Struggling to lead with impact?

How do you know if your school is technical or moral? It all begins from the way you manage your school, your priorities and decision-making process. Just like our homes, if there is violence then the children will adapt violence, if there is peace the children will be peaceful. Your school is similar to a home but add intentions and taking action accordingly. If you are wondering what I’m talking about, follow through this article to get more insights.

A technical institution focuses on knowledge transfer and academic performance more than the individual’s personal growth: social, emotional and spiritual development while a school visualized as a moral institution is focused on moral education by instilling social skills, interpersonal skills and spiritual development i.e. a holistic approach.

I believe that there is a great need to transform Islamic schools to a moral institution. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) put so much emphasis on raising children with good morals and values. Where else can we do it if not in our schools? I always say, “Knowledge is now consumed at the tip of our fingers, but morals, emotional, mental aspects and  managing life’s unpredictable events can only be learnt through practical and interactive experiences.”

There is a pandemic when it comes to implementation of the needed elements to make our schools as moral institutions; dry school vision, meaningless values and poor role models. The list is endless. There are so many other challenges which need to be addressed but first, take a deep look at yourself as the leader (you could be the director or principal). Do you practise those morals in your life? How do you interact with people? That’s where you should start.

Allaah says: “Verily, Allaah will not change the (good) condition of a people as long as they do not change their state (of goodness) themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allaah)” [al-Ra’d 13:11]

You will not visualize your school as a moral institution until you embrace changing what’s within you, around you and naturally in others. There are three elements that will help you begin this journey:

  • Your connection with Allah – It is not until you are truthful to Allah can you be truthful to yourself. Who else knows you better?
  • Your connection with yourself – When you embrace the true you; the good and the bad, can you only gain self-confidence, self-awareness and self-worth.
  • Your connection with others – Being truthful to Allah, understanding your strengths and weaknesses will help you improve your relations with others. Eventually, find yourself being a tolerant and inspirational leader.

These are the three most important aspects which will help you transform your school. My journey to create a moral institution only came in to being when I discovered this approach through research, life experiences and studying the pattern of influence while practicing my way forward. So I thought why keep it to myself? It is worth seeing more Muslim school leaders thriving within and have the impact in others too. One of my employers once said to me, “It’s hard to get someone with values and principles you have Rukiya. That is what really reflects in our children and makes them stand out!” It is not for me to brag about my achievement but it is for me to show you that this approach works. I promise you that the journey is empowering yet scary and painful. It. Is. Worth. It.


I’m all about empowering each other to make it better for our Ummah. Investing in yourself is a starting point to a better you, your school and students. Think about it, what have you got to lose? You must be great in something right now but you don’t see the impact in your team which is normal yet frustrating. I get you and I can help you.

Email me to book a 30 minutes breakthrough call to isolate what is stopping you from creating that ideal moral institution.

Rukiya Issa

Rukiya Issa is a Teacher coach who leads an Islamic school and the founder of Hopeful Muslim Teacher (HMT). She is pursuing her Bachelors of Education(Arts) and aims to empower Muslim teachers to show-up with confidence, clarity and purpose. She holds a Diploma in Educational Leadership, primary teacher certificate and is also a certified professional life Coach. Rukiya believes that academics, Teacher mindset, skills and teacher growth are not only a fundamental part of student success but are also the building blocks to attain a life long impact in building a holistic child. In addition to leading a school, she runs an online madrasa program with the aim of making Islamic education accessible to all. She has been recognised for her innovative teaching and learning approaches in all her teaching positions in different schools. Furthermore, her exceptional approach to leading change in Ar Risalah Academy, currently the Principal, was evidently recognised by the School board of Directors. Rukiya has been engaged in variety of voluntary projects in education like; - Islamic Curriculum Development at Maahad Teachers' Training College Nairobi, Kenya. - Lesson Plan Integration Project with Dr Bilal Philips - Islamic Studies Teacher at Maryam Center, Doha, Qatar.

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