Come as you are, leave as you should be...
SPENTEM is an independent non-profit religious institution that teaches a specific interpretation of Islam according to an urban lens without compromising traditional theological principles.
Through our three-year academy we provide a utility-based education for male and female post high school graduates that prepares them for a life of worship, entrepreneurship and service.
Allah says: “And let there arise out of you a group inviting to all that is Khair (righteous and sound) —enjoining what is good and forbidding what is bad.” 3:104
SPENTEM believes you should "come as you are," which does not mean that you will leave as you came.
Our methodology aims to maintain the parts of the urban identity that are self-affirming while refining other areas that may need attention.
Who we are
The name SPENTEM is a portmanteau which combines our three core principles, spirituality, entrepreneurship and empathy. We believe the first generation of Muslims utilized these three fundamental tools to achieve a level of autonomy, certainty and influence that has yet to be duplicated.
We believe in the monotheistic principles of Hunafaa, which encompasses a moral code of conduct that emphasizes understanding polytheism as opposed to simply professing monotheism
We believe in following the wisdom of the Sunnah as it relates to meeting practical objectives and not for blind imitation of traditional Muslim cultures
We believe that Islamic institutions have stifled imams by controlling their livelihood through wages and that no Muslim leader can speak truth freely until and unless they strive for financial independence
We believe organized people & organized money can be enough of a catalyst for social change and that every human being must find a proximate injustice that they should struggle to dismantle
We believe that asking for donations and pledges to sustain our program is an outdated model that does a disservice to our community members and opens the door to donor monopolization
We believe that to engage in disparaging remarks and name-calling against our brethren in Islam because of theological or jurisprudential differences is a grave mistake that subverts the goals of Islam
What we want
We want our graduates to understand Islam experientially and through their own living context
We want utility-based worship spaces and not simply empty rooms with prayer rugs
We want every graduate to found their own individual business in order to free their time to nurture their hearts upon Deen, maintain the ties of brotherhood and also sustain their own projects
We want to organize our people and money in order to shift the criminal justice narrative to reflect a more just outcome for Americans
How we teach
Our curriculum is spread over three years with each academic year beginning in September and ending in June.
- Year one focuses on understanding the foundations of Islamic theology, jurisprudence and application
-Year two focuses on understanding the fundamentals business and entrepreneurship, exploring business ideas and committing to a project to build for self-employment
-Year three focuses on learning about the nature of oppression, exploring the injustices that affect the human condition, committing to dismantling one and mobilizing the people and tools necessary to achieve the desired outcome
Imam Taymullah Abdur-Rahman