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Darul Arqam Educational Trust

Our Instructors

Darul Arqam prioritises delivering a standard of Traditional Islamic Excellence whilst seeking to be the heart of the community for students and non-students alike. Our instructors therefore feature a collection of Scholars who have studied internationally and locally with majority taking knowledge from the Blessed Lands of Al-Shaam! Our teachers and Imams are qualified in multiple Madhabs to facilitate students and worshippers  from a wide range of backgrounds in their worship and studies. We also have a standard of ensuring that our instructors are accessible for students in order to seek guidance along their journey and to ensure you are connected with the heart of the community – the House of Allah. See below to gain an understanding of the Instructors of Darul Arqam.

Shaykh Mohammed Zaqir Founder of Darul Arqam Trust

Shaykh Muhammed Zaqir – Director & Founder

After graduating from Manchester University with a BA (Hons) in Politics and Economics, Sheikh Muhammed Zaqir studied for 8 years in Damascus (Syria) at the Prestigious Abu Noor Institute and studied several classical disciplines of Islamic knowledge at the hands of some of the most prominent holders of the tradition. He thereafter studied in the illuminated city of Tarim, Hadramaut. There he studied at the eminent Institute Dar ul Mustafa, under the qualified hands of some of the most illustrious guides of knowledge. Being classically trained in the sacred sciences, he has attained formal ijazahs in various Islamic Disciplines including Tafsir, Hadith, Kalam and many others. His study includes the Shafi’i and Hanbalis schools of Law but his specilisation being in the Hanafi School having attained iftaa in the Hanafi Madhab. Despite his extensive knowledge in these areas, his specialism is in the sciences of Islamic Theology. Having founded Darul Arqam Trust and humanitarian aid charity – Revive, Shaykh Zaqir is also the founder of many other grass-root community initiatives. CLICK HERE to begin your study with Shaykh Zaqir today!

Sheikh Suleiman – Calligraphy Instructor

Sheikh Suleiman graduated from Darul Uloom Bury with the Aalimiyah Shahadah Qualification, during which the esteemed Sheikh Yusuf Motala acknowledged Sheikh Suleiman’s talent in the field of writing. Thereafter, he encouraged him to take a professional course of Islamic Calligraphy in Pakistan. Upon taking this advice, he studied under the tutelage of the late Shah Sayyid Anwar Hussain. He was a world renowned Calligrapher who sat on many international panels and has calligraphy displayed around the world. Sheikh Suleiman received Ijaza from him in 1986. He is therefore authorised to teach different styles of Islamic Calligraphy including Naskh, Ta’liq, Thuluth, Diwani, Riq’a and Nuss ta’leeq.

Sheikh Suleiman has taught Calligraphy at Darul Uloom Bury, been in engaged in designing logos for business, Masajid and other organisations. Furthermore, he has taught at the Leicester Darul Uloom and volunteers in Calligraphy for charity events. Sheikh Suleiman is currently the lead Calligraphy instructor at Darul Arqam and has ran this class for 15 years! In addition to having revived this beautiful Islamic Tradition, hundreds of students have benefitted from his artistic expertise, some of whom have proceeded to mastering the art and taking the tradition forward in other parts of the world! To find our more about calligraphy classes with Sheikh Suleiman CLICK HERE.

Shaykh Suleiman Calligraphy Instructor Darul Arqam

Mawlana Bilal Panchbhaya – Imam

After having completed his hifz of the Qur’an, Mawlana Bilal Panchbhaya went on to study the sacred Islamic sciences at the distinguished Islamic institute, Islamic Da’wah Academy – Leicester. There he completed a rigorous six year program studying under some major scholars. This includes the likes of Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullah. He graduated from this program with authentic certifications (ijazah) in numerous Islamic disciplines, including Tafsir, Hadith, Fiqh, Usul Fiqh, Aqidah, and Arabic & Urdu Language.

Since graduating in 2009, Mawlana Bilal has served as an Imam and is still doing so currently at Darul Arqam. He also teaches the Hifz class and various other courses at the institute – to find out more about the Madrassah and Hifz classes please CLICK HERE.

Mawlana Uzair – Course Instructor

Mawlana Uzair Makadam graduated from a well established institution of higher Islamic Education based in Leicester with an ‘Alimiyyah qualification. He studied under some major scholars of Hadith and received an ijazah (sacred license to teach) in all six major Hadīth collections, in addition to the Muwatta’ of Imām Malik. He is currently completing his BA English Language and Literature degree, and works in the capacity of pastoral welfare officer. Currently, he teaches short courses for Adults at Darul Arqam, with the “Thoughtful Prayer” being amongst the most popular. He has brought about a great demand for this course – CLICK HERE to find out how you can study with Mawlana Uzair on demand!

Ustadh Nabil – Imam

Ustadh Nabil Hedjiedj began his service to the Islamic community at an early age, serving as an Imam in France where he was born. He was able to teach Arabic as an Algerian native, as well as teaching Qur’an and giving the Friday sermon.  Following this, he spent time abroad in Aden University, Yemen, where he studied Arabic and Islamic Sciences with eminent scholars such as Shaykh ‘Abdirrahman al ‘Addani. Here he was able to complete his memorisation of the Qur’an, learning both the Hafs and Warsh Qira’aat. This was succeeded by a period of five years’ intensive study in Algeria, where he was able to obtain certifications in Qur’an recital, tafseer, and Maliki Fiqh from Shaykh Ben Hanafiyah al-’Abidine.

Currently, Ustadh Nabeel is studying towards a further certification in Tajweed (Asbahani) and Hanafi Fiqh. He lives in Leicester with his wife and three children and teaches the Morning Madrassah and Hifz for children at Darul Arqam. CLICK HERE to find out more about the Morning Madrassah!

Shaykh Wael al-Hanbali

Born in Damascus, Sheikh Muhammad Al Wail descends from the Al Qadi Ibn ul Faqhar Ibn Salman – a Hanbali qadi. He graduated from the prestigious institute of Mahd AlFath in 2000, as the 5th youngest ever student to enter the institution, not yet even in his teens. Thereafter he continued his studies in the Islamic university Al Azhar in the faculty of Usul udeen (the theological principles of our faith, specialising in the sciences of Hadith). He also studied at the hands of the great scholars of Damascus such as the Shaykh the linguist – Mufassir Ahmed Naseeb Al-Mahameed. Additionally studying under great scholars such as Abdul Razaaq Al Halabi and Al Qadhi Murshid Aabideen.
 
He took the sciences of the Quran from Shaykh Muhammad Bakli and Muhammad Sukur.  He has travelled extensively throughout many countries in order to continue his studies and his research into the sciences of Hadith and manuscripts. This included visiting the national library of Berlin to access its manuscripts collection. He has been instrumental in establishing Shari’yah schools in various parts of Africa and beyond. 
 
Shaykh Wail al-Hanbali has received licences to narrate the 9 books of Hadith from various Hadith masters from around the Islamic world. He has a wealth of knowledge concerning Islamic Manuscripts, working with them for more than two decades.  He was also from the key staff of printing a new verified edition of the sacred law encyclopedia of the Hanafi School – al-Hashiyah Ibn Abideen. This was printed in more than 14 volumes.  He has additionally printed various works from manuscripts, adding beneficial marginal notes. He is also involved in distributing aid to orphans and needy Scholars of Syria especially those who are related to scholars and callers to Allah, through Darul Arqam’s partner charity Revive. CLICK HERE to find out more about this project.
Shaykh Wael al-Hanbali
Shaykh al-Kassar

Shaykh Muhammad al-Kassar

Born in Aleppo, Shaykh Al-Kassar studied with a number of Aleppo scholars, including Sheikh Muhammad Adib Hassoun, may God have mercy on himand Sheikh Muhammad Adnan al-Ghashim, may God have mercy on him) amongst others.

Thereafter emigrating to Damascus, Shaykh Al-Kassar studied at the Islamic Conquest Institute for six years, however was unable to graduate there due to events that took place in the Levant. Lessons were attended by a number of Damascus scholars, including The Scholarly jurist Shaykh Osama Al-Rifai, may God Almighty preserve and protect him, The Scholarly Jurist Shaykh Abdul Razzaq Al-Halabi, Sheikh Nour Al-Din Ater, Sheikh Abdul Hadi Al-Kharsa, Sheikh Riyad Al-Kharqi, may God have mercy on him, Sheikh Muhammad Abu Al-Huda Al-Yaqoubi, Sheikh Omar Al-Nashwaqati and Sheikh Fawaz Al-Nimr, Sheikh Mustafa Al-Bagha, Sheikh Mazen Bakir, Sheikh Abdul Hamid Al-Tasa and others. Furthermore, Shaykh al-Kassar was also a teacher in Damascus for Islamic education and the Arabic language in middle and secondary schools in Damascus and was an Imam and teacher at the Omar Ibn Al-Khattab Mosque, may God be pleased with him, in Eastern Ghouta.

Thereafter studying in Istanbul and studying at The University of Tripoli, Istanbul branch, and the Aris University, meeting a number of Scholars, Shaykh Al-Kassar took knowledge from them and attended lessons with Sheikh Muhammad Ali Shuqair, Sheikh Mujir Al-Khatib, Sheikh Ahmed Bu Darsa Al-Jazaery, Sheikh Moaz Tabana Al-Arbeni, Sheikh Muhammad Yasser Anwar Al-Masry and others.

Shaykh Al-Kassar has also taken ijaza from a number of Sheikhs, such as Sheikh Muhammad Ali Al-Sabouni, Sheikh Ibrahim Khalifa Al-Ahsa’i, Sheikh Bilal Al-Rifai, Sheikh Muhammad Wael Al-Hanbali and others.

Shaykh Al-Kassar continues to seek knowledge and drawing wisdom from honourable Scholars, may God Almighty protect them and take care of them and currently teaches The Classical Arabic Programme for Darul Arqam Educational Trust.

Shaykh Amin Buxton

Amin Buxton is an educator and translator based in Edinburgh. He embraced Islam in 1999 and read Arabic at SOAS, University of London. He also studied the Islamic sciences in a traditional setting in both Syria and Yemen. He is involved in several educational initiatives including iSyllabus and New to Islam Edinburgh. He is the Muslim Chaplain at Edinburgh Napier University. Shaykh Amin
Apa Munira Darul Arqam Trust Instructor

Munira Apa – Ustadah and Leader of Sister’s Programmes

Munira Apa comes from Yorkshire and has a wealth of experience in teaching Islamic schools and in an educational setting. She gained her experience over the course of six years, in a reputable Islamic Seminary base in Yorkshire and Lancashire. This includes studies in the Arabic language and literature, jurisprudence islamic beliefs, seerah and tafseer, culminating an intensive two years of study and narration of the six canonical books of hadith including Bukhari and Muslim. She completed this together with her role as a mother of five children. Her love of children and tarbiya inspired her to teach in a primary school and organise various workshops and activities. She was instrumental in inspiring and entrusting the children that some have continued their studies in further islamic education. She presently teaches Quranic Arabic at DA – both long term and short term intensive courses – and has taught Seerah in the past. She has a particular knowledge and enthusiasm for issues revolving around relationships and upbringing of children, which has allowed her to run her coffee mornings for the past few years to educate and inspire women on these matters.

Hafiz Mohammed Shaikh

Whilst growing up in the blessed lands of Syria and Yemen, Muhammad soon became accustomed to the way of living and picked up Arabic fast as a young home educated child. He then went on to memorise the Burda: a vast body of literature praising the Prophet صلي الله عليه وسل and many Ajza’ of the Holy Quraan at the age of Eight under the direction of his father. Upon return to the UK, having memorised quite an extensive amount of the Quran, he then joined a Quran school. Two years later by the help of Allah, Muhammad completed the memorisation at the age of 13. He was also taught Classical Arabic, the Forty Ahadeeth and Nahw (Arabic Grammer) by his father Shaykh Zaqir.
 
Amidst all this he took part in extra curricular activities such as football, karate and he was an active scout at the Leicestershire Scouts Club. Muhammad continued revisiting his memorisation until the age of 17, where he joined a local seminary. There he completed three detailed years of the Alimiyyāh program. He thereafter joined an extensive Tajwīd course taught by Shaykh Anas Al Hibri a well known scholar in Syria aiming to maintain the revival of traditional Tajwīd : with a chain of teachers such as Shaykh Samir An Nass directly going back to the Prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم. He is pursuing his study of medcine in addition to serveing the community and give back to what he once took from by volunteering as a community Imam on the weekends at Darul Arqam Educational Trust, actively volunteering at Darul Arqam and teaching young children the traditional way of reciting the Quraan with Tajwīd. He also attends the weekly mawlid majlis there and has learnt and sung many Qasaīd (traditional poetry).He intends to develop his Islamic education further by studying the traditional sciences further, In Shaa Allah.

Hafiz Abdullah Wasim

Oxford born and raised, schooled in the middle East, and now a university and Aalimiyyah student in Leicester. Having spent most of my teenage years in the middle East studying Quran and Arabic, upon my return to the UK, my family decided to move to Leicester. I remember hardly knowing anybody in the city, but the house we rented happened to be around the corner from DA. What clearly stood out was the sense of welcoming I felt from the community there, no sooner had I finished praying my first salah at DA, I was approached by a number of our valued volunteers who asked me and my father if we were new to the community as they’d never seen us before, thereafter they proceeded onto asking us if we needed any help with moving, giving me a tour of DA, and offering us any help we may need. A month later, I asked Sheikh Zaqir if I – as a Haafiz – could participate in leading taraweeh that year, he kindly obliged and I can honestly say that it was my best Ramadan ever.

In addition to being able to lead a congregation of hundreds for the first time in my life, the community during Ramadan with the other volunteers was an indescribable feeling! Helping to prepare iftaars and suhoors for the brothers in itikaaf during the last 10 nights was truly a beautiful feeling Alhamdulillah! Fast forward 2 years, and I am now a weekend imaam at DA, a volunteer at many DA events, alongside studying an Aalimiyyah course, coupled with a university degree. Alhamdulillah I have had a lot of opportunities in this city, but I can confidently say that DA has been amongst best of them. I can also safely say that these 2 years have probably been the best of my life so far, and that is largely due to DA!

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