Reviving hearts through Education

Our Mission

Zuhri Academy was established in 2009 in response to the need for structured Islamic learning in Bedfordshire. The aim was to deliver classical teachings in a contemporary and accessible manner.

Our Services

The Academy offers a range of services including:

  • Short courses inviting respected scholars to the area to deliver specialist content on belief, Islamic heritage, Qur’anic reflections and a range of practical topics including burial, inheritance and mental health.
  • Qur’an reading, Islamic studies and memorisation classes.
  • 2-year (Sanatain) part-time Islamic diploma for adult learners
  • Full-time ‘Aalim undergraduate programme delivered over five years covering Arabic, Islamic jurisprudence, Theology among other topics.
Our story

It was summer 2009 and we were preparing for graduation from the famous Alimiyyah seminary. Each of us felt excited and at the same time heavily responsible for conveying the great wealth of knowledge we had inherited from our teachers to our communities after spending over 9 years away from home.

We were quite clear about the objectives, strategies and the type of courses we wanted to deliver, but uncertain how best to establish and deliver this effectively in the confused and busy society we were due to be parachuted into. The identity of our foreward legacy was key. From all the great luminaries and role models throughout our rich history, whose name should we adopt to honour the academy? Interestingly, the answer was in plain sight as we began our revision of Imam Bukhari’s awesome Saheeh collection.

Whilst studying the upper hadeeth texts like Muwatta of Imam Malik, the Collections of Bukhari, Muslim and others, one can hardly miss mention of the name ‘Az-Zuhri’ – his full name was Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Muslim Ibn Ubaidillah Ibn Abdillah Ibn Shihab Ibn Abdillah Ibn Al-Haarith, Ibn Zahrah Ibn Kilab Al-Qurashi Az-Zuhri Al-Madani.Once this name was discussed, the founding team decided to honour our academy with Imam Ibn Shihab Az-Zuhri’s Name hence we call our Academy; Zuhri Academy or Imam Zuhri Academy.

We hope from Allah that he accepts all the good that has come out of this academy over the last decade and forgive us for our shortcomings and inherent weakness.

This is a brief biography of the Imam famously known as Imam Az-Zuhri or Muhammad Ibn Shihab Az-Zuhri. He lived from 50 Hijri to 124 Hijri (741 CE). He is a mid-ranking Tabi’i since he met prominent sahabah including Anas bin Malik(RA) and Abdullah ibn Umar(RA).

He memorised the Quran in 80 nights!

He studied with the Sahabah and senior students of the sahabah. He stayed with Saeed ibnul Musay’yab for 8 years seeking knowldege.
His teachers from the Sahabah; Anas bin Malik, Abdullah ibn Umar and Sahl bin Sa’d,
From the Senior tabi’oon; Saeed ibnul Musay’yab Aqeel, Yunus, Az-Zubaidi, Salih bin Kaisan, Ma’mar, Shuaib ibn Abi Hamzah, Al-awza’i, Al-layth, Malik, Ibn Abi Dhi’b, Amr bin Al-Haarith, Ibrahim bin Sa’ad, Sufyan bin Uyainah and many more.

What the great imams said about him?

Imam Abu Dawood said ‘his narrations number 2200; half of them are musnad’ and Imam Ma’mar said ‘he narrated from Abdullah ibn Umar 2 hadeeths’.

Imam Zuhri said ‘he sought knowledge with Saeed ibnul Musayyab(RA) for 8 years and Saeed(RA) was one of the most learned from the post Sahabah generation and was a master of Islamic sciences.

Imam Abu Zanad said ‘we used to visit scholars with Az-Zuhri whilst he would have papers and scrolls noting whenever he would listen’ (to hadeeth).

Imam Al-Layth said ‘I have never seen an Alim (scholar) more versatile in kowledge than Az-Zuhri, when he narrated regarding targheeb (encouraging to do good) I said ‘no one can excel (in this topic) except him’, and when he would narrate regarding Quran and sunnah I would say the same’.

Imam Al-Layth also said that Imam Zuhri said ‘No one endured more patience over knowledge (in seeking and travelling etc. for it) than me’ and ‘no one spread it like me’. Imam Zuhri was tasked with educating the caliphs family he therefore had to endure and be very patience in teaching the political elites.

Umar Ibn Abdil Azeez (Caliph) said ‘no one remains more knowledgable in sunnah than Az-Zuhri’.

When Umar ibn Abdil Azeez became caliph in the year 99 Hijri he was worried by the passing of the sahabah and the senior tabi’ioon therefore he tasked great hadeeth masters from different regions of the Caliphate to gather hadeeth in writing and amongst the senior ones was Imam Zuhri. He liked him very much for his hadeeth knowledge and his service to the ummah. Imam Zuhri moved from Madinah to Syria in order to teach hadeeth.

Imam Malik said ‘While Imam ibn Shihab Az-Zuhri remains alive there is no example of him in the world’ (in knowledge of hadeeth).
Imam Amr ibn Dinar said ‘i have not seen the dinars and dirhams treated more lesser in value to anyone than Az-Zuhri, it was like camel’s dung to him’.

His habits and lifestyle

It is recorded that he was a great solder.

He would apply hinaa (mehndi). He would consume a lot of honey but abstain from apples.

He said ‘whoever is pleased to learn hadeeth then he should eat raisins. (Speaking from his personal experience).

He said ‘no one worships Allah better than the person with knowledge (seeking knowledge and acting upon it are both worship).

Imam Zuhri left behind such a Sadaqah Jaariyah legacy that a big portion of Islam is passed down through his teaching so much so that most later Imams have mentioned his narrations. His contemporaries regarded him to be a great scholar and the later historians and scholars refer to him as one of the greater hadeeth scholars of Islam.

We hope all the readers especially our teachers, scholars, students and all supporters are inspired by Imam Zuhri and make firm intention to leave our own Sadaqah Jaariyah in the form of educating our children and the community to help us in the hereafter.

(Taken from Tadhkiratul Huffaz of Imam Dhahabi)

We present Qur’anic Knowledge and
the Prophetic example

Qur'anic guidance

Our programmes are delivered in English and attempt to relate Islamic guidance to current day circumstances.

Good company

We have benefited from the good company of our teachers and fellow students and encourage a collective spirit in all our activities.

Practical learning

Recognising that our deen is built on belief and practise, our activities are both academic and practical so that we can live what we learn.

Our founding motivation

Planting the seeds of change through cultivation and leadership