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Journeys is an ‘ilm focused program by The Retreat offering relevant and practical introductory-intermediate level courses on weekly longitudinal format that aims to eventually build lifelong learners of the sacred Islamic sciences.

All courses offered through the Journeys program are FREE and generally scheduled on weekends. They span a variety of subjects including ARABIC, QURAN, TAJWEED, HADITH, FIQH, TAFSEER, & SPIRITUALITY. They can be short mini-courses lasting 4 hours to a full comprehensive course that spans an entire 14 week term lasting 28-30 hours.

Most courses are 1-2 hour weekly sessions on Saturday or Sunday mornings. Check out our current class offerings and read more about the course timings and instructors by clicking one of the buttons below.

Arabic Reading and Writing

Learning the Arabic letters – their form and how they come otgether to form words and sentences, their pronunciation, and how to write the Arabic language.

Course offered almost every term year round. Total course instruction time ~12 hours

Beginner’s Quranic Recitation

Guided reading and practice of Quranic Recitation with Tajweed of Surat alFaithah and the shorter surahs form Juz Amma and other often recited Surahs of the Quran.

Course offered almost every term year round. Total course instruction time ~12 hours


Detailed Course on Articulation Points & Qualities of Arabic Letters.

Currently being offered in Summer 2022, 1 hour weekly.

Quranic Recitation – alMulk, arRahman, Yaseen, alKahf

Weekly Guided Quran Recitation practice for the surahs of alMulk, arRahman, Yaseen, & alKahf. The goal of this course is for those who have completed Beginners Quranic Recitation to continue working on improving their Quran recitation.

Course offered last Ramadan 1443/2022. Total course instruction time ~5 hours

Tajweed Rules for Quranic Recitation: Theory & Practice

14 session bi-weekly course covering the primary rules of recitation via the classical beginner’s poem “Tuhfatul Atfal (تحفة الأطفال) – “A Gift for Children” with focus on the rules of the letter Noon (ن) , Meem (م), Laam (ل), and the elongation of vowels referred to as Madd. The course will provide ample time to the students to practice their tajweed and recitation of the Quran with the teacher.

Last offered Summer 2019 by Sh Anisul Haque. Total course instruction time ~14-20 hours.


Learning the rules of tajweed via the well known poem of Imam al Jamzuri . This is a beginner’s course on the path to attaining proficiency in Quranic recitation and gaining an ijaaza in the recitation of the Quran. This course may be taught over 2 terms depending on the students background knowledge and progress.

2 term course last offered Fall 2021 & Spring 2022 by Ustadha Hanan Osama. Total course instruction time ~26-32 hours.


Arabic Language: Madinah Arabic Books by Dr. V. AbdurRahim
Course Text: Madinah Arabic Books 1, 2, or 3 – depending on which one you join.
You can purchase the newest editions here: https://dar-us-salam.com/quran/learn-the-quran/236-arabic-course-3-volume-set.html?search_query=madinah+arabic&results=23
A PDF of the older original editions will be provided prior to start of classes

Book 1 Part 1 – (Chapters 1~12) – Beginner’s Introductory (only need to know how to read Arabic)

Book 1 Part 2 (Chapter 13~23) – Beginner’s Introductory. If you’ve studied Book 1 previously but it’s been a long time or never finished or just need to review, this class is for you.

Book 2 Part 1 (Chapter 1~13) – Introduction to Jumlah Fi’liyyah using Af’aal anNaqisah and other Af’aal (Verbs)

Book 2 Part 2 (Chapter 14~23) – More usage of Verbs and increasing practice of vocab and grammar

Book 2 Part 3 (Chapter 23~31) – Primarily covering Verbs (Af’aal) and Sarf (morphology) of these verbs if time allows will do an overview of the primary aspects of Sarf through Matan Binaa ul Af’aal

Book 3 – A deeper dive into grammar and Sarf along with reading Qasas an Nabiyeen.

Almost all Madinah Arabic courses are offerred every term, year round. Each course is ~20-26 hours of instruction time.


Qira’ah (Reading Comprehension) from Qasas anNabiyyeen of Sh. Abul Hasan Ali anNadwi

Qasas anNabiyeen 1.1 Nabi Ibrahim (AS)
– Intro to reading comprehension, guided reading and translation. Focus on high level of repetition in reading to build reading fluency and understanding.
– Students need to have completed at least Book 1 but may be able to keep if they did well in Book 1 Part 1 (Chp 1-13) alone.
Qasas anNabiyeen 1.2 Nabi Yusuf (AS)
– to be taken after completion of Qasas 1.1

Qasas anNabiyeen 4.1 Nabi Shu’ayb (AS)
Qasas anNabiyeen 4.2 Nabi Dawood & Sulayman (AS)
Qasas anNabiyeen 4.3 Nabi Ayyoob & Yunus (AS)
– Reading Comprehension & Explanation (Students need to be at level of Book 3 or equivalent) – Sh Arsalan Majid

Varying levels are offered every term, year round and are ~1 hour weekly.

Sarf: Study of Arabic Word Format & Derivation via Matan Binaa ul Af’aal

An introductory text of Sarf to give students an overview of all the verb roots, their form, their derivative words and conjugations.

Course last offered Spring 2022 and ongoing. Instruction time for this course is ~15 hours.


This will be a first-step course into the world of Arabic Grammar with a special focus on Quranic Arabic. Will mainly cover nouns in Arabic grammar and the sentences they make. This class is ideal for those who already know how to read the Quran but have minimal understanding of what they are reciting.

Course last offered Summer 2019. Instruction time for this course is ~6 hours.

Intro to Hadith Methodology & Literature

A course that provides an introduction to the science of hadith. It will teach the history of its transmission, collection, books, development of the field, and how to determine which ones can or can’t be attributed to the Prophet (SAW). The methodology used to determine their reliability, their classifications, and literature that is commonly referenced like the works of Sahih Bukhari and Muslim.

Required Readings: Studies in Hadith Methodology and Literature by Mustafa Al-Azami

Last taught by Ustadh Maaz Syed from Fall 2021 to Spring 2022. Total Instruction time was ~20-24hours.

Aqeedah tahaawiyyah

An intermediate level introduction to the famous treatise by Imam Abu Ja’far atTahawi (d. 321H) on the essentials points of belief that every Muslim should believe in.

This course was last offered Spring 2019 and taught by Shaykh Arsalan Majid at Tajweed Institute. Total Instruction time was ~30 hours.

Absolute Essentials: Hanbali Fiqh of Worship

This is an introductory course to Hanbali Fiqh which will include an introduction to fiqh, followe dby the madhabs and the madhab of Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal in particular followed by Fiqh of Ibaadaat (Purification, Prayer, Fasting, Zakaat, & Hajj/Umrah) This will be taught via the book “Al Kifaayat usSughraa” of Sh. Abdullah bin Ibrahim azZaahim. This course may be taught over 2 terms depending on the students background knowledge and progress.

Currently being taught by Sh Suleiman Dzanic since Journey’s Fall 2021 semester and is scheduled to finish Summer 2022
Course Instruction time: ~20 hours

Practical IBAADA (Hanafi Fiqh of Worship)

The “Practical Ibaada” series brings short (2-3 hours) mini-courses that give Muslims the necessary tools to perform and excel in their personal worship and connection with Allah. This course not only provides the practical and necessary aspects every Muslim needs to know in a succinct fashion but also offers some recommended practices that increases their spirituality.

The fasting portion was last offered prior to Ramadan 1443/2022. The full series is set to begin Summer 2022 for the first time and will be taught by Moulana Yousuf Ahmed. It will be taught according tot he Hanafi school of fiqh beginning with Tahaara.

Intro to Fiqh: Islamic Legal Code, Law, & it’s Principles

An introduction to the rulings that Muslims are governed by in Islam and how they are derived. This will be a 5 part class that will cover what is fiqh, what are it’s rulings, how it is derived, implemented, taught, as well as how one should and could go about studying it.

Last taught by Imam Hasan Siddiqui in Journey’s Spring 2021 semester.
Instruction time: 5~7 hours

Bidaayatul ‘Aabid (Hanbali Fiqh of Worship)

Fiqh of Worship via the introductory fiqh text: Bidaayat alAabid wa Kifaayat uzZaahid (trans: Commencement of the Worshiper and Sufficiency for the Ascetic) by Sh AbdulRahman bin Abdullah alBa’li (‎ بداية العابد و كفاية الزاهد لالشيخ عبد الرحمان بن عبد الله البعلي)

Course Description: Bidayat al-Abid wa Kifayat al-Zahid is a concise manual restricted to the acts of worship based on the jurisprudence of Imam Abu Abdullah Ahmad b. Hanbal. This course will offer the student what is considered the first rung on the ladder to studying fiqh as a seeker of Islamic knowledge and more specifically the Hanbali school. The course will go through reading the text in Arabic while providing an English translation and explanation. Topics will include the most common issues pertaining to the rites and rituals of worship i.e. purification, prayer, funeral proceedings, alms-giving, fasting, pilgrimage, and also briefly touches on legal rulings and ethics of military service.

This course was last taught by Sh Suleiman Dzanic during Summer 2019 at Tajweed Institute. Instruction time ~20 hours.

The Retreat’s The Fiqh Series

The Fiqh Series: A comprehensive 2 month series covering the Fiqh (Islamic Rulings & Laws) of worship.

The course will cover each act of worship through the use of flow charts, tables, and diagrams to help the student retain the information in a more interactive way instead of just notes or a text. Each session will be followed by quizzes to solidify the information. Anyone who wishes to continue their studying of fiqh has the option of joining the WhatsApp group. Those who attend all the sessions, or make them up if they miss any, will get a Certificate of Completion, and those who complete the tests will receive a certificate of understanding, per instructor discretion.

Last taught by Sh Abdullah Ashraf part of ROIC’s Summer Learning Program in June 8th-July 20th, 2019

Instruction time: ~24 Hours


A short introduction to the study of the life of the Prophet Muhammad (Sal Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). An introduction to the science along with a chronology and few of the most debated and controversial issues that every contemporary and western Muslim needs to be aware of will be covered.

Course was last offered Spring 2019 and was taught by Danish Hasan at Tajweed Institute. Total instruction time ~6hours.

Suratul Faatihah – Tafseer Masterclass

A 5 session Tafseer Masterclass on Suratul Faatihah covering every aspect of the Surah from its benefits, virtues, importance, meanings of words, and tafseer. It will also cover the special relationship it has with a Muslim due to it being recited in every salaah.

Will be taught by Ustadh Salman Ghani for the first time during Summer 2022 session, Sundays 10AM-12PM From July 24-Aug 21. Instruction time ~10hours.

Illuminating the Darkness: Black Muslim History in the US

A short overview of Islam’s presence amongst Black Americans. Starting with the Muslims that were brought to the Americas through the Trans-Atlantic slave trade through to the civil rights movements and the aftermath until now. The last session will have a special focus on individuals of lasting influence and impact in our current lives from the recent past. This mini-course will last 5 sessions.

Last offered Feb – Spring 2022 at Tajweed Institute, taught by Ustadh Ismail Abdullah

Total Instruction time: ~6 hours

Scholars of ISlam

A short mini-course of biographical accounts of some of the most prominent scholars of Islam.

This course was last taught by Ustadh Salman Ghani in Spring 2019 at Tajweed Institute. Total instruction time ~4-5 hours.



Shaykh Arsalan memorized the Quran at Madrasah Islamiyyah in Houston, TX pursued multiple ijaazahs in Hafs thereafter. He completed a Bachelors of Science in Psychology at University of Houston & Bachelors in Islamic Law and Legal Theory from Islamic University of Medina. He currently serves as the Imam at Cypress Islamic Center.


Moulana Yousuf Ahmed was born in Karachi, Pakistan. He completed memorization of the Quran while in high school and subsequently enrolled into the Alim program at the Institute of Islamic Education where he completed a formal Alimiyyah Degree.


Ustadh Salman Ghani is a graduate of AlMaghrib Institute and currently completing his Masters in Islamic Finance and is on course to finishing memorizing the Quran. He works as a Project Manager for a large IT company.


Ustadha Sondos Osama did her primary Quran & Tajweed education in Cairo, Egypt and teaches Quran to children and adults online.


Ismail Abdullah is the son of African-American converts to Islam. His mother is Sonia Chinn, the current Executive Director of Taiba. He has a bachelor’s degree in Statistics. He is an aspiring student of knowledge, regular khateeb at many Houston masjids, volunteer prison chaplain, and active volunteer in charity and dawah work. He loves learning and traveling and has a special interest in Islamic history. He’s currently a student at Suhbah Institute’s Seminary.


Shaykh Suleiman Dzanic, a native Houstonian of Bosnian origin, started his journey of seeking Islamic knowledge in Houston with memorization of Quran at Madrasah Islamiyyah then at Masjid anNabawi. While pursuing his secular studies at Houston Community College, he was accepted and enrolled into the Islamic University of Medina to pursue a degree in Islamic Law and Jurisprudence. He has acquired multiple licenses (ijaazat) in Aqidah, Fiqh, and Hadith. He completed his Bachelors in 2021 and worked as an Imam at Masjid Ibrahim in Austin, TX andd is currently servingas contract Imam at Pearland Islamic Center and a teacher with Al Huda Schools. His personal interests are Fiqh, Seerah, reading and BBQ.


Ustadha Hanan Osama completed her hifdh at 18 and has been teaching Quran since then. She graduated from the Faculty of Arabic at Cairo university in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree and has been teaching Arabic since then. She has primarily been teaching Quran and Arabic online for the last 4 years.


Ustadh Maaz Syed works as a logistics manager in the petrochemical industry. He taught himself Arabic in order to understand the Quran and likes sharing what he learns. He likes to work with youth who are new to Islamic Studies and guide them in developing a good foundation before they branch off to higher studies.


Brother Faran Shah is a recent graduate from the University of Houston. He studied Islamic studies locally and completed Suhbah Seminary program. He is continuing his studies in Arabic & Islamic Studies at the Islamic University of Minnesota in the Twin cities (St. Paul & Minneeapolis).


Quadri Kazeem was born and raised in Houston texas. He is a regular volunteer and khateeb for several mosques in the Houston area. He has pursued a formal Arabic language education for the last 5 years.


Imam Hasan Siddiqui completed his Alimiyya Studies at Dar ul Uloom NY along with the study and attaining ijaaza of the primary hadith collections. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Islamic Sciences at the International Open University. He has been a khateeb since 2009 and has been serving as Imam, Instructor, and Resident Scholar at various masaajid and institutions in Texas & New York since 2016.


Ustadh Yildrim Zaynal is a cyber security expert currently working in the DMV area since 2012. His Islamic Studies background consists of graduating from Bayyinah Dream program in 2016, followed by 9 months in Egypt to solidify his speaking skills following which he studied 2 months in Turkey, Istanbul at the Imam Abu Hanifah Institute doing elementary Islamic Studies completely in Arabic.


Danish Hasan graduated from Bayyinah’s Dream Program in Dallas, TX in 2016 and has been studying Arabic with private teachers since then.


Anzar Lateef was born and raised in the DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth) Metroplex. He completed his Electrical Engineering at UTD. Besides taking Islamic Studies classes in DFW area and at his local masjid, EPIC, he continues his study of the Quran locally and Arabic with The Retreat.


Maryam Hanif resides in Chicago and currently works as an Engineer for a startup in the Bay Area.  She is an aspiring student of knowledge and has studied the Candlelight Arabiya program at European Institute of Islamic Sciences in the UK. She has a passion for travelling and volunteering in her local community.


PHONE: +1.281.624.5624