Noor Hifz Academy

Noor Hifz Academy (NHA) was founded at the MCA prayer hall in Fall 2014. Alhamdulillah, between 2017 and 2021, we graduated 30 students. In addition to being enrolled in NHA, our full-time students continue their standard academic curriculum through a home-schooling option of their choice.

Until March 2020, NHA routinely conducted classes on-site. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and shelter-in-place directives, classes are currently being held virtually, over Zoom. We are continuing to evaluate and adjust our program to meet the changing needs of our students, teachers, and their families in the best way possible.

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Our Goal
To please Allah (SWT) by teaching our students a basic understanding of memorizing and reciting the Quran with proper Tajweed, to the best of our ability.
Our Approach
Our staff works hard to build a safe, positive, and respectful learning environment. We encourage each of our students to memorize the Quran based on their individual ability, while building a long-term connection with the book of Allah.
Our Graduates

Alhamdulillah, from 2017-2021, we had 30 students complete their hifz. Our graduates are our “crown jewels” – Ma sha Allah, Tabarak Allah.

Enrollment Criteria
• Ability to read from the Quran fluently with proper Tajweed
• Already memorized some parts of the Quran and/or an entire Juz (e.g., the 30th Juz)
• Minimum age of 9 years and/or in grade 3 or higher
• A desire to memorize the Quran (based on admission interview)
Admission Process
• After an evaluation period of 2-4 weeks, the NHA Staff will determine whether or not the student is ready to join the hifz program.
• As successful completion of the hifz program requires dedication and commitment from the parents as well, they will be interviewed by the NHA Committee.
• The parents are responsible for supplementing their child’s hifz journey with an appropriate academic program. Full-time hifz students often opt for a charter school (e.g., Ocean Grove or Connecting Waters) or another homeschooling option of their choice.
Program Duration

• The full-time hifz program runs five days a week, from 8:00 am-1:30 pm, with a shorter day on Fridays. It is targeted toward students who want to memorize the Quran in 2-5 years and are willing to homeschool.
• The part-time hifz program runs four days a week, from 3:30pm-5:30pm, with no classes on Fridays. It is targeted toward students who attend regular school during the day and eventually want to memorize the Quran full-time.

Teaching Methodology

The daily class schedule comprises of three components:
1. Dor (revision)
2. Sabaq-Dor (most recent homework / memorization)
3. New Sabaq (new homework / memorization)*
*This is conditional – assigned if both the Dor and Sabaq-Dor components are recited well.

Tracking Student Progress

• All parents receive a daily progress Google spreadsheet at the start of each academic year. This is one of the main forms of communication between parents and teachers.
• Parents and teachers are encouraged to meet on a monthly basis to discuss the hifz progress and class experience.
• Students construct an annual plan toward accomplishing both short-term and long-term hifz goals with the help of their teachers. They are encouraged to challenge themselves while being realistic and flexible, as plans sometimes need to be modified.
• The yearly action plan is the short-term goal; completing hifz is the long-term goal; building a connection with the Quran is the life-long goal.

Expectations from Parents
  • Set up a designated space and supportive learning environment at home (for the off-site/virtual program) with parental supervision
  • Drop off and pick up your child on time (for the on-site program)
  • Check your child’s daily progress 
  • Check your child’s annual plan and encourage him/her to achieve their goal (without unnecessary pressure)
  • Ensure that your child completes his/her homework regularly
  • Communicate with the school, as needed:
  • Ensure your child respects the dress code
School Calendar
School Handbook
Our Gallery


NHA Team
NHA Staff
Sana Alhakim | Administrator
Sr. Sana Alhakim is currently the administrator for the Muslim Community Association (MCA), Al Arqam School, and Noor Hifz Academy (NHA). She began working at Al Arqam in 2010 and joined NHA and the MCA in 2015. Her educational background is in Child Development and Management. Tr. Sana completed the Positive Discipline in the Classroom training for teachers in 2019.
Zakariae ElMekkaoui | Program Head

Sh. Zakariae ElMekkaoui has been teaching at Noor Hifz Academy since it was founded in 2014. He
was born in Morocco and has memorized numerous texts on Ḥadīth, Fiqh, and the Arabic language.
He also holds Ijazah for the memorization of both the Warsh-an-Nafi and Hafs-an-Asim recitations
of the Holy Quran. He has led Taraweeh prayers during Ramadan since 1998 in Morocco, United
Arab Emirates, Sweden, and across the United States. Currently, he is the full-time imam for the
South Bay Islamic Association (SBIA) and also leads prayers at the Muslim Community Association
(MCA) and Masjid Al-Noor in Santa Clara. Sh. Zakariae completed the Positive Discipline in the
Classroom training for teachers in 2019.

Sahar Khalil | Teacher (girls)
Tr. Sahar Ibrahim Khalil has been teaching at Noor Hifz Academy since 2015. She received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Ain Shams University in Cario, Egypt. She completed her memorization of the Holy Quran in 2013 and received a certificate of completion from Dar-al-Taqwa, affiliated with Al-Azhar University in Egypt. Tr. Sahar has also studied Fiqh, Hadith, and Tafseer. She taught at the Al-Arqam school for four years and at QMC and the Sunday Weekend Islamic School for five years. Tr. Sahar completed the Positive Discipline in the Classroom training for teachers in 2019.
Mirvat Saadeh | Teacher (girls)
Tr. Mirvat Saadeh has been teaching at Noor Hifz Academy since 2017. She completed her university studies in social studies and then joined one of the Islamic centers back in her native country, Jordan. She finished studying Tajweed and foundational courses in the sciences of Quran from Aqeedah, Fiqh, and Tafseer for three years. Thereafter, she taught children Quran and Tajweed in Islamic centers and institutions and began studying for her Ijazah. In 2012, Tr. Mirvat joined the MCA family as a Quran teacher at Al Arqam School and QMC. She continues to work as a teacher for QMC kindergarten and teaches at other Bay Area schools as well. Tr. Mirvat completed the Positive Discipline in the Classroom training for teachers in 2019.
Hamza Palya | Teacher (boys)
Sh. Hamza Palya has been teaching at Noor Hifz Academy since 2018. He was raised in San Francisco area and began his religious studies at the Islamic Center of San Francisco. After completing his memorization of the Holy Qurʾān in May 2007, he pursued a formal ʿĀlimiyyah degree, studying under Mufti Abdullah Nana. His ʿālim studies culminated in his traveling to study at the Madresa Arabiya Islamiya in Johannesburg, South Africa. During his student days there, Sh. Hamza was blessed to study under some of the most well-known scholars of South Africa and was granted numerous Ijāzāt (formal authorizations) in various Islamic sciences: Fiqh, Ḥadīth, ʿAqīdah, Tafsīr, Uṣūl, Arabic Grammar and Rhetoric. He serves as the Imam of Masjid Al Haqq in San Mateo, CA and lectures at many mosques across the Bay Area. Sh. Hamza completed the Positive Discipline in the Classroom training for teachers in 2019.
NHA Committee
Muna Bashir | Chair

Has been involved with Noor Hifz Academy (NHA) since 2015 – first as a parent and then as a committee member in 2019. MashaAllah, she is the proud parent of a 2018 NHA graduate. Sr. Muna is a DONA International-certified birth doula and CAPPA-certified childbirth educator. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a master’s degree in Maternal-Child Health Systems.


Hassaan Haq | Member

Is currently an undergraduate student at San Jose State University studying Applied Mathematics. MashaAllah, he completed his hifz with Imam Ilyas Anwar and Mufti Muddassir Oovais from the Islamic Center of Fremont on Irvington back in 2013. Upon completing his hifz, he began leading Taraweeh prayers. At downtown SBIA, he led Taraweeh prayers for four years. Later, he began leading at SBIA Harris Way (Masjid Al Mustafa) with Shaikh Zakariae for three years. He has taught students in 1:1 sessions and enjoys teaching a variety of topics related to the Quran/Arabic language.


Amjath Ali | Member

Has been living in the US (Santa Clara) since 2012. He is the proud father of two daughters. MashaAllah, his elder daughter was among the 2020-2021 NHA graduates. Br. Amjath has been involved with volunteering activities for ICNA and MCA during Ramadan. Also, he served as the Treasurer for the non-profit organization, USATNMA (i.e., the Tamil Muslim Association in the Bay Area) for two years (2018-2019).


Nadia Abid | Member

Completed her bachelor in medicine and surgery (MBBS) from Pakistan. She completed her Taleem-al Quran diploma course from Al-Huda International from 2015-2019. She is currently working toward her ijazah for Tajweed and completing another diploma course in Sahih Al-Bukhari. She has been homeschooling her children for the past four years, alhamdulillah.


Suleyman Saib | Member

Suleyman Saib is currently a student at San Jose State University studying for a master’s degree in software engineering. He is a frequent volunteer with local organizations such as the Muslim American Society (MAS) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). He graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in computer science in 2020, where he was the treasurer for the Muslim Student Association.


Omar Othman | Member

Has been a member of the MCA community since 1999. He graduated from UC Berkeley with degrees in Computer Science and Arabic and is currently working as a Software Engineer at Facebook Reality Labs.


Nada Sarhan | Member

Has been attending Quran classes and halaqahs at MCA since she was about four years old. It is through these classes that she completed her first memorization of the Quran, mashaAllah. She has been teaching Quran and Tajweed for close to eight years. Currently, she is employed at Al-Arqam, after spending three years at Reflection Sunday School. Sr. Nada enjoys reading, learning, and teaching.


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