Zaynab Institute: Qur’an Program

Registration Status: Open

Please read the program overview given below thoroughly before applying.
Classes for new students begin September 7, 2020.  
The deadline for registration is September 21, 2020.

Students who want to register after the deadline must email a request to  for late enrollment.


Program Overview

The Quran Program is a 3-year diploma program for students who want to learn the translation and commentary of the entire Quran. The course is based on authentic Hadith, classical sources of scholarly tafsir, and the lives and teachings of the virtuous believers who were the embodiment of the Quran. The emphasis is on understanding the depths of Quranic wisdom and to highlight spiritual insights and practical advice from the meanings of the Quran with the purpose of increasing our heartfelt connection with Allah.

Quran Program is offered in 2 streams. Students must choose one. 

  1. Diploma in Quran Program ⁠— Regular (Certified Student): Regular stream is suitable for those students who can commit to completing required credit hours or maintaining an 80% attendance in each term. Students will be given assessments online each midterm and at the end of each term. Recordings will be available for those who cannot join live sessions. 

They can also register for optional, supplementary courses such as Quranic Arabic, Hadith, Beginners’ Fiqh, Intro to Quranic Studies, Islamic Studies, Seerah, and Purification of the Heart. 

  1. Quran Program ⁠— Auditor (Non-Certified): In this stream, students can register to listen to Quran classes without taking any exams or following the attendance policy. Both live and recorded classes are available to auditors, but no certification is granted.

Year 1 Calendar

Semester 2Semester 2
September 7 – December 18, 2020January 18 – April 23, 2021 (10th Ramadan)
Winter breakRamadan/Eid Break
January 4 – January 15, 2021May 24 – June 27, 2021

Qur’an Syllabus Overview: 2020-2023

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Surah Furqan – Surah NaasSurah Fatiha – Surah Araaf Surah Anfaal – Surah Noor
Juz 19 – 30Juz 1 -9Juz 10 – 18

Qur’an Class Schedule: Monday and Wednesday
Instructor: Ustadha Sobia Ahmed
1 PM New York | 6 PM UK | 7 PM South Africa | 10 PM Pakistan
Duration of Class: 75 minutes/twice a week 

Qur’anic Arabic Class Schedule: Starting date and time to be determined 
Duration of Class: 60 Minutes
*this module is optional and exclusively for QP students

Subjects, schedules, and policies may change at the discretion of the institute.  

Instructor’s Profile

Ustadha Sobia Ahmed was born in Baltimore, Maryland and raised in a small town near Chicago, IL. She received her BA with Honors in Sociology from the University of Chicago and has a Master’s in Education from the University of Illinois. During her university days, she became interested in an in-depth study of Islam through classical texts but was frustrated by the limited opportunities at that time. She promised to help others like herself if she ever had the chance to learn. In 1999, ustadha traveled with her husband to Pakistan for formal Islamic education and received her Alimiyya degree from Wifaaqul Madaaris in Lahore, Pakistan. Ustadha founded Zaynab Academy with her husband in 2005 as a means for university students in Pakistan to study classical Islamic learning in an accessible manner.  With time, Zaynab Academy grew into an online platform with a global reach. Over the past 15 years, ustadha has taught different subjects, conducted diverse workshops, and delivered motivational talks for women. She has been teaching the Quran class in CIL and the Quran Program for 7 years. She is the mother of four children. 

How are Classes Conducted?

Classes are conducted via the online learning tool, Zoom. Some features of our virtual classroom include: 

  • Accessibility via desktops, laptops, and smartphones
  • Live Audio Streaming
  • Screen sharing with the instructor through slides and reference material
  • Chat box for live interaction with the instructor and other students
  • Availability of class recordings

Learning Management System—LMS

All teachers and students also participate in a user-friendly LMS with the following features:

  • Discussion Forums for interacting with classmates and Teaching Assistants
  • Announcement Board
  • Assignment Submission
  • Downloads for Class Presentations and Slides
  • Online Quizzes and Exams
  • Online Calendar
  • Resource sharing for a joint learning experience
  • Student Grade Cards

Online Examination Process

Students are assessed through tests with multiple-choice questions, short answers, and/or open-book essays at the end of each semester. Short quizzes and assignments are also given in the middle of the semester as a requirement for students to stay on track throughout the year. These assessments are all conducted online. Detailed guidelines on the examination process will be shared in the student handbook as the semester proceeds.   


After meeting the attendance and examination criteria, students will be granted a certificate of completion for the program as well as any supplementary courses they have successfully completed.


Q: Is there a fee that I need to pay to enroll in this program?
A: All courses offered by Zaynab Institute are free of charge and run on donations.

Q: What if I need to miss some classes during the year due to university exams, professional commitments, or family concerns?
A: The Quran Program is designed to cater to professionals, university students as well as stay-at-home moms. We do understand that there may be occasions when you may not be able to attend class for valid reasons. Recordings are available so that students may catch up with the classes they have missed. 

Q: Is there an attendance policy?
A: Attendance is regularly marked for the Quran Program. To qualify for certification, students need to maintain at least 80% attendance each term (via live classes & recordings).

Q: How difficult are the QP courses?
A: Classes are conducted in college-level English but the content of most subjects can be understood by a moderately educated woman who can read and write at a secondary school level.  

Q: Is there an age limit?
Ans: Students should be at least 18 years old.