Keeping in mind Ar Rihla Fi Talabil Hadith of Khateeb Baghdaady, we have named this institution RIHLATUL ILM FOUNDATION. It was a ritual of the early scholars in the annals of Islamic history to travel far and wide in the search of a single Hadith or a single jurisdiction. Abdurrahman Ibn Mahdi, an Ustadh of Imam Bukhari, states that I witnessed a person in the Majlis of Imam Malik who had traveled a journey of 6 months just to ask Imam Malik 3 questions pertaining to his Deen.
Very seldom one would find a Muhaddith or a Faqeeh who did not travel much yet he had aquired a large amount of ilmy expertise. In fact, that is one of blames upon Ibn Hazm Zahiri who restricted himself to the scholars of his town, the Ulama and Muhadditheen of Maghrib.On the other hand, Ibn Abdil Barr, also a very great scholar of the Maghrib, well known as Rahhaala (a traveler) and the Hafidh of Maghrib, traveled to the Mashriq and throughout the world in search of ilm. Thus his ilm was greatly appreciated by one and all.
The service rendered by him upon the Muwatta of Imam Malik is quite well known by all. In a very rare case, one would find a scholar who did not travel as much. Normally, in such a case, such a town is known to be the hub of Islamic education (or atleast one of them) from the entire Islamic map. Like in the case of the two great jurists of Islam, Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Malik. Madina and Kufa were two such places people would travel to from around the entire globe. Thus, these two luminaries of Islam did not travel as much, besides the trips of the pilgrimage.
In this day and age, it is not quite practical for a person to undertake such journeys. Islamic education have become confined to institutions, which has its benefits in many ways. In fulfilling the Fardh Kifaya of imparting ilm, the Darul Ulooms have come into existance. However, we want to still remind the students of the sacrifices of the early scholars and how they undertook such journeys of great hardship in order to aquire what we have in our plates. As a result, our students will appreciate the comfort they are studying in. Hence, we have named this institution Ar-Rihla, the journey.
This institution is (to be) an Islamic educational school of higher learning established in Lansdale, Pennsylvania by concerned local brothers who are striving to establish the correct liberal methodology found in the Sunni Islamic scholarly heritage. The purpose of this foundation is to establish an Islamic University which will contain within it a Masjid to serve the community spiritually and intellectually. Hence, will be operating currently as a mosque with religious classes and programs and we will not be recognized as a university. We hope with the mercy of Allah that he helps us to reach our goals in the near future.
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