Frequently Asked Questions
What type of students does DarusSalam look for?
DarusSalam admits students with varying life experiences. We look for students with academic ability and potential to flourish. In our experience this is often identified by a student’s enthusiasm and attitude about studying their deen. Although the 1-year program is a beginner level program, due to the demanding nature of the curriculum students are advised and expected to give 100% both in and out of the classroom.
What should one study before attending?
While there are no prerequisites to the 1-year program, prospective students are expected to be able to read Arabic with some degree of fluency.
Can one work while attending the 1-year program?
Due to the demanding nature of the curriculum, all students are encouraged to be free of any additional academic/work commitments while attending the program.
Can one study part-time?
No. Due to the demanding nature of the curriculum, students are not able to study part-time.
How many hours can a student be expected to study per day?
As a general recommendation students are advised to study 1 hour outside of class for every 1 hour spent in class.
Does DarusSalam provide housing?
There are currently no arrangements for boarding at DarusSalam. However, there are several housing options immediately surrounding DarusSalam for those students ages18 or over and wish to live nearby.
Does DarusSalam offer tuition assistance?
Tuition assistance is available on a case by case basis. Generally it is offered to students in extenuating circumstances who have a desire to study but are unable to afford the tuition.
Is the 1-Year program accredited?
No, the 1-Year program is currently not accredited.
What is the schedule like? Are there breaks?
Classroom instruction is given from 8:00am-5:00pm. During these hours, a short break is provided in the morning and in the afternoon. Additionally, a longer break is provided for lunch/rest. Finally breaks are also provided for prayers that coincide with classroom instruction hours.
How much Arabic can one learn by the end of the 1-year program?
The amount of Arabic learned is directly proportional to the amount of effort a student puts into the program. The successful student is characterized by their ability to translate most verses of the Qur’an, read beginner and intermediate-level texts in classical Arabic, and understand the fundamentals of Arabic grammar.
Will students give Jumu’ah khutbahs?
Yes. Students will be instructed on how to deliver a khutbah. After practicing and careful reviews over several months, students will be deputed to small local Masajid and colleges to deliver Jumu’ah khutbahs.
Will students have time off built in to their curriculum?
Yes, in addition to Eid breaks, students will have Fall, Winter and Spring breaks, as well as major federal and state holidays.
Is secular education provided as part of the 1-year program curriculum?
Yes. Students of the 1-year program are offered secular education via American High School, an internationally accredited high school program. These courses take place at DarusSalam on weekends and are taught by experienced teachers from our community.
Are meal plans provided?
No. As DarusSalam does not currently offer boarding, there are no meal plans available for students. However, there are an abundance of halal restaurants and markets in the area.
Are there halal restaurants near the Masjid?
Yes. DarusSalam is located in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, a locality with a very large Muslim population and one which is home to many halal restaurants and markets.
Will huffaz (those who have memorized the Qur’an) have time available to revise?
Yes. Huffaz are expected to revise their Qur’an and are periodically tested to ensure they retain their memorization.
What makes this program different than other arabic programs?
DarusSalam’s 1-year program can be described as an tripartite immersion program in which the major focuses are tarbiyah, Islamic studies, and Arabic. Not only do students learn the language through Arabic grammar and morphology textbooks, but after completing certain Islamic Studies books in English, the students will advance to studying these subjects from Arabic textbooks as well. They are also expected to reference our library of Arabic texts for various classes. Additionally, after a few months, students are expected to speak only in Arabic, both in and out of class. All of these components together create an environment in which the students are completely immersed in the Arabic language, a factor that is critical to attain fluency in the language.
Is it possible to manage the program if one is married and has children?
Many individuals who have started families and established their careers may believe it is too late to attend the DarusSalam 1-Year Program. However, there have been several students who have successfully completed our 1-year program while balancing family commitment. This does not however, come without sacrifice from the student, but also of the entire family. Planning and understanding are the key components to being both a parent and a student. With careful preparation, anyone can successfully complete the 1-Year Program while caring and providing for a family.
How will this program help me when I return to school/work?
The 1-Year Program equips students with knowledge of Islamic beliefs, basic fiqh issues, seerah of the Prophet (S), and more. In a time where Atheism is on the rise, and religion is being challenged, it is of utmost importance that we not only be able to confidently convey the message of Islam to others, but that we ourselves truly understand our faith with unshakeable conviction.
Additionally, the importance of the Arabic language cannot be overstated. It is the language of the Qur’an, and translations to any other language simply do not suffice for us to understand the beauty and intricacy of its meanings. The ability to read the Qur’an or stand in prayer and understand what is being recited is invaluable.
Can I be terminated from the program? In what cases?
Yes. This program is designed for students who are serious about learning their deen, and it requires time and dedication. Students who display a lack of interest and effort in their work can be terminated from the program.
Is there a student blog where I can see student testimonials?
Yes, you can visit our student-run Facebook page here
Is there an option to continue Islamic education after 1-year?
Yes. Students who successfully complete the 1-year program and desire to continue their education may join our full-time alim program.
Is it possible to take college classes part time if I decide to continue to the alim program?
No. The alim program is a very rigorous, full-time commitment, and students will not be able to have other commitments