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Shariah Program Arabic – What’s this about 21 days?




By: Sawitri Mardyani (Phd)

It seems like a completely outrageous claim, doesn’t it?  Especially if you’ve tried to study Arabic before.  You know how many weeks, months, years or even decades you’ve spent learning words, constructing simple sentences, and not coming anywhere near a real Arabic book.

So how could this be possible?  How could you cover enough of the language to Do you need to study night and day in an immersion environment, ignoring of all your other responsibilities?

No, actually.  Not at all.

Starting their first Arabic book within 21 days is something students have been doing, studying part time, 5-7 hours a week, with no prior
knowledge other than the letters of the Arabic alphabet.

So what’s the key?

The key is in how the language is taught and which portion of the language we focus on first. If you pick up any Arabic instruction book today or join any class, you’ll notice that you start by learning lists of words and little sentences and structures, gradually adding more and more complexity as the lessons progress.

It seems like a good idea, right?  Break something big down to little parts and start with the simple and progress to the complex.

The problem is, without an overall framework to tie all this information to, everything you learn starts to feel like a series of disconnected rules and words.  It seems so complicated and random that you quickly become overwhelmed.  It’s no surprise that you come to the conclusion that the language is difficult.  Too difficult.  Or you’re just not cut out for it.

The hope and enthusiasm that you had when you started learning the language quickly diminishes.  Attendance in the class dwindles. You quit the course or it’s canceled all together.  You abandon one series of text books for the next.

It’s a pretty sad story.  And what’s sadder is how often this cycle is repeated, until you have a whole stack of Arabic books gathering dust on the shelf. You see, when you teach Arabic from the simple to the complex, i.e. starting with words, and then simple structures and sentences, you’re ignoring the fundamental nature of the language itself.

The truth is, Arabic isn’t like other languages. In Arabic, the majority of meanings do not even come from words, but instead from vowels and patterns. Weird, right? This doesn’t mean that words don’t have meaning.  Obviously they do. But there are more “non-word” meanings than meanings that come from words. And when you only learn words and stick them together into simple sentences, you miss out on this absolutely fundamental fact.

You miss out on the key aspect that lead scholars such as Ibn Khaldun to conclude that Arabic the most superior language on the planet.

On the other hand, if you can start by teaching how patterns and vowels convey meaning in Arabic, then you create fascination and you feed the student’s natural enthusiasm.  Because really, you can’t help but be amazed at this absolutely brilliant system that packs so much meaning into the vowels and patterns that make up a single word.

And you sit awe as you realize that it’s a feat of staggering genius on part of the medieval grammarians that they were able to isolate, analyze and explain this in the books of Nahw. When you start with these “non-word” meanings, you’re actually getting right to the heart of the Arabic language.  You’re talking about the unique mechanism that Arabic uses to convey meaning.  And this is something that you’re going to see in every single Arabic sentence you will ever read.

This is the key.

It’s by covering the most broadly applicable aspects of the language first that you can begin a reading text within 21 days.

Then, as we start reading the text, you’ll see all the theory that you’ve learned come to life with real examples.  Your vocabulary grows organically through the medium of the story and each sentence solidifies your understanding of the theory.  As the story progresses, the author introduces new structures so that you learn new elements of grammar without getting overwhelmed. As counter intuitive as it seems, the key is to teach the most elaborate aspects of the language first.  Arabic is taught best when we lead with the complex, instead of going from the simple to the complex.

It’s counter-intuitive but it works.

Now, to really get an understanding of this method of learning Arabic, you’re going to need to see more details and examples.  You need to see the language in action to really understand what’s meant by “no-word” meanings.  So Mufti Yusuf, the founder of this method, has put together a 45 page document which you can download .

One of my classmates said that, after having taken Arabic in university, he can safely say that this document covers more than a full year of class.  I’ve never taken Arabic in university myself, so I can’t comment on that.  You’re invited to assess that for yourself, though.

Behind the document, there’s two hours of free video lessons and a more elaborate online program where classes have been in session for over 10 years.

Of course we hope you consider signing up for the program, but there’s a lot of teaching in the free resources too and we’d love for as many people as possible to benefit from that.

If you haven’t already checked out the 45 page report, you can go  to get your free copy.

Feel free to post your comments below on what you think of this approach. Do you think it’s appropriate for beginners or just advanced learners? Is it really different or more of the same?

If you’re already a student of the program, you’re more than welcome to share your experience below as well.

Editor’s Note: This is written by a student of Mufti Yusuf Mullan and admin for the Shariah Program based on her experiences. Through their ads, Shariah Program has been a long time supporter of Muslimmatters.




  1. Avatar

    Umm Abdullah

    October 24, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    as salaamu ‘alaikum,

    I learned Arabic through a variety of places and over a number of years. Though I now feel a sense of mastery, I felt there were many possible improvements that could be made to speed up the process. I looked over the Acceleration Report and felt it could be useful especially for those in the high school – college range, i.e., those who wish to learn quickly and have the ability to grasp these concepts. I doubt it would work for children under 12. I also wonder how it would work for adults above 40 and for those who are not previously exposed to language learning. I believe for them it may seem too complicated. I do think it is a great method of learning, just not suitable for all age groups and learning styles. May Allah swt bless your efforts.

    • Avatar


      October 24, 2013 at 5:35 PM

      As Salaamulaykum,

      Mufti Yusuf presents the topics very well, and I am continuously amazed that the language can be so precise and beautiful. Mufti Saheb’s method is unique and effective.
      I am over 40, and my prior exposure to formally learning Arabic has been minimal, yet I am coping, Alhumdulillah. It does take some effort, though, and I am sure the program can work for anyone that’s committed to try.

      May Allah (SWT) accept and strengthen your efforts.

    • Avatar


      June 27, 2015 at 2:59 AM

      since i joined the program i havent resived eny video it keep saying the gallary cannot found

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    Mohamed Allam Naeem

    October 24, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Intrigued and interested…

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    October 24, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    On a lighter note, my ability to speak Urdu with my in-laws has improved. I grew up never speaking too much Urdu and I never realized how much is loaned from Arabic. Studying has impressed my in-laws and thus is a big boost to my marriage :)

    More importantly, I feel like I am experiencing the Qur’an more. When I listen to its recitation I find myself focusing more. Pondering on the complexities of its grammar finds me pondering on the complexity and majesty of Allah’s creation. I feel like I am renewing my faith every time I approach my studies of Arabic and the Qur’an, and I simply would never have been able to benefit while studying part time, in as short a time as I have. The method works and its benefit is immense. May Allah preserve Mufti Yusuf for helping us all get closer to Allah’s kalam.

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    Abdul Kahar (Kay)

    October 24, 2013 at 4:54 PM


    I have only studied 5 weeks of the Shariah programme self paced lesson and I have realised that I could understand certain ayats of the Quran as I’m reading. Furthermore it has made memorising the Quran easier and fun Alhamdulillah. Now I am motivated to memorise the whole Quran In  sha Allah.

    Moreover knowing that I can repeat the lessons again and again when I want gives me the peace of mind when I get busy with worldly chores.

    In sha Allah I have nomad intention to join the October 2013 class and hope fully finish it.

    Mufti Yusuf, knows his Arabic very well, Alhamdulillah, and I could see the transformation in my ability in just 5 weeks of lessons.

    Wassalamua’laikum warahmatullah.

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    Rubaiyat Yameen

    October 24, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Assalaamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barkatuhu everyone,

    During the Eid ul Adha holidays, a friend came to visit me after a long time. I was telling him the story of Sayyidina Yusuf (alayhis salaam). I opened up Qasasun Nabiyyin, the book that we start from the third week of the Shariah Program, and translated some portions for him as I told him the story. And then I opened up Surah Yusuf and translated the first few lines for him. Few days ago I happened to come across to a discussion of a scholar online, who was speaking in classical Arabic and to my utter joy, I was actually understanding much of what he was saying. Yet there were times in the past where I felt that between Arabic and myself was an almost insurmountable barrier. I am only in the 14th week of my Arabic studies, and though I am fairly consistent in my studies, due to my job I am not able to dedicate as much time as I would have liked to, and even after that I see much progress. I see myself transformed from being stuck with a few words and concepts and sentences of Arabic to a stage where I can acquire meaning as I encounter new material. As I read the Holy Quran, I see myself slowing down, trying to understand and appreciate what Allah says, and I feel the words like never before… and what makes me most hopeful is the fact that this is only the beginning! This hope along with it’s practical manifestations of progress which I am seeing in myself every few days is what I consider to be the biggest transformation that I have experienced up to this stage. All praise and thanks be to Allah and also to our teachers in Shariah Program. It’s inspiring to see how much good work Mufti Yusuf Mullan and his team has put in to this program to increase it’s efficacy among it’s target audience. His pedagogy is precise. His ability to precisely and fluently translate and teach the technical terms of Classical Arabic grammar and morphology enabled me not only to appreciate Arabic in terms of a language I know well, it also enables me to further educate myself in a language I daily communicate in and furthermore, it equips me to teach what I have learnt to educated and interested people in a way that they can appreciate it. And I know that I am not the only person who feels this way about this program. Albeit I joined the program because I saw the glowing results in some of my close friends and associates who took this program. Some of them are already scholars graduating from renowned institutions, some of them are on their way. Allah accept the efforts of Mufti Yusuf and his team and his students. Ameen.

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    Sajjad Mulla

    October 24, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Confidence! That I can do it. Now when people talk Arabic I understand and cross check grammar that I learned. Best part is I can any time go back to videos and refresh on any topic. Thanks a lot for all your effort to present great program.

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    Abu Hammaad

    October 24, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    Asalamalaikum serious students of Arabic… this is my Story about taking a dive on the straights of the Arabic Oceans by taking a ride on the Shariah Programme.

    In my mid thirties, married, with 2 beautiful children and living in London, I thought I’d missed the boat to pursue an adventure of the Arabic Oceans and took refuge in the idea of reading Quran as a ritual and leaving its impact on me at best by translation.

    It was only then did a friend introduce the ‘Arabic Acceleration Report’ to me (prepared by Mufti Yusuf Mullan and the team at the Shariah Programme). I read this a number of times and put it to one side, at first I read up to the Istansaroo example and got my first dose of the comprehensiveness of the language and for the first time appreciated Arabic not just as a language, but as a system of the conveyance of meaning and for the first time got a taste of its comprehensiveness.

    I attended sessions with my friend who was teaching Arabic based upon what he learnt in Mufti Yusuf’s Shariah Programme, but unfortunately wasn’t able to keep up, given family and professional commitments, at this stage the only wave that was carrying me was hope and an empty desire.

    Before the last 10 nights of Ramadhan 2013 in preparation of Itikaaf, I had downloaded an electronic version of the Quran and other materials I intended to pursue in the nights of Magfirah. When I found myself in Itikaaf alongside my collections of electronic Quran and other materials in iBooks I discovered I had saved a PDF copy of ‘The Acceleration Report’…

    During the days I’d fast and read from my collections, leaving the nights for worship and repentance, without realising part of my schedule in the day-time I started to explore the report once again.

    Despite being low on energy and reduced mental stamina of memorisation, I started to see things in the report that I didn’t before, for some reason it started to make more and more sense, I was now looking beyond the quotes and other peoples experiences and was witnessing the sequence of how the report was structured… before I read the phrase ‘The Big Picture’ but now I started to see ‘The Big Picture’, all of a sudden I found myself some where on ‘The Map of The Arabic Language’.. every time I turned to the report I was able to navigate from one part to another and then back again, the report became my navigation tool, Subhan’Allah.

    After Eid Ul Fitr, I made an intention to pursue this further and found myself on the website and intended to watch the three videos on the website. Then each time there was a lapse on pursuing these free materials an email reminder was sent by Mufti Mullan and felt almost like I was being watched by him and his team bringing me back in. I watched the three videos which reinforced the concepts in the report.

    This then lead me to perform Istikhara, as prior to this I had not considered Arabic on a serious note, it had been an empty desire and nothing more. Watching a final video by one of the team at the Shariah Programme, on explaining why Allah s.wt. in one verse uses the word Najm (derived from Najuum) and then in another instance the word Kawkib (derived from Kawakib) though both of the words have the same meaning of ‘Star’, felt like I landed at a pit stop on ‘The Map of The Arabic Language’ it kind of wetted my thirst but at the same time started a rumble in the belly for an appetite of the Arabic language.

    I got in touch with the team, and told them I’m interested and once I completed my Istikhara with the intention to pursue an adventure of the Arabic Oceans I finally enrolled on the programme.

    On getting my boarding pass to the Shariah Programme, I was received well by the crew, including help-desk staff and the captain himself. I felt honoured to be called ‘A Serious Student of Arabic’ and the statements were backed by complimentary endorsements of Muhammad s.a.w (hadith), which inspired me even more, a source of real encouragement.

    Since signing up, I’ve been looking forward to the live classes in Oct 2013, in preparation I’ve already started going through the materials (up to week 3.1 in four weeks) and have re-visited these materials more than once….

    It’s like going from room to room on a ship, but you can go back to any room you’ve visited previously at no extra expense, there is no sense of missed opportunities, and most times when I return to a room, I remember to switch on the light or then a light bulb moment happens where the light automatically comes on, even if I’ve missed the switch.

    At this stage I’m not saying I’ve discovered all the switches in each room that I’ve visited, at times I have missed them, but on re-visiting a room you have sudden moments where certain lights switch on and then when ever you revisit that same room, you know exactly where the light switch is.

    Finally the crew at the Shariah Programme are great, when ever I have had a light bulb moment, I check my understanding either by making a post under the specific area that I’ve covered or by email…

    It was only recently that I understood in the verbal sentence ‘Daraba Zaydun Amran’ that Amran is the object (which I got), but the object is the mafhul bihi (which I didn’t get at first).

    Object is not just an item, but the noun or pronoun on which a verb is being done by another noun (but the light bulb moment was this can be a person too)… This light bulb came on much later than the light bulb which allowed me to see what a verbal sentence was; a nominal sentence was; a nominal sentence with a verbal predicate was; if a noun is before a verb in a sentence which has a noun following it i.e. this particular noun would be called a subject (mubtada) and how to identify the subject which is not apparent in such a sentence…. and I can tell you, I did not have any of this clarity before.

    I’m on this ship now, and navigating ‘The Map of the Arabic Language’ and on boarding I’ve only made use of some of the tools given to me at the gates of immigration, I’ve not explored fully the other resources yet, but feel the difference already…. This is my first real attempt at the language and I’m determined (Insha’allah) to pursue this adventure of the Arabic Oceans , to move into the continuous development phase of the Arabic Language – for life… make dua Allah s.w.t makes this happen for me, even better why don’t you do the same?

    Abu Hammaad.

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    October 24, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    I am a non Muslim living in a Muslim country, and all my previous attempts of understanding failed in disappointment for my presence here and my capacity of integrating myself. Now I know why.
    Arabic is not really a language, is an expression of feelings and images in action in front of my eyes as I go through a text, is the ONLY real way of understanding the beauty of Islam. Therefore teaching this special language requires a special method driven by a certain amount of faith, it cannot be taught by ordinary methods. So you see is not you who failed in learning arabic, the method you choose was wrong.
    It was the strong faith,love and dedication behind mufti Yusuf’s work that made me see and choose his School. He is blessed for his school is a labour of love driven by strong faith, and I am happy to be part of it.
    I feel now as part of a family, I am learning with confidence that this is the best method ever,I learn in my own time and capacity, I have results and everything is so clear and simple.

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    Rubaiyat Yameen

    October 24, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    I noticed, apart from a grammatical error, I also left a sentence, in my previous comment which might appear a bit vague to some people. And since that’s a point I feel quite passionately about, I will belabour to clarify it here. I hope you would excuse my indulgence, and note the following:

    When I wrote:

    “His ability to precisely and fluently translate and teach the technical terms of Classical Arabic grammar and morphology enabled me not only to appreciate Arabic in terms of a language I know well, it also enables me to further educate myself in a language I daily communicate in and furthermore, it equips me to teach what I have learnt to educated and interested people in a way that they can appreciate it.”

    By, “language I know well” and “a language I daily communicate in”, I meant English. In addition to learning Arabic I was able to brush up my knowledge of English grammar as well. This is important because often very sophisticated expressions in Arabic become mundane due to imprecise translation.

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    Abdulaziz Ashur

    October 24, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    Im about 50 years old, working finance professional with 4 children spaced 4 years apart eldest being 18. Since i have joined shariah program about a month ago, i discovered that the course is comprehensive, gives pleasure, raise hope, made me feel confident to meet my objective of learning and surely applying Arabic language in whole of my life including understanding Islamic teachings and communicating via the Arabic language. I’m not yet there, but with the approach I have observed, tested and seen as presented by the Shariah Program, success is very near and certain. I have never been so confident that I will ever learn Arabic, each and every element appearing in the Dashboard, contents, presentations, speeches everything is a must to go through wherever your background, wherever you have learned Arabic from. Alhamndu lilah wa Allah ijaziikum kuli kheir ameen

    Abdulaziz Ashur

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    October 24, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    I have taken handful of other arabic others but nothing is comparable to what the Shariah Program offers and what it provides is something I can keep on going back to over the years. The delivery system of their content is ‘fresh’ it keeps me motivated and enthusiastic even when I think I have had enough of Arabic. Every time I listen to Ustadh Yusuf especially when I encounter the ‘ahas and epiphany’ moments it never fails to reignite my passion for the Arabic language. I certainly believe a teacher can be very knowledgeable in their respective field but not every teacher has the ability to keep their students successfully engaged for a prolonged period of time, not to let them loose sight of the bigger picture and always make them thirst for more and more.

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    October 24, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    There have been so many transformations since starting with Shariah Program, I don’t know where to start. I am more aware of the meaning of salah, and the recitation of Qur’an really moves me now. Alhamdulillah, memorising is also much easier now that I have an appreciation for how the language works. I have also been able to study other Islamic sciences from Arabic-only texts, which was a huge blessing. However, the biggest transformation has been my perception of myself, and reaffirming myself as a student for life and being humbled by the noble science and this fantastic teacher and all the hard work everyone is putting in. I pray Allah gives me tawfeeq to continue studying and improving in his path, and that He bless everyone working for Shariah Program.

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    muhammad yaseen

    October 24, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Salaam everyone! Briefly, I’m an Irish/American guy from the Midwest, USA. I had a dream of learning Islam at a higher level. For whatever reason though, this dream never materialized. In my quest to still learn the Arabic language, I found out about this program and gave it a shot. In the beginning, Mufti Yusuf asked a question, “What is the miracle of the Qur’an?” He went on to say that through learning this material, the true miracle of Qur’an will begin to open up and be understood. Two years later, I can effortlessly say He delivered on his promise. It is a great mercy that I can have a family, full time job, etc. and still be able to learn this level of knowledge. For me, this became bigger than learning a language. It is teaching me the true depth of our deen and the legacy our scholars have left us with. Not to mention, being able to read Qur’an and for the first time actually know what I’m reading. I would like to outline the benefits as a way to motivate the passive onlooker into making that first step and critical shift to active participant. Instead, I will just say two words, “Life changing.” I am truly indebted.


    Br. Yaseen

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    Nasreen khan

    October 24, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    Assalaamu Alaikum.May Allah shower all his mercy and blessing on the entire Sharia programme team . They have transformed my life in a big way ! I attempted to learn the Arabic language before but even after two and a half years hard work completing the course I came away empty handed . My expectation was that after finishing the course I will understand the Glorious Quran , but it didn’t happen ! All I learnt was some vocab and little grammar . In August this year Allah SWT opened a beautiful new door for me through which I walked into the Sharia Programme . Since that day I never looked back ! I went forward read the Arabic Acceleration Report and watched the four free videos and believe me I learnt so much and understood so clearly everything taught by our dear teacher brother Yusuf Mullan . This whole episode brought me emotionally so close to the Quran that I never experienced this kind of attachment before . I know inshallah in a short time I will understand Every word I read in the Quran and know exactly what my Creator is telling me! By joining the on line Sharia programme I will inshallah get the greatest benefit in life by understanding the message of my Lord,my Rabb , and The Rabul Aalmeen!!
    From the depth of my heart I thank the Sharia team…NasreenKhan

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    Fauziah Hanim tafri

    October 24, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    Alhamdulillah after enrolling in this course last September, I am very happy because I’m beginning to be more alert of the words in AlQuran. This is because Mufti Yusoff Mullan’s approach helps me to understand how to analyse faster as compared to previous courses in Arabic which I have taken earlier at other places. Thank you very much for the enlightenment.

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    Anver Moallim P. Eng.

    October 24, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    As-salaamu Alaikum WW.

    The article posted by Sr. Sawitri on the Shariah Program run by Mufti Yusuf Mullan (Hafizahu-Allah) is not only amazing but also sounds unbelievable in that how one could learn Arabic so quickly and easily. Based on my personal experience, I can attest that although the claim appears to be too good to be true but in fact it is pretty real. The reason for the success is not about solving the difficult nature of the language itself but the approach taken for teaching. It is a well recognized fact that problem-based learning is a lot more effective than bottom-up approach, typically taken by many traditional educators. Needless to say that there is no substitute for the efforts required to learn and master the language. In spite of this, the method used by the teacher Mufti Yusuf Mulla makes the learning easy and manageable. The structured method allows you to be always aware of where you are instead of getting lost in the vastness of Language Ocean.
    Based on my personal experience I say that just after attending a few months of classes, my world of ibadah and engagement with Allah (S) has changed irreversibly – Sub-han-Allah! I would not write what I am writing now publicly but with a view to benefitting others I am writing this response and the experience of personal transformation. The learning I acquired over the last just 4 months in the first semester has added a whole new dimension to my inner life and concentration in the salaah. Before this course I knew what I was reading but now I am able to connect with each word and word endings. Before I knew the summary of what I was reciting now I understand each word I am reciting.

    Non-Arabic speaking people who know Al-Quran by heart, for them there is always a struggle to keep the order of dhamma, fat-ha or ksrah on each word and word endings. We memorize Al-Quran traditionally before we reach the age of 10. We recite typically how we have memorized. As our aging memory fades, there is a huge struggle to recite correctly in the salaah, especially when you are leading the salaah of hundreds of people in jama’ah. Now I have no doubts in my mind when reciting: Wa-junudu ibleesa ajma-un or wa-junuda ibleesu aj-ma-un. I do not have to worry about: wa-izib-talaa Ibraahima Rab-buhu or Ibraahimu Rab-bahu (a-u-du-bil-Allah) – thanks to the design and style of the Shariah Program.
    In engineering I have used extensively the principle of Pareto indicating 20% of the issues causing 80% of the grief. I see this approach almost each time I watch the videos and listen to our Mufti Saheb (Hafizahu-Allah) – this principle seems to be repeating but at the same time delivering the benefit. The experience I have gained is beyond the epiphany level. I am still not able to maximize the opportunity afforded to me through this program due to many other responsibilities, however, anyone who is in 20’s, 30’s or 40’s and ever wanted to learn the deen of Allah (S), you have the opportunity literally knocking your doors – pay a little bit of money, stay in the comfort of the home and succeed in your learning objective. You have now NO excuse. And this is not a marketing blip for the Shariah Program, but a naseehah from a lifelong educator/learner of the deen of Allah (S).

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    Mohamed Kassim

    October 24, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    Assalamualaikum , I am a physiotherapist in south east asia, I have limited resource to learn arabic though I have been longing deep in my heart to learn and understand the speech of my maker. With my busy schedule my only option was online learning . The day I enrolled into shariah program , my excitement and passion for learning Arabic increased. Coping with the material is tough but I kept along with it on my own pace. I started off with this program to understand Arabic, but the biggest transformation in my life with this program is that it has turned me into a teacher. This is because the materials and the methodology of teaching presented in shariah program is excellent enough to make me teach my children’s.

    Abu Afreeda

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    Mohammad Yunus

    October 24, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    Assalamu Alaikum WRWB!
    Alhamdulillah! As a student of Shariah Program, I have benefited tremendously. Mufti Yusuf’s teaching method is so effective that one learns Saraf and Nahw principles quickly in short period of time. Biggest transformation I have experienced from this learning is that now when I study Quran or Hadith of Prophet Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam, I understand the meaning and its true message. That was the purpose and goal of my learning Arabic and Alhamdulillah, I am on my way to achieve it. I make dua for our learned Ustadh Mufti Yusuf that may Allah (SWT) grant him good health and long life to continue to teach Muslims all over the globe for years to come.
    Mohammad Yunus

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    Adnan Shafi

    October 24, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    The biggest transformation that I have experienced is that I have become confident that I can learn Arabic. The lectures are designed so that they initially pick those “vital few” concepts of the Arabic grammar and teach them in first 3 weeks that shall enable you to start reading an arabic text such a story book for children and then build upon that. You will be able to identify important components in the structure. There is a myth that verbs in arabic are more difficult than noun. These lectures actually start with the verbs and break that fear by making you understand some of the key aspects e.g. starting with paste tense and slowly moving towards present/future. After few weeks in the study, a week will come when you will experience a sudden wave of change boosting your confidence level and you will get that The Matrix feeling “I know Kungfu” kind, that you can do it and it is all coming together. The initial lectures are designed to repeat themselves a bit and are tightly focused on certain topics that you are required to master as they will serve as the foundations over which rest of the arabic grammar knowledge will be built when you will read the text with the teacher. Essentially the biggest transformation that I experienced is that I believe this that yes arabic can be learnt and there is a time tested method with a very systematic approach and  is available  to me through this program to which I have subscribed and I will succeed in this mission. learning arabic in a ye

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    October 25, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    I studied arabic at a traditional institute of islamic education and yet, due to my personal feeling of failure in this area, I had no hope in the matter and I would always try my best to avoid confronting the Arabic grammar for the fear of not really knowing anything at all; from the concepts to the rules, I was clueless. I went to Makkah Mukarramah recently and I begged Allah SWT infront of the Ka’ bah to help me understand ‘Arbi ka Muallim’ which is an arabic grammar book in urdu. I feel that AlhamduliLLah my duas have been answered in the form of Mufti Saab and Shariah Program. Now, when I study the kitab after studying with Shariah program, it is almost as though Allah SWT has lifted the veil from my heart and everything is so much more clearer. I am no longer scared of arabic grammar, in fact now, I absolutely thrive upon it. and even without thinking duas from the bottom of my heart come out for mufti Saab for doing such a great favour upon the Muslim Ummah today. And yes, it’s a nice thought to win.. But my comment is not really for winning… I just wanted to tell you how much shariah program actually means to me. JazakAllah

  21. Avatar


    October 25, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    For the first time in over 50 years it gave me the courage to teach the
    Arabic Alphabet in a uniquely creative way to those who believe they’re too
    old to learn how to read the Qur’an, too shy to approach traditional
    institutions, and too set in their ways to try something new. With your
    specific approach which is light years ahead of others combined with my
    unique structural alignment life coaching modality, I am able to provide an
    innovative way of helping this specific niche market find their way to the
    ‘water well’. In a way it has helped me articulate one of my passions – To
    help others access a higher level of thinking and holding a higher intention
    as part of their journey to the stream.

    M. Amien Jacobs

    +27 83 564 0798

  22. Avatar

    Sulthan Mohammed

    October 25, 2013 at 3:39 AM

    Assalamu Aleikkum wa Rahumatullahi wa Barakkattuhu.

    It gives me immense pleasure to write few words about this program and share it with my fellow brothers and sisters (of knowledge seekers).

    I have recently started my journey (again) in the pursuit of learning ARABIC in the fastest and quickest way (in a systematic manner). As with any other search in Google, I had found few programs and started comparing it from various perspectives that could suit me in all practical aspects.

    Masha Allah, within ‘15 minutes’ of watching the free videos of ShariaProgram, I had found it superior in imparting the language with the intention of providing the course in the best way possible (proven approach) using the state-of-the-art teaching methodology (and technology). I am sure that you would also agree with me after watching these videos, Insha Allah.

    Being a novice to this program and watching the introduction video series (shorter in length of 15, 20 minutes) and within the first couple of weeks of my study, I could easily understand the construct of the language and able to comprehend it while reading and listening to conversations.

    This course is recommended for everyone who is in the pursuit of learning the ARABIC language very seriously. Insha Allah, with the best intention and the help of Allah, one day (not too far from today), one can become the master of this language.

    End of the day, we need a result-oriented program that works & suits for us and worth spending the effort and time.

    Further, one can see the effort put behind this program with the only intention of making the Arabic learning as simple as possible and provided various option for tuition fee (that is affordable by the students at all levels), as well.

    Finally, the crew (of ShariaProgram) is very professional, committed and can realize their effort in constantly improving the Program with the intention of spreading the knowledge (to the whole umma) of what they have learned by making it simpler.

    Insha Allah, let us start our journey today with ShariaProgram and benefit the rewards.

  23. Avatar

    Abu Abbas

    October 25, 2013 at 4:32 AM

    The biggest transformation that I have experienced is the reality that not in the too distant future, Insha Allah I will get direct access to Fiqh books that previously I only dreamt of reading in Arabic. The feeling is one of cheerfulness annihilating despondence, happiness overcoming a relative sadness and hope prevailing over skepticism about whether I would be able to master the Arabic language. If you haven’t registered for the course, you are surely missing out.

  24. Avatar


    October 25, 2013 at 6:06 AM


    I have hope to do what I want to achieve, especially in quenching my thirst for knowledge. December 2012, when I first read the Arabic Acceleration Report, I knew it was an impressive calling card to seize this opportunity to make sure I could satisfy one of my childhood wants to master this language.

    Alhamdulillah, Allah (s.w.t) made it possible for me to enroll for the Early-Bird Registration program for the March 2013 class.

    Soon, I started to watch all the videos and foundations. Within each unexpected and clarified understanding which this program had to offer, I felt I would definitely blaze a trail for myself.

    For the first three weeks, I’ve been able to learn and understand Arabic more than I have learnt in nine years of schooling. My grades in the Arabic language was not too good. At that time, there was always mass confusion on the grammar terms and concepts and this is because the teachers did not use the right approach to teach Arabic. Amazed, I became to discover how easy and delectable it was to learn Arabic.

    As Mufti Yusuf said, the ”complex to simple method” is the best route to learn Arabic; in other words, less is more!
    I was exposed to the broader picture but with a magnifier each time I had to make use of it and the application of the language felt more sensible and realistic, which bridges gaps, dissolve forgetfulness, reverberating memorization and loops.

    Moreover, with the 80/20 principle, I was able to benefit learning just like the scholars learnt over the centuries. This approach looks into the Arabic language and isolate from it a core and a central theme.

    Interestingly, it’s those aspects which bring us back to the Arabic language’s sprouting and remind us of its daily application and beauty; as in just listening to the Qur’an and understanding it. Not so close fully understand everything however, but Insha Allah, in the near future, it will be as enriching as my mind had conceived it.

    Last Ramadan was a special one for me, it actually took a lion’s part of all the other past Ramadan’s memories in my life. Alhamdulillah, I was able to catch the meaning of some Quranic verses when listening to the Imam; sometimes only words or fragments of sentences but it was gratifying.

    Shariah program is a huge opportunity for me to learn something which always matter to me; it’s a core part of my religious approach to life and convictions as well. Someone said: ‘do what you love, and love what you do’, so here I am, doing something that passionate me as in the way of learning Classical Arabic.


    B. Samiihah

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    M'barek Martin Bentz

    October 25, 2013 at 6:13 AM

    Wa alaikoum salamwa rahmatullah

    I pray that Allah blesses you and your support staff for creating this program. You deserve special duas during our observation of this holy month of Hijr.

    By the grace of Allah I accepted Islam 17 years ago and completed Hajj 11 years ago. Despite years of trying to learn Arabic as a new Muslim, this year, all Ramadan I prayed that Allah would give me the ability finally to learn Arabic properly. I prayed to be able at last to understand in Arabic the Holy Quran, the hadith of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the books of the sages who try faithfully to clarify the wisdom therein. I have always had to read a translation and transliteration next to the Arabic texts. I had tried for so many years to dedicate myself to one Arabic teaching course after another. Even though I had ostensibly understood the basics and could read, I always failed to stay with the program. I prayed Allah would give me the strength and wisdom to complete finally a full Arabic course.

    By Allah’s grace after Ramadan I was guided to your site while confirming the qibla direction in my room. I looked up your site immediately and dove into the introductory videos. Within two days I signed up for the full course. Since the premium course starts only in November 2013 I decided to go through the Foundation course for fun. The transformation I experienced is the joy I have in wanting to go to the next lesson and the next. I learned so much in the Foundation that was never explained to me before in all the previous courses. Subhan Allah I am finally thrilled with anticipation that I can truly learn Arabic. I now have less apprehension or confusion since you have already made clear basic principles on how the language is constructed and written.

    May Allah bless you and your team for the gift of on-going knowledge to so many students. I pray that your out-reach increases daily. I look forward to the day by Allah’s grace, and your help, insha Allah I can truly understand and speak Arabic correctly.

    Jazakoum Allah khair – maa salama

    Martin Bentz / M’barek
    Massachusetts, USA

  26. Avatar


    October 25, 2013 at 6:56 AM

    Assalam Alaykum
    With all honesty i find it very difficult to have a definite response here. i would rather tell a small story.
    i enrolled into the program a little over a year ? i was surfing the internet and stumbled upon this video a few minutes long which actually explained Arabic grammar in such a way somewhat different from what you would find anywhere else. it was a presentation of the grammatical meanings and implications of the simple Arabic word ISTANSORU,Two things came to my mind..firstly, the speakers eloquence and the debt of his knowledge of the subject matter evidenced in his presentation is undeniable. Secondly, it dawned on me that this might just be a lifetime opportunity to learning Arabic grammar, a feat which has eluded me for so long after several attempt.
    I took the bold step and enrolled into the program… i would download the lectures and listen to it on my tablet, i remembered a conversation i had with a friend only few weeks into the lectures, it was a wonderful one, not only that i was able to share ideas with someone who has been learning for close to two years, i was also correcting certain errors of his..this was true amazing to me.
    I have attended several Arabic courses before enrolling for the program and a couple of others while in the program..the system is by far the best, it is well thought out. For example in most of the Arabic schools you have around, you dont start ihraab untill the second or third years of class but with the shariah program you start as early as the third week and your understanding skyrockets from 0 to 40% in a little over 7-8 weeks. May the Almighty SWT bless mufti Yusuf Mullan(fouder and tutor shariah program), continue to increase him in beneficial knowledge and grant him success in this life and the next, he has really invested a lot towards the success of so many of us who wish to understand the language of the Quran. The method he has come up with is like nothing i have ever experienced. Sad to say that i am only about 10 weeks into the materials after a long time due to personal reasons but this 10 weeks of lectures have been the best in my life so far. Once i remember the shariah program, my mind remain at ease knowing that the best tool to understanding the Quran is at my fingertips masha Allah. I feel obliged to be my brothers keeper by inviting them to enroll for the program.
    Those of us who have experienced this would only be unfair if we fail to invite others to benefit from this wonderful fit. For me it is not about getting the ultimate price but more about spreading the word so that others can partake and equally benefit.
    Lastly, i had a wonderful personal experience with mufti which exemplify his kindness, honesty and determination to spread his wealth of knowledge across which further endeared me to the program. May Allah ease our affairs and make it easy to fulfill our obligation.


    Doha Qatar

  27. Avatar


    October 25, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    Assalaamu’alaikum wa rahmatullah,

    My husband Daud, who recited the Qur’aan by the time he was fifteen, and myself, a european muslim convert, have always loved very much to pray together. My fascination for Islam, the culture, the way of life it stands for, dates from my long journey as a medical student to Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.
    And that is quite a while ago!

    After three serious attempts to learn the language had failed, I gave up, and learned a number of the verses of the Holy Qur’aan by transliteration, and by listening to great reciters, with Daud’s generous support. That was comforting.

    Then I joined this program- Al-Hamdu lillāh – that quickly surpassed my wildest expectations: serious, thorough, to the point and still friendly to an anxious beginner like me. I had at last found the right way to make progress, inchah’Allāh.

    Last week I opened the Qur’aan and I could actually READ the verses I had learned so patiently to recite, my heart jumped, tears in my eyes, it was such an emotional moment!

    My husband says I radiate happiness ( he does, too ), and our prayer times are pure magic, just imagine us reciting: “Ihdinā-s-sirāta-l-Mustaqim”…..


  28. Avatar

    Nor Azlina Mohammad Rashid

    October 25, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    The Biggest Transformation In Me

    Bismillahi AlRahmaani AlRahiim
    Alhamdilillahi Wassolatu Wassalamu A’la Sayyidil Mursaliin Waa’la Aalihi Waasbihi Ajmai’in

    Praise to Allah for allowing me to join this blessed fraternity in which I feel so much like a family who seriously give attention and nasihah whenever needed to hold everyone’s hand entering jannah. The moment I join this program, I knew the people who develop such a beautiful learning curriculum are serious, intense and sincere to impart the Divine Knowledge of Allah in me. They made me aware of my weakness and disciplined me with my time.

    The biggest transformation I had was the huge momentum which forcefully and almost continuously pushing me to commit myself as lifelong seeker of Allah’s knowledge and melt down all my feeling of takabbur and ujub in me which I knew would hinder me from acquisition of true knowledge. Suddenly I feel younger , stronger and greedy to learn knew lessons almost everyday. Everytime I finished watching new videos or reading new transcripts, I could feel something installed within me and inspire me to learn more and more.

    Since then I would examine each phrases of Al Quran which I recite and perceive the beauty of Quranic language. As a medical scientist I can’t help it but perceive the language like an experiment and compare the meaning with my diagnostic eyes, MashaAllah, the feeling is like a light projecting through a dark whole and could see the distant object clearer and clearer as I go on. I wish I could share this beautiful experience with someone but no words could accurately describe the feeling of syukur but yet asking for more and more from Allah. Ya Allah please secure this light for me until I see Your Wajh and Your beloved Prophet in the Jannah.

    To Sheikh and all team members of the program, please bear with some awkward questions from me. Please forgive me for all the possible wrong deeds. Ya Allah ,please shower my teacher and his team with Your Mercy and Blessing and take care of themselves and family. Ameen.

    Nor Azlina Mohammad Rashid

  29. Avatar

    Said Hasan

    October 26, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    I love people who think out of the box and not follow old rules.
    MOOCs like Shariah program, Islamic online University, Coursera, Udacity and lynda are the future of education.
    Gone are the days to be enclosed in university building for years.

  30. Avatar


    October 29, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    I’ve just made a cool Arabic Alphabet Chart and now I’m sharing it with people who have Arabic language blogs. If you would like to use it, just go here and grab it.

    I just ask that if you use it you put a link back to my site.

    Have a great day,


  31. Avatar


    October 29, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    hariah Program is one of most unique and well-organized Arabic teaching program I have studied with. For past 6 years I have been trying to learn Arabic with many local scholars and online options but all with no success. I have studied from books like al-kitaabul Asasi, Madina books, and Arabic Tutors but all are limited in nature. Some very slow paced and others with lots of memorization. After years of study I was still not able to read or analyze a basic Qasas book since I couldn’t put it together. I eventually joined with Mufti Mullan and couldn’t be happier.

    Shariah Program from get-go brings you in practical culture. It involves you in the analysis with very minimum memorization and builds the concepts along the way. Keeping a good balance of theory and practical – which is a concept we are all well aware of in our colleges in science courses.

    My accomplishment in just 6 months is that I am able to analyze a somewhat complex nested structure with ease. And when I read Quran or a Hadith, for most simple to medium complex structures, I am able to understand the grammar and can identify the I’raabs, which is amazing.

  32. Avatar


    October 31, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    For those frustrated and unsucessfull students who have always been wishing for some miracle to happen, this programme is THE MIRACLE.

  33. Avatar


    November 3, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    I want to enroll in this course … I am not finding where to enroll in this course from ?
    kindly provide me with details of this course

  34. Avatar

    Yusuf Mullan

    November 3, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    Please send an email to helpdesk [at] and someone will get in touch with you shortly.

  35. Avatar


    November 6, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    As salaamu alaykum. I would like to know how many it costs to join the 2-years-course and the one if 6 months.

  36. Avatar

    Yusuf Mullan

    November 8, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    There’s no “6 month intensive” being offered currently. That one was $5,000 and people flew in from out of town and lived here in the Toronto area for it. 6 full months, full-time study.

    It’s not being offered for the next couple of years while we focus on perfecting the online program.

    As for the online program, tuition works out to under $100/month.

    You can watch the presentation that speaks about it by getting on the early-bird mailing list here:

  37. Avatar


    November 9, 2013 at 1:29 AM

    I would like to chime in on this one. I have been a student at Shariah Program in the past. I’d like to begin by thanking Mufti Yusuf for his efforts. I benefitted a lot from them.

    That said, almost every review here is a glowing one, and it does not give a fair representation of the program.

    As I said, I benefited immensely. However, I already spoke, read and wrote arabic before joining the program. I had studied for a few years prior to enrollment and need something that would help me use what I already knew. This is not a typical situation.

    Based on my communications with other students, as well as my own observations I would like to add more perspective to the reviews.

    1. It is NOT for everyone. It is very intense, and you jump into a lot of grammar and vocabulary very quickly. Again, for those who know a lot of this already, this is awesome. If you are new, it can be very intimidating and high stress. You need to quickly pick up this vocabulary as well as figure out case, gender etc. Not everyone can handle this intensive learning. If you have family or job, really think about how many hours you can dedicate to this.

    2 The drop out rate of this program is very high. I don’t remember exact numbers, so I won’t go there, but while the beginning of the program might be full, after about 3-4 weeks a lot of students go missing each week and never return (at least to the live classes). Please do not think that every single student agrees with these “shariah program is the best thing ever” reviews.

    3. Very few people participate in the live classes. As in 2-3 students per class. Obviously that isn’t the instructors fault, but it is worth noting.

    4. Mufti Yusuf is very confident about his program. That is good for the most part. The way he expresses it though can be very intimidating. He frequently mentions that his program is the “best in the world” and it doesn’t come off well to many students. The tone in which he puts it suggests that the program and instruction is above reproach, so if you don’t learn from it then it must be that you are not trying hard enough.

    6. I observed on the message boards that in the first couple of weeks of the program there are lots of comments stating how wonder SP is. Then many of those users disappear after a few more weeks. I imagine it is that the material gets very challenging after about week 4, but that is just a guess.

    All that said, I definitely agree that the teaching is unique. I’ve never seen Arabic taught this way, and if it works for you, I believe it will work wonders, but if it doesn’t, you might end up feeling pretty lousy about your own abilities. I, personally, would only suggest this to students who could already read pretty well, and know some grammar as well. I would also suggest beginning when you are offered a money-back trial so you can see for yourself.

    I know that Shariah Program is an advertiser here, and I don’t mean to bash them. However, in the spirit of transparency, it is only fair to consider all sides of the program. I hope my comments will be taken in that spirit.

    • Avatar

      Yusuf Mullan

      November 9, 2013 at 2:11 AM

      You mentioned about “message board” which means you’re speaking about 2009 or around then?

      Have you gone through the “series of 4 videos” and 45 page report, which is what attracts people to our program now?

      First, it’s representative of my latest presentations and teaching style… and it’s free.

      But more importantly, this free series contains the most complex and elaborate topics of the language in the span of a couple of hours… so what’s happening really is we’re attracting the students most likely to benefit the most and keeping away others for whom the method isn’t appropriate.

      Having said that, I’d disagree with the statement that this is only appropriate for students who know a lot of grammar already. Totally false. This very question was posed to hundreds of people during one of our registration periods when we had thousands of people watching the videos at the same time… and here are the replies:

      I often refer to a particular grammar text as ‘the best book in the world for grammar’.. It’s just a book that is taught in madrasas.. I’ve used this phrase in conjunction with this book and that’s all.

      What the program does is highlighted in the article… and this is what I try and communicate.

      Finally, there’s a 90 day unconditional guarantee that’s now a standard part of registration.

      • Avatar


        September 7, 2014 at 4:26 AM

        Janah stil makes a valid point. So far I have just stumbled onto this course and I have to admit it looks fabulous. But this is not Quran and she seems to have been on the course and seen what’s happening. My opinion is to expose new students to both the good and bad side of it so they can understand how to get to the root of the problem:)
        That being said, I would rather study Arabic this way than the many conventional static non effective way that is being taught. Remember, the idea is to study Arabic and then go onto learn how to use it.
        The question is because those who dropped out didn’t not return, have they gone on to use what they learnt elsewhere?

    • Avatar


      November 9, 2013 at 11:28 AM

      I am a current student of the Shariah Program. I think the criticisms mentioned by Sister Janah have more to do with the attitude and dedication of each individual student than Mufti Yusuf or the program itself. The fact of the matter is that learning to read to Arabic will require a certain level of dedication and effort from the student. The program provides plenty of resources in the form of recorded lectures, transcripts, additional notes, and TA office hours. I think the onus falls on the student to use the resources and put in the time to learn. This is especially true for an online learning medium.

    • Avatar


      November 9, 2013 at 8:05 PM


      Just a quick post.. I was a Shariah Program student back in 2009, and still around. Back then it was only audio recordings and live classes (and I loved it), contrasting it to now where all the material has been reproduced twice over the last 3 years. Each reporoduction of the material actually takes into account the feedback by students. Now there are videos, transcripts, additional resources to cater for different learning styles.

      Commenting on the the program being “the best in the world”, Mufti Yusuf refers to the book Hidaayatun Nahw as the “best book in the world for grammar”. I’ve never actually heard him mention that the program is “the best in the world”, and I’ve attended many many classes, heard and watched almost majority the audio and videos since 2009.

      I do think the material is beginner friendly, because there is a self-paced version of the program, so students can study in their own time and pace. This gives total beginners a chance to go through the material as many times as they need to before moving forward. With the live classes, if any student feels they’re falling behind or things are getting too much, then all students are entitled to a free restart of semester 1, so they can review the material and attend the live classes from the beginning again. All that said, each registration comes with a money back guarantee. Students have 30 or 90 days to decide whether the program is right for them.

      The way I see it is the top 35 comments are a testament to how the program is now. There are many students who have been around with the Shariah Program for a long time. Many students end up upgrading their subscription for lifetime access to live classes so they can stick around beyond 2 years. Sister Janah may have enrolled pre-2010, so the points may be valid for then. But since there has been so much improvement and refining of the material, alhamdulillah.

  38. Avatar

    Dr Taha Yaseen

    November 24, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    Shariah programme is the easiest and simplest way to learn Arabic for English speaking people.

  39. Avatar

    Musnid Musnad

    January 5, 2014 at 10:51 PM

    Wow, perfectly orchestrated. Love it. But this whole post and the subsequent reviews look so scammy-ish although I’m sure shariah program is great but you dont have to go this far and do all these gimicks if you know what i mean.

    • Avatar

      AM Kassam

      January 24, 2014 at 5:35 PM

      My sentiments exactly, thank you brother in Islam.

    • Avatar

      AM Kassam

      January 24, 2014 at 5:42 PM

      With a billion muslims, half maybe not speaking arabic, at $3 a month, that’s a lotta money to earn, shoot even only 3 million muslims at $3 a month, is a lotta money… I would send the rest $95 to my account with Allah, the good lord knows i need that most !

    • Avatar

      AM Kassam

      January 24, 2014 at 5:55 PM

      Oh and there’s a deadline tonight for half price, is this MLM, or some type of get rich quick scheme (spiritually speaking), or to be able to teach the words of Allah with finesse, a gift if you possess, are pretty much abusing it, in my eyes. May God be with you, to whom it may concern.

      • Avatar

        Yusuf Mullan

        January 24, 2014 at 7:15 PM

        The program is appropriately priced and there’s definitely a correlation between the financial commitment one makes and the results they ultimately achieve.

        To the point that, for those that can afford it, it would be a disservice to remove the fee.

        It also keeps away tire kickers and time wasters or those who are just philosophically opposed to paying for education.

        And I can go on and on about this topic…

        The point though is that there’s actual teaching that happens before any offer is made. A tremendous amount of teaching in fact. One should opt-in, get the free material and just learn. Study it all. Sign up if they feel the value proposition is sound. Otherwise, pass.

        Not much more to say.

      • Avatar


        November 4, 2015 at 9:52 AM

        Regarding Mufti Yusuf’s comment that he can’t control the comments and that people find out and post in these boards, I strongly disagree. Yes, he can’t technically control the comments and yes, technically people find out. However, he advertises these types of things and often runs “contests” for the best comment and offers incentives for posting. Sure, he doesn’t say the post has to be positive, but many of these comments are a result of these incentives and are unlikely to be negative. Please, please let’s be transparent about this. If you read down a bit, you will see one person refer to this, “sure, it’s nice to win”. Many commenters are feeling that this is “scammy” and I believe that this is why.

        • Avatar

          Yusuf Mullan

          October 20, 2017 at 12:20 PM

          Yes. You’re right. I will not dispute this. I have held such contests in the past (last one was 3 or so years ago)… it was like, “What was the greatest transformation you received as a result of joining the Shariah Program”, best comment wins xyz and that would trigger an avalanche of comments/testimonials/success stories.

          And I agree you’re not likely to see negative comments in such an environment..

          Some of the above posters took their comment from there and pasted it here and I agree it looks awkward..

          HOWEVER, it does not mean these comments are fake. Not a single one is fake.

          And Sr. Janah I’m sure you KNOW they’re not fake either.

    • Avatar

      Yusuf Mullan

      January 24, 2014 at 7:30 PM

      I actually can’t control the comments people post. We have a lot of students and when an article like this goes up, people find out. They come to read it and then they post.

      • Avatar

        Khalid Farooq

        August 21, 2014 at 7:35 AM

        I’ve been studying arabic with Since catching up it’s become unbearably slow. I’d love to do something like the Shariah program but it’s that touch too expensive for me. Is the offer of half price still available?

  40. Avatar


    February 22, 2014 at 8:22 PM

    As a former student, I agree with everything mentioned by Janah above.

    I also don’t believe nor trust most of the so called testimonials. Have a read around the internet they’re all suspiciously worded similarly.One testimonial above uses the word ‘miracle’.

    There used to be a shariahprogram advert on this website along the lines of ‘engage Ibn Taymiyyah at his level’ that just says it all about how misleading this all is.

    • Avatar

      O H

      March 9, 2014 at 1:02 AM

      As a current student I DISAGREE! Tabarak Allaah the Shariah Program crew have put in a lot of effort and in my opinion the fees are worth it. It is well organised and the content plus teaching is top-notch. I am a real student, not a fake testimonial guy!

  41. Avatar


    October 7, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    Just a quick question to current/past students before I enroll in Shariah Program: How much does it help in speaking Arabic? I understand a graduate of Shariah Program will be able to understand the Quran as well as classical non-vowel-ed Arabic text, but is a graduate able to speak in proper MSA/Classical Arabic?

  42. Avatar

    Abu Huda

    October 7, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    Salam Kamran,

    It helps a great deal. (If you want a quick answer see the last bit).

    But remember, when you are going to travel to Mexico, what do you do if you don’t speak Spanish? You learn the language, right? Especially if you are going to more than be a tourist like say do some work or whatever.

    Now what would you like to do as a Muslim with the Quran and classic work of the scholars? Certainly not go to Cancoun and say hola!

    The world today doesn’t speak in thees and thous, but the Quran is written in that type of language and unlike that form of classical English which can be called a dead language, the classical Arabic is not. Unless you like to speak like Shakespeare.

    To answer your question, most MSA students speak it after they decide to leave their schools and go to an Arabic country where they can practice a form of one of the many MSA used in the Arabic speaking world.
    Will you understand them, maybe. Will your studies help you, maybe. Are you motivated enough?

    I think this program (SP) is a good choice for anyone who really does want to study the texts and use the language at a higher level than the Arabic spoken everywhere today. Is it easy not if you don’t put in the time. It’s like a dieting program, there’s the I’ll cut your fat out because you’re lazy and then there’s the don’t eat more than you need and exercise more type. This is the same thing with the program.

    The delivery is different and there are some differences between how the method adopts precise styles to achieve distinct competences in understanding theory, then simplifying it with examples for those who were never exposed to the language to understand and others to appreciate from what I am used to.

    This brings me to the final point. Non of the schools that teach Arabic today nor the courses that cover the course use the language like they are supposed to. So what helps a great deal? Being able to speak or the program…this last bit is a joke those on the program will appreciate, ‘comprehensiveness of Arabic’, I think brother Yusuf and the other teachers will also:)

    Short answer, yes and yes basically.

    I will let you after six months if I can say ‘Do you speak MSA’ or classical Arabic in six months inshallah.

    • Avatar


      October 7, 2014 at 4:57 PM

      Walaikum Salam brother Abu Huda. Thanks a lot for your answer. I currently live in UAE, so practicing spoken Arabic will not be too difficult, although (from what I gather from your comment) after this course I will probably speak Shakespearean compared to the local dialect :)

  43. Pingback: Arabic – The Divine Language | Zaaday Raah

  44. Avatar

    Norsiah Binti Ahmad

    January 22, 2015 at 8:05 PM

    I want to learn Quran, but I can’t learned on-line reading. How could I get in it.

  45. Avatar

    Hamid Ismail

    March 10, 2015 at 8:39 AM

    Hi. I’m really interested to learn arabic language thru but I am a bit hesitate to sign up due to its price. Any current student here can persuade me? Honestly, I love the system presented in the first video.

    Jazakallah khair.

  46. Avatar


    June 26, 2015 at 7:51 AM

    Since I am keen Interested in Arabic language for the purpose to learn the Holly Book Quran May I get the basic course through online on Video having interpretation on English Pointing out the beginner class e.g Alif /Lam etc. if it is possible May Allah bless to the Shariaprogram as the Holly Book Quran spread to the whole humanity.

  47. Avatar


    June 27, 2015 at 3:05 AM

    How can i learn Quran&the meanig of arabic online

  48. Avatar

    Abu Suhaib

    October 15, 2015 at 5:16 PM

    Currently a student.
    I’ve been studying Arabic for quite some time now and I found that a mixture of curriculums is a good approach and not one program itself.

    I suggest go through all 3 madinah books from lqtoronto dot com with Br. Asif (free). His style of teaching is very slow (watch it at 1.5x) but you really pick up the concepts very well. While studying the Madinah books, either use shariahprogram dot ca or almisbah dot org to do qassas reading. You can watch a qassas explanation videos which will help your comprehension tremendously.

    After all this, make sure you stay with the word to word translation of the Quran. Either on your own or from alhudapk dot com. Try to do a page a day (at least).

    Personally, I don’t like Mufti Yusuf’s teaching style. He moves very fast and expects you to watch the videos over and over till you get it. As a teacher for many years, that doesn’t make sense to me. Although, as I said earlier, the qassas explanation is one that is different and gives the student a practical approach to the language.

    The jump from book 2 of qassas to hidayatun nahuw also seems like a gimmick to me. I didn’t feel comfortable with that jump just after 20 weeks. The ad is also misleading, it’s like the learn Java in 21 days. If you do 24 hours a day for 21 days, then yes maybe that’ll work.

  49. Avatar

    Aslam Khan

    June 7, 2016 at 7:42 AM

    Alhamdulillah, shukran for all the comments. I agree that the comments seem scammish and the e-mails regarding the early bird offer seem driven to promote impulse buying, instead of commitment to learn. If you are committed to teaching the language brother Yusuf, then consider making it available to a larger.audience and don’t profiteer from the language of our Nabi S.A.W. Inshallah you get the hidayath to help Muslims learn Arabic and get the rewards in the aakhira.

    • Avatar

      Yusuf Mullan

      October 20, 2017 at 12:06 PM

      Actually, the program is appropriately priced. I spoke about this in one of the earlier comments also.

      Requiring students to submit reasonable tuition is not incompatible with receiving ajr in the aakhira.

  50. Avatar


    October 31, 2016 at 4:52 AM

    Their e-mails look so scammish and comments here are such a laugh. I was a student of this programme and what sister Janah said is to the point.

    1. It is NOT for everyone. It is very intense, and you jump into a lot of grammar and vocabulary very quickly. Again, for those who know a lot of this already, this is awesome. If you are new, it can be very intimidating and high stress. You need to quickly pick up this vocabulary as well as figure out case, gender etc. Not everyone can handle this intensive learning. If you have family or job, really think about how many hours you can dedicate to this.

    2 The drop out rate of this program is very high. I don’t remember exact numbers, so I won’t go there, but while the beginning of the program might be full, after about 3-4 weeks a lot of students go missing each week and never return (at least to the live classes). Please do not think that every single student agrees with these “shariah program is the best thing ever” reviews.

    I can testify this is true. Also it is disgusting advertising Words of Allah in such a cheap way. Feels like he is selling apples on a market rather than teaching Qur’an. Thankfully I blocked their e-mail advertising and marked it as spam and junk.

  51. Avatar


    March 17, 2017 at 4:15 PM

    Review from a student of this programme for the last 2 years.

    I have studied this part-time, with breaks in between and am currently almost halfway through the Hidayah

    Prior to this, I did have some exposure to Arabic and could read and write the script as well which helped a lot.

    I had also studied Madina book 1, and taken a few Arabic classes prior.

    I managed to pick up weeks 1-15 over the course of a year, alhamdullilah. It got quite tedious towards the end as being self paced means needing to be motivated!

    I am currently on the Hidayah. I have stopped and started this part of the course three times – I find this book to be challenging as I also have a family so have little time to devote.

    There are many positive aspects to the course and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity. Jumping straight in was great

    Here are some great plus points:

    1) Grammar brought to life straightaway

    This is a major positive – kept things from becoming boring!

    2) Vocabulary is found in the Qur’an too

    I could read short ayaat from Qur’an and understand them fairly quickly into the programme – what a positive!

    3) Great treatment of basic Sarf – the videos, the explanation of the changes was really great

    4) Hidayah

    A great book and the recordings are great and Mufti sahib is really good with the book

    However, there a few MAJOR cons which have meant I have not renewed my subscription over the last few months. I am simply using recordings to finish Hidayah off now.

    1) Lack of support.
    If I am stuck on a grammatical concept, I’d like an answer within a day or two. Usually, underneath the videos, you post your query and someone gets back to you in a week, maybe two weeks. One time someone got back to me in 3 weeks.

    For those saying you can get your questions answered in live classes – we are talking, many students in 1 class. Mufti sahib has not answered my own questions sometimes. I totally understand that they are busy but in live class this has sometimes happened to me and meant my question wasn’t answered. Since I don’t have other teachers I was stuck with those questions until I asked a local Darse Nizami friend

    For a student, that is too short a time!

    2) Live class timings

    Not always ideal, especially for global students. I can’t get up in the middle of the night when I have a young baby to take care of too

    3) Lack of testing facilities to see where you are

    4) In hindsight, I really feel I would have preferred studying a grammar text in English – a comprehensive one.

    Then, followed by the Qasas series as it is taught in the programme

    And then the Hidayah.

    That would have been more ideal for me as I find it difficult to find the right information in the 20 week material to review a grammar concept I may be stuck on.

    5) Lack of Advanced Sarf

    Sure, you do mazeed feeh but you only cover Ajwaf, Naqis, and a few other weak letter verbs, that isn’t ideal when you need to figure out other weak letter verbs. I will have to study these through some other means! Also no information is provided on takeed, lan, lam etc tables for Ajwaf Naqis etc

    Nor do we really get a fair treatment of Asmaa Mushtaqqa for advanced baabs or for weak verbs.

    No Sarf Sagheer for all baabs either. :/

    6) Hidayatun nahw, although great, is a big step-up from the Qasas books. I felt it was a bit of a big jump. Considering that in a typical Darse Nizami system, the book would be taught likely in 2nd year, after a student has studied basic fiqh books, basic aqeedah books, all major sarf and nahw, and basic hadith, Qur’an tafseer too. At that point, a Darsi student would have a good chunk of vocabulary and a good understanding of Arabic and only THEN would they do the Hidayah. So I do feel it is a bit of a jump. But alhamdullilah.

    To summarise, I really feel there hasn’t been quite as much support on the programme as I needed. That, for me, has been one big thing which has let the programme down.

    However, the content has allowed me to really begin my journey in Classical Arabic and I feel that I can read half-decently now. For that, I can’t complain at all!

    Much work is still required!

    TL;DR: Good programme, need prior study before enrolment, lack of treatment of advanced sarf, big big lack of support, nobody to really answer questions unless you ask them in live classes – even then, Mufti Sahib sometimes does not answer. You can get stuck. Good intro to classical Arabic and have really enjoyed Qasas and Hidayatun Nahw on the programme.

  52. Avatar

    Yusuf Mullan

    October 20, 2017 at 11:49 AM

    When you’re running a 2 year program with this many people, it is incredibly easy for a student to have a bad experience. I mean, it could be something like me teaching 3 classes on Sunday morning and not having a proper breakfast before the first class… the teaching on that particular day will not be optimal.

    It will be too fast. I might not see a student’s question in the window and I’ll fail to respond.

    The program is 2 years long… so if you’re looking to be offended, it WILL happen at some point.

    SECONDLY, I’ve been teaching for 16 years.. sometimes I go on 1-2 year stretches where I’m very very passionate and attentive and I have times where I’m not incredibly energetic. I’ve responded to comments under the course videos personally, and I’ve also delegated them.

    (Right now, I’m responding personally again).

    THIRDLY, it sort of matters how close to a start date a student finds out about our program and registers. Someone who signed up 24 hours before the semester started (or worse a week after the semester has already started) is in a vulnerable position whereas someone who signed up 3 months before the start date and made it to week 7 on their own will have a significant edge over the rest of the class.

    Now when a late registrant signs up and sees everyone else clearly getting it and it is VERY easy to dismiss the program as only for advanced students.

    Let’s cut to the chase. Go here and watch this video:

    No optin required. It’s a week 2 video. It does NOT presuppose that a student has studied a lot of grammar.

    So step 1 is to watch that 56 minute video and see whether the teaching style resonates with you or not. Watch this video and you will KNOW.

    Step 2: consider the financial commitment which is $997 with 3 months of live classes or $1,494 with 1 year of live classes.

    If the teaching method resonates with you AND the fee is reasonable, you have to register and at least try it.

    That’s the way I see it.

    And yeah, the posts above complaining about the marketing and the way we promote the program, there’s some truth to those. So as I become aware, I fix things and make them better.

    Please don’t lose focus. Watch the video I pasted the link to above and see for yourself if the teaching style is appropriate for you or not. Again, no optin required. The video should just play.

    Also anyone who has had a bad experience with our program in the past, you should also watch the video. Seriously. It’s 56 minutes long and doesn’t have any intro slides or fluff. Just gets straight to teaching.

    It’s not even a marketing video. It’s a course video from week 2.

    It will either get you to change your mind or reenforce your earlier opinion. I would be happy with either of those 2 outcomes.

    • Avatar

      Yusuf Mullan

      October 20, 2017 at 2:32 PM

      I just quoted the price above. It means $997 includes lifetime access to both years of the material plus 3 months of live classes and $1,494 is the above plus 1 year of live classes.

      Of course that’s “the offer” and it’s explained properly elsewhere with a breakdown of every element.

      That’s not the point in me coming here to address some of these issues.

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Raising A Child Between Ages 2-7 | Dr Hatem Al Haj

Dr. Hatem El Haj M.D Ph.D



children drawing crayons

This is called a pre-operational period by Jean Piaget who was focused on cognitive development.

Children this age have difficulty reconciling between different dimensions or seemingly contradictory concepts. One dimension will dominate and the other will be ignored. This applies in the physical and abstract realms. For example, the water in the longer cup must be more than that in the shorter one, no matter how wide each cup is. Length dominates over width in his/her mind.

Throughout most of this stage, a child’s thinking is self-centered (egocentric). This is why preschool children have a problem with sharing.

In this stage, language develops very quickly, and by two years of age, kids should be combining words, and by three years, they should be speaking in sentences.

Erik Erikson, who looked at development from a social perspective, felt that the child finishes the period of autonomy vs. shame by 3 years of age and moves on to the period of initiative vs. guilt which will dominate the psycho-social development until age 6. In this period, children assert themselves as leaders and initiative takers. They plan and initiate activities with others. If encouraged, they will become leaders and initiative takers.

Based on the above, here are some recommendations:

In this stage, faith would be more caught than taught and felt than understood. The serene, compassionate home environment and the warm and welcoming masjid environment are vital.

Recognition through association: The best way of raising your kid’s love of Allah and His Messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is by association. If you buy him ice cream, take the opportunity to tell them it is Allah who provided for you; the same applies to seeing a beautiful rose that s/he likes, tell them it is Allah who made it. Tell them stories about Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). Statements like: “Prophet Muhammad was kinder to kids than all of us”; “Prophet Muhammad was kind to animals”; ” Prophet Muhammad loved sweets”; ” Prophet Muhammad helped the weak and old,” etc. will increase your child’s love for our most beloved ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).

Faith through affiliation: The child will think, “This is what WE do, and how WE pray, and where WE go for worship.” In other words, it is a time of connecting with a religious fraternity, which is why the more positive the child’s interactions with that fraternity are, the more attached to it and its faith he/she will become.

Teach these 2-7 kids in simple terms. You may be able to firmly insert in them non-controversial concepts of right and wrong (categorical imperatives) in simple one-dimensional language. Smoking is ḥarâm. No opinions. NO NUANCES. No “even though.” They ate not ready yet for “in them is great sin and [yet, some] benefit for people.”

Promote their language development by speaking to them a lot and reading them books, particularly such books that provoke curiosity and open discussions to enhance their expressive language. Encourage them to be bilingual as learning two languages at once does not harm a child’s cognitive abilities, rather it enhances them.

This is despite an initial stage of confusion and mixing that will resolve by 24 to 30 months of age. By 36 months of age, they will be fluent bilingual speakers. Introduce Islamic vocabulary, such as Allah, Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), masjid, Muslim, brothers, salaat, in-sha’a-Allah, al-Hamdulillah, subhana-Allah, etc. (Don’t underestimate the effect of language; it does a lot more than simply denoting and identifying things.)

In this pre-operational period, their ability of understanding problem solving and analysis is limited. They can memorize though. However, the focus on memorization should still be moderate. The better age for finishing the memorization of the Quran is 10-15.

Use illustrated books and field trips.

Encourage creativity and initiative-taking but set reasonable limits for their safety. They should also realize that their freedom is not without limits.

Between 3-6 years, kids have a focus on their private parts, according to Freud. Don’t get frustrated; tell them gently it is not appropriate to touch them in public.

Don’t get frustrated with their selfishness; help them gently to overcome this tendency, which is part of this stage.

Parenting: Raising a Child from Age 0 to 2 | Dr. Hatem Al Haj

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Advice To Students Starting A New School Year

Ammar Al Shukry




I remember driving to college orientation over the summer with my father, may Allah have mercy on him. I was going to be going to school out of state, and at the age of eighteen, this was the first time that I would be living away from home. 

We talked about a lot of things, and nothing in particular but one of the stories he shared stayed with me. There was an Imam who had a close circle of students and one of them became absent for an extended period. Upon that student’s return, the Imam asked him where he had been, to which the student replied, 

“Egypt!” The imam said to him, “well how was Egypt!” 

The student replied, “Egypt is where knowledge resides.” 

The Imam responded, “You’ve spoken the truth.” 

Sometime later, the imam had another student who also was absent and upon his return, the Imam asked him where he had gone to which the student replied, “Egypt!” The imam said to him, “Well, how was Egypt?”

The student said, “Egypt is nothing but amusement and play!” 

The Imam responded, ‘You’ve spoken the truth!” 

There were students who had witnessed both conversations and asked the Imam later why he had borne witness to the truth of two antithetical statements to which the imam replied,

“They both found what they were looking for.” 

I got the message. University could be a place of incredible learning, engagement with ideas, and can push you and challenge you in the best of ways. It can also be a non-stop party. A blur of heedlessness and hedonism that will bring about remorse and regret for that individual in the Dunya and Akhira. 

I think back to that car ride fondly, and I appreciate the predicament of parting advice. A person who will be bidding farewell to someone so dear to them and wanting to give them something powerful that they can hold onto or wisdom that will guide them. Many students in the past weeks have been receiving similar parting advice from their families, and so in this article I wanted to share one of the advice of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) that he gave to a companion that he loved so much. 

عَنْ أَبِي ذَرٍّ جُنْدَبِ بْنِ جُنَادَةَ، وَأَبِي عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ مُعَاذِ بْنِ جَبَلٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا، عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه و سلم قَالَ: “اتَّقِ اللَّهَ حَيْثُمَا كُنْت، وَأَتْبِعْ السَّيِّئَةَ الْحَسَنَةَ تَمْحُهَا، وَخَالِقْ النَّاسَ بِخُلُقٍ حَسَنٍ”

رَوَاهُ التِّرْمِذِيُّ [رقم:1987] وَقَالَ: حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ، وَفِي بَعْضِ النُّسَخِ: حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ. 

On the authority of Abu Dharr Jundub ibn Junadah, and Abu Abdur-Rahman Muadh bin Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him), that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said

“Have Taqwa of Allah wherever you are, and follow a bad deed with a good deed it will erase it, and treat people with good character.” (Tirmidhi)

The advice is comprised of three components

  1. Fear Allah wherever you are 
  2. Follow a bad deed with a good deed it will erase it 
  3. Treat people with good character 

Have Taqwa of Allah wherever you are 

Taqwa is the crown of the believer. And it is the best thing that a person can carry with them on the journey of this life, and the journey to meet their Lord. Allah says, 

“And take provision, and the best provision is Taqwa.” 

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ سُئِلَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَنْ أَكْثَرِ مَا يُدْخِلُ النَّاسَ الْجَنَّةَ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ تَقْوَى اللَّهِ وَحُسْنُ الْخُلُقِ ‏”‏ ‏

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was asked as to what admits people into Paradise the most and he said, “Taqwa and good character.” (Tirmidhi) 

And so what is Taqwa?

Talq ibn Habeeb gave a beautiful definition and description of Taqwa when he said, 

“Taqwa is to act in obedience to Allah, upon a light from Allah, seeking the reward of Allah. And it is to avoid the disobedience of Allah, upon a light from Allah, fearing the punishment of Allah.” 

And so he describes taqwa as having three components; the action, the source for that action, and the motivation for that action.”

To act in the obedience of Allah..

To do the things that Allah commands you to do and to stay away from what Allah prohibits you from doing 

Upon a light from Allah..

The source for the action or inaction must come from revelation, a light from Allah. And this should stir us to seek knowledge so that our actions are onem guided by a light from Allah. You’ve made it to University, you are bright, gifted, intelligent and committed to education.  Do not let be the one thing that you remain uneducated about be your religion. 

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says, 

يَعْلَمُونَ ظَاهِراً مِّنَ ٱلْحَيَاةِ ٱلدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ عَنِ ٱلآخِرَةِ هُمْ غَافِلُونَ

They know what is apparent of the worldly life, but they, of the Hereafter, are unaware. (Al-Room v. 7)  

The prophet (S) said, “Allah hates every expert in the Dunya who is ignorant of the hereafter.” (Saheeh Al-Jaami’)

Make sure that you carve out time to attend halaqas on campus, seek out teachers and mentors who will guide you in learning about your religion even as you are pursuing your secular studies..

Seeking the reward of Allah..

The third component of Taqwa is the motivation:  that these actions that are being performed and that are sourced authentically in revelation must be performed for the sake of Allah, seeking His reward, and not for any other audience. That they not be done for shares, or likes or retweets. That a person does what they do of worship, that they abstain from what they abstain from of sin, seeking the reward of Allah and fearing His punishment. 

Fear Allah wherever you are..

Meaning in public and in private, online or offline, and when in the company of the righteous as well as when in the company of the wicked, in all circumstances a person must be mindful of the presence of Allah..

 عَنْ ثَوْبَانَ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّهُ قَالَ : ( لأَعْلَمَنَّ أَقْوَامًا مِنْ أُمَّتِي يَأْتُونَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِحَسَنَاتٍ أَمْثَالِ جِبَالِ تِهَامَةَ بِيضًا فَيَجْعَلُهَا اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ هَبَاءً مَنْثُورًا ) قَالَ ثَوْبَانُ : يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صِفْهُمْ لَنَا ، جَلِّهِمْ لَنَا أَنْ لاَ نَكُونَ مِنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لاَ نَعْلَمُ ، قَالَ : ( أَمَا إِنَّهُمْ إِخْوَانُكُمْ وَمِنْ جِلْدَتِكُمْ وَيَأْخُذُونَ مِنَ اللَّيْلِ كَمَا تَأْخُذُونَ وَلَكِنَّهُمْ أَقْوَامٌ إِذَا خَلَوْا بِمَحَارِمِ اللَّهِ انْتَهَكُوهَا

It was narrated from Thawban that the Prophet ﷺ said:

“I certainly know people of my nation who will come on the Day of Resurrection with good deeds like the mountains of Tihaamah, but Allah will make them like scattered dust.” Thawban said: “O Messenger of Allah, describe them to us and tell us more, so that we will not become of them unknowingly.” He said: “They are your brothers and from your race, worshipping at night as you do, but they are people who, when they are alone with what Allah has prohibited, they violate it.” 

This hadeeth is a warning for the person who is quick, eager and ready to violate the limits of Allah as soon as the door is locked, or the curtains or drawn, or as soon as they have arrived in a new place where no one knows them. We will sin, but let our sins be sins of weakness or lapses of taqwa and not sins of predetermination and design. There is a big difference between someone who sins in a moment’s temptation and the one who is planning to sin for hours, days or weeks! 

And follow a good deed with a bad deed it will erase it..

When we fall, as we must inevitably due to our being human, the prophet (S) instructed us to follow a sin with a good deed to erase it. 

Commit a sin, give charity. 

Commit a sin, perform wudhu as beautifully as you can and pray two rak’ahs. 

Commit a sin, seek Allah’s forgiveness and repent…

Our sins should not suffocate us from doing good deeds, they should fuel us to doing good deeds. 

Allah says,

وَأَقِمِ ٱلصَّلاَةَ طَرَفَيِ ٱلنَّهَارِ وَزُلَفاً مِّنَ ٱلَّيْلِ إِنَّ ٱلْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ ٱلسَّـيِّئَاتِ ذٰلِكَ ذِكْرَىٰ لِلذَّاكِرِينَ

And establish prayer at the two ends of the day and at the approach of the night. Indeed, good deeds do away with misdeeds. That is a reminder for those who remember. (Surat Hood v. 114) 

A man from the Ansar was alone with a woman and he did everything with her short of fornication. In remorse, he went to the prophet (S) and confessed to him. Umar said to the man, “Allah had concealed your sins, why didn’t you conceal it yourself!” The prophet (S) however was silent.

The man eventually left and the prophet (S) had a messenger go to him to recite the aforementioned verse.  A man said, “Oh Messenger of Allah is it for him alone?”

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “No for all people.” 

And so for all people, sin plus good deed equals the sin is erased. That is a formula to be inscribed in our hearts for the rest of our lives.

Al-Hassan Al-Basri, the master preacher of the Tabi’een was asked,

“Should one of us not be ashamed of our Lord, we seek forgiveness from our Lord and then return to sin, and then seek forgiveness and then return!” 

He said,

“Shaytan would love to conquer you with that (notion), do not grow tired of seeking forgiveness”

But know that these sins that are erased by good deeds are the minor sins, as for the major sins they require repentance for the many verses in which Allah threatens punishment for those who commit major sins if they do not repent, and so repentance is a condition for the erasing of the effect of major sins. 

And treat people with good character 

And if Taqwa is the crown of the believer, then good character is the crown of Taqwa, for many people think that taqwa is to fulfill the rights of Allah without fulfilling the rights of His creation! The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) in many hadith highlights the lofty stations that a believer attains with good character, for example: 

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، رَحِمَهَا اللَّهُ قَالَتْ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ إِنَّ الْمُؤْمِنَ لَيُدْرِكُ بِحُسْنِ خُلُقِهِ دَرَجَةَ الصَّائِمِ الْقَائِمِ

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: By his good character a believer will attain the degree of one who prays during the night and fasts during the day. (Tirmidhi)

عَنْ أَبِي الدَّرْدَاءِ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ مَا مِنْ شَيْءٍ يُوضَعُ فِي الْمِيزَانِ أَثْقَلُ مِنْ حُسْنِ الْخُلُقِ وَإِنَّ صَاحِبَ حُسْنِ الْخُلُقِ لَيَبْلُغُ بِهِ دَرَجَةَ صَاحِبِ الصَّوْمِ وَالصَّلاَةِ 

Abu Ad-Darda narrated that the Messenger of Allah  ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)said:

“Nothing is placed on the Scale that is heavier than good character. Indeed the person with good character will have attained the rank of the person of fasting and prayer.” (Tirmidhi)

Let no one beat you to the taqwa of Allah and let no one beat you to beautiful character. 

You’ve come of age at a time in which the majority of our interactions are online, and in that world harshness and cruelty are low hanging fruit seemingly devoid of consequences. 

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “Whoever lives in the deserts becomes harsh.” (Abu Dawood) 

And social media is a desert, it is an experience where we are all alone, together. 

So choose gentleness over harshness, choose forgiveness over vindictiveness, choose truth over falsehood and protect people from your harm. 

For the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “I am a guarantor of a house in the highest part of Jannah for whoever makes their character good.” 

May Allah make us from them. 

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On Divine Gifts And Tribulations: Reflections on Ustadh Nabeel al-Azami

Reflections on Ustadh Nabeel al-Azami

Dr H. A. Hellyer, Guest Contributor



Nabeel Al Azami

In the early hours of the 14th of August 2019, corresponding to the first day following the ‘Eid al-Adha’ of the Muslim community, my friend Nabeel, son of Mamoon al-Azami, passed away peacefully in London. He was 39 years old. He honoured me by considering me a teacher to ask counsel of – but in truth, he himself was an educator par excellence by his words, his actions and his state of being.

I have nothing but good memories of this man. He was generous and kind, and personified good manners. A year ago, we were together when he was giving a presentation on his work, and we had lunch together beforehand. He was speaking to me about the subject of the presentation, and as we were speaking privately, I told him about my unease around a bit of the approach on a few points.

Nabeel was not only warm in private in response, but when we were sat in the public arena for his presentation thereafter, he, unprompted, insisted on giving me the floor, though I had no speaking role that day. He did so after addressing me and introducing me in a deeply respectful manner, so that I could offer my thoughts, even though he knew of my stance.

I no longer even remember what I said – I only remember the generosity of spirit he had. In this day and age, that kind of magnanimity is rare, usually absent, and evidence of something beautiful.

(You can see more of Nabeel’s work here — his final book, which he wrote on the Prophet and Leadership, with leadership professor John Adair writing the forward).

A few months ago, I asked if I might visit him, while he was in the hospital. He was in the midst of various obligations but knew my travel schedule would make it difficult to find an opportunity to allow me the privilege of his company, and he had some things he wanted to discreetly discuss. We had spoken a few times on the phone after he had learned of his illness, but we had not met since. We found a common time of 15 minutes to speak privately. It turned into an hour.

When I saw him, what are called the ‘signs of sainthood’ (wilaya) were deeply upon him. His riḍā (contentment) was evident to anyone who saw him, and his concern was not for himself. Rather, it was first and foremost for his family. Whenever people ask me about him, I immediately think of that word: riḍā.


I left his company with a sense I cannot easily put into words – he was a paragon of strength and fortitude, while simultaneously being a person of charity and concern for his wider community. The presence of contentment, harmony, self-composure, and quiet trust in the working of the Divine. In this are signs for the ones who are aware, for they represent the rising of station (maqam) according to the sages.

There will be others who will no doubt write about Nabeel’s professional accomplishments, of which there are many, not least the book he wrote and completed while he battled his illness. These are inspiring, and a testament to Nabeel’s deep commitment to the work he devoted himself to (his last work on Prophetic leadership can be purchased here from the publisher) – a work that all about serving the community which he so loved and cared for.

I knew about Nabeel’s work, but most of our interactions showed another side to him – a facet of his personality that will forever be instructive to me. It was the aspect of him that I mentioned to my students as we read through tracts of spirituality. It was the aspect of him that asked for prayers that God might allow him to see and meet the Prophet in his dreams. It was the aspect of him that sought out to understand and comprehend the meaning of what was happening in a deeply metaphysical manner, which was admirable in such an advanced way.

“But it is as though, Allah has given me this tribulation, as an unworthy servant, as a gift. And then He has given me some challenges, that I didn’t think I would cope with. And then He somehow gave me the resources as a gift…

And I feel as though I am being taken among individuals who must have taken this journey, who are much more worthy; I am left very confused as to why I am being given this privilege. Maybe you can help explain this confusion to me.

But that aside: I hope if it is benefiting brothers, to be able to talk about our conversations, then hopefully if there is any ajr (reward) for me there, that may be something I can hold onto in the next life, as a source of salvation.”

(Nabeel al-Azami)

In the hours that followed his passing, as his family and friends prepared to bid him farewell at the funeral service, I went through my recent correspondences with Nabeel, following and preceding conversations we had. There were perhaps three recurring themes I can mention. The first was the most pre-eminent, which I’ve alluded to above, in terms of his spiritual journey and path. His instructive comments reflected a serenity of soul, a strength of spirit, and a constancy of commitment.

The second theme was the concern he had particularly for his family. His father, his wife, his children, but really the entire family – his concern for them was touching, moving, and genuinely thought-provoking to any of us who get wrapped up in the mundane nature of this world. The very last message he sent to me was an ‘ameen’ to a du’a I sent him in response to his request I pray for his wife, children and family.

Finally, the third theme was care he had for his community, and that watchfulness was something he spoke to me about in his one of his very final messages to me – the rifts within the Muslim community more generally, especially among the ‘ulama, and how their differences needed to be bridged.

In all of these, Nabeel al-Azami’s considerations were deeply important. One of the final things he said to me was his hope that if his tribulation could serve as a lesson to others, may he partake in the reward for that, and maybe it would be something he could hold onto in the next life for his salvation.

It never occurred to me to share Nabeel’s thoughts while he was still with us. When we met and discussed, we did so privately. But after he passed to the mercy of his Lord, I remembered what he said about our conversations benefiting others – and thus took pen to paper, transcribing some of the notes he sent.

There was a message that related to knowing God, and spirituality more generally, which indicated one of the priorities he thought this community needed – this is where our relationship actually began, in a way. It is fitting that be the first tract. About half-way in, Nabeel responded to a message I sent him, where I had let him know I’d used his character as an example of how to respond to tribulations in a class I teach. That class was and is based on the works of one of my teachers, the Malaysian polymath, Professor Sayyid Naquib al-Attas. In response to Nabeel’s message, I told him the title of the work, at which point he expressed great joy, saying he had used the work as a reference in his last book.

That message was followed by a concern for the community writ large, particularly vis-à-vis the partisanship and conflicts the community had been riven by in recent years. We had discussed this in person, and he re-emphasised his point in this message – it’s a rare message indeed at this time, and important to share. He knew about my apprehension I had about partisanship driving our community apart, but he excelled me in focusing on the need to bring hearts together, rather than simply analysing the problem.

I close the below with two tracts that in particular related to trials and tribulations, to which I appended a short excerpt from the writings of Shaykh Abdal Qadir al-Jilani, the Persian saint of early Muslim history, and this represented the last of the transcriptions I chose. I believe I mentioned this tract to Nabeel himself, and it formed the basis of some of our discussions.

I pray the reader benefits from Nabeel’s thoughts and prays for him. For those who knew him, they should know that Sayyid Nabeel passed away in one of the four sacred months mentioned in the Qur’an – Dhu al-Hijjah. This is the month of the Hajj; it is the month the Great ‘Id, ‘Id al-Adha; it is the month of the passing of Sayyidina ‘Umar, Sayyidina ‘Uthman, and Imam Muhammad al-Baqir.

May we all benefit through Ustadh Nabeel al-Azami for a very long time to come.

I know I will.

On Spirituality

“Thank you for your message and thank you for the du’a (supplication) that you shared. SubhanAllah, the dua’ that you shared about Allah opening up the gates so that I may know Him better; it has been a part of my tahhajud (night vigil prayers) since you mentioned it.

And you know; these many small du’as that you hear and those that you end up memorising: this is one that I wish [had been] in my system. Because I knew the du’a – but it is so simple and beautiful – but insha’Allah, Allah will give you the ajr (reward) that you reminded me of the du’a which I memorised and now it has been normalised.

And it’s wonderful: because the ability to know your Creator and discover Him is that life-long journey. We try to learn about the 99 attributes to be able to understand the incredible nature of our Creator, whom we are blessed to be created from. And the quality of my prayers have been impacted as a result of this process of ibtila’ (tribulation).

Which is, in a sense, the only way you can really achieve and access the unveiling needed to know a little bit more about your creator. So, I feel I need to be in this ibtila’ longer! There is so much I can learn now that I have unlocked a few things, you know, through the wasila (means) around me, including yourself.”

“And it is wonderful to hear that you are teaching a text on taṣawwuf; I’d love to know which one it is. The need for teaching, tarbiyat al-iman, tazkiyat al-nafs, and the sciences of taṣawwuf; it is so, so urgent and so neglected. So, if it is a public class that I can promote, let me know: I’d love to send it in the network, because there are just too far and few between.

So, thank you for sharing: but the only thing I would say here is that I certainly wouldn’t be the precise example. But good brothers around me and my shayukh and my learned friends like your good self: with your help I am trying to be an acceptable example, insha’Allah.

But it is as though, Allah has given me this tribulation, as an unworthy servant, as a gift. And then He has given me some challenges, that I didn’t think I would cope with. And then He somehow gave me the resources as a gift; and then I feel the raising of maqam (spiritual station). Not because of anything from myself, but that Allah is just gifting.

Because I thought I just had to take one step towards Allah, and he would take ten steps for me. I think I managed to just think about one step. I don’t know what little iota of indication I gave to Allah that I am interested in guidance; and that was enough. That was enough, and Allah is just raising me.

And I feel as though I am being taken among individuals who must have taken this journey, who are much more worthy; I am left very confused as to why I am being given this privilege. Maybe you can help explain this confusion to me.

But that aside: I hope if it is benefiting brothers, to be able to talk about our conversations, then hopefully if there is any ajr for me there, that may be something I can hold onto in the next life, as a source of salvation.”

On Bringing Hearts Together, in a world where lines have been drawn

“In our community, the scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets: that we know. And amongst them, we need to build bridges, and we do know that for various reasons amongst the difficulties of the world, a broken world that we’re facing, there are lines being drawn even amongst the ulama (scholastic) community. And differences of strategy and direction, and differences in trying to say this is how we can serve the ummah (Muslim community) better can and will arise.

But all I can hope for is people like yourself, in a small way myself, if I can, and others, try to at least make hearts stay together…

There should never be an instance where people amongst the ulama, who are the inheritors of the prophets, who are at the heights of those who represent the prophets in their absence today —- at least the hearts and their brotherhood should remain there.

And I think that is the case anyway amongst the most senior ulama that we know. And without naming names, I think their hearts are clear in their interaction, but they may be operating in different platforms and structures.

But I think we need bridge builders, so we keep the ukhuwwa (brotherhood) and the conversation going, as we try to navigate ourselves across common challenges in the world and navigate our community towards a direction. Which is ultimately the same direction anyway, seeking the pleasure of Allah, and following in the footsteps of al-Habib al-Mustafa salAllahu ‘alayhi wa salam.

And that’s about it, in order to be worshippers who are keen only to seek Allah’s pleasure and have that kind of connection and rida (contentment).”

On Tribulations and Trials

“Al-salam ‘alaykum, shaykh Hisham: and thank you for your ongoing affection, care, concern and spiritual advice which I really, really value, and it does help me. At some point, it would be good to talk or see you just to share the seriousness of my condition.

But, alhamdulillah (praise be to God), this ibtila’ (tribulation) is a blessing, it has given me so much khayr, by God, so much khayr – and I am full of shukr (gratefulness). I have sabr (patience) when the pain is happening, but I have shukr for what Allah is doing for me spiritually. And as one of my teachers once said: when you are suffering from a physical illness, be grateful you are not suffering from a spiritual illness. And I am really feeling the benefits of that right now.

Alhamdulillah: jazakAllah khayr for sending me all the Prophetic supplications and invocations, and alhamdulillah most of them I have been doing already, but I haven’t actually been doing [certain elements of spiritual practice I recommended], so I will immediately add this into my practice on your advice; so, thank you for that.

And although I am in a wonderful spiritual place, you are absolutely right that the hardest thing is often for the family and for the wife and the children. They are struggling a little bit and I do try to give them strength, so please make du’a for my wife and my three young children: that Allah gives them strength in the midst of this ibtila’ that we are all facing. And insha’Allah I am confident that Allah will take care of us, and take care of our affairs insha’Allah.”

“Al-salam ‘alaykum, Shaykh Hisham – I hope you are well. Thank you for your ongoing enquiry and concerns about my health and your du’a. In terms of how I am, alhamdulillah, spiritually and mentally, I am in a really good place – I have this wonderful connection and relationship built with our Lord, subhanhu wa ta’ala. My tahajjuds (night vigil prayers) are beautiful, and I am just loving the experience of this ibtila’, taking as much benefit of it as possible.

In terms of the jasad, the body: unfortunately, that is choosing to go in a different direction…Suffice it to say my physical condition is extremely serious, and I need lots of your du’a.

But my spiritual condition, by Allah’s will, is in the best place I have ever experienced, and long may Allah keep that. So, I ask for your continued dua’ and insha’Allah I will update you more next week.”


Shaykh Abdal Qadir al-Jilani (may Allah be well pleased with him, and may He grant him contentment) said:

“As for one who suffers tribulation, he will sometimes be tried as a punishment and retribution for an offense he has perpetrated or a sin he has committed, at another time as an expiation and purification, and finally, for the sake of elevation in spiritual degrees and advancement to high stages, to join those versed in knowledge, people with experience of all states and stations. This they have received through the providence of the Lord of creation and of mankind.

Their Lord has sent them to ride the fields of misfortune on the mounts of friendliness and kindness and refreshed them with the breeze of loving looks and glances while in movement or at rest, because their trial was not intended to destroy them and hurl them into the abyss. Rather did He put them to these tests for the sake of choice and selection, so drawing from them the reality of faith, which He purified and separated from polytheistic association [shirk], pretensions and hypocrisy [nifaq], and presenting them with all kinds of knowledge, secrets and enlightenment. Then He made special favourites of them, entrusted them with His secrets, and granted them the pleasure of His company.

… For those trials have the effect of making their hearts pure and free from sinful association, and from attachment to creatures, worldly means, wishes, and self-willed desires. They are instrumental in melting them and smelting out the pretensions and passions, and the expectation of returns for obedient behaviour, in the form of high degrees and stations in the hereafter, in paradise and its gardens…

The sign that the trials are for the sake of spiritual progress is the presence of contentment, harmony, self-composure, quiet trust in the working of the God of the earth and the heavens, and annihilation within them until their eventual removal with the passage of time.”


Anyone who saw Nabeel knows what signs were most prominent upon him. I consider it my honour that I knew Nabeel al-Azami, and my loss that I did not know him longer and better.

May God have mercy on the soul of Sayyid Nabeel al-Azami; grant him the highest stations of Paradise; and give his family strength.

إنا لله و إنا إليه راجعون

“And that’s about it, in order to be worshippers who are keen only to seek Allah’s pleasure and have that kind of connection and rida (contentment).” (Nabeel al-Azami).

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