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Alimiyyah Degree in Arabic & Islamic Studies

Intensive Residential Programme
  • Alimiyyah pathway

The Alimiyyah Degree programme is a 2 or 3 year residential course (dependent on your prior level of Arabic and Islamic studies) developed by Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi, based on decades of research and teaching students in the UK. It is designed to develop critical thinking and a deep understanding of the primary sources of Islam, empowering students to bring this understanding to bear on contemporary issues facing them in society. To deliver this course we have Shaykh Akram, alongside a range of teachers who have excelled both at Islamic institutions of learning and in mainstream university education.



We recognise that many people wish to study the Islamic sciences but are unable to commit to several years of full time education. The Alimiyyah Degree programme has been designed with this in mind; through 2 years of intensive study students will be equipped with the tools necessary to become an Islamic scholar, or ‘Alim’. These individuals will ideally have completed, or at least obtained a place on, a bachelors programme at any accredited university. Through this we hope to develop Ulama who are active in various roles in society: professionals, academics, business-people, community activists and many more. We accept people from a range of backgrounds, those with an existing background in Arabic and Islamic studies will complete the programme in 2 years, while beginners to the Arabic language will do an additional foundation year, spending 3 years in total to complete the Alimiyyah Degree programme.


Applications for 2020 are currently on hold due to the COVID – 19 pandemic.

Keep your eyes peeled for updates, please contact info@cambridgeislamiccollege for further information.


(Click to expand for more information)










First Academic Year: September 2020-July 2021

Second Academic Year: September 2021-July 2022

Duration: 2 Years

Contact hours – 25-30 hours per week, between 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday.

  1. Arabic Language – GCE A Level or equivalent standard.
  2. Arabic Grammar – Sharh Qatr al-Nada or equivalent book
  3. Arabic Morphology – Shadha al-’Arf or equivalent book
  4. Fiqh – Mukhtasar al-Quduri or equivalent book (Fiqh primer from any Madhab is acceptable)
  5. Hadith – Bulugh al-Maram or equivalent book.
  6. Hadith – Forty Hadith of Imam Nawawi or equivalent.
  7. An accredited undergraduate degree from any University (we will also accept students that have been accepted onto a University course, but want to defer their place) or clear evidence of writing and learning capabilities equivalent to graduate level

If you are missing some of these pre-requisites, our Arabic Immersion Programme and our Diploma in Arabic and Islamic Studies will help achieve this.

Fees Fees will be calculated according to the students financial needs, which will be assessed in stage 2 of the application.
Introduction to Alimiyyah Degree from Shaykh Akram Nadwi
















Please note that this course does not award a university bachelor’s degree. It awards a ‘alimiyyah degree which is independently awarded by Islamic colleges and seminaries in UK and rest of the world.




The core aims of the teaching programme are:

  • to give students the necessary skills in reading and using both classical and modern Arabic.  Without these skills they cannot expect to access the vast treasury of Islamic thought and culture, still less to benefit by interrogating it critically.
  • to teach students the basic techniques and responsibilities of academic research, how to read sources critically, how to negotiate and evaluate arguments and counter-arguments, and how to build their own arguments.
  • to enable students to read the Qur’an and Qur’anic commentary (tafsir), understanding how its teaching educates conscience and behaviour. They should be able to explain to others, as well as understand for themselves, how the guidance of the Qur’an relates to contemporary issues and circumstances.
  • to teach students the history and development of seerah (the biography of the Prophet) and of the hadith sciences: emphasis will be placed on understanding when and how the major hadith compilations were recorded, how the material was assessed and interpreted to inform the norms and rules of individual and collective life, and its continued relevance today.
  • to give students a firm grasp of the major events in the evolution of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), the major schools of law, their commonalities and differences, and the good manners (adab) in managing plurality of legal opinion.
  • to help students think through some of the theological and philosophical controversies that have persisted in Islamic societies over the centuries and the cultural and political consequences of these controversies in terms of inter-sectarian and inter-religious polemic.
  • to enable students to serve as faithful representatives of a practised Islam that is, according to the pattern of God’s Messenger and his Companions, gracious and patient with religious diversity; an Islam based on sound knowledge that the students have acquired for themselves and which they carry back into their communities; an Islam practised as a commitment to respect, care for and serve others; an Islam secured not by attachment to communal identity but by attachment to God.


Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi

Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi – a former research fellow at Oxford University – is most reputed for his ground-breaking research on the female scholars of Islam in the field of Hadith. This research spanned a period of 15 years and resulted in the 57-volume work detailing and analysing the biographies of over 9000 female scholars from the time of Prophet Muhammad until today. This work is hailed as a unique masterpiece in the history of Islam.

Dr Nadwi started his Islamic education in Madrasah al-Islah, a madrasah that was started by the great Indian scholar and thinker, Moulana Hamiduddin Al-Farahi. After completing his initial studies there, he went on to join the prestigious seminary, Nadwatul ‘Ulama. He completed his BA ‘Alimiyyah Degree and MA in Hadith Studies with first class honours and top of his class. He was directly appointed to teach at the Institute by the then director, Shaykh Abul Hasan ‘Ali Nadwi. While teaching at Nadwatul ‘Ulama, Dr Nadwi pursued further studies at Lucknow University in the field of economics (BA) and he then completed a PhD programme in Arabic Literature.

Dr Nadwi, at the request of Shaykh Abul Hasan ‘Ali Nadwi, joined the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, University of Oxford, as a research fellow in 1989. In addition to numerous research papers, he has authored and translated over 30 titles on Language, Jurisprudence, Qur’an and Hadith. In 2013, he relinquished his post at University of Oxford to focus on his own writings which include a comprehensive explanation on the classical hadith masterpiece Sahih Muslim.

Dr Nadwi’s authoring and teaching experience spans over 30 years. His introductory books on Arabic Grammar (Al-Nahw), Morphology (Al-Sarf) and Principles (Usul) of Tafsir, Hadith and Fiqh are used all over the world in madrasahs, Islamic institutes and colleges teaching ‘Alimiyyah (Islamic scholarship degree) students. He has also assisted many of the Islamic colleges with curriculum development.

Dr Nadwi’s passion for learning and teaching made him travel around the world to visit and study under many of the renowned scholars of our time. He is widely recognised as one of Western Europe’s leading Islamic scholars and thinkers.


Uwais Namazi

Mawlana Uwais Namazi was born and raised in the North West of England, Blackburn. He commenced his formal studies at the Jam’iat al-Ilm Wa al-Huda (Blackburn) and he graduated as ‘Aalim in 2004 and Fazil in 2006 from Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama in Lucknow. In 2008 he completed an MA in Islamic Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London), and thereafter joined the Islamic Texts Society in Cambridge as a Publishing Assistant, also providing his services to various publishing houses catering for the Islamic Studies like Turath Publishing (London) and Amal Press (Bristol). In 2011, he joined the faculty at the Ebrahim College (London) where he taught Arabic, Hadith, Fiqh and Tafsir. He also taught at the Jibril Institute and served at Hafs Academy (London). In 2015 he moved back to his hometown and co-founded the Nizami Institute, teaching the same disciplines, as well as teaching GCSE Arabic at the Eden Boys Secondary School. Mawlana Uwais is presently awaiting approval as a doctoral candidate to commence his research in December 2018 at the Royal Holloway (University of London), and dividing his time between teaching, research and family.


Abid Khan

Sh Abid Khan studied Islamic sciences for several years under many notable scholars. He was awarded the al-shahādat al-‘ālimiyyah (Licence in Islamic Scholarship officially qualifying him as a scholar) alongside complete ijāzah in the Six Canonical Books of Ḥadīth – receiving the shortest isnād in Ṣaḥīh al-Bukhārī. He has a special interest in Jurisprudence, and has several years been a Lecturer in  Usūl’l-Fiqh ; Islamic Contract Law; Zakat  at ASI, and more recently Jibreel Institute alongside his current teaching post at Cambridge Islamic College. He has been on several British television channels delivering Fatāwā programs, as well as on the specialist Recite programme as the guest. He is invited to many of the largest mosques in the country to teach on his areas of specialisation. He also serves as a part-time Imam. He had previously graduated in Bioengineering and Applied Physics, and then studied at the UCL Masters’ degree for Biomaterials & Stem Cell research.


Reem Mohammed

Ustadha Reem is a native Arabic speaker from Egypt, spending her early years in Oman. She graduated with a dual Bachelor of Arts and Education degree in Arabic Language from Zagazig University, Egypt in 2005, also studying English as a second language. From 2006 to 2007 she taught Arabic Language at a secondary school in Oman directing students in classical Arabic poetry and drama study. Reem moved to England in 2007 where she has been teaching Quraan voluntarily to adults and children. From 2014-2018 she has been tutoring students for GCSE Arabic, coaching students in reading, writing, listening and speaking. She is happily married with 3 beautiful children. Reem enjoys teaching Arabic and look forward to this exciting opportunity to work with students at CIC to develop their Arabic to further their Islamic studies.


Ayman Abdel Haleem

Ustadh Ayman Abdel Haleem completed his BA in Arabic at the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), University of London with first class honours. Following a period in Egypt, where he studied under a number of Azhari scholars, he completed an MPhil in Theology at the University of Cambridge. He spent several years in the position of Senior Teaching Fellow at SOAS where he tought Quranic Arabic. In addition to his teaching activities, Ustadh Ayman works as an editor and translator of Islamic literature.


Mujahid Ali

Shaykh Mujahid Ali came to England at a young age and was brought up in the North of England. During his teens he started his Islamic studies at the Institute of Islamic Education in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire where he studied the Islamic sciences according to the Dars Nizami curriculum. 

In 2002 he completed his hadith studies under Shaykhul Hadith Mufti Muslihuddin, Shaykh Yusuf Darwan, Shaykh Mufti Musa Badat and Shaykh Abul Qasim, from whom he received ijazah. He then travelled to Syria for further studies in Hadith under several mashayikh (scholars) such as Shaykh Mohammad Asa’d Saeed As-Sagarji Ad- Dimashqi, and also studied advanced Arabic at Ma’had al-Lugah a branch of  Damascus University. 

Since 2004 the Shaykh has been a teacher at Ebrahim College. Whilst teaching both these subjects he has compiled an anthology of Arabic literature as a literature textbook, and written a commentary on al-Muqaddamah al-Jazariyyah in tajweed, both of which will soon be published. The Shaykh also has ijaazah in al-Qira’aatal-Sab’ from the Institute of Islamic Education, Dewsbury. He is also one of the judges for the National Qira’at competition. 



Foundation Year

Students who do not meet the required Arabic level (GCE A level or equivalent) will be required to do the 1 Year Arabic Mastery Programme. This will equip you with all of the skills required to proceed on to the Alimiyyah programme.

First Year


Material Covered

Tafsir Al-Jalalayn,
Fundamentals of Usul al-Tafsir (Dr. Akram Nadwi),
Al-Fawz ul-Kabir fi Usul al-Tafsir, (Shah Waliullah al-Dihlawi),
Al-Muqaddimah fi Usul al-Tafsir, (Ibn Taymiyyah)


Material Covered

Mishkat Al-Masabih,( al-Khatib al-Tabirizi),
Fundamentals of Usul al-Hadith (Dr Akram Nadwi),
Nuzhat Al Nazar Fi Sharh Nukhbat al-Fikar (Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani),
The Prolegomenon of Sahih Muslim (Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj al-Qushayri)


Material Covered

Bidayat al-Mujtahid (Ibn Rushd),
Essentials of Usul al-Fiqh ( Dr. Akram Nadwi),
Irshad al-Fuhul ( Imam al-Shawkani)


Material Covered

al-‘Aqidah al-Tahawiyyah (al-Tahawi)
al-Aqidah al-Nasafiyyah (Najm al-Din (Abu Hafs)
al-Nasafi) al-‘Aqidah al-Wasitiyyah (Ibn Taymiyyah)
tarikh al-madhahib al-islamiyyah fi al-siyasah wa al-aqa’id wa tarikh al-madhahib al-fiqhiyyah ( Abu Zahrah)

Logic (Mantiq)

Material Covered

Preliminaries of Logic from Maqsid al-Falasifah (al-Ghazali)
Complemented with portions from al-Radd ‘ala al-Mantiqin (Ibn Taymiyyah)

Studies in the Arabic Language

Material Covered

“Al-Mufassal” (Zamakhsharee)
“Al-Balaghat al-Waadihah” (Ali-Al- Jarim)
“Mufradaat al-Quran” ( Raaghib al Isfahaanee)
“Mufradaat al-Quran” (Hamiduddeen al-Farahi)
“Mukhtarat” (Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi)
“Al-Adab al-Marathi wal Hamaasah min Deewaan al Hamaasah” (Abu Tamaam)


Second Year


Material Covered

Tafsir of selected surahs from the Quran: Surah Aal-Imran, Surah al-Nisa and Surah al-Maidah.

Tafsir al Kashshaf (Zamaksharee) – Surah al-Fatihah and Surah al-Baqarah.



Material Covered

Selections from Sahih Al Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunan Abu Dawood, Sunan An-Nasa’i, Sunan Ibn Majah
Book on Proofs of Prophethood (Ibn Taymiyyah)
The Authority and Position of the Sunnah in the Islamic Shari’ah and Studies on the prophetic hadith and history of the codification of the Sunnah (Dr. Mustafa al-A’zamee), selections from Siyar al-A’lam an-Nubula (Al-Dhahabi)



Material Covered

Bidayat al-Mujtahid (Ibn Rushd),
Irshad al-Fuhul ( Imam al-Shawkani)

Philosophy of Shariah

Material Covered

“Hujjat Allah al-Balighah (Shah Walliullah)
“Al-Muwafaqaat” (Al- Shaatibi)
I’laam al-Muwaqqi’een (Ibn Qayyim-Al Jawzi)
al-‘Aqidah al-Tahawiyyah (al-Tahawi)

Advanced Studies in the Arabic Language


Material Covered

“Part 2 of Mukhtarat”(Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi)
“Al-Muallaqaat as-Sab’a”

Islamic History


Material Covered

Foreword of Sirat al-Nabi,(Allamah Shibli Nu’mani)
al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah (Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali al-Hasani al-Nadwi)
Biographies of the 4 Rightly Guided Caliphs from Tarikh al-Islam (Dhahabi)
Biographies of the Mothers of the Believers and the Daughters of the Prophet and other Companions from Siyar A’lam al-Nubula (Imam al-Dhahabi)























The application consists of 4 stages.

Stage 1 – Fill out the application form HERE by midnight on March the 1st.

Stage 2 – Once we have reviewed your application, we will contact you in order to conduct a financial assessment – fees payable will be calculated on the basis of this assessment.

Stage 3 – If your application is successful, you will be invited for an interview at the College.

Stage 4 – If you are successful in your interview, we will send you with an enrolment form to fill out. Once this has been completed and returned, your enrolment on the course will be complete.

We will also be hosting Open Days to meet faculty, discuss the curriculum and view the college.