Compiled by Pirah Aijaz
A truly inspiring woman, Shabana Ahmedani is a professional and passionate entrepreneur. She manages a school based on Islamic ideology called “Little Heaven School.” She is also the founder of “Inclusion Now – Learning Knows No Bound.” In addition, she runs “Little Buds of Heaven” weekend school. She is definitely a powerhouse – managing so many things as well as providing quality education to children at the primary level.
Shabana Ahmedani is working diligently on all her ventures. Her efforts, perseverance, and dedication are inspiring to many and are helping others achieve their dreams.
The Fempreneur team approached her to learn more about her values, challenges, and struggles. So, let’s get to know her!!
Hi Shabana!! You are into multiple ventures, which is the closest to your heart and why?
Despite having multiple ventures, the closest to my heart that always remains is Little Heaven. An Islamic school that provides a platform to learn about our Deen while learning about Duniya. We also believe in inclusivity; hence we have a department separate for differently abled students to help them study in a mainstream environment.
What challenges did you face while establishing your career in the education sector and how did you overcome them?
Every career path has challenges and for me in the sector of education, finding a space for Islamic education was quite difficult, so I took it upon myself to create it, and with the help of many others, I think we’ve created one that is a success. It’s sometimes difficult to have people believe in your vision, especially being a woman in an industry that is full of men, but when there’s a will there’s a way and what you see, today is a testament to all of those challenges being surpassed.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
As I’ve mentioned, the biggest accomplishment is seeing the children of today, get an education that is not only relevant to this world but also to their Aakhirah. The children that come out of Little Heaven are equipped with tools for both worlds. I think there’s no bigger success than knowing that something my team and I have created is making a positive impact on so many lives. The children at LHS not only get an education but they are also given life skills that will help them wherever they go. It is with the blessing of Allah SWT that we are able to do all that we do.
As a Leader how do you keep your team motivated?
Educating is not a walk in the park. To shape a young mind is one of the most challenging tasks and if one is only able to do so, they have passion to drive them. So while I do my best to motivate my teachers to provide them with the best materials and tools for them to succeed, they themselves also are just as committed to the cause of education as I am. I couldn’t ask for a better team to be by my side on this journey.
What is your vision, how do you see the little angels coming out of Little Heaven to impact the world when they group up?
And because the little angels are equipped with life skills to facilitate them through both worlds, the impact they will create will be far greater. For the future, I see these children growing up and being a part of all sorts of professions and taking alongside their ability to show empathy and have patience with those around them.
As an employer, what are the top 3 qualities you prefer your employees should have?
I want my team to be passionate about what they do, to be honest, and hard-working, and then surely success will follow. To be able to deal with differently-abled students teaches them compassion and patience that make them perfect employees.
What is your opinion of conventional teaching methodologies as opposed to more modern ones, like the IB system?
With the advancement in teaching methods and with the attention span of children decreasing, especially after Covid. I truly believe in activity-based learning, and that’s something that we have focused on since Little Heaven started. It’s not like we don’t focus on books and reading. We do it all. But I believe a balance is very important. Focusing more on learning through educational programs encourages students to think critically and solve complex problems. This helps in driving their own learning.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
It’s not just about where I see myself it’s about the vision I have for Little Heaven. I want to see Little Heaven in all cities across the country, and why stop there? Why not in cities across the globe? Islamic education and the education of this world are to be taken side-by-side. A lot of Muslim parents struggle with children, not receiving the proper Islamic education and Little Heaven is the start to the solution to that problem. In the years to come, I hope to see Little Heaven turn into a thriving Muslim community making the Ummah proud.
Is there any message you would like to give to the younger Shabana? What could she have done differently to make her journey smoother?
I think I would tell her to not doubt herself. To be more confident and to surround herself with a more positive and uplifting support group. To achieve great things, you need a great team. There is no need to do everything on your own. Be patient things will fall into place as and when they are meant to be.
For people who aspire to enter the Education sector, is there any advice you would like to give them?
For sure. The most important thing is to prioritize Children. Because everything we do is for them; for their future. They are the ones to carry the world forward. So, let’s equip them with the best tools and skills – so we leave this world a better place. May Allah SWT reward all of our efforts.
Very impressive interview. My best wishes and good luck for Ma’am Shabana. May Allah SWT grant her highest success in her endeavours. I wish to visit and explore The Little Heaven School soon one day as I am an Educationist too and have similar thinking as Ma’am Shabana.
VERY IMPRESSIVE INTERVIEW