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All praises and thanks are due to Allah SWT. Abundant salutations be upon His beloved Nabi Muhammad SAW.

Yesterday I had to bid farewell to two friends who are leaving back to their home countries of Sweden and Holland. We met in Level 1 of Arabic classes at Fajr Centre for the Arabic Language. Our class started on the 14th of February this year. They both intended to stay here at least until they finish the 14-level course. But Allah SWT decided that their time here in Egypt is up. Life here in Egypt is not for everyone. And it is difficult if you have children and are studying. One of my friends felt as though she wasn’t giving her child his due right and she was struggling with her studies, and her husband couldn’t spend as much time as he wanted to on his studies because he had to spend more time with his wife and son than before. Mothers miss the support structures and social circles that they previously had. Many ladies have said that they wish they came here before they had children.

During level 4, the institute moved location. It was a bit of an inconvenience because we had moved flats for me to be closer to the Arabic centre, and now I had to travel by Uber to class every day. After level 4, I decided to leave Fajr Centre to instead get a private tutor to focus on my speaking. It was really good and I improved, Alhamdulillah. However, I knew it was time to go back to a centre when I started feeling lethargic due to just being at home. So I did. I had to retake the entrance exam and was placed in level 5.

I’m currently level 7. I’m really happy this level because I got my favourite teacher, Ustadha Yasmin, and my favourite time-slot: 11am!😁. And even better, the centre decided to open up another branch close to home, so tomorrow I get to walk to class again. The Arabic is finally getting exciting for me as it’s getting more challenging. We’re starting balāghah tomorrow. Studying Arabic in Cape Town gave me a good foundation to build on.

We have a private Qur’an teacher who comes to us twice a week. We’ve had lots of breaks due to my husband’s exams and traveling etc. But I can’t blame that for my slow Qur’an progress. I really should have been finished with my Shu’bah khatm by now but I’m about half-way through it. I didn’t want to push myself and do it just for the sake of it. I really struggle with my Qur’an – not in terms of the actual recitation, but in being sincere. May Allah SWT grant me sincerity. Āmīn.

Advice for studying abroad:

1. Ideally do it while you’re single or married without kids. It’s the best ever!

2. Study in your homeland or online before travelling abroad to save time abroad.

3. Financially prepare before you come and have back-up finance in place. You will need it at some point.

With best of du’as for your worldly and Hereafter success,