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 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.
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. He graduated from this program with authentic certifications (ijazah) in numerous Islamic disciplines.
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
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
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
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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