Alqueria de Rosales
Located in the mountains north of Granada in southern Spain, Alqueria de Rosales is one of the first madrasas in western Europe to offer a curriculum based on the revival of Islamic intellectual thought.
Established almost 20 years ago, and first opening its doors to students in 2002, this educational and cultural initiative is led by a small group of Spanish converts who are working towards reviving the rich intellectual tradition associated with the Islamic heritage of Andalusia.
Teaching at present focuses on intensive study of the Arabic language, although there are plans to expand this to other Islamic disciplines. Alqueria also offers a research library with one of the largest private collections of Andalusian manuscripts in Muslim hands in Spain. Residential courses are available, as well as online study.
While the Foundation aims to move towards establishing more formal education programmes, it currently provides one- to two-week retreats designed to focus on the revival of a rationalist scholarship in Islam. Two of its most popular annual retreats focus on the work of Al-Ghazali and on creed (aquida). These retreats bring together Muslims from all walks of life and are taught by two extremely influential Muslim converts and scholars from Cambridge and Chicago respectively, Abdul Hakim Murad and Dr Umar Faruq Abdullah. They provide intensive, immersion programmes which focus on reason and intellectual reform within Islam in the West and which create close bonds between participants. In addition to its own retreats, Alqueria also hosts such programmes offered by other Muslim institutions throughout the year.