As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah
Some of you have been asking regarding the fairly new Qur’anic Institute in Egypt, namely: Ma’had al-Ma’sarawi.
Foundation: This institute was set up in about the last 3 years, with the main branch located in Madinat Nasr. It’s run by Shaykh Ahmad ‘Isa al-Ma’sarawi who is the head of the Lajnah for Muraja3at al-Mushaf [Al-Azhar's Majma' Buhuth al-Islami] and he also has his main office on the ground floor of this main branch.
Background: It’s an ideal institute for those of you who are looking to progress your Qur’anic studies or complete your hifdh (memorisation) of the Qur’an and thereafter gain certification in any of the 10 Qira’at. All the teachers are qualified to give Ijazah in at least one Qira’ah and I personally see them to be some of the best teachers in Cairo.
Classes: The days of the week are split into 6; 3 days for women (Sun, Tues and Thur) and 3 days for men (Sat, Mon and Wed), with a Friday closure. You have a choice of programs, depending on your examination with the Administration. You can enrol into one of the halaqat (circles) running twice a week, where you’ll be placed into groups studying the rules of Tajwid (recitation) and memorising certain chapters, which usually starts from Juzz ‘Amma working upwards. If you are past that stage or you do well in your entry exam, you can opt for sessions on ‘Muraja3ah’ which is review of the Qur’an. The third option is going straight for an Ijazah and for this you need to get a certain grade in the entry exam (outlined below) and also state so in your application.
Generally, the institute doesn’t offer private classes for anyone unless you are doing Muraja’ah or are in the Ijazah system, where you’ll naturally require one-to-one sessions.
Although students at the Institute are predominantly Egyptian, it also attracts students from the world over who are seeking to give a concrete foundation to their Qur’anic studies; a lot come from Indonesia/Malaysia, parts of Africa and Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan etc).
Language: For foreigners, the only downside or problem you may face is the language barrier. In the halaqat, since the majority are Egyptian, the ‘aamiyyah (colliquial Arabic) may at times take over – but you are welcome to kindly request your teacher to explain things in Fusha. In one of the classes I attend on Al-Shatibiyyah, the teacher Shaykh Muhammad al-Munshid speaks only Fusha even though everyone there is Egyptian (he even goes out of his way to clarify & correct himself in Nahw and sarf!).
Examinations: One of the distinguising features of Ma’had al-Ma’sarawi is its rigourous examinations (be scared, be very scared!). The general breakdown goes as follows:
60% – Hifdh
25% – Tajwid al-Nadhari (theoretical tajwid)
15% – Tajwid al-’Amali (application of tajwid)
Pass Mark: 70%
Usually examinations take place after every 10 Juzz, meaning that you’ll only ever have to do 3 exams, provided you don’t fail any. If you wish to attain an Ijazah from Shaykh al-Ma’sarawi (i.e. a higher isnad), you have to maintain a pass mark of over 80% on all 3 exams.
[Outside view from Mustafa al-Nahas street]
[I like these bill-board type notices that most Islamic centres place up. It has many Sunnan and ahadith written on it as well as beneficial deeds one can do on a daily basis]
[Surprisingly the institute has a refreshing burst of green scenery all around it!]
[View from the inside]
[Shaykh Muhammad al-Munshid's book on Ijazah documenting the names of all the students that have taken their isnad from him]
[The clutter outside :) actually the guy who owns this kushk (kiosk) recently revamped it after 16yrs he says. Just make sure to buy your bottle of water before going into class - you'll need it!]
I was going to share the funny story of how I ended up at this institute but I’ll save that for another time :D
For informational purposes:
Nasr City [Main Branch]: Located next to Masjid al-Mu’min al-Muhaymin, Akhir Mitro, Mustafa al-Nahas street, Al-Hayy al-Thamin (8th District), Nasr City. Tel: +20111268849
Al-Sayyidah Zaynab: +20122114523 / +2023960452
Midan al-Jaysh: +20112851439
Tajammu’ al-Khamis: +20193005669 / +20227575715
There are other branches too (e.g. in Al-Hayy al-’Ashir), but I do not currently have their details as they may be fairly new or yet to open up.