in reading Quran.
To augment the Quranic Arabic syllabus, 14 prescribed Short Surahs at the end of the 30th Juzz Amma of the Qur’an are covered as part of the Islamic Studies Level 5 and 6 with translation, words meanings and understanding of the subject of the Surahs. Additionally, Quranic Arabic reading is augmented by study of four (4) prescribed short Surahs in each of the six levels of Islamic Studies with meanings of each Ayah.
However, because of the shortage of available teaching-hours, the Quranic Arabic syllabus is not intended to deal directly with the Arabic language proficiency which requires more time as a separate subject than the available time. It was tried for the first. 25 years of school operations but the results were discouraging so the additional time was allotted to Quranic Arabic and Islamic studies to increase the class periods from less than an hour each to one hour and 20 minutes each per week.
Memorization (Hifz) of Short Surahs of the Qur’an
Each student has to memorize the four (4) prescribed short Surahs in each of the six levels of Islamic Studies classes.
It is commonly known that keeping the Surahs memorized require frequent recitations. Parents help is crucial in helping their children to keep it memorized by revisions at home otherwise it gradually fades away.
Instructions on Islamic Practices/Ibadah/Akhlaq
In addition to the above formal studies, students are instructed and supervised in gradual steps on how to make Wudu and how to make Adhan and Iqamah.
Also, each student in levels 5 and 6 is required to lead the school assembly in congregation prayer a few times during the school year. It is hoped that this will help the students overcome their hesitation in doing these activities in their adult life.
The School opens with a general school assembly of all students in the basement at about 9:30am for a lecture on predetermined educational topic by one of the school teachers, staff or an invited guest or someone volunteering to speak. The school expect parents to bring the children on time to make used of the assembly lecture.