Source of inspiration to all Muslim women
Enterprising and inspiring educationist Rasheeda Mohideen who left us on Tuesday 15 September 2018 is one of those few who lived to see her dream come true.
Her dream was to establish a school with all modern facilities capable of providing an all-round education to Muslim girls in Sri Lanka whilst preserving the values and virtues of Islam.
In the early 1980s, when she was in Abu Dhabi where her husband Mohideen was employed, she has already earned reputation as a person who turned an ordinary school into one of the leading Islamic schools there.
Discussing her success in Abu Dhabi during a luncheon in Dubai she told that “her dream was to set up a leading modern school for Muslim girls in Sri Lanka and help uplift Muslims girls to suit the need of the time. Her vision was to create Muslim girls educated just like every other girl and making their own contributions in every possible field for the development of the community and the country.
Her dream became a reality and Ilma International Girls School remains a monument to her success. It is a leading private Muslim girls’ school in the country. Located at Thalakotuwa Gradens –Colombo 5 it provides effective and meaningful education for girls for higher intellectual attainments conforming strictly to the tenets of Islam.”
To ensure this the school is equipped with all the facilities.
This was the long felt need of the community. Once the school was
established Muslims who were keen on providing their girls modern education in Islamic background started to rush for admission. She continued to accommodate as much students as possible .Within few years Ilma International was the talking point especially in Colombo.
The achievement and the impact of Ilma International was such that Ilma education became added qualification for girls in times of marriage.Ilma’s success has become inspiring source for others who are keen on making their own contributions to uplift Muslims girls.
Rasheeda earned the respect and appreciation of the community.
Her strength, endurance and perseverance in achieving her dream despite all the challenges put forth, have given a pedestal for the community to stand on. She has given her students a chance to experience the world as independent individuals. She has broadened their horizons, inculcated in them the values of the world they live in and provided them with a sound comprehension of the Islamic life they are meant to lead and the world beyond that they are all expected to face one day.
She worked from 1988 and retired gracefully in 2007. In a fitting tribute during the farewell ceremony the principal and students expressed their deep sense of gratitude as follows;
“Ilma lost its founder. However her name is etched in our hearts and in the history of Muslim education forever.
“Rabbi Zidni Ilma – Oh Allah Advance me in my knowledge”, taking it right out of the Holy Quran, she established it as the motto of Ilma International Girls’ School. The depth of its relevance and meaning to this institution is unfathomable. Madam Rasheedha, we, the community and the country in general, are forever indebted to you.