Founder and Director 

Shaykh Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Saad  Al-Azhari was born on the 16th of Ramadan 1398 - 20th of August 1978 in the northern Egyptian governorate of  Menoufiyyah in the Nile Delta to a scholarly family with a Prophetic lineage through Imam al-Hasan. After completing the memorisation of the Quran at the age of 10 under his father’s teaching and finishing his primary education, he joined Al-Azhar prep and secondary institute in a neighbouring village for 7 years. Having completed his secondary certificate, he joined Al-Azhar University graduating with a BA in Islamic Studies in English in 2001. He also completed post graduate studies in 2004, attended academic programs at the University of Erfurt, Germany, and as a Fulbright scholar attended the University of California Santa Barbara in 2005. Dr. Saad completed his PhD in the School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion at the University of Birmingham, UK. In his PhD, Dr. Saad specialises in engagements between traditional Muslim scholars and modernity in the colonial and post-colonial Muslim world with a special focus on the project of Habib Abu Bakr al-Mashhūr.


In his early career, Shaykh Saad worked in a number of institutions including the Egyptian Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs, and traveled to Canada, Malaysia, and the UK as an Imam. He settled in the UK at the beginning of 2007 as an Imam in North London while actively engaged with local and international faith organizations including appearances in BBC and France 24/7. His impact was recognised by the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, the Islington Faith Forum, and other institutions. After this successful tenure, he established Ihsan Institute UK, an educational enterprise that focuses on making traditional knowledge relevant and meaningful. Ihsan Institute UK has its sister organisation Ihsan Institute Singapore also under the supervision of Shaykh Saad. In teaching and speaking capacities, Shaykh Dr Saad worked with many communities across the world traveling to Argentina, Austria, Australia, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, UAE, Qatar, Morocco, Gambia, South Africa, Turkey, Uruguay, Canada, USA, Sweden, Norway, Spain and Germany. This wide experience enriched his ability to deal with people from different backgrounds and cultures and see the human experience beyond the limitations of location and language.


In his traditional studies, Shaykh Saad started studying Arabic language sciences like grammar, morphology, rhetoric, literature, and prosody with his father from a very early age. He also studied modes of recitation (qirā’āt), Ash’ari theology (kalam and ‘aqīdah), tajwīd, Islamic astronomy and prayer timing (falak and tawqīt), Maliki jurisprudence (fiqh), logic (mantiq), Hadīth terminology (mustalah), Quranic hermeneutics (tafsīr), Tasawwuf, legal theory (usul al-fiqh) with a wide circle of teachers from Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Mauritania, Madīnah and Ahsā. This included memorising mutūn (at least one main text) in these respective sciences in addition to thousands of lines of poetry from pre-Islamic to modern poetry including the mu’allaqāt.


Shaykh Saad has traditional ijazāt with an unbroken chain of riwāyah in the six Hadith books, Muwatta, Shama’il, Shifā, Alfiyat al-Iraqi in Sīrah and musalsal hadith collections. His sanad in the Quran is one of the shortest among his peers in the narration of Hafs. In his secondary certificate, he was one of the top ten students in Egypt and was honoured by the governor of Menoufiyyah. In his university years, Shaykh Saad always topped his class and was hosted, in his last year in university, by King Fahad and the Ministry of Hajj alongside 100 students from 10 Muslim countries as the King’s guest.


Besides his late father Shaykh Mohamed Saad, his teachership includes; Habib Dr. Abu Bakr al-‘Adni b. Ali al-Mashhūr, Shaykh Shibl Matar, Shaykh Dr. Ali Gomah, Shaykh Dr. Abdel-Hamīd Al-Mubarak,  Shaykh Ahmad Mawlūd b. Muhammad al-Mustafa al-Yaqūbi al-Shinqīti, Shaykh Dr. Ayman Suwaid, Shaykh Abdul-Fattah Madkour, Shaykh Ali Tawfīq al-Nahhas, Shaykh Abdul-Rahman al-Kittani, Habib Zayn b. Sumayt, Shaykh Abdel-Basit Hashim, Shaykh Yahya al-Ghawthani, Shaykh Ahmad al-Surti, Shaykh Yahya al-Mulla, Shaykh Dr. Ahmad Sharīf al-Manbiji, Shaykh Muhammad al-Baqqāli and others who including Shyūkh of riwāyah exceed 85 teachers.


Shaykh Ahmad has a special interest in Maliki Fiqh, Arabic grammar, rhetoric and literature, Tafsīr, and qirā’āt. He has authored a number of books in Arabic and English including Contemplating the Quran and Forty Parables from the Quran in addition to two anthologies of poetry and some didactic poems. He lives in the UK and teaches and travels internationally.