To foster a deeper understanding of Islam within our world community leading to a greater appreciation of its tenants, law, and adherents.
To impart sacred Islamic knowledge of all levels to the English speaking Muslim population both locally and around the globe through a wide array of media as an onsite/online institution of research, teaching, training, and publication.
History of Al-Hikmah Institute
Al-Hikmah Institute was established to help address a great need within the Muslim community; the transmission of sacred knowledge. With this purpose in mind, Al-Hikmah Institute was officially established in late 2011 with a focus on teaching adults the Arabic Language and providing religious training for kids. A few short years after its launch, Al-Hikmah Institute's founder John Starling broadened the scope of the institute by introducing alhikmahinstitute.com which would host articles, translation, videos, and online courses.
In 2015 after great reception by the local community and overwhelmingly positive feedback, Al-Hikmah Institute's flagship educational program was introduced, the Diploma in Islamic Sciences and the Diploma in Arabic Studies programs. These 2 Diploma programs seek to go beyond Friday night lectures, weekend conferences, and seminars to provide a long-term plan which will enrich the lives of their participants through intellectual, spiritual, and character development.
We are committed to:
Shaykh Rashid Ahmadi
Shaykh Rashid Ahmadi is a California native. He grew up just outside of Sacramento in a religious household and completed memorizing the Quran at age 16. After his high school graduation, he was admitted to the world-renowned Islamic University of Madinah.
During his 14 year stay in the Prophet’s City, he earned 4 degrees; an Associates in Arabic, a Bachelors in Hadith and Islamic Studies, a Post Graduate Degree in Dawah, and a Masters in Teaching Arabic to Speakers of other Languages (TASOL). Additionally, Shaykh Rashid benefited greatly from traditional studies with numerous major scholars studying classical texts in fiqh, hadith, and tawhid etc.
As a hafiz of the Quran, Shaykh Rashid has a passion for the various modes of recitation. While in Madinah he obtained an Ijazah/License in “Hafs an Asim” from a renowned scholar and master of the Quran and is currently pursuing a license in “Warsh”.
During Shaykh Rashid’s stay in Madinah he was blessed to work in the Prophet’s Masjid as a translator/interpreter for the Friday prayer services under the supervision of Shaykh Abdur-Rahman al-Sudais, the Imam of Masjid al-Haram in Makkah.
Shaykh Rashid currently serves as GCLEA's Religious Director. He is happily married with 5 boys. In his spare time, he enjoys sports such as football, basketball, and baseball.
Shaykh Abu Ibrahim J. Starling
Shaykh Abu Ibrahim John Starling, the founder of al-Hikmah Institute, is a graduate of NCSU’s College of Management and the Islamic University of Al-Madinah’s Arabic Language Institute and College of Islamic Doctrine and Mission. During his 8 year stay in Al-Madinah, John attended numerous study circles with major scholars and leading students of knowledge. He found great benefit from both the traditional and formal education he received from his teachers and professors in the sciences or Arabic, Hadith, Theology, Fiqh, Tafsir, and Islamic History including His eminence and Mufti Shaikh Abdul Aziz Aal-Shaikh, Shaikh Salih b. Fawzan, Shaikh Salih Aal-Shaikh, Shaikh Ali b. Nasir Al-Faqihi, Shaikh Abdul-Muhsin Al-Abbad, Shaikh Salih b. Sa'ad Al-Suhaimi, Shaikh Muhammad b. Abdul-Wahhab Al-Aqeel, Shaikh Sulaiman Al-Ruhaili, Shaikh Khalid Ar-Raddadi, Shaikh Abdul-Razaq Al-Badr, and many others. He is an engaged student of knowledge and continues to study with numerous scholars around the world and is currently enrolled in Shaykh Dr. Mutlaq al-Jasir's, Murtaqa Center of Islamic Sciences pursuing numerous certificates and in Shaykh Dr. Waleed al-Maneese's Graduate Institute for Aalims and Da'ees pursuing a master's degree in Islamic Studies.
In the past, he has worked at the C-level in both for-profit and non-profit sectors here at home and abroad. He has served as an executive director of a private Islamic endowment and Chief Editor of an outreach periodical. He has done extensive work as a translator for several Islamic publishing companies and worked as an instructor and curriculum developer. Shaykh John is currently the full-time Executive Director of GCLEA and volunteers as an on-call Muslim chaplain at both Virtua Marlton and Voorhees Hospitals. He is a regular lecturer at several universities and Islamic centers throughout the northeast. He is a presenter on TV Imaan, Tanzania and dedicates his spare time to publishing a variety of works.