Orientation is scheduled for Monday September 18, 2017.
Upon arrival to Atlanta, students from out of town will be busy adjusting to the new landscape; it is a time of excitement, anticipation, and exploration. Ideally, students should try to book their airline tickets to ensure at least a week to settle into their new home and locality. A week will be sufficient to acclimate and arrange necessities including transport, local banking, shopping, and locating places of interest.
Insha’Allah, our esteemed Founding Director Shaykh Muhammad al-Ninowy and other Madina instructors will be there to welcome you to the Madina Institute and introduce the Islamic Studies program. You will get to meet staff, volunteers and fellow students. Lectures will cover everything you need to know about class schedules, grading & certification, student conduct, tips, methods and pacing of personal study, as well as how to approach Sacred Knowledge, spiritually. Particular attention will be given to the Arabic Language course – introduction and placement testing so teachers can organize classes appropriately. More details on the program will be available at the Student Orientation Insha’Allah.
What to expect in your daily life at Madina
Your daily life at Madina will be busy, but fruitful insha’Allah.
– Each week day starts with 4 hours of Arabic designed to be engaging, interactive and full of practice.
– This is followed by a break and Dhuhr prayer before returning to the classroom at 2:30 pm for afternoon classes covering core Islamic material. These afternoons are spent with either with Shaykh Muhammad Ninowy (who instructs in all subjects) or a visiting scholar teaching in their area of expertise.
– Though classes may occasionally go longer as experts wish to cover more material, they are typically finished by 5 or 6 pm, allowing students to go home or even remain in the masjid revising notes, reading, discussing and relaxing.
– Depending on the availability of visiting scholars, classes may extend beyond the typical Monday-Friday schedule into the weekend to complete syllabus material. These exceptions are discussed and delineated in advance and offset with adequate free time during the week for study and personal needs.
– Friday classes end by 11:00 and are always followed by community service (khidma), preparing the masjid for Jumuah prayer and ensuring the grounds, even the kitchen, are in pristine order. Khidma is an ongoing activity and also extends to weekends as needed or for special events.
– Free time and weekends are usually spent taking care of normal errands, household chores and occasional leisure activities as well as the necessary study. Scholars avail themselves for additional questions and there are regular extracurricular activities, whether community-wide or just for students.
Activities & Community
At Madina Institute USA, community involvement and khidma (service) are essential to the student experience & spiritual training. They are expected to join masjid activities (such as da’wah events, lectures, dhikr and halaqas), and volunteer for services & charitable events both inside and outside of the local Mosque (e.g. cleaning the masjid, feeding the hungry, teaching youth halaqas, and so on).
Duluth is blessed with fair weather and scenic parks, which allow students to participate in various outdoor activities and sports in their time outside of class. Summer is typically hot & humid, the winter is chilly with a bit of rain, but spring & autumn are warm & colorful in Georgia – ideal for the outdoors. Over the weekend, students may get together with community members to attend picnics, go hiking, and play team-sports like soccer and football. There are also multiple restaurants and fitness gyms within walking distance. Some halal and ethnic foods are available within walking distance, but generally, more options are accessible within a 10-minute drive.
I can easily describe my Madina experience in two words: life altering. This program is like a force of nature– each day is filled with so much effort that it is, due to its very essence, impossible for us students not to grow (and Insha’Allah all growth is towards Allah SWT). The environment engulfs us day in and day out so deeply and so richly in Islamic academia that from one week to the next, we can see and feel such a drastic change within our selves.
Sara Abu AlrubMadina Institute, Atlanta, GA
Madina Institute has had a life changing impact on me. To experience, both spiritual and academic, education and training by someone like Shaykh Muhammad is a once in a life time opportunity and lasts forever. What Madina Institute gives you is the keys to seeking true knowledge, and establishes a solid framework and foundation for one’s pursuit of transformational knowledge. Of course, such pursuits are life time journeys and require the companionship of the scholars. One of the most impactful things to me about Madina Institute is the suhba (companionship) with Shaykh Ninowy, inside and outside of the classroom. It helps one learn the adab of Ahlul-‘ilm, and how to maneuver with it in ones interactions with friends, family, peers, and so on. I hope to embody some of that one day.
Mukhtar DarabGraduate of Associate's Degree program, 2016 (Fairfax, VA)
Before Madina I was a young woman who just started practicing my deen. I felt like a brand new person but I yearned to fill my heart with the knowledge of Allah. With all the Islamophobia and slandering of [Islam] it made me question how I could even defend it if I barely knew the basics of my faith. Alhamdulillah I found Madina without even knowing much about Shaykh Ninowy at all and took the leap of faith. It was one of the best decisions of my life. It helped me achieve many spiritual goals and put me on the path to further pursue Islamic studies and serve my community. It also resurrected the poet in me and today I perform poetry sharing my spiritual story and message. I also am active in dawah and lead halaqas frequently. [In the future] I plan on furthering my Islamic studies insha Allah.
Sumaiya TufailGraduate of Associate's Degree program, 2016 (Vancouver, CA)
My time at Madina Institute U.S.A was a truly transformative one; in fact, one could say that it took me on a Hijra from a state of relative confusion, ignorance, and darkness, into a much brighter, clearer, and more wholesome state of being. The program laid out the foundations of the religion before my eyes in a way whereby one cannot help but fall in love with its beauty, and, moreover, it equipped me with the appropriate tools, skills, and lenses to continue my academic and spiritual religious progress and journey.