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A Guide for Studying Arabic and Quran in Morocco

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Going abroad to study Arabic is one of the best ways to learn the language. With a vibrant culture and a rich intellectual heritage, Morocco is naturally a destination of choice for students from across the globe. What follows below is a guide for those looking to go there to study Arabic and Quran. It is based on my experiences there last year.

Language Institutes

There are several schools spread across the country which focus on teaching Arabic to non-Arabs; English-speakers in particular. I went to Fez because of its intellectual history and the numerous opportunities to benefit outside class as well. I studied at ALIF (Arabic Language Institute in Fez). It is one of the oldest Arabic schools in Morocco having been established for some 30 years now.

Bou Inania madrasa in Fez, Morocco

Bou Inania madrasa in Fez, Morocco

ALIF boasts some excellent teachers; some who are graduates from the Qarawiyyen. They have a well-developed 7-level program which takes you to an advanced competency in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) i.e. Fusha. The curriculum followed is that of the Al-Kitab series which is taught at most Western universities (the colloquial sections in the book are skipped over). Most students are on exchange programs from American and British institutions. The default language of instruction is Arabic for all-classes; with English being employed at varying degrees depending on the level and teacher. Some teachers are strict about teaching in Arabic only; others are a bit lax.

This program does a very good job at taking a holistic approach and focuses on your speaking, reading, writing and listening skills– as opposed to just reading. They generally go through the material thoroughly –especially at the beginner levels. Classes are small which is very beneficial; on average about 4-6 students per class. However, this swells up to about 10-12 students during the summer time. In classes with 3 or more students, you get 20 hours of instruction per week, 15 hours within classes with 2 students and 10 hours/week if you are the only one. The material covered and tuition remain the same.

The main pros of the school are that it’s quite well organized, has good teachers, and their program builds a strong foundation for further studies. Despite the criticisms of Al-Kitab, I found it to be a very good book and it greatly aided my comprehension and understanding. Plus, ALIF adds complementary exercises to reinforce language skills.

The cons are that the school is rather pricey; although at a similar rate as other Moroccan schools and still cheaper than most options in North America. With multiple instructors rotating through the levels, sometimes you can end up with a teacher who might not be as good as some others, and at times your classmates aren’t of the appropriate level. Also, since almost all students are English speakers, you don’t get complete immersion and end-up using English outside class.

Like most language schools, the focus is not getting students to read Quran – although you are still learning classical Arabic in a modern context. To comprehend the Quran, you have to complement your studies with resources to familiarize yourself with Quranic vocabulary, expressions and constructs. The teachers are all Muslim and well-versed in the tradition, so they can always answer any specific questions you may have. To understand Quran, one needs a good foundation in the basics of the language. This school will provide you with that.

These are all general things you have to work around when studying abroad – it’s not specific to this school per se. If possible, I would try to avoid going during the summer months as this is a busy time with a lot of students doing summer exchanges. Nevertheless, you’ll still find it beneficial if you’re focused and keep on top of things. Just keep an open mind and you’ll be okay.

I’ve listed below some other schools in Morocco I found on the internet. I can’t comment on them; though I know students who went to Subus-Asalam and Qalam and mentioned good reviews about them.

Subus-Asalam CenterQalam wa LawhINLACCLC, Ibn Ghazi, Arabaphon

Quran Studies

Moroccans have a deep-rooted commitment to the preservation of the Quran, which makes it one of the best places to memorize and study it. Just by virtue of living there, your attachment to the Book will increase. One of the most unique aspects of Morocco is that a juz from the Quran (i.e. 1/30th ) is read in each mosque every day – half after Fajr and half after Maghrib. They do this congregationally in a magical rhythm which is a treat for the ears and the hearts – a precious skill to learn in itself.

To this day, most Moroccan madrassahs employ a pen and tablet to help students memorize the Quran. If memorizing is your goal, then attending one of these schools is your best option. I had friends in Fez who were enrolled in these Quran schools (at Masjid Hafsa) and also a few in the southern desert villages (at Madrassa Imam Nafi’ near Rachidia and the Madrassah of Faqih Bahlool (Zawiya Rahalia) in Kelat Sraghna). The main way to enroll in these schools is to show up and try to get in – there isn’t an online process and there might be an entrance exam. It can be hard at times as the administration can a bit suspicious of foreigners, but all the people I know were eventually able to enroll. The tuition is usually either free or there is a small fee associated with it.

If your goal is to improve your recitation and study tajweed on the side, then the Dar-al-Quran schools are your best options. These are little institutes set up in every neighborhood for people to drop-in and recite to a teacher. Most people I met there were working class people who had already memorized the Quran and were reviewing with the shaykh in the evenings. My teacher there could easily teach Hafs recitation as well, as opposed to the official Warsh. The tuition is quite affordable as well – about 100 Dhs for a semester ($10).

Furthermore, these centers are women-friendly. Some of them are exclusively for women while others have times allocated (usually the mornings) for women and evenings for men. Whatever neighborhood you end up staying in, just ask around for the local Dar-al-Quran and you’ll be directed to one.

Update: I came across the website of Madrassah Sharif al Wazzani for girls; there’s a similar one for boys in Majorca, Spain called Madrassah Muhammad Wazzani. Some of the Spanish students I met go to this school before going to Morocco as it serves as a good starting point.

Housing and Food

There are a number of housing options in Morocco. Many students who come on exchange programs do a homestay with a local family. This is usually set up by the host institution where you study and they dictate the prices – I’ve seen this to be between $80-$100/week with meals included. Most students have a positive experience with this living arrangement; although you have to keep an open mind and be accepting of a new family and culture.

Another housing option is the ALIF residence villa which is conveniently located across from the institute. It’s equipped with all the amenities one needs and saves you plenty of time and the frustration that can come with a new country. It’s relatively affordable too (about $300-$350/month depending on the room) but the prices go up in the summer and it can be hard to find a spot at that time too. Keep in mind the residence is co-ed and the atmosphere depends on the type of students living there at the time. Like with anywhere else, it’s your job to find good and wholesome company.

Moroccan tagine

Moroccan tagine

For long-term stays, finding your own apartment is usually the best option and the above two are good to get you accustomed to the country. The schools can find you an apartment or you can find other students and try to room with them. I’ve heard various rates (i.e.$300-$600/month) depending on the number of rooms, location, furniture etc. I think $350/month is a decent approximation for a two bedroom place.

Food is very inexpensive in Morocco and this is where you’ll save the most. Bread is 1.25 Dh, a pack of milk is 3 Dh, a pack of cheese is 12Dh, coffee is 7Dh. A decent dinner with meat will be 20-25 Dh. Budgeting 50Dh ($6) a day is decent if you eat out all the time – it’s much cheaper if you cook. (These are prices locals pay – you have to find the non-tourist areas to get these).

 The Qarawiyyen

The jewel of Fez and the pride of Islam’s intellectual heritage, the Qarawiyyen university is located in the heart of the old city;  it continues to operate today after being founded nearly 1200 years ago. Being able to attend the classes here is the most rewarding aspect of studying in Fez. They still follow the traditional format and curriculum, with classes taking place by the pillars of the old mosque. The teacher sits on a throne-like chair and the students sit on the floor encircling him.

I found the administration generally open to letting foreign students sit in and audit the classes. Some of the teachers would even try to include you in the class and were quite open to answering questions. Classes are mostly in Fusha though the local dialect, Darija,  is used in varying degrees depending on the teacher. Attending the lessons is a great way to improve your listening and comprehension skills, as well as learning the traditional Islamic sciences.

Do note that there are no classes during the summer months (June – August). Final exams start around mid-May so that’s when they end. All summer the old mosque where the classes take place is closed and opens only for the daily prayers. Also, unfortunately, I was told that some classes will be moved this year to a new campus outside the old city. However, some, I believe the advanced levels, will continue to be taught in the old mosque – so that resource is still there.

20130522_174207

Notice for entrance exams at the Qarawiyyen


If you are a high achiever and want to formally enroll in the Qarawyieen, the admission requirements are shown on the left in a notice about entrance exams. For those that can’t read it, the two main conditions for writing it roughly translate to: a) Memorization of the Glorious Quran with completeness and mastery b) Memorization of a few basic texts (Mutoons) – I presume this to be introductory texts like Ibn Ashir, Ajroomiyah and Imam Nawawwi’s 40 hadiths. I’ve heard Quran memorization requirements for foreigners are a bit relaxed, though I can’t confirm this. Again, I am not aware of an online process for enrolling in Qarawiyyeen, so you have to just show up and try to get in by writing entrance exams, talking with administration etc. It’s assumed you’re fluent in Arabic as there isn’t an official program, to my knowledge, to teach the language to foreigners.

 

 

Waleed Ahmed writes on current affairs and politics for MuslimMatters. He focuses on Muslim minorities, human rights and the Middle-Eastern conflict. Based out of Montreal, he's currently pursuing a Ph.D. at McGill University in fundamental physics. Waleed also has a keen interest in studying Arabic and French. He spends his spare time reading, playing basketball and praying for Jon Stewart to run in the next presidential election.

89 Comments

89 Comments

  1. Pingback: A Guide for Studying Arabic and Quran in Morocc...

    • Avatar

      Nailah Isaac

      October 15, 2014 at 8:28 AM

      Asa, I am considering letting my 21 yr old son and 18 yr old daughter attend the school. Do you think it is a safe environment for such young student? My main concern will be that they will be taken advantage of and triple charged for things because they are foreigners. Also what do you think their monthly expenses will be?

    • Avatar

      Ana Nur

      October 20, 2014 at 11:38 AM

      assalamualaikum..
      im 19years old and study in my country,Malaysia (in tahfiz wal qiraat)
      after finish my diploma here(around early in 2016 inshaaAllah,biiznillah) i would like to further my study in Morocco
      may i have a look any university there that i could continue in the same course

    • Avatar

      Salma

      November 25, 2015 at 10:54 AM

      Salaam
      Do you know if al qarawiyyin admitts women in the university since I’ve heard that that’s not the case
      Shukran!

      • Avatar

        masaheh -zaid-

        February 8, 2016 at 1:03 AM

        aslamualaikomm……ahlam wamarhaban fiki anisasity al muhtaramah ana mr: masaheh suemaeng-zaid-
        min thailand uridu adrusu luqatul al arabiah wa islamiah jamiahtikom inshaallah
        bitarikatikom wa musaadatukom inshallah….barakommullah… shukrannnn…

    • Avatar

      Ali yerima mimi Aidara

      June 26, 2016 at 11:47 AM

      I have 3 boys In hafiz school in Africa they are doing good I want them to go to maroc to learn arabic and Qur’an very good in’shaa’allah

    • Avatar

      Alfesani Cassim

      December 18, 2018 at 5:38 AM

      Salaam Waleed,
      I’ve just stumbled across this page and find its content amazing, jzk for sharing your experience. I wanted to know the duration of the Arabic course, there are obviously different levels but I wanted to know how long it’ll take to get the foundation done to a good level and get a good grasp of the language, also I plan on studying in Fez insha’Allah could you please let me know the name of the dar-al-quran you attended or the whereabouts maybe? Thanks.

      • Avatar

        Waleed S. Ahmed

        December 18, 2018 at 9:30 PM

        Wasalam Alfesani,
        I would say about 6-8 months of study will be enough to get the foundations done. At Alif, if you can do up to level 500 or 600, you should be at a good level. As for the Dar ul Quran, I can’t remember if it had a name..it was just across the Mcdonals/Mall. If you ask around, you should be able to find it. Good luck!

  2. Avatar

    Nicole

    January 31, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    Salaam,
    I am currently studying abroad (via my university in Morocco). I have found much difficulty in finding supplemental Quran programs, so your article is very helpful. Do you know of any places in Rabat specifically or contacts willing to give Quran lessons privately a couple of times a week?

    Shukran!

    • Avatar

      Waleed Ahmed

      January 31, 2014 at 9:59 PM

      Waslaam Nicole. Unfortunately I don’t have any contacts in Rabat for Quran studies. I would advice going to the local mosque and asking for the closest dar-al-Quran….I am sure there are opportunities. Try to take advantage of the group recitals after maghrib..though I am not sure how it works on the women’s side. You at Qalam wal Lawh? What’s it like?

      • Avatar

        Nicole

        February 2, 2014 at 8:23 AM

        Salaam,
        Thanks for the advice, I will definitely ask at my local mosque. I studied at Qalam wa Lawh over the summer in 2013. Now I am at the Center for Cross Cultural Learning continuing my Arabic studies! :)

        • Avatar

          misba

          March 7, 2014 at 10:51 PM

          asalaamu alaikum

          I was wondering if you found a Quran teacher in Rabat? I am also looking for one and have asked around at local mosques.

    • Avatar

      jamil

      September 15, 2015 at 12:41 AM

      Salam
      Could you help me with a list of universities where the mode of instruction is English, if there are any. So I could enrol for a postgraduate course and enrol in a madras by the side

  3. Avatar

    Armaan

    January 31, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    masha-Allah Waleed, great article — happy to hear that you benefited from Morocco! All the best, insha-Allah.

    • Avatar

      Waleed Ahmed

      January 31, 2014 at 9:54 PM

      Salam Armaan! It’s funny you stumbled across this. It certainly was a beneficial experience..couldn’t have gone there without your help, jazakillah for all the assistance!

  4. Avatar

    Khan

    January 31, 2014 at 4:32 PM

    as-Salāmu ʿAlaykum,

    in 2012 I absolved a 1-month Fusha-Arabic-program in Rabat – Qalam wa Lawh school … the athmosphere in the school is really good and the teachers are really helpful. They keep the groups small up to 8 people and it’s quite productive. They also offer nice excursions to discover the country. Going to the Sahara (Merzouga/Desert) was a great experience.

    • Avatar

      Muslim Brother

      April 5, 2014 at 7:07 PM

      As Salamu Alaykum WW, I am considering going to Morroco as well. I looked up the school, and seems good and fairly priced. I was wondering what class you would recommend for someone like myself who can read Quranic Arabic Fluently

      Jazakallah

      • Avatar

        Waleed Ahmed

        April 6, 2014 at 5:50 PM

        walaykumasalam. they usually do a test to determine your level before you start and place you appropriately. If you’ve done some arabic, level 2 might be a good place to start.

  5. Pingback: A Guide for Studying Arabic and Quran in Morocco – MuslimMatters | AfricaHot

  6. Avatar

    Umm hadi

    February 1, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    Masha Allah well informative article. Taqabbal Allahu minna wa minkum.

  7. Avatar

    Maryam

    February 2, 2014 at 11:42 PM

    Assalamu’alaikum

    Beforehand I would like to apologize if my question has no direct corellation with this post.. I am just commencing studying Arabic language on my own, I find it hard without any teacher around. I am working and barely have no time to study on a schedulled time.What I need is a learning system that can be adjust at my own pace. If any of brothers and sisters know a trusted online Arabic learning with interactive teacher that can give feedback on our progress and difficulty, would you please let me know. I really want to be able to acquire Arabic and thus to be able to comprehend the Holy Qur’an… Thank you very much indeed in advance.

    • Avatar

      waleed ahmed

      February 3, 2014 at 12:44 PM

      There are a couple of good live Arabic classes being offered online. Some of the onsite schools from Egypt like diwan, cairo institute, fajr etc have them. check seekersguidance and Qibla as well. I use StudioArabiya and have found them to be quite good too.

      • Avatar

        Maryam

        February 3, 2014 at 11:10 PM

        Thank you very much indeed for the information. I’ll dive into them forthrightly.

        • Avatar

          dina85

          February 4, 2014 at 5:03 PM

          this site has many audio podcasts .very helpful to start and get familiar with arabic language
          http://www.arabicpod.net/

        • Avatar

          dina85

          February 4, 2014 at 5:12 PM

          also this book is helpful
          Easy Arabic Grammar von Jane Wightwick und Mahmoud Gaafar. i think they have more series for studying,
          maybe good to check

    • Avatar

      The Quran seeker

      February 3, 2014 at 8:25 PM

      Assalaamu alaikum sis,
      I am currently taking this course called Arabic through the Quran with ustadah ola shoubaki,
      We are in our fourth week but you might want to contact her and see if she would let in new students.We are learning Arabic to help us understand the Quran.The website is
      arabicgems.co.uk

    • Avatar

      Majid

      August 15, 2016 at 11:03 PM

      Islamic online uni (Intensive Arabic Program) is very good ma shaa Allah

  8. Avatar

    Usamah

    February 4, 2014 at 6:15 PM

    This looks like it could be really helpful. Are there any other writers from Muslim Matters who might be able to write similar articles for other countries?

  9. Avatar

    M

    February 8, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    Wow. Firstly
    السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
    Secondly, you don’t understand how thankful I am for this post, for the past year I have been thinking so much about going to Fez to memorise the Quran but as you probably know there is a lack of information on the internet about this. I do have a question, you see the madrassahs where you go to memorise the Quran how would one know where they are? I was thinking of just going to a masjid and asking the imam to guide me to one, would you happen to know of any Madrassas that help teach the memorisation of the Quran in Fez?

    • Avatar

      waleed ahmed

      February 8, 2014 at 7:49 PM

      walaykumasalam. Glad you were able to find this to be useful. As for the madrassahs, you pretty much have to ask around when you get there. depending on where you stay, you can ask at the local mosque, the qarawiyyen,etc. The school I know of, which is also featured in the video I linked, is in an area called ‘Mon-flow-ree’ in Fez (I don’t know the spelling so I just transliterated it). Some of my spanish friends were studying there. There is also one in an area called Wad Fez. There are prolly others as well, you just have to ask around. Go visit them, talk to the administration and see who will take you.

      • Avatar

        abdulrazaq

        May 10, 2015 at 5:48 PM

        As salaamu aleykum wr wb akhi jazzaka Allah kheyr for the informasion.ive been looking for this a loong time know. Could please give me some info about a institute in marocco who gives the holepack meaning from scratch where you learn arabic and then study to became alim(fiq) forgive me for my english jzk.

  10. Avatar

    O H

    February 9, 2014 at 10:14 PM

    Check this blog by an experienced student of arabic who has travelled multiple countries in pursuit of the knowledge of this divine language. There are many tips for those looking to travel overseas or studying online.

    http://deen4me.wordpress.com/

  11. Avatar

    Aneesa Hussain

    February 12, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    Assalamu Alaykum, MashaAllah really informative article JazakAllah Khair. I’m going to study Arabic in Fez in September inshaAllah but our universty has a partnership with INLAC I have no idea how reputable it is especially in comparison to Alif can anyone help me out?
    Thank you

    • Avatar

      Waleed Ahmed

      February 15, 2014 at 10:58 PM

      walaykumasalam. I don’t know much about INLAC either..sorry. If you’re going on an exchange then you should be okay; I presume host schools do their research before sending students abroad. Do let us know here how you find it when you get there : )

  12. Pingback: A Guide for Studying Arabic and Quran in Morocco | BloomingPeaches - Sit. Think. Imagine

  13. Avatar

    aleem

    March 2, 2014 at 7:50 PM

    JAzakallah Khair for the post. Very helpful and timely alhamdulillah. I was wondering whay would be the city to visit to get onto this journey of learning quran for myself and kids. Fez? Is there any fulltime school for kids for the purpose

    • Avatar

      Waleed Ahmed

      March 13, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      I would certainly recommend Fez; there are schools in other cities too in Morocco but my experience primarily was in Fez. The schools I have mentioned in the comments and article for Quran are open to all..I’ve seen kid and adults both attend them.

  14. Avatar

    Aneesa Hussain

    April 7, 2014 at 5:35 AM

    Assalamu Alaykum inshaAllah I will be going to study at Alif in September can anyone else who is doing so please get in touch with me JazkaAllah khair

    • Avatar

      Haithem

      July 24, 2014 at 12:06 PM

      Assalam aleykum aneesa. I’m planning to travel to morocco from mid-august in order to improve my arabic iA. I’m planning on enrolling at Masjid Hafsa for Quran memorisation (in warsh) but i’m not sure about the institute for arabic as of yet. I’m looking at advanced studies as i’ve already studied arabic for a few years and i need to improve slightly in order to go on to study in mauritania iA. Hopefully i can also benefit from classes at al-qaraween.

      I’m also not sure about accomodation although i’d be happy to stay with a host family.

      If i get any more information i’ll let you know iA.

      Best,
      Haithem.

      • Avatar

        Fayzan

        October 10, 2015 at 1:43 AM

        Assalamu Alaikum Brother Haithem, I know this has been a long time since your post but have you been able to reach masjid hafsa? If yes can you please give me more details InshaAllah I am planning to go there. And also were you able to attend some classes at qarawiyyin? JazakaAllahu Khayr

    • Avatar

      jamil

      September 15, 2015 at 12:35 AM

      how is the experience over there? I can read arabic with difficulties. Planning on coming to ALIf in February inshAllah

  15. Avatar

    Abu Hatim

    May 13, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    Did anyone find a problems entering and leaving the country? any questions about where you studied or who you studied under?

    • Avatar

      Waleed Ahmed

      May 13, 2014 at 10:09 PM

      I didn’t have any problems. I actually did tell them I was there to study arabic and showed a letter from the school (I am not sure if its best to reveal it or be evasive…i didn’t have any issues). the only thing to ensure is you don’t stay past 3 months on any visit (unless you have residence visa). Most people take a train to one of the spanish territories (ceuta or mellilla) in morocco so that they are able to leave the country and re-enter.

  16. Avatar

    Zakariyah

    May 20, 2014 at 10:52 PM

    Asalamu alikum Can I please have your email address?

    • Avatar

      Waleed Ahmed

      May 28, 2014 at 12:06 PM

      it’s posted on the contact page of my personal blog…i avoid posting it on forums to avoid spamming.

  17. Avatar

    Intan Shafira Binti Abdullah

    June 11, 2014 at 3:55 AM

    assalammualaikum
    jazakallah khayr for this informative article. but i have some question. do you know the fees for learning arabic there ?

  18. Avatar

    Zaynab

    June 14, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    salam wa3alaykoem, i wish to know a school for learning arabic and quran in fes near bansouda during the summer vacations, i like to go incha’Allah with mi doughter. can anybody help me for information please? BarakAllahoefikoem wa salam wa 3alaykoem.

    • Avatar

      Waleed Ahmed

      June 18, 2014 at 10:18 PM

      walaykumasalam. There is the zawiya of sh abdullah al haddad in ben souda where they have quran lessons on sundays I’ve heard. In addition to that option, I would suggest finding the local darul quran. the people at the zawiya would have information on this as well.

  19. Avatar

    safwan

    July 13, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    Salam i am safwan from malaysia. How if i want to study arabic and syariah at morocco.. And how much for the fees per semester. Can you tell me about the visas

  20. Pingback: Places to learn Arabic in Morocco

  21. Avatar

    Ahmed

    August 16, 2014 at 2:22 AM

    JazaakAllaahu khayran for the beneficial post, may Allah make it heavy in your scales on the day of judgement. I was wondering if you knew of any salafi (not madkhali) areas within Morocco, or the very least perhaps a salafi memorization madrasah? BaarakAllahu feekum.

    • Avatar

      Sameer

      October 23, 2014 at 3:27 PM

      What is salafi memorization bro? Thank Allah there aren’t many salafis in Morocco and I pray it remains that way.

      • Avatar

        Ahmed

        October 24, 2014 at 2:29 AM

        Uh, a memorization school run by Salafi’s? The truth will prevail and falsehood will vanish, I ask Allah to make us from the people of truth. What problem do you have with Salafi’s, do you have a problem with the ‘salaf'(the first three generations of Islam)?

  22. Avatar

    Ahmed

    August 17, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    Also, what are your thoughts on hiring an ustaadh to teach you arabic one on one? What would a good teacher in Morocco typically charge, and what are the pros/cons of this as opposed to joining a institute?

    • Avatar

      Waleed Ahmed

      August 19, 2014 at 11:38 PM

      wasalam. can’t comment much as I didn’t study privately. Morocoo is expensive if you do private tutoring; it has its benefits thought if you’re at a good level and just have specific texts you want to cover with a teacher.

      • Avatar

        info@mcas-arabic.com

        November 15, 2014 at 5:09 PM

        Salam Waleed, I hope this note finds you well brother. I have been following your website and blog, and I am so grateful to your for spreading a good word about Islam and about Arabic.

        I was wondering if you could possibly share a word or list our webiste on your blog. I will be more than grateful to you.

        Thank you and may Allah bless you

  23. Avatar

    sahar

    August 19, 2014 at 12:16 AM

    salam wa alakum.

    I am interested in learning how to read and write arabi and learn quran in Morroco. Can you please recommend a place for a single female traveling from the United States?

    • Avatar

      Waleed Ahmed

      August 19, 2014 at 11:42 PM

      I’d recommend the same places as above. For quran, I’ve posted the link to madrasah sharif wazzani which is just for girls.

      • Avatar

        taahir

        October 14, 2015 at 7:44 PM

        Salam I am interested in studying in morroco howvis like for foreign students can you email me so e details on supa4ly@hotmail.com

  24. Avatar

    Jameel

    September 2, 2014 at 3:26 AM

    Assalamu Alaykum

    I would like to know what is the best school(Quality teaching) or city to study Fusa in Morocco? My goal is to learn Arabic for religious text and possibly for conversation. Many reviews I have read regarding Qalam Wa lawn mention that it is over prices and badly organized. Can anyone comment on this.

    • Avatar

      Ayse

      October 20, 2014 at 10:32 AM

      I am currently attending Qalm wa lawh, it is fairly well organised from what I have seen. Their is a variety of teachers some with different skill sets but the classes are well done and that with the extra free half an hour one on one tuition a day I think it is beneficial. If you wish to study further whilst here there our lots of local teachers. The classes are quite well arranged and fairly strict about class max size. The other cultural activities are beneficial in as much as learning a variety of vocab. Generally Rabat is in a good location to travel around Morocco as it is almost the centre of the train network.

  25. Avatar

    Abu Aliyah Al - Maliki

    October 15, 2014 at 9:28 PM

    As salamu 3alaykum

    http://uaq.ma/fr/index.php/2014-02-17-15-28-43/s-inscrire-a-l-universite-al-quaraouiyine-universite-alquaraouiyine-fes-maroc

    There is a new online enroll system in Qarawin university in Fes.

    And they also changed the entry requirements, what is now needed to enroll proper is just a diploma of a secondary school without any previous memorization of the holy Quran or Mutun!

    though for foreigners there is a special legal authorization needed from the moroccan education ministry.

    Check out the above website and get in touch with further or much more detailed Information’s about the modernization and Internalization process and progress of the once well known traditional Qarawin !

    Everything mentioned above good comes from Allah the all mighty and everything mentioned above false comes from me and the rejected shaytan !

    Barakallahu feekum

    Allahumma zidna 3ilmaan ( Oh Allah increase us in Knowlege )

    besslamah!

  26. Avatar

    shyda

    November 27, 2014 at 2:33 AM

    I’m planning to to go to Morocco in Jan 2015. I would like to study Arabic and perhaps other islamic subjects.
    I have an unusual schedule of working three weeks and then having three weeks off. It is in my three weeks off that I plan to travel and stay in morocco. Does anyone have any recommendations on where I should study (schools in fes or Rabat etc) and what the best option is for accommodation seeing as I won’t be there full time. I’m guessing I will have to opt for private tuition….?

  27. Avatar

    Umar Ajami

    January 16, 2015 at 3:18 PM

    Assalamualaykum!

    I’m so glad that i found this site.

    I’m a new muslim, i have very strong intention to memorize the Holy Quran in morocco, i need you to kindly help me get a very good madrassah that can help me make this dream come to reality.
    i need someone to help me with the travel arrengement, i will take care of all cost that come.
    this is my email & tell #
    Email; majami424@gmail.com
    Tel#:+231888169815
    hope to hear from u soon

    • Avatar

      Sam

      May 27, 2015 at 2:35 PM

      I’m 55years old from Malaysia
      My husband and I decide to study Arabic and quran at any madrasah in morocco
      Please advise how to register and visa. Tq in advance

  28. Avatar

    Morrisco

    April 27, 2015 at 5:52 PM

    Salam – I am already working and taking 3 months time out to study Arabic. This is a pretty large time investment to take off work. I am now have to make a decision whether to study at Middlebury or Qalam wa Lawh (QL). Middlebury is an established institution so I have a good idea what to expect, although I am little hesitant of the undergraduate culture during Ramadan. I have not heard anything from QL however other than it being chaotic. Is there anyone who can share an honest review of the teaching quality at QL?
    Jzk. M

  29. Avatar

    Sam

    May 27, 2015 at 2:29 PM

    I’m 55years old from Malaysia
    My husband and I decide to study Arabic and quran at any madrasah in morocco
    Please advise how to register and visa. Tq in advance

  30. Avatar

    raheem sharafadeen

    June 21, 2015 at 8:03 AM

    Aslkmwbt, I really appreciate ur post.how can I study both Quran and Arabic and Islamic studies in Morocco as a begginer from,nigerialastly,how much will it cost me ?

  31. Avatar

    zainab

    July 4, 2015 at 5:03 PM

    Slm, I am 26 yrs of age and I am a Nigerian. I don’t have any Quranic recitation background. Is there any program for people like me? If yes, how long is the program and how much will it cost?

  32. Avatar

    MUZZAMMIL

    July 24, 2015 at 11:41 PM

    As salaam Alaikum,
    I am 27 year from India. currently working in industry but i am to quite my job for 3 months and fully engaged in learning Quranic Arabic understanding and reading Quran correctly. if any good institute for me please help me out. I tried online class from egypt but not so helpful. If any please email me. muzzammil_wahab@yahoo.co.in

  33. Pingback: Comment on A Guide for Studying Arabic and Quran in Morocco by jamil | Souqhub | Blog

  34. Avatar

    Furqhan

    January 12, 2016 at 8:58 PM

    Salaam,
    At the end of may I will be travelling to Alif institute to study arabic however rather then stay for 6 weeks I would like to stay till October. During that period I’d like to focus and invest all my efforts in my quran hifz and studying arabic simultaneously, is there any advice you could give ie. Extend my 6 week arabic course to a longer period, specific dar al quran to go to etc.

    Jzk

    • Avatar

      Waleed Ahmed

      January 23, 2016 at 12:02 PM

      wasalam….good to hear about your plan. I think if you are studying at ALIF, it would be hard to manage memorizing full-time at the same time. the classes take up time and there’s homework most days..plus its important to put that time into arabic as the language takes time to sink in. I would recommend memorizing a small portion on your own daily (perhaps after fajr everyday) and then just meet up with a teacher to recite to him once or twice every week. this way, you can focus on arabic but still have memorization going on the side…without burning yourself out. there’s a dar al quran across the mcdonald’s near ALIF …so that’s prolly a good place to go to recite to the teacher.

      • Avatar

        Mohamed Camara

        June 22, 2016 at 8:37 PM

        Salafi teacher I want for Quran and Arabic my email is mcama79@yahoo.com

  35. Avatar

    dounya

    February 10, 2016 at 10:19 PM

    Salam alaykom. I would love to go study in morocco to become hafiza al Quran. Are their any madrassa that offer full time quran memorization for female adults in tanger. Keep in mind I’m a beginner.

    Please if any one knows of any madrassas let me know as soon as possible. May Allah swt reward you all immensely for your efforts. Jazaka allah khayrun

  36. Avatar

    Mohammed

    February 21, 2016 at 2:58 AM

    Salam does anyone know of Islamic classes or any scholars who could teach in Morroco, I’m referring to Nahw , sarf etc . Any numbers would be greatly appreciated! I would prefer Rabat!

  37. Avatar

    yahya sowe

    March 8, 2016 at 11:05 AM

    hello my name is yahya Sowe 22 years of age I am from Gambia who want to further his Arabic university in Morocco if I have the chance to study in Morocco I will be so glad.

    thank you

  38. Avatar

    Bashiru Iddrisu

    June 24, 2016 at 6:17 PM

    Pls I am Bashiru Iddrisu 17years of age and I am from Ghana,Pls Pls I love quran and I went be to come a hafiz and study more Arabic in your university in Morocco, I will be happy if you give me opportunity to study in your country Pls.my dad always wish and went me to be come a hafiz bat Allah jalajalu have called him to the home of truth Pls help I need to be come a hafiz so help so dat my kulub will be at rest . Thanks

  39. Avatar

    Amir

    September 1, 2016 at 7:15 PM

    “Asalaam-u-Walikum”. I have some islamic songs I have made as “a tribute to Islam”.
    I would be please to share it with my brothers and sisters.
    My contact me at ameer1ally@yhaoo.com

  40. Avatar

    Amir

    September 1, 2016 at 7:20 PM

    “Asalaam-u-Walikum”. I have some islamic songs I have made as “a tribute to Islam”.
    I would be please to share it with my brothers and sisters.
    contact at ameer1ally@yhaoo.com

  41. Avatar

    Pam

    September 13, 2016 at 5:13 AM

    Assalaamu Alaikum Brother,

    Jazak Allahu khair for your compelling & informative article about studying Arabic and Quran in Morocco!! I especially appreciate that you have covered all the bases and even paint an appealing picture for sisters who wish to study Qur’an abroad. I had considered Medina until I discovered there is no formal program at the primary university there for sisters. Of course, inshaaAllah, I will make istikhar before making a decision and travel to Morocco for exploratory purposes, but I can already envision myself there! I should add that I am a mature, vital, healthy sister with grown, married children. I wonder how older sisters are received in Morocco. I wonder whether they are permitted to seek knowledge fisabilAllah.

    • Avatar

      waleed

      November 22, 2016 at 1:34 PM

      wasalam..yes, inshallah, you’ll have a good experience. there used to be lots of older women attending classes at the dar al quran I attended, so there are certainly opportunities. Best of luck!

  42. Avatar

    Ameerah

    February 22, 2017 at 12:57 PM

    Im a revert to islam who has nearly finished memorizing the entire Quraan, and I speak arabic. I would like to go to this school.

  43. Avatar

    Qurbaan

    December 2, 2017 at 7:44 AM

    Dear friends I am 56 years old 6 years ago I suffered a brain hemorrhage which paralysed my left side. I have always had a desire to learn arabic and islam/Quran in a islamic country, is there any opportunity ofr adult learners

    • Avatar

      waleed ahmed

      December 3, 2017 at 1:00 AM

      Mashallah, its great you want to learn..may Allah facilitate learning the Quran for you… you’re never too old. I would suggest finding a local teacher first and try to get your basics covered.

  44. Avatar

    Abu Muslim

    January 31, 2018 at 10:04 AM

    As-salāmu ‘Alaykum Wa Rahmatullāhi Wa Barakātuh!
    Brother Waleed, may Allāh preserve you, Amīn.

    I pray finds you in good health and Imān.

    In regards to Qur’ān memorisation (Hifz), you mentioned in the post, some of your friends attended the Madrassa Imam Nafi’ near Rachidia.
    I have a few questions, In shā Allāh.
    1) Do they enroll brothers and sisters over the age of 20?
    2) How does one apply to the Madrassa?
    3 ) Do they have a website? If not, where can I find more details about them?
    4) How much does it cost and it is monthly, annually, terms etc?
    5) What is the address of Madrassa Imam Nafi’?
    6) Can they provide accommodation?
    7) I recite in Hafs but would like to memorise the Qur’ān in Riwayatul Warsh, In shā Allāh. Is that possible?
    8) Are there any requirements for enrolment?
    9) Is there an entry exam?

    • Avatar

      waleed ahmed

      February 3, 2018 at 12:52 AM

      Walaykumasalam,
      Thank you for your prayers. Please find my responses below:

      1) Do they enroll brothers and sisters over the age of 20?
      Yes..I know many older students who were there.
      2) How does one apply to the Madrassa?
      Like I said, you just go to the admin of the school and talk to them. I have email of the principal at the school in kelat siragna I could send you; though you’d still have to go there to enroll.
      3 ) Do they have a website? If not, where can I find more details about them?
      No websites that I am aware. The school is in a desert village where I don’t think they even have internet. I found this video about it though:http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xeunjr
      4) How much does it cost and it is monthly, annually, terms etc?
      It is usually free
      5) What is the address of Madrassa Imam Nafi’?
      Its a well known school in a village called Tizougharine near Rachidia. You can ask the locals to take you there.
      6) Can they provide accommodation?
      I am not sure; students I knew there had their own accommodation. The school in Kelat Siragna has accommodation which is quite substandard and most people won’t be able to live there. Better to get your own place.
      7) I recite in Hafs but would like to memorise the Qur’ān in Riwayatul Warsh, In shā Allāh. Is that possible?
      Don’t think it’ll be a problem.
      8) Are there any requirements for enrollment?
      Just having proper paper work and stuff…they are quite bureaucratic, so it can take sometime before you are enrolled.
      9) Is there an entry exam?
      Don’t think so.

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#Islam

5 Ways To Keep Improving Your Arabic For Busy People

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By Abdul Aleem

Learning Arabic in the middle of a hectic schedule can prove quite a challenge, but language learning is all about keeping the momentum going. Here are a few ideas that can help you stay ahead with your Arabic, even if you are really busy.

Use Arabic Word Frequency Lists to Learn Vocabulary

While it is important to take the time to learn grammar, words are the building blocks of the language. And while Arabic has more words than any other language, you only need a surprising few of them to start understanding things.

That is where frequency lists come in. There is always a huge difference between the number of words in a language and the number of words in active usage. While many might know the meaning of English words like ‘intricate’ and ‘ludicrous’, no one really uses them in day to day conversation. So if you are learning English to communicate informally, you should start with words that are used in conversation.

The same goes when learning Arabic. If you are learning Arabic to understand the Quran, you need to start with words in the Quran. Putting the words of the Quran into a frequency list yields amazing results. For instance, we find that just 70 words make up about 50% percent of the Quran. Mastering these 70 words and the ways they can be used, can help you understand half of the Quranic text in Arabic. Amazing right?

Download the entire frequency list of the Quran here.

Use Your Phone As Your Learning Device

Once you have determined which words you want to learn, you need to find the time to do it in between your busy schedule.
What most people don’t realise is that you have the most powerful learning tool right in your pocket. It is available to you wherever you are, 24/7. Yes, your phone.

cattcha/Shutterstock

 

The average person spends a whopping 90 minutes on the phone every day. That is 23 days of the year. So the next time you get the urge to check Facebook on your phone, do this instead:

Flashcard Apps: Anki And Quizlet

Flashcards are a proven way to learn. Moreover, it’s a great solution for busy people. The next time you get the urge to check your phone, open it up and learn a new Arabic word! There are two awesome apps for this: Anki and Quizlet

Anki

Anki is the more sophisticated of the two. It is a spaced repetition system that works really well. You chose one of the shared decks, shared by other users, or make your own. Anki shows you a word and then shows it to you again after a specific period of time. You can choose hard, good, easy or see again based on how easy it was to recall it. Based on that Anki decides when to show it again.
You can find Quran word lists in the shared decks

Quizlet

Quizlet is a straightforward flash card app for those who prefer simplicity. You can keep reviewing the cards until you learn them. Quizlet has great Quranic word lists uploaded by users as well.

Look Up The Vocabulary You Have Learnt in Context

Always remember! You will never really master a word unless you use it. In this case, you can search for the word you learn in the Quran with an app like Zekr. Zekr, lets you search the Arabic word and find all its versions in the Quran. The image below will show you the context.

Write Short Essays And Get Them Corrected

Another great way to practice your words is to write short essays or even a few sentences using the words you have learned. Then have your essay corrected at lang-8 or italki. These sites let you find a native speaker who will correct your writing for a small fee. If you can afford this, this is something I definitely recommend. If not, then post your writing on a community board, like Reddit learn Arabic. Someone will be ready to help you out, InshaAllah.

Find A Language Exchange Partner to Practice With

There are plenty of people out there who will gladly let you practice your Arabic with them if you teach them English or another language in exchange.

Hiring someone for a reasonable fee is also an option.

Practicing for a few minutes every day can help you stay committed and really accelerate your learning. Keep going as learning Arabic strengthens the mind in itself —Imam Baihaqi (May Allah have mercy on him) narrates that Umar raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said: “Learn Arabic for it strengthens the mind and enhances chivalry.”

Abdul Aleem currently pursues a Masters degree in Fiqh from Medina International Islamic University Malaysia. He is fascinated by the Arabic language and loves to help out anyone who wants to learn it. He is the founder of fluentarabic.net

Related articles:

Guide to studying Arabic in Egypt: https://muslimmatters.org/2018/05/17/a-seekers-guide-to-arabic-studies-in-egypt-part-i

Guide to Studying Arabic in Morocco: https://muslimmatters.org/2014/01/31/guide-studying-arabic-quran-morocco/

 

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Arabic Studies

A Seeker’s Guide To Arabic Studies In Egypt – Part I

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By Hamza Vohra

 

Without a doubt Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) speech is a calmness to the ears. But like many, I never felt content with trying to understand the message in a language other than in what it was revealed.

After graduating from the University of Connecticut last May, I decided to pursue my goal of learning the language of the Quran in a country where I could completely immerse in its culture, and most importantly, the Arabic language. Not having the slightest idea of how things worked nor having found much guidance online, I was adamant and decided to take my chances. Alhamdulillah -all praise is due to Allahsubḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)-, I find myself a year later being able to understand Arabic texts, write essays and converse in Arabic. I hope an article such as this can shed light on Arabic studies in Egypt for those with a similar intent.

LOCATION AND LIVING

Where exactly in Egypt are institutes located?

Whilst I’m sure that you will find Arabic institutes in Alexandria and perhaps Giza as well -even after the coup (a lot were closed down)-, Nasr City in Cairo definitely has the majority of them. You will find this city to be populated with foreigners from all over the globe. It’s quite remarkable in fact to see the diversity of the student body. Moreover, I found the students themselves to be very diverse in their previous Islamic/Arabic background. Some have previously graduated from other Islamic institutions and look to further their comprehension, whilst others were starting off from scratch – I was of the latter.
Where should I look for an apartment?

If you’re looking for apartments to rent in Nasr City, I recommend the following areas: Hayy Thamin, Hayy Tasi’, and Hayy ‘Aashir. These areas are in close proximity to most of the Arabic institutes in the locality. These areas are also heavily populated with private Arabic instructors and tutors. Hayy Thamin and Hayy Tasi’ are of the more opulent areas (I speak in Egyptian terms, and not Western standards!) and as a result are more expensive. Hayy ‘ Aashir may perhaps be a no-go for some Westerners because of its unclean-seeming roads and older apartments. I spent my entire year of study in Hayy ‘Aashir and adjusted really well, however. Hayy Aashir (and specifically Swissry Baa within Hayy ‘Aashir) is in close range to restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, and other local shops for all basic necessities. It’s always buzzing with people from early morning until late at night, and living there truly enriches your experience in my opinion. It might be wiser for married couples to consider Hayy Thamin or Hayy Tasi’ starting off, as I’m sure it’ll ease the transition from their respective countries.

As of late, the average 3-bedroom furnished apartment in Hayy ‘Aashir is about 2300-3000 Junays or Egyptian pounds. The average 3 bedroom furnished apartment in Hayy Thamin is about ‪3500-‬4000 Junays. These numbers do not include other bills such as electricity, gas, WiFi, etc. It is also important to note that these numbers can easily fluctuate depending on the year. Ideally, students ‪find roommates to split all expenses. ‬

*If you’re planning to spend Summer in Egypt, it’s vital that your apartment has a working AC. It gets very hot. A hot water boiler and washing machine are other amenities you might want to confirm are functional, prior to renting an apartment.

*If you do not have a precise location to your place of residence in Hay Thamin/Tasi’/’Aashir upon your arrival to Cairo, a popular landmark is “Souq Assayarat”; a huge car fair that takes place on Fridays. Majority of taxi drivers know of this place in Nasr City, in the event that they aren’t familiar with what “Hay” you are speaking of. Avoid booking your ticket to and out of Cairo on a Friday to avoid the heavy traffic caused by the fair. Use Uber or Careem to avoid being ripped off by the very ambitious taxi drivers you meet at the airport!

*In the event you fall ill, a very useful Android/iPhone application to use for a list of available physicians in your area is ‘Vezeeta’.

*An option to consider if you’re looking for a far more comfortable lifestyle, is Rehab. This city is about 20-minute car ride from Nasr City.

TUITION

What institute should I study at?

Arabic institutes are aplenty in Nasr City; some have recently been established whilst others have built a reputation over the years. These institutes include: Fajr, Kalimah, Al-Diwan, Al-Ibaanah, etc. Each institute follows a related syllabus (except for Al-Ibaanah which followS its own entirely).

What Is the difference between Group Study and Private Study?

I would like to clarify that there are two streams of study in Egypt: group study, which take place at the more well known institutes in a classroom-oriented atmosphere, and private study, which is conducted at your place of residence (or occasionally at an institute or at your instructor’s home).

Private study, as the name suggests is one-on-one, as opposed to group study which includes a number of classmates. Each stream of study has its advantages and disadvantages, and it is up to the individual to see what is feasible for his/her circumstances before ultimately making a personal decision. I will attempt to highlight the pros and cons of each:

Group study:

a) The biggest advantage of group study at an institute is that there is a system of study in place. There is an entire syllabus that is followed along with exact start dates and end dates to each level. There are exams, homework assignments, and class presentations that are vital to your progression. You do not have to be concerned about your instructor’s reliability -which is a big concern with many private tutors (I will elaborate later on).

b) Another advantage of group study is that you have tons of students from all over the world in the institute that you may practice speaking Arabic with. The more you practice your speaking, the more you’ll progress. You want to utilize all the grammar rules/verbs/vocabulary/expressions you learn, and the best way to do that is by simply, speaking!

c) A huge disadvantage of group study, however, is your teacher’s inability to focus on you individually due to the number of students in the classroom. It is for this reason that many resort to private study and consider it a lot more constructive. I will mention more about this in the advantages of private study.

*Some may argue that the pace of instruction of group study at an institute is very slow. However I would argue that a new language is meant to be learned slowly and progressively. Furthermore, if you are to complete the entire syllabus at an institute, you would benefit  tremendously.

[Read Part II here]

Hamza Vohra is a graduate from UConn with a B.Sc. in Biology and a minor in Psychology. He is currently a student at the Islamic University of Madinah, furthering his knowledge of the Islamic sciences.

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