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16 Islamic Educational Institutions

islamic education online

When you're looking for a place to begin studying Islam, it can be confusing at best. But don't give up. There are some good and even excellent organisations on the internet that tutor you to expand on your favourite Islamic fields, whether it's Arabic or history. And there are dozens of established institutions that to this day continue the Muslim tradition of academic excellence.

To avoid spending hours sifting through what's hot and what's not, here's a well researched list of resources that should get you started, no matter where you are in the world or in your education.

Please note, I am not sponsoring or linked to any of the following organisations. I have however, either studied with them or received reviews from students, so don't get all haterama on me, or them. In alphabetical order:

1) {Al-Quran Classes}
    • In the ethics of 'by the people, for the people', Al-Quran Classes provide online resources and teaching for reading Qur'an at a beginners' level, making it a useful alternative for children and new Muslims too far to visit a mosque. Qualified Qur'an teachers lead the good range of courses, from Arabic grammar to Dua memorisation. Online courses are tailored to your weekly schedule and resources are emailed to you for revision. Home tutoring is also available, especially catering to women and young children.
alkauthar islamic courses
2) {AlKauthar}
    • As a product of Canadian Mercy Mission, AlKauthar has become one of the top British Islamic education providers for young Muslim adults, with bases in South Africa, India and Australia. AlKauthar is predominantly active in Manchester, Bradford and London. The institution gathers thousands of attendees for its monthly courses on Islamically inspired topics - from making dua, arranging a janazah (Muslim funeral) to understanding the Rabb (Lord). 
    • Double weekend courses in Britain include a strongly recommended exam and group activities, as well as exceptional course materials and use of modern tech. Teachers include public speaker Hamza Tzortzis, ustadh Furqan Jabbar, ustadh Yahya Ibrahim, shaykh Alaa Elsayed and shaykh Tawfique Chowdhury. If online studying is not an option and you'd benefit from an all-Muslim, segregated learning environment, AlKauthar is the way to go.
3) {AlMaghrib}
    • AlMaghrib is another way to go. A giant of a organisation, there are few Muslim students who haven't heard of shaykh Muhammad AlShareef's international empire. Taught by a few dozen notable teachers, AlMaghrib has a diverse curriculum but a standard format: Students attend a double weekend course on Islamic topics (from Juz tafsir to becoming a family man), engage in activities, online forums and revision sessions for online (Facebook) tests and a final exam. 
    • After a set amount of courses and pass rates, students receive certification and excel to higher levels. Specialist areas exist for more exceptional students, for example ahadith memorisation and becoming an Ameer/Ameera (leader) of the regional Qabeelat.
4) {An-Naseeha}
    • Founded in Yorkshire, England, An-Naseeha is a branch organisation from Dr Bilal Philip's online Islamic University (below) and is taught by three main instructors, including Umm al-Quran University scholar Assim al-Hakeem. The institution is aimed at young adults and older, and sessions are in mostly English.
    • An-Naseeha is an attend-only institution, whereby themed events invite you to take part for a weekend or double weekend seminar. Good quality course materials are always provided and a few of the past seminars are online (usually an hour long), should you want to make notes or listen in. An-Naseeha expects students to have a basic understanding of Islamic principles, tawhid, akhirah, nabuwa and so on, so the courses contain some historic as well as spiritual knowledge.

texas muslims bayyinah
5) {Bayyinah}
    • A Texan creation, Bayyinah has partnered with Qalam Inst (below) and lives on its own newly refurbished campus. {Image: Bayyinah, flickr} The 10-12mnth classes revolve around Arabic studies, and teachers encourage Qur'an memorisation, Arabic typing and writing in their state of the art conference/class rooms. Another excellent asset is the downloadable podcasts of Qur'an tafsir. Love it.

6) {Darul Uloom Online}
    • The main core of Darul Uloom is its 5 year Aalim course that covers the traditional route of Arabic grammar (language and Qur'an), seerah, fiqh, hadith, tafsir, usool al-hadith and usool al-tafsir. Alternative courses include classical literature, studying Qur'an translations, fiqh and Arabic language.
    • Although the site has an independent curriculum from the original Darul Uloom HQ in Deoband, it follows a similar teaching style. An interactive classroom keeps students engaged face-to-face with teachers and online texts make very good revision.
7) {Deen Intensive Foundation}
    • Deen Intensive Foundation is a North American initiative that provides educational programs for dynamic Muslims to study with qualified scholars and teachers, and host their own events. Seminars are lead by some of America's most known teachers; Dr Umar Faruq, Imam Zaid Shakir, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah, Ustadh Usama Canon and Ustadh Yahya Rhoduc.
    • Programs include retreats, weekend seminars and international rihlas. Although online sources are limited for structured learning, Deen Intensive has an extensive certified curriculum, including usool, fiqh, tafsir and `aqidah, enabling students to understand the heart of Islam in a spiritually educational environment. [All four madhabs are referred to]

islamic study online
8) {E-Aalim}
    • As a hardcore educational institution, E-Aalim is one of few online sources for one-to-one tutoring and interactive learning. A 'virtual classroom' hosts gender-segregated group or individual lessons where students can ask questions, "write" on whiteboards, read and get tested in a more engaging way.
    • Courses cover the language areas, Arabic, Qur'an recitation, tajweed rules, and extend to social issues in their marriage courses, as well as fundamentals of Islam. E-Aalim is great for children with limited access to Islamic education, and as the teaching is "live", there's a continuation of schooling where punctuality and homework is essential!
9) {Ilm Essentials}
    • Ran by Khalid Abdul Sattar (Sacred Learning, Chicago), Ilm Essentials is a part-time online program designed for distance-learning traditional Islamic Sciences. The standard Essentials Program spans just 2 years, focusing on all the Islamic essentials(so you're not picking and choosing), including basic `aqidah, detailed Hanafi fiqh, Usul al-fiqh, the Sunnah, tazkiyah, Ahadith, and Qur'an. Classical Arabic is included in the second of Ilm Essential's curriculum: the PLUS Program.
    • Memorisation and dedication is important as missing out online live lessons will require some catching up. Classes are held once a week for 3 months while each year is blocked of 3 x 3 month semesters.

10) {Islamic Online University}
    • In 2010, Islamic Online University (IOU) was the world-first organisation to provide an online 3 year, certified degree in Islamic studies. Along with the diploma, the degree is free, although there is a registration fee. Blocks of topics begin with foundation studies of Islam and develop in intensity, giving students a broader and deeper understanding of implementing Shariah, gaining professionalism and dawah skills. Due to the globalised set-up of IOU, English and psychology is also offered. 
11) {Knowledge Seekers}
    • Based in Leceistershire, Knowledge Seekers is an initiative by Islamic Society of Britain and is aimed at Muslim youth. Viewers can subscribe to podcasts online or enroll to the few but powerful seminars during peak seasons. Events are based around social issues and dilemmas faced by British Muslims, showcasing iconic Muslims all the while promoting Islamic ethics and fundamental principles. 
12) {Studying Islam}
    • Studying Islam was one of the earliest Islamic online organisations (and could do with a facelift) but it's stood the test of time as an independent educator. Studying Islam is an affiliate of the Al-Mawrid Institute of Islamic Sciences and its Learning Management System (LMS) program is completely self-study. That means there is no time restriction, nobody is checking up on you (or motivating you), and all evaluation in done online through a series of tests after each course module.
    • The course subjects do not cover complex Islamic history or Arabic grammar, but rather, Shariah rules on interest, animal sacrifice, jihad, marriage, and basic beliefs. Courses are straightforward, consisting of pdf downloads and audio files for the Qur'an based subjects. Courses are available in Arabic. And they're FREE!
13) {Qibla}
    • Formerly known as Sunni Path, Qibla has a huge and growing range of Islamic courses on its 'eCampus' from all four main madhabs. These extend to classical poetry, tafsir, Qur'an memorisation (hifzh), fiqh of menstruation, divorce, and time management. Course materials are emailed as handouts, high quality lessons are recorded and interactive sessions allow students to speak live, recite Qur'an or watch tutors demonstrate topics on screen.
    • Qibla's courses are relevant to contemporary issues, while the diverse board of instructors incorporate traditional learning to solving modern problems. Male and female teachers, including Ustadha Hedaya Hartford and Shaykh Hamza Karamali, teach mix classes online (dependent on course), ask questions and encourage students to completely understand one concept before moving onto the next. [Excellent Answers page and free lectures updated regularly]

14) {Tayyibun Online}
    • Probably a leader in the realm of online studies, Tayyibun is a British organisation that is taught by a multitude of teachers: Ustadh Wasim Kempson, Dr Isam Rajab, Dr Khalid Khan (Islam Channel), Ustadh Abu Talha and more. Tayyibun's online courses are short and easy to digest, available any time of year. Topics include traditional Qur'an studies, methods of learning, tafsir and Arabic language, as well as tarbiyyah (character, morals) and prophetic studies. Upon registration, video links are emailed, as well as any course material and further reading. All courses are structured and include an exam, which is similar to Tayyibun's offline teaching.

15) {Qalam Institute}
    • Based in North America, Qalam hosts monthly and bimonthly seminars, which are less 'education-y' and more lecture based. Past seminars have intended to inspire attendees, while future events will feature the respected Nouman Ali Khan, Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda and Baba Ali for a love and marriage talk in Texas. The website includes recordings from earlier seminars (usually half an hour), and a few articles. Qalam focuses on building leaders, which is why their next Khateeb workshop is geared at teaching what makes a fantastic public speaker.
16) {Zaytuna College}
    • Another American institution, Zaytuna is famously known for its Islamic Law and Arabic Language courses, and the neat fact that it's co-ran by shaykh Hamza Yusuf. The full course catalogue provides choices of in-depth study of Islamic history, and global influences. Although Zaytuna does not currently provide online learning, the site lists downloadable resources (great audio files and articles) for personal development. Note that all registrants need to be fluent in Arabic before enrolling, which will be determined through a exam, or taking Zaytuna's intensive Arabic crash-course.
There are many more educational institutions for Muslims, alhamdulillah, but I wanted to share the most prolific, in my own opinion. Which do you use?


Zaufishan | British Muslim Blog

More on education:
When I Attended AlMaghrib (photos)
Wrapping Muslims in Love, Lessons from Prophet Muhammad
Full Transcript to AlMaghrib's Evening of Qur'an


  1. There are lot of established Islamic institution available for interested people to expand their knowledge in specific or general field. Islam has grown due to the excellence Islamic Institutions which spread the knowledge to a common man  get out the evil of indulgence and ignorance.
    Quran Recitation

  2. olive secondary school

  3. Salam Sister. No. 12 is, as you rightly said, an affiliate of al-Mawrid which propagates really deviant stuff.  I understand we have to be tolerant, but there are limits to acceptable disagreement and al-Mawrid and their founder al-Ghamidi have crossed these limits.  Examples include, denial of hijab, denial of many authentic hadith, denial of tarawih altogether (not an 8 or 20 thing), denial that Isa (as) is alive and will return (they say he is dead), denial of Mahdi, denial of Dajjal, and many misinterpretations in tafisr, sunnah, and fiqh.  I would humble suggest you remove them from your list.

  4. CharlotteSAguiar29/06/2014, 11:13

    It's really good that you have shared those Islam institution in the public. This can really help our brothers and sisters that is an Islam to find a school that suits them.


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