Sheikh Bilal Ismail was born in Durban, South Africa. He is one of three siblings and comes from a religious traditional hanafi family. He memorized the Quran while studying at school and went on to complete high school in 1998. Sheikh Bilal then went on to do a diploma in Computer Science in 1999, as well as qualifying as a Microsoft certified systems engineer. He was accepted into the Islamic University of Madinah in 2001 where he completed his Diploma in Arabic followed by a BA in Islamic Law from the faculty of Shariah. He is currently completing his masters degree. After graduating from Madinah, he returned to South Africa where he had been teaching Fiqh and Tafsir weekly classes in Durban since the summer of 2007 and says he is still a student of knowledge – and will always be!
Sheikh Bilal is an AlKauthar Instructor as well as the head of AlKauthar Students Guild. He is the founder and National Manager of the Imam Development Project.
Sheikh Muhammad West, born in Cape Town, South Africa, spent most of his youth growing up in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He went on to study a degree in Islamic theology and Dawah at the Islamic University of Madinah while studying a degree in accounting science through the University of South Africa via correspondence. Sheikh Muhammad returned to Cape Town in 2011 graduating 2nd in the faculty of Dawah. He further qualified as a chartered accountant of South Africa after completing his articles. A devoted husband and father of three, Sheikh Muhammad is currently the Group Financial Accountant at one of the world’s largest retailers. Sheikh Muhammad holds the position of resident Imam of the Boorhaanol Islam Masjid, one of the oldest mosques in South Africa. He is the Western Cape manager of the Imam Development Project. whereby local Imams from underprivileged communities are given the necessary support and skills to further benefit the communities they serve.
Moulana Ebrahim Mokgabudi completed the memorization of the Qur’an in the year 2003 and then went on to do a six-year Aalim course qualification which was completed in 2009. He then furthered his studies and completed an honours degree in Islamic studies at the University of Johannesburg. He is very passionate about serving communities and always working on community development projects and identifying new ways on how to best tackle the vicious cycle of both the psychological and material poverty that has plagued the previously disadvantaged communities. To date, he has completed many short courses on community development, personal excellence, project management, learner facilitation, effective communication and interpersonal relations, comparative religion etc. He currently oversees various community development projects at grassroots level in the South African Townships and also provides training and development workshops for imams and community workers with the objective to inspire them to carry out their work with well-designed strategies, a deep sense of purpose and excellence. He is currently in his final year of completing a BCom degree in General Management through Unisa. He is continuously involved in research and development on issues surrounding social justice and sustainable community development. He serves as General Secretary on the SANZAF board as well as Gauteng General Manager for the Imam Development Project.
Sheikh Muhammed Ariefdien
Sheikh Muhammed Ariefdien was born in Cape Town , South Africa. He completed the memorisation of the quraan at the age of 13 years old. After high school he received a scholarship to study at the Islamic University of Madina in Saudi Arabia and completed a Honors degree in Shariah. Sheikh Muhammed Ariefdien has a passion for strategic planning inititiaves and relish motivating others ensuring they reach their untapped potential. Upon returning to his homeland he persured a MBA degree from the Nelson Mandela Business School. He is also an executive member for SANZAF PE and the local muslim radio. Sheikh Muhammed Ariefdien currently heads the Eastern Cape ABSA Islamic banking department and Imam development project (EC).
Aneesa Rashid Paruk
Aneesa was born in Durban and currently resides in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is one of five siblings and is a devoted student of Islamic Studies and Arabic.
A teacher by profession, Aneesa is passionate about delivering authentic Islamic education in areas that need it most. While serving the Imam Development Project, she is also the Social Media Marketing Manager at the AlKauthar Institute.
Faeezah has 10 years experience in the administration field and finds there is no job more fulfilling than seeking to work for the sake of Allah. Her idea of an ideal world is where every Imam is part of a project similar to the Imam Development Project working as a collective towards a strong and united Ummah.