Finding an Quran or Arabic Teacher

There are several options for studying Quran and/or Arabic in Cairo.  Al-Azhar University offers virtually free classes,  with programs targeted to foreigners.  However, it can be a major hassle going through the proper channels to register.  There are also the Arabic language centers (Arabic centers are a whole ‘nother post), many of whom have carved out a VERY lucrative business catering to muslims and non-muslims who want to learn Arabic.  Many centers will also have on hand, or will locate a Quran teacher for you.  That route is pretty easy, although it can add up.  Another option might be a private teacher who comes to your home.  The cost of this can vary widely. 

I’ve found that the teachers who are accostomed to working with non-Egyptians, generally charge more.  The rate for both Quran and Arabic seems to be between 15LE-25LE ($2.60-$4.30), depending on the teacher and their experience.  Some teachers can charge up to 30 LE ($5.20).  Cost doesn’t matter as much if you plan to be here a short time, but in the long term, you’ll want the most economical solution which allows you to learn.  Meaning don’t settle for a cheap teacher who can not teach.

There are various ways to find teachers, one is through the language centers.  Some,  but not all, will send teachers to your home.  Another option is to ask other foreigners.  Usually there are a few teachers well-known among different groups of foreigners.  The option I prefer best is to ask Egyptians.  This may not work for Arabic, after all, it’s not likely Egyptians will be studying Arabic at home.  There are however, Egyptians who study Quran at home, and if you know any they may be able to refer you to some.  I prefer this option because you usually can find a lower rate. 

It’s generally much easier to find male teachers than females.  Especially qualified ones.  My son’s Quran teacher is a hafidh of Quran (meaning he has memorized the Quran in it’s entirety), has ijaza in Qira’at (he’s been certified to be proficient in proper recitation of Quran), and is a student at Al-Azhar.  We pay him 25LE for a two hr lesson, 4-5 days a week.  A female teacher WITHOUT ijaza, might cost you 30-40LE for the same amount of  time.  My daughter’s last teacher wanted 20LE an hour. 

Teachers and imams make VERY little money.  Many times not more than $50 a month, so teaching on the side can be a way for them to supplement their income.  That means you may find a very qualified teacher for little money.  One thing to remember is that most people teach on the side.  They have a ‘main’ job or study.  So when something else comes up, you may end up missing lessons. 

In my experience, most teachers prefer to be paid monthly.  Some request the money in advance.  If you do pay in advance, try and be sure the person is trustworthy.  Another option is to offer to pay weekly, or at the end of the month. 

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8 Responses

  1. Subhanallah! My daughter has an Egyptian Quran Tutor. I also have a Morroccan friend, who has ijazah and teaches Quran. They both told me that it is not permissable to CHARGE for teaching Quran. Therefore, there is no set rate and they get donations. We pay my dd teacher an hourly rate we set in our head, once a month. Most of her students only give her 150sr a month, if that. She is very good and many of her students complete the Quran with her, so we try to be generous – masha’Allah. Her husband is the ustadh at the masjid for the boys Quran. My nephew use to go to him and insha’Allah my son will start when he turns 4 yeares old.

  2. Sister, don’t you know religion and money are two different things, lol! This is the main ‘beef’ of many of the muslims who move to Egypt. That many people look at you as dollar signs rather than muslims. Let me tell you a story, my husband had a teacher who was well known. He’s won contests for qira’at. He charges 30LE (about $6/hr), which is considered a lot. My husband asked him why, and he replied, well people come here and spend 2000LE for a weekend in Sharm el-Sheikh (a resort), ie, if they can pay that for vacation, they can pay me this much for Quran. This person will sleep during the lessons and still demand the full fee. One brother went to him and said he did not even correct his mistakes, even when he made some on purpose! When the brother wanted to discontinue the lessons he demanded the fee for the entire month (which wasn’t finished).
    Not all people are like that. A friend of mine told me of a sister who would charge for teaching her children Arabic, but not charge for the Quran portion of the lesson. One of my daughter’s former teachers, the ONLY one with ijaza, allowed me to set my own price. Another sister was willing to allow me to come to her for free (she too had ijaza but lived an hour away). My daughter’s last teacher on the other hand, refused a request for a discount, saying, that she can make 25 LE an hour elsewhere. She was a good teacher, but I am not sad to see her go because of that attitude in regard to Quran.
    Many of these people consider themselves to be from ahl ul-sunnah wal jama’at ( I am not disputing whether they are or aren’t), however when it comes to money….
    One sister I know is so keen to follow the guidance of Rasulullah, sallahu aleyhe wassalaam, that she will not pray on a prayer rug with pictures unless she turns it over. Yet she charges a LOT of money for hijamah. And there are hadith which suggest it is makruh to charge for hijamah.
    BTW, lol, I just realized I was spelling ijaza wrong. I do that with zawji too, interpose the letters. I guess I shouldn’t write after a long day, lol!

  3. I think the fault lies somewhere in the middle. Teaching takes away from your time. People need money. This is why I pay my daughter’s teacher the same thing I charge people who want English help. I also paid my nephew’s math and science tutor, and our gardener the same price. An hour of your time is an hour of your time. Some people take advantage of The Quran teachers. I think this is why my daughter’s teacher only teaches for 30 mins 3 a week, because the people were taking her for granted. She is a mother and wife just like the rest of us with thinks to do.

  4. I am not against paying a fair wage. I think I indicated that they make a few times what they would make in a center or school. I have no problem with paying for their time, and I appreciate what they do. The teachers are taken advantage of, but it’s not the foreigners who are doing it. I think I make an effort to pay a fair amount whether it’s someone carrying my groceries or teaching my kids. For what it is worth, the more reasonably priced teachers HAVE been mothers. They really need the money and tend to be more flexible with the price. The ones who were more expensive were single women living at home with their mothers. I don’t think that the situation there in Saudi can be really compared. The overcharging extends not just to teachers, but taxi drivers, doctors, etc. What really gets me is when it is a Quran teacher.

    Also, I couldn’t and wouldn’t pay the same to anyone who granted me a service. IMO, some services are just worth more money. If the bawwab spends an hour cleaning the stairs and the dentist spends an hour cleaning my teeth, they are not getting the same amount of money. But jazakillahkhair for you comments. Wassalaam

  5. As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatuAllahi wa barakatuh,
    Asiyahs mom whew sis, i didnt tell u about my teacher, mashAllah everything is good except the money issue. I cant count how many times an arabic or Quraan teacher (esp the Quraan teacher) has told me that what I am willing to pay is not enough.(when its more than sufficient and way less than what even a rich egyptian would pay!) The other day she asked if I could find her some sisters who are willing to pay 10$ an hour and she has no ijaza nor small children! When I expressed that this price I would not even recommend a sister to take a class for this price, nor would they do it considering that one can go to the masjid for FREE for help with memorization and tajweed or even go to a Quraan center for 20le a month up to l20 le a month, for hours by a sister who has ijaza and also has been trained how to teach foreigners, subhaanAllah. But you know this same person and countless others get this glaze over the eye like what you have just said is soooo eib?! They go on to mention that well how come we can go to fajr ctr or ibaana for 85$ a month and not wanna pay 10$ (or even 35le an hour is beyond ridicolous) an hour?! Excuse me but I live off the junae just like you lol. WE dont own our homes, our kids dont go to school for FREE, and we dont have a family or cummunity support here like them. We get cheated on basic needs almost 90% of the time, so most of our ‘riches’ are being defrauded authubillah. The best thing seems to do is learn the arabic, then the tajweed, and listen to and repeat hussary or abdul basit, minshawy or ajamy every night!

    oh and umasiyah, if u want hijama theres a egy practicing sis, her and her dh are doctors who worked in the states; they do free cupping, and give classes for free, with clean demo and everything, she lives out in rehab but will come to mn, let me know if u want her #

  6. Did the Prohet Mohammed peace be upon him charge to teach, i think you will find not, so i think from making money from the teaching of quran is becoming a bussines, people forget the hadith way of teachings and start to make money, quran should be taught free it the word of god there is no price think about?

  7. A high qualified Arabic native speaker is available to teach Arabic privately lessons include speaking grammar and writing .it is available also to learn forigners or Quraan, I have Master’s Degree and over 15 years of Experience .Please contact me on my email: Rarbrabmasoh2000@yahoo.com or on tel no : 002-0112297792 I am in Cairo
    Hazem H.

  8. i am interested have a quran teacher for my kids who are 8 and 5 yrs pls help me to look for the best teacher for my kids Thanks

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