Frequently Asked Questions
Can I study in person in Nabbaghiyyah? Answer: Yes. Traveling to the Mahdara to study in person is generally preferred over online studies. The scholars at the Mahdara welcome everyone to come and study – and they do their best to make it easy for students.
What are the requirements? Answer: There are no requirements. No matter your current level, the door is always open.
Is it a requirement that I can speak Arabic? Answer: Previously, the student had to understand Arabic (Fuṣḥā) before coming to study in person. However, as there is a substantial number of English-speaking students at the Mahdara, it is now possible to be assisted in the beginning. It differs from person to person how fast they learn, but some students will be able to converse in Arabic within 3 months. One way of learning Arabic is to be in an environment where you are forced to speak Arabic. Mingling with students of knowledge coupled with assistance from an English-speaking student is a good way to learn. When you arrive in Nabbaghiyyah, ask for Shaykh al-Mishrī and he will find someone who can help translate for you, in shā’ Allāh.
How about COVID-19? Answer: The Mahdara is open for everyone. Travellers should however always keep up to date with official rules and restrictions.
How far is the village (Nabbaghiyyah) from the airport in Nouakchott? Answer: Approximately 2,5 hours by car.
How can I get from the airport to the Mahdara? Answer: There are cars that leave Nouakchott towards Nabbaghiyyah every day. These are tradesmen who are happy to take passengers with them for around $5 USD. Usually, they leave around the following times: 12 pm (noon), 2:30 pm and 4 pm. When you arrive have retrieved your luggage, just ask for transport to Nabbaghiyyah. If all fails, you can call the contact number (see the bottom of the page).
How much does it cost to study? Answer: It’s free to study at the Mahdara in Nabbaghiyyah – there are zero tuition fees.
What are the costs of living? Answer: This varies according to your lifestyle, but usually between $200-400 USD per month including rent and food. Accommodation usually costs around $100 USD per month for 1-3 rooms (with kitchen and bathroom). The apartments are not furnished, but you can get the essentials nearby. Everyone cooks for themselves and some have groups where they take turns. Sometimes it’s possible to find accommodation for $50 USD if you are travelling alone. For students on a budget, one should expect that food will cost $150 USD per month. For students who cannot afford that, lunch and supper come from the Shaykhs house every day for around 150-200 students. Some students also build their own tents.
Is there electricity and an internet connection? Answer: Yes. There is usually electricity from 8 am to 12 am-midnight (18 hours). This covers most of the waking hours. Nabbaghiyyah recently got 4G network which costs around $2.75 USD for 2.5 GB (Mauritel sim card), which will last around a week depending on usage.
Where do I start my studies? Answer: Shaykh Mukhtār is in charge of this area and the student will receive instructions on which book to start with.
Can I start any time of the year? Answer: Yes. The scholars teach in small circles. When a new student joins, the Shaykh will teach the student and take turns according to the progress. The students are also taught in groups if their progress is the same.
Can I do hifz/hifdh (memorization) of the Qur’ān? Answer: Yes. This is not part of the Mahdara curriculum per se. It will usually be done by you finding a group.
How can I get a Visa? Answer: The Visa is on arrival and costs around $100 USD. This does not require an invitational letter from the Mahdara. This Visa is valid for one month. At the airport, you inform them that you have come to study at the Mahdara in Nabbaghiyyah. If you have a friend, you can give their details. You can thereafter extend it for 1 year or more, which costs around $100 USD and requires an invitational letter which you can get from the school.
Are there shops nearby? Answer: Yes, there are shops everywhere for most of the things you need.
Can I earn a wage? Answer: Some students find work in construction (if they have knowledge in this field) or do khidmah in houses (such as washing clothes) to earn a small wage. The easiest way is to have a savings before coming to study, so one can focus solely on the studies.
What is the next step? Answer: You can essentially book your tickets and come to Nabbaghiyyah without any prior communication. We advise that you check the travel restrictions and plan your travel dates. You can then fill out the form below and you will get an e-mail with a contact number if you have questions when you arrive at the airport.
Do you have further questions? The English Mahdara is for online studies and the help we can provide regarding in-person studies is limited. We will do our best to answer your question, however, we cannot make any practical arrangements. We get a lot of inquiries regarding in-person studies and we, therefore, ask that you allow some time for us to reply. May Allāh ﷻ reward you for your patience.