Darul Arqam Educational Trust

Students & Supporters

Mudathir Iqbal

“The Islamic studies diploma inspired me into how exciting and engaging learning the Deen is and its applicability by being introduced to topics on Aqeedah, Hadith literature, Quranic sciences. It was during university studies which helped me be a confident Muslim throughout. The Classical Arabic programme was a great introduction, in that I have used it to then go onto more advanced studies in Arabic, having a basic understanding of constructing sentences, breaking down their components. Still a long way to go to being competent but the best things is it’s allowed me to reflect on the verses of the Quran but then have a teacher like Shaykh Zaqir to go back to which is the best thing for me.”

“Maulana Suleiman Desai inspired me and supported me to further study the art of Calligraphy in the Capital of Khat, Istanbul, under some of the world’s best calligraphers. I hope to one day master this art and teach it others and also commission works for the public. I have been able to either contribute back to Darul Arqam and my local community by volunteering in the Darul Arqam fundraising events, organising a Youth programme and also fundraising for the charity branch for relief efforts to the Syrian people.”

Noreen Akhtar

“I am a qualified Social worker, mother of 2, a key volunteer and a valued student of Darul Arqam. I started studying at Darul Arqam Nottingham outreach approximately 10 years ago, where I studied under the tutelage of Sheikh Zaqir.”

“I have currently enrolled on the Islamic Studies Diploma. “My husband and I both feel that Darul Arqam has benefitted us in similar ways, we both learnt the importance of not only in Islamic knowledge but also learning the importance of building a stronger community.”

Noreen Akhtar Darul Arqam Student


“I have benefitted immensely in various ways from Darul Arqam. I’ve been able to expand and strengthen my network of likeminded brothers and sisters with the same goals giving a sense of support and reassurance that we’re on the straight path. Academically I feel I’ve gained so much by sitting at the feet of our scholars, especially being able to grasp the worldly issues of our times and being able to interpret and understand them through a logical Islamic viewpoint. Darul Arqam has gifted with me a loving and accepting version of Islam which I don’t feel I would have come across otherwise. This authentic knowledge has been passed down through generations of scholars and I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of the unbroken chain of transmission leading back to Prophet ﷺ himself.”

“Everything I’ve gained from DA has made me recognise what we lack in our own community in Peterborough in terms of knowledge/activity. It motivated me to organise talks, events and inspired me to organise my own much needed Women-only retreat which was a great success. I have been able to represent Muslims in a positive way and change the perspective of non-Muslim colleagues and friends opening a door for them to explore Islam with an open mind and answer their questions in a logical way. I look forward to contributing further to our community and working closely with the DA family to meet their objectives and fulfil their vision.”

Guled Abdi

My name is Guled and I work for a international Pharma company that provides medicines for patients with unmet medical needs. I completed the Islamic Studies Diploma course over a period of two years and I am currently enrolled onto the Alimiyyah programme for Post-Diploma students. I have also completed various short courses. My time at Darul Arqam so far has benefited me immensely in the sense that it has opened my eyes to the vastness of Islam. The saying that comes to mind is “the more you learn, the more you realise you don’t know”. Previously, I would often find myself employing a haphazard approach to spiritual practices relating to the purification of the heart.”

“Alhamdulillah, through attending the weekly gatherings of remembrance, I have been able to focus my mind on a set method recommended by some leading scholars within mainstream orthodox Islam. With the Grace of God, I have been granted the opportunity to assist Darul Arqam in organising local retreats. This serves as an opportunity to give back to the Muslim community from the knowledge gained in the classroom. There are many challenges associated with such excursions; from managing a large group of individuals with different needs to dealing with unexpected setbacks. It’s a wonderful initiative by the institute and by allowing their students to take the lead on or assist with such projects, it shows that Darul Arqam is committed to creating future community leaders that will be of great benefit to Muslims living in the West.”

Sohail Ilyas and Shaykh Zaqir


I am a Transport planner for Peterborough City Council. The Diploma course gave me access to reliable teachers and sources of knowledge relating to the deen, in the digital age in which we live where many people take ‘knowledge’ from social media and people who are not qualified in the Islamic sciences the comfort of knowing that you are learning from teachers who have gone through the traditional method of learning and are fully qualified to teach this is of great significance. For me the teachers at Darul Arqam make this institute unique, the knowledge they bring and their sincere concern for the students, the community and the Ummah is truly amazing.”

“Thereafter the Islamic Studies Diploma gives a good understanding of the fundamentals of the Deen, it gave me confidence to make sound judgements when it comes to certain aspects of religion for example the classification of Hadith and how the various classifications can be applied to our Deen (for example what makes a Hadith Sahih? Or how can the classification of a Hadith be raised? or how we apply each classification in our Deen). The diploma also covers the sciences of the Quran and the Seerah of the Prophet ﷺ studying these sciences allows us to have a better connection with the Quran and with the Prophet ﷺ. The Diploma course not only covers academic topics but also the sciences of the inward allowing us to take a holistic approach to bettering ourselves as Muslims, as the both the sciences of the inward and outward compliment each other and both are required. The course has given the foundation for further studies and allowed me to progress onto the Alimiyyah in English course. Both courses have been developed in a manner which is accessible to students in the west like myself where I don’t speak/understand Arabic and I have a very busy life the course is very accommodating in the sense that distance learning via Skype or Zoom is also available when students are unable to attend in person.

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Saima Hussain

“Salam alaikum. My name is Saima and I am homeschooling mother of 5 young children. I am one of the Teaching and Learning leads at a local weekend madrassah where I volunteer and I also work adhoc as a Hijama therapist and private tutor.”

“Being a mother of 5 young children, I initially completed the foundation course in the hope of gaining the essentials of Islamic knowledge in a structured way so that I could pass these on within my own family setting – the mother being the child’s first school. I would highly recommend it to all parents in order to learn or refresh the religious obligations due upon us. After all you can not pour from an empty cup. The foundation course allowed me to gain confidence in my personal practice, allowed me to spread this to my near and dear ones and provided a platform for dealing with current issues that we face on a daily basis by being able to ask questions and clarify misconceptions.”

“Islamic Studies Diploma Completing the foundation course made me realise the deficiencies in my knowledge regarding essential topics of the religion and created a thirst for knowledge. This naturally led me towards the diploma because although I had an understanding of many essential topics related to the religion, it was superficial and I lacked the ability to apply it to current times. I was concerned that as my young children grew up I would not be able to provide them with a satisfactory foundation or answers. The course allowed me to learn the essentials in a gradual, structured way and explore many issues that are currently embedded in our societies such as evolution and the issue of evil in the world. Thus enabling me to protect my own faith and be in a position to protect those closest to me from common misconceptions about Islam. It has been an experience of not only learning knowledge but also of great spiritual benefit as the wisdoms imparted by Sheikh Zaqir have allowed me to increase my connection with my Lord and my religion. This has benefitted not only me but also my family as I am able to transmit it within my home to my children and inshaAllah the future generations. Classes have had an open, warm, tranquil atmosphere and the teacher has always welcomed questions and discussions. Having a scholar to hand has been indispensable in order to ask questions and receive answers with the confidence that they are from an expert in the field. In this day and age, I would say it is a must for at least one person in every family to act as a shepherd and commit to such a course so that they may take care of their flock.”

Image of a Muslim Woman

Madiha Jaral

“Indeed Allah grants openings, and blessed are those who have sat at the feet of Shayh Zaqir. Such words often run the risk of sounding rather cliché, however, this experience has been anything but cliché. I firmly remember the words of my trusted friend, ‘a hidden gem’ as she referred to Shaykh Zaqir. At that time, she was studying the Diploma in Leicester. I was always sceptical of such opportunities as I had become tired of similar adverts. However, my friend, certainly is not, amongst those guilty of embellishing their words, I was left with no choice but to listen carefully. With this scepticism I enrolled on the Diploma. By this point, years of confusion had accumulated, although I had attended many credible courses that added value to my religious/intellectual journey, however, unanswered questions still ran through my mind, rooted deeply in my inability to reconcile the confusion amongst seemingly contradicting hadith and the seemingly controversial issues in Islam.”

“It is incredible, how Shaykh Zaqir is able to present challenging and complex concepts in the most approachable manner. Approachable to the lamen, not only to able to understand for the self but also be able to share with others. I have attended courses that have left me with greater confusion on the issue of seemingly contradicting hadith, however Shaykh Zaqir reduced its complexity without losing any meaning and he did the same for many of the controversial issues associated with Islam. In addition, the topics covered in this course are so perceptively chosen as to prepare the individual student to become a strong representative of our religion. Representative to ourselves, family, friends and those in society. The course equipped me with the ability to confidently answer questions of the existence of God, the proof that the Quran is a miracle, how we reconcile the seemingly contradicting hadith, the science behind the life of our Prophet (saw) and many of the controversial issues namely, slavery, the problem of evil, evolution and much more. Furthermore, joining DA is joining a family, a family of support from colleagues and even more so from Shaykh Zaqir. Shaykh Zaqir evidently takes great interest in the care of each of his students. It still amazes me how Shaykh offers support to each individual on such a personal basis that I am left to wonder how he physically achieves this. Regardless of your background and whether you feel accepted in other communities or not, this is certainly a community that carries the message of Rumi, ‘come, come, whoever you are… ours is not a caravan of despair’.”

Cherry Dakin

“My journey with Darul Arqam has changed my perspective, my understanding, my heart and my life. I stumbled upon Darul Arqam after searching for a Tajweed teacher and ended up enrolling on the Diploma instead. At the time I knew nothing of Shaykh Zaqir and Apa Munira, however I soon realised that my every dua for guidance and knowledge had been answered. The more I learn from teachers at Darul Arqam the less I know. They say that you inherit the state of your teachers heart, this is the true blessing of studying with the teachers of Darul Arqam, you also learn to rectify your character with no harsh words, just pure good examples and practical guidance! The Darul Arqam instructors do not shy away from mentoring their students which has been an irreplaceable aspect of going through this journey”

“I hastily took the opportunity to travel with Darul Arqam and fellow students (which wouldn’t have been otherwise possible as a single mum). Travelling around the Islamic Worlds with my little one, fellow students and teachers have been the most soul enriching and eye-opening experiences of my life. It was my first journey of this kind, to Istanbul, which inspired me to give up my “then-plan” of becoming a wealth manager, to pursue a more sincere path, pursuing my role as the fundraising manager for the humanitarian branch of Darul Arqam, Revive. A complete U-turn. I know of very few students who haven’t felt a similar impact from studying with Shaykh Zaqir, Apa Munira and the other teachers we are blessed to inherit knowledge from along the way. Darul Arqam is one of few places where Islam is Islam and a Muslim is a Muslim. If you haven’t began your journey with Darul Arqam yet, don’t hesitate! It might just change your life.l

Cherry Dakin in Sanliurfa

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