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Fatima is originally from Morocco where she attended the University of Sciences and Humanities but did not complete her degree. She taught Arabic and Qur’an for five years at an elementary school in Morocco and volunteered at a mosque for women. In 1989, she came to the US and attended the Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies in America (IIASA) in Fairfax for two years. She followed that by studying tajweed and Qur’anic sciences with Sister Khadeejah Akyurt at Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church. Fatima has earned more than four certificates of excellence from her teacher, Khadeejah, and has volunteered to teach women Qur’an and tajweed at Dar Al-Hijrah for more than four years. Fatima also teaches at Abdullah Marhoum Institute as a Qur’an and Arabic instructor for levels 1 through 4 on Saturdays and Sundays.
After earning an ijazah in Al- Jazariyyah from her sister, Khadeejah Akyurt, and praying to Allah for eight years to memorize the entire Qur’an, Asiya Akyurt finally accomplished her goal while studying for two Bachelor’s Degrees: one in Physics from King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and the other in Islamic Studies from the University of Science and Technology in Yemen, via correspondence. She later earned an ijazah in the Qur’an by the way of Hafs from Aasim from her Shaikha Ustatha Sanaa' An-Nakhbi through Shaikha Rehab Ash-Shaqaqi through Shaikh Ayman Suwaid. After moving to the U.S. she taught Qur’an, Arabic, and Islamic Studies for two years at a private Islamic school, and then switched to private lessons in those same subjects for nine years when her twin daughters were born. She also holds a teaching certificate for the Qaida Nooraniyyah from Shaikh Arraee. She enjoys homeschooling her three children and learning with them, and looks forward to the day when she can go back to studying the Qur’an in depth, especially tafseer.
Khadeejah memorized the Qur’an when she was 16 years old, and after several rounds of reviewing it and perfecting her tajweed, she earned an ijazah in the narration of Hafs by reciting the Qur’an in its entirety from memory to her teacher Dr. Adel Abushaar who had recited it to his Shaikh Dr. Ayman Suweid with a chain connected to the Prophet peace be upon him. Khadeejah also earned a certificate in teaching tajweed from Dar At-Taqwa in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. In addition, she took two years of Islamic studies by correspondence at the University of Science and Technology. After moving to Virginia in 1996, she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and continued her education in Islamic Studies for three more years at the Institute of Islamic and Arabic Studies in America (IIASA). In 2016 Khadeejah earned an Ijazah in the narration of Shu’bah from Assim after she recited the whole Qur’an from memory in this recital over the phone to Shaikha Amina Khahla who earned it from Shaikha Wafa Mansour Abu Al-Ainain who earned it from Shaikh Mohammad Nabahan Al-Masri with his known chain of narration.
Ms Akyurt has been teaching tajweed and the sciences of Qur’an since her arrival in the US, mostly at Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center, as well as at other locations such as the MAS Community Center, ICM in Maryland, and through the MSA at Howard University. In her free time, Khadeejah loves to read, write, laugh and be silly, and visit new places. She hopes and prays that one day she can earn an ijazah in all ten qira’aat of the Qur’an.
Lina is a qualified Qur'an teacher with fifteen years of experience teaching tajweed rules and Qur’an recitation. She has a diploma in Office Administration and Secretarial Works, and worked for six years as an Executive Secretary for the Center for Engineering and Planning (CEP) in Palestine. She studied Islamic studies at the Islamic University in Palestine for one year before moving to the USA. Lina started studying tajweed in 2001, and obtained a certificate from Dar Al-Qur’an and Sunna in Palestine. In 2002, she obtained an advanced certificate in tajweed from Young Muslim Women’s Association in Palestine. In the past few years, she has attended many courses and workshops related to tajweed and memorization. She has an ijaza in both Al-Jazariyah and Tuhfat Al-Atfal. Since finishing her memorization of the holy Quran in 2011, Lina started teaching Qur’an online and has five years of experience in running a Facebook group teaching tajweed rules and Qur’an memorization. She volunteers to teach Qur’an onsite at both ICNA and MAS centers. Lina loves teaching Qur’an to be among those the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, told about, “The best of you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it”. Memorizing and perfecting the recitation of the Qur’an are extremely noble goals, and Lina hopes that she can help everyone to achieve it.
Shaikh Ahmad earned his Master's Degree in linguistics, and is a reciter in all ten Qira'aat. He presented many televised programs such as: the explanation of Shatibiyyah, the explanation of Ad-Durrah, the Explanation of Alfiyah Ibn Malik, Albayan in Al-Qur'an, and Amthal Al-Qur'an. Shaikh Alhomsi was the instructor and supervisor of Arabic teacher training with the Islamic University of Minnesota, and was a pharmacist before that. He is a certified family consultant, and is currently the principal of Assalam Arabic School. He is the founder and director of Nibras Education Foundation.
Bushra learned tajweed in 2004 at Abu Biker Alsadeek Masjid in Baghdad by Um Dina. She then taught children aged 12-15 for three years at Albr-Alraheem masjid in Baghdad, beginning in 2006. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Economy from Al-Mustansyria University in Baghdad, Iraq. After coming to the USA, Bushra earned an ijaza in Al-Jazariyah from Khadeejah Akyurt. She successfully completed the second and third levels of tajweed with her as well. Bushra has several ijazahs in hadeeth from Dr. Mahmoud Hussein, and attended his workshops in the common mistakes in the recitation of Qur’an. She has been tutoring Arabic and Qur’an since 2011 for different ages. Currently, she works at Wakefield High School assisting in Arabic classes. She joined the McLean Islamic Center’s Sunday school in 2016, and teaches Qur’an and Qaida Nooraniah to elementary school ages. She started memorizing the Qur’an recently, asking Allah always to help her in her path of hifth and tajweed. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and watching TV shows.
Fatin Taha Elhajj
Fatin is a Palestinian, born and raised in Lebanon, a wife and a mother of six lovely children. She immigrated to the US with her husband in 1990 and graduated from Great Mills high school in St. Mary’s County, Maryland in 1992. She completed a few community college credits in 1999 before transferring to the IIASA, which is a branch of Imam Mohammad bin Saud University in Riyadh, completing 72 credits towards a bachelor in Islamic Studies. In 2014, Fatin obtained an Ijaza from Sheikh Mohammed Alraee in Qur’an memorization, and in 2017, she obtained her second Ijaza from Sister Khadeejah Akyurt. Fatin has also completed several Qur’an, Tajweed, and teacher development workshops under many organizations. She has served as a Qur’an competition judge for three consecutive years at ISNA conventions, and is certified in teaching the Noorani Qaida and previously held the position of lead teacher at the Noorani learning center where she played an instrumental part in starting the school. She managed recruiting and training for the teachers, setting up budgets, developing syllabus, and assisting in fund raising events. Fatin taught Tajweed and Qur’an memorization at the Qur’an institute of Darussalam under the leadership of Sheikh Haroon Baqai. Over the past sixteen years she had the privilege of teaching Qur’an and Islamic studies to many Arabic and non-Arabic speakers at several locations, including her home, various area masajid and weekend schools. Fatin feels great accomplishment when she takes her students from reading the alphabets to reading the Qur’an proficiently. Furthermore, she enjoys working with the Muslim youth which prompted her to volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America where she is currently serving as the chaplain, committee chair, and a merit badge counselor. As for fun and adventure, she enjoys camping, hiking, and swimming. She has many hobbies which include reading, cooking, needle work, sewing, knitting, crochet, and gardening.
Azizah is from Makkah, Saudi Arabia. She memorized the Qur’an when she was in high school. After that, she took many courses to improve her recitation and tajweed. She recited the whole Qur’an from memory to her teacher Hind Al-Jamoom, who recited the Qur’an to Shaikha Haya Al- Musaihel, who is connected through Shaikh Amad Abu Hasan to Shaikh Ahmad Azzyat, who is connected via a chain of narration linked to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). Azizah is also certified to teach Qur’an and Al-Qaidah Al-Nooraniyah. Azizah has a Bachelor's Degree in Medical Sciences from Umm Al-Quran University, Saudi Arabia. In 2009, she came to the US to earn her Master's in Anatomy. While completing her Master's she volunteered in teaching Qur’an and tajweed at Masjid Uqbah's weekend school in Ohio. She taught there for three years. Now, she is a Ph.D. student at Howard University, as well as a Qur’an teacher over the weekends. Most recently, she earned an ijazah from Shaikh Mahmood Hussein in Hadeeths and Al-Jazariyah. Her favorite hobbies are singing Inshad - non-instrumental songs that carry Islamic beliefs, practices and lessons- and reciting poems. She loves teaching and learning Qur’an and its sciences, tafseer in particular, and firmly believes that Qur’an should be the base from which a Muslim should aspire to success in all other fields.
Badria Kafala is originally from Tripoli, Libya. She moved to the US in 1994 after earning her Master’s Degree and PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Montreal in Canada. Badria started pursuing her dream of learning tajweed in a halaqah in Montreal where she completed the basics. She continued learning with close friends until she joined sister Khadeejah Akyurt’s halaqas and later enrolled in Dar Al-Hijrah’s tajweed class. Badria spent over 15 years studying tajweed, memorization, and other Qur’anic topics. She participated in most of Dar Al-Hijrah’s recent workshops where she earned ijaazas in subjects like hadeeth.
Dr. Kafala currently teaches lecture and lab courses in biology, microbiology, genetics, and biotechnology at NOVA Community College—Manassas Campus. She loves the pursuit as a way to show how a Muslim woman can excel and achieve great things. Badria spends most of her time as a full-time mother to two girls and two boys. In addition to caring for her own children, Badria actively spends her spare time with DMV youth. She founded the first Girl Scout troop in 2001 at Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center, a troop that grew into many that are still active today. She then went on to serve as a board member of GSCNC 2012-2015. Badria also served as a Cub Scout (ages 6 – 10) leader at the ADAMS Center for Pack 1576 and at the Shirley Gate Islamic Center for Pack 114 where she was a committee member and continues volunteering.
Badria continues her journey to learn the Qur’an with the goal of memorizing it inshaAllah or meeting Allah SWT while on the way. Her love for teaching encouraged her to join the ITQAN team to share what she knows and to enact the hadeeth, “the best of you are those who learn the Quran and teach it.”
Nour earned her Bachelor’s degree in telecommunication engineering from An-Najah National University in Palestine. Besides her study, she was very interested in learning and teaching Quran and its sciences. Ms Khanfar became a director of the holy Quran Forum at her university, which aims to encourage students to participate in learning tajweed, memorization, and sanad of the holy Quran in a spiritual atmosphere. During her work in the forum, she earned an ijaza with a sanad related to the Prophet Mohammad “peace be upon him” in narration of Shuba and Hafs from Asim. She took courses in memorization of matn-Al-Jazariyah with its interpretation. Nour taught Qur’an at her university for four years, and earned an ijaza of teaching Tajweed from the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs of Palestine.
Ms. Khanfar came to the USA in July, 2017 and has since volunteered at masjid Al-Ihsan, ISNRV in Blacksburg, VA for Qur’an and Tajweed halaqahs for sisters. She was also a teacher at their Sunday school teaching Arabic and Quran classes. She currently teaches Arabic and Qur’an at the Blossoms program at MAS-DC.
Bouchra is from Morocco and started learning tajweed in her country in the recital of Warsh at Dar El-Qur’an in Marrakech. She is certified in Al-Qaidah An-Nooraniah and tajweed levels 1 and 2 with Sheikh Ar-Ra’ee. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Art and Linguistics, earned a diploma in Secretarial Works, and is working on her CDA with Penn Foster University. Since coming to the United States, Bouchra has earned a certificate in Phlebotomy, and has worked as a nurse tech at a clinic in Falls Church. She later moved to Sterling to work with Reston Hospital as an anesthesia technician for eight years. In the meantime, she was also working as an Arabic and Qur’an teacher at Al-Ansar School in Fairfax on Sundays. She has had an excellent experience working part time with preschoolers and kindergarteners teaching Arabic and Qur’an. She has also worked with autistic children. Bouchra is currently working full time at ADAMS center as a first and second grade teacher. She started learning Qur’an and Al-Jazariyah with her teacher Khadeejah Akyurt from 2009 onward. Bouchra earned an ijazah in Al-Jazariyah with Ms. Akyurt. Bouchra attended many workshops with Dr. Mahmood Hussein and earned her second ijazah in Al-Jazarriyah from him, and another one in Hadeeth. She has many hobbies that she enjoys, but she definitely considers reading her favorite. She also enjoys playing basketball and other sports.
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Badia is originally from Morocco and is a mother of two daughters. She came to the US in 2009 and worked as a deputy manager for ten years at an international company specialized in intellectual property based on her BA degree in English Literature as well as many certificates of general knowledge and electronic commerce with regard to intellectual property. Badia started learning tajweed rules with her beloved teacher Sister Khadeejah Akyurt in 2013, has earned three pre-ijazah certificates from Sister Khadeejah to teach tajweed rules in the recital of Hafs from Asim, an ijazah in Al-Jazariyah, and a certificate of completion of the Qaida An-Nooraniyah with Sheikh Arraee, multiple certificates from Dr. Mahmoud Hussein with regard to mechanisms of sound utterance and the Forty Nawawi Hadeeths, among others. Badia’s teaching experience started at Dar Al-Hijrah where she taught Qaida Nooraniyah lessons to kids followed by another teaching year with Marhoom Institute ending up as a Qur’an and Islamic Studies teacher with Washington International Academy for different levels. Her goal in this life is to memorize and teach the holy Qur’an. "The best of you is the one who learned Quran and teaches it to others." She is willing to give the best of her modest experience to whom it may concern for the sake of Allah SWT.
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Ahmed Sheikh Omar
Ahmed Omar attended the University of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif until his third year as a student of the faculty of Arabic history and civilization. He also taught Qur’an in Egypt for four years. Mr. Omar moved from Somalia to the United States in 2009, and since then has been leading the Friday sermons and traweeh at the Islamic foundation of America in Springfield, Virginia. In 2012 he started teaching Qur’an and basic Arabic writing at the center of Dar Al-Nur Somali Muslim Association of North America, in Falls Church, while enrolling full time in Northern Virginia Community College and earning his associates degree in science. Ahmed successfully completely ITQAN’s most rigorous program, The Ijazah Perpetration Course in May 2018, and as a hafiz, he is currently working on earning his Ijazah in the recital of Aasim.
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Raja studied business and earned her Bachelor’s Degree back in 2003. It wasn't until 2009 as she became a mother that she realized that she needed to learn her religion. Raja took many classes online with the Islam Academy in Saudi Arabia and started memorizing Qur’an and learning tajweed in the recital of Hafs. Years later, she was blessed with completing her memorization of Qur’an and earning a certificate as a Nouraniyah teacher from Sheikh ArRaee, an ijaza in Al-Jazariyah from Sheikh Mahmood Hussein, and two certificates in tajweed from Al-Jenan Center in Jordan. Alhamduli Allah, she learned a lot about herself. Raja learned that she is capable of learning new tools and skills. Today, she is taking on new challenges and reaching for higher goals. As any other mother who works full time while also taking classes, her most enjoyable time is when she is on family trips with her beloved ones. She also loves playing with her kids and singing stories to them at bed time which makes her kids laugh from all their heart.
Dr. Raqeia Ahmed Taha is also known as Umm Qutbi. Before moving to the United States, she was an assistant professor at Omdurman Islamic University, Sudan, faculty of fundamentals of religion department of Sunnah and Sciences of hadeeth from 1997 -2018. Rageia graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Islamic Studies from the faculty of fundamentals of religion at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Sciences in America and Omdurman Islamic University in 1997. She was appointed as a teacher in the same college, after which she obtained her Master's degree in 2002 in sunnah and the fundamentals of hadeeth, followed by a Doctorate degree in the same faculty and specialization in 2009.
Umm Qutbi’s journey with Quran and Tajweed started when she learned Tajweed at Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center. She then taught Tajweed at various locations such as the sisters’ circles and weekend school at Dar Al-Hijrah, and at Al-Huda school. Dr. Taha continued to teach Qur’an and Tajweed to sisters in Sudan, as well as university professors and students. After she returned to Virginia in 2012, she joined ITQAN where she studied advanced Tajweed rules and ancient texts in the sciences of Tajweed. Ragiea also taught at Imam Al-Kasai Institute in America, as well as the sisters in the Skyline complex, and as a substitute teacher at Fairfax County Public Schools.
She hopes to memorize the Qur’an before her death, and loves reading and researching. She is a grandmother and sister to all of us at ITQAN, and one of our most knowledgeable scholars.