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The Learned Youth Programme Year 1 2022

Course Information

– Introduction to the key Islamic sciences and their teachings
– Tafsir, Hadith, Aqeedah, fiqh, and history courses
– introduction to Qur’anic Arabic to access the Qur’an directly
– Introductory level modern standard Arabic
– Blended online learning (live classes and on-demand recordings)
– Mentoring and personal development planning
– Two year programme, 40 weeks in each academic year
– 4-6 hours per week (4 hours contact time, 2 hours study time)

If you have already read through the information below, and are ready to apply, click here to jump to the application form.

Programme Introduction

Purpose of the course

The purpose of this programme over the two years is to give the students a firm understanding of Islam, a strong Islamic moral and spiritual outlook, and an appreciation for the Islamic sciences to serve as a foundation for further advanced learning. So it includes, Arabic language, a brief introduction to Qur’anic sciences, and hadith sciences, and some tafsir among other things, and Shaykh Shams will personally mentor the students, with periodic assistance from others who the students will benefit from.

In year one, the focus is on building an Islamic foundation for the students by studying the foundations of iman, and the pillars of Islam in detail with a special emphasis on spirituality and character development.

So the programme is multi-disciplinary, and is therefore made up of a number of smaller courses of varying length and depth. Shaykh Shams takes a blended approach: so some courses will be entirely on-demand with pre-recorded content and online assessments, some are a mixture of live and on-demand, and others are live only. This will depend upon the subject and nature of the content. See the content breakdown below.

The programme began in 2020 when shaykh Shams decided to personally teach all the teenagers in his family so that he could be confident that they have the right Islamic knowledge. To make it formal, he opened it up to the children of other like-minded parents, and the LYP was born. Two years on, and the first group of students have completed their second year. As hoped, some are continuing higher Islamic studies while others proceed to college and university life with a strong foundation in their deen, and a permanent mentor in Shaykh Shams.
In 2022-23, we are enrolling a new first year cohort. InshaAllah, shaykh Shams plans to continue personally teaching the LYP for 2022. This course page is for anyone who wants to join the first year of the Learned Youth Programme which is due to start in 2022.

LYP In Chelmsford

Early in 2022, Shaykh Shams was appointed Imam of Chelmford Muslim Society (CMS). As a result, in 2022-23, there will be a group of students joining the LYP face-to-face at the CMS masjid, with the online students tuning in live simultaneously via Zoom. The face-to-face-cohort will mostly be young people from Chelmsford and the Essex area. If you are interested, please enrol via the CMS Madrasah website: Anyone attending online and not in person in Chelmsford should apply here.

Q&A and Contact With The Teacher

Students will always have access to Shaykh Shams and there will be regular Q&A and mentoring sessions irrespective of the format of an individual course. In fact, all of the teaching hours during most of the year will be live and not on-demand. Some hours study hours and homework time will be taken up by on-demand courses to ensure the students cover all of the curriculum in an efficient way or to cover gaps in basic knowledge that are not part of the curriculum.

We will use telegram chat and live sessions for this and the students will be able to keep in touch by telephone.

We may also try to organise face to face sessions for the online students but cannot promise this; nor is it possible for all students as some are from all over the UK and the world.

Who is This Course For?

1. Young boys and girls, men and women, 14-18 years of age
2. Young people with good academic performance in school: aiming towards or already achieved A (or the equivalent in the new system) in most GCSEs.
3. Good Islamic upbringing and education. They must recite Qur’an fluently, know the basics of religion, and be from an environment of 5 times prayer at home.
4. Candidates must be of good behaviour and conduct. We cannot have disruptive members in the group. You know your own children. Please do not seek admission if your child might be disruptive or uncooperative. We will simply exclude them (without refund) so please do not waste your time and money.
5. This programme is an excellent introduction for young people whose parents want to explore the option of their children studying Islam full time by seeking knowledge and pursing Islamic scholarship without sending them to full time residential institutes or abroad during their school and college years. Indeed, shaykh Shams’s own objective was that this programme might become the spark that triggers an interest in advanced Islamic studies for the youth in his family. After all, who doesn’t want their children to become ulama.
6. This programme is for young people whose parents will be engaged. This is essential. If you are not going to take an active interest in this and if we cannot have your support when we need it, then please do not apply. we will not take applications without parental involvement.

Important Note About Workload

We are aware that most children and youth between 14 and 18 also have the pressures of GCSEs and AS/A levels upon them and appreciate that 4-6 hours of learning is a significant additional load. We advise parents to please think carefully before committing to this. We’ve already run the programme with a group and they coped well and their studies did not suffer.

We will do our best to not overburden the students and to help them in ways that will benefit their school work too, but some children may struggle with the extra load. Others will thrive on it. Please make a judgement call together. We are happy to advise, just reach out using the email address at the bottom as per the instructions. If you feel, this programme is too much work and commitment, you may find that ‘The Youth Mentoring Programme’ is the perfect alternative as it covers the needs of young people without being too content and contact heavy.

Teaching Strategies

One of the difficulties with this programme is that there is a lot of content to be covered with very limited contact time. 4-6 hours a week is not a lot. Equivalent programmes require 9 hours of contact or more per week. You can see the objectives below. However, I expect to achieve more over a limited period of time due to the following strategies.

  1. We will rely on on-demand courses that have already been developed. Students will study these independently.
  2. Encouraging the students to read and process what they have read independently.
  3. We will support their on-demand learning and reading through regular tutorials.
  4. The challenge for the students, the parents, and us, is ensuring that the students are completing the reading and on-demand courses. We will do our best to check, and we will ensure their a access to the courses continues after the programme is finished, so they can always go back and review their learning.
  5. We will spend some time on learning techniques as part of the personal development aspect.
  6. We will insist on and expect parental support and involvement. It would be perfect if parents participated in lessons with their children.
  7. We will conduct regular sessions on personal development, spirituality, and motivation.
  8. We will conduct developmental and interventional one to one sessions when needed.

Programme Breakdown

1. Faith in an age of doubtMawarid Lifestyle already has a course covering the foundations of faith with the purpose of demonstrating the proofs and logical foundations of Islam. We will take our time to go through this course with LYP students to ensure they understand the foundations of Islam and can deal with modern challenges and doubts against Islam. This course will play the most important role in aligning their thinking in accordance with an Islamic worldview.
2. The Fiqh of WorshipThis is based on courses that we already have at Mawarid Lifestyle. Students will study a set of on-demand courses, complete the assessments for each one as proof of learning, and then consolidate with Q&A and tutorials with shaykh Shams. Salah, sawm, and zakah will be covered.
3. Qur’an and TafsirThis will be taught in the form of a brief live course covering an introduction to the Qur’an and its sciences (ulum al-Qur’an), and selected Tafsir of selected surahs and verses towards the end of the programme. Prior to that, a lot of Arabic will be covered as part of the Arabic language course. The Tafsir course will make students familiar with Qur’anic Arabic while introducing them to some themes of the Qur’an’s message.
4. HadithThis will comprise of some hadiths incorporated in to Arabic language towards the end of the year. The focus will be hadiths that cover key spiritual and moral teachings of our beloved Prophet (saw) as well as a basic overview of the sciences of hadith (uloom al-hadith).
5. Islamic HistoryI expect it to be quite difficult to cover a lot of Islamic history in this programme; there just isn’t enough time. Some aspects of Islamic history will be covered as part of the Arabic course and through live sessions and readings. This will not be a significant dedicated subject.
6. Arabic LanguageThis will continue throughout the two years in different formats. The initial emphasis will be writing, reading, speaking, and comprehension, while later, there will be a greater emphasis on grammar, and studying the language of the Qur’an in Arabic and studying some classical literature at beginners level. It is important that parents do not get too ambitious about their expectations from this course despite the amount of time spent. We cannot make students fluent in Arabic in two part-time years. So it is important to keep in mind what the objectives are as stated below:
1. Familiarise students with the essentials of Arabic grammar.
2. Make them familiar with the language of the Qur’an by extensively using Qur’anic vocabulary in the course.
3. Develop familiarity with classical Arabic so that they can continue their studies to eventually access religious texts directly.
There will be plenty of exposure to modern standard Arabic, but that is not the objective at all.
Finally, the attainment levels of the students in the group will vary substantially based upon how personally motivated they are to learn Arabic properly and how they respond to my methods. In our previous cohort, enthusiastic student progressed so well that they continued their Arabic studies after the programme. Others struggled due to their own lack of desire to learn Arabic although they were academically capable.
7. Personal DevelopmentThis is the most important part of the programme, and will therefore continue throughout the year. We will regularly spend time on this throughout all subjects.
There is no magic wand in personal development, the objective is to try to encourage students to take responsibility for their own development by thinking about it and planning for it. Along with encouraging them and guiding them. The teacher’s job is to help them understand what personal development objectives to pursue throughout their lives. The most important ones are spirituality and worship, and character development (akhlaq). This will naturally overlap with other aspects such as leadership development, life skills, philosophical orientation, and planning one’s future in terms of studies, career, family, etc.
This is where we hope the programme will also benefit the students in their school and college education, inshaAllah. Based on what we have seen in our previous cohort, the course completely transformed students in the class.

The above lessons and topics may go through amendments before the course starts and throughout the course of the programme.

Dates and Schedule

Scheduled live lessons and tutorials will take place twice a week, each session between 2-3 hours long. This will be broken up with different activities and breaks. The programme will now commence from from week beginning 31st Oct, every Thursday, 5.15pm-7.45pm, and every Sunday 9.45pm – 1.15pm. The first lesson will therefore be on Thursday 3rd November.


Holidays will be scheduled around school breaks with some adjustments made for Islamic holidays. Students should expect to study through Ramadhan with some reduction. We will also make some reductions when students are busy with school and college exams. We will fix the dates closer to the start and publish them on this course page.

Admissions Procedure

  1. Complete and submit the online application form below asap.
  2. Places will fill up fast and we will process applications, and make decisions on first come first serve basis. Your place is only confirmed once the first instalment is paid.
  3. We may interview some candidates. If shortlisted for an interview, you will be sent details by email. Interviews will be conducted via Zoom and must involve the student and one parent/guardian at least. We will allow interviews without a parent if the applicant is already 18.
  4. We will not process incomplete forms. Please follow instructions and double check everything before submitting forms.
  5. Fees must be settled upon offer of a place by the the deadline given. Places will not be confirmed without payment and if one’s payment deadlines are missed, the place be given to the next person who pays fees.
  6. Closer to the start date, we will send term dates, weekly schedule, zoom access details, online portal access details, etc.
  7. First session will take place on 3rd Nov 2023.


£800 per annum (around £5 per hour) payable in 3 instalments as follows:

First instalment:
£400 before start date. We cannot confirm any places without payment of fees.

Second instalment:
£200 by 1st of January 2023

Third instalment:
£200 by 1st of April 2023

Notes and terms:

  1. You must ensure that fees are paid as agreed.
  2. The first instalment is completely non-refundable after enrolment is closed. At that stage, we cannot replace students who drop out. Subsequent instalments may be compassionately refunded if a student drops out due to exceptional and extenuating circumstances.

Other expenses:

Books and resources must be paid for by students/guardians.
If circumstances permit, and we are able to organise some activities such as trips or retreats, parents would have to pay for them additionally. We’ll keep everyone updated on plans.


Sibling discount: £100 per sibling

Application Form

Please complete the form below. Study the form first, have all necessary documents ready, then complete it. Documents can be supplied as attachments by taking a clear picture with your mobile phone.


If you have any questions, please email



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