Entry Requirements

Prior to acceptance, all applicants are to fill in the application form with special focus on prior learning and existent skills.


For entry into the taḥfīẓ department, applicants are expected to possess a basic ability in the recitation of the Qurʾān. Applicants who are unable to recite the Qurʾān are usually redirected to sister institutes which focuses on the basics. In the event of limited vacancies, applicants who have already successfully memorized portions of the Qurʾān are given preference in accordance with the quantity and quality of prior memorization. Applicants should also be no younger than 15 years of age. Exceptions may be made in all the above should special circumstances prevail.

The recital of applicants will be tested to verify claims made in the application form. If no claim of prior memorization has been made this will be limited to the ability to recite directly from the musḥaf (copy of the Qurʾān). If otherwise, portions indicated will be tested from memory to verify quantity and quality. Upon passing this test, applicants will be divided into the 3 classes equally and immediately be allowed entry into class.

Arabic and Islamic Department

For entry into the Arabic and Islamic Department, the ability to read Arabic will be verified by testing the applicant's recital from the musḥaf. Testing will be done from sections not previously memorized and as such is per the selection of the examiner. Perfect tajwīd is not essential for this test as the focus is merely on the recognition of the Arabic letters and diacritical marks.

Applicants are also expected to present proof of prior qualifications - such as a grade 10 progress report - or any other such evidence to validate claims made in the application form. Telephone numbers and other such contact information of schools, universities or Islamic institutions previously attended should also be provided to facilitate claim verification and allow examiners to ascertain prior history. Character references by religious leaders and others must also be accompanied by the necessary contact information.

In the event that applicants wish to enter any year other than the 1st year of the Introductory Course, they will be subjected to testing on the work done in lower years. Ideally applicants should then be familiar with the subjects and curriculum of lower years for testing will be on these subjects in accordance with our own curriculum. Exceptions may be made in the event that applicants are able to prove mastery of subjects done in lower years via testing. In such an event, acceptance into the year of choice will be subject to passing the March exams of that year. Should the applicant fail yet wish to continue his studies at the institute, he will be required to go down to the level required by examiners.

Departments at DUAI

The Taḥfīẓ Department

The taḥfīẓ Department or Qurʾānic Memorisation Program - as suggested by the title - is devoted to the memorization of the complete Qurʾān. The average learner is able to do so in 3 years of devoted study with some dedicated learners completing in less than 2 years.

The day starts at 5:00 am. Class then closes at 7:00 am thereby allowing students to partake of breakfast and morning tasks. At 8:00 am classes recommence and then break again at 11:00 am. Students are then allowed to partake in the sunnah pre-noon qaylūlah [siesta] thereby allowing them to recuperate their energies for the afternoon class. Lunch is served after dhuhr salāh which is normally performed between 13:45 to 14:30. At 14:40 class recommences and then closes for the day at 16:00. Students are strongly advised to revise their daily lessons at night between Maghrib and ʿIshāʾ prayers, and teachers periodically attend to ensure its occurrence.

Learners are generally expected to reside on premises to facilitate their attendance of the above sessions. Classes are conducted 6 days a week - i.e. not on Sunday - and students are allowed only one off-weekend per month. This usually occurs at the end of the month when at the closure of Thursday afternoon class, they may leave the premises and return to their families and relatives for rest and recuperation. They are expected to return to the institute on Sunday evening to prepare for class the next morning.

The Arabic and Islamic Studies Department

Class commences at 8:00 am and continues till 10:00. Students are then allowed to take a tea break and stretch their legs for 30 minutes. Classes then recommence at 10:30 am till 12:30 when it breaks for lunch and Dhuhr ṣalāh. It then resumes at 14:00 and continues till 16:00 when it ends for the day. Students are, in addition, expected to attend compulsory evening study periods when they are to revise lessons learned during the day and prepare for the next day of studies. In all - excluding the night session - classes are comprised of 3 periods each lasting 120 minutes (in some classes 6 sessions of 60 minutes).

The method of instruction while comprising both theory and practice prefers practicality above all other considerations. By way of example; in the Ḥadīth Department, focus is on the production of a true muḥaddith and not the completion of any text of ḥadīth methodology and classification [Muṣṭalaḥ al-Ḥadīth] or any particular ḥadīth compilation. It is for this reason that besides the usual study of Muṣṭalaḥ al-Ḥadīth and translation of a ḥadīth compilation we also focus on teaching the theory and practice of other essential subjects as ʿIlm al-Rijāl (Narrator Biographies), Jarḥ wa Taʿdīl [Narrator Vindication and Disparagement], and Takhrīj al-Aḥādīth [Narration Location].

Of all the sub-departments of the Arabic and Islamic Studies Department, the Ḥadīth Department and the Fiqh Department take precedence as they, along with culminating the other sciences, possess the greatest efficacy in solving the problems of Muslims and meeting the challenges of modern times. This does not in any way imply that we neglect or deem other subjects, such as Arabic Language and Qurʾānic Exegesis [Tafsīr al-Qurʾān], inferior for Islam is holistic and any serious student is expected to gain mastery in all its primary subjects. As such all subjects are deemed as essential, with Fiqh and Ḥadīth as the primary areas of focus.

Although it is preferred that students in this department reside on the premises, it is not expected as they are generally adults and at times married. Those so exempted are therefore not required to attend the night sessions on condition that they are regular in their attendance of daily classes. Classes are conducted 6 days a week. The Monday to Thursday program is as indicated from 8:00 am till 4:00 pm. Friday classes are from 8:00 am till 11:00 am. Saturdays and Sundays are not formal school days, but allocated for rest and recuperation and personal revision/preparation. The weekend nearest to the end of the month is generally a long off-weekend from Thursday after class till Sunday evening as in the Taḥfīẓ Department. These descriptions are subject to change by the DUAI administration team without prior notification.

Financial Requirements

Studying at DUAI may generate several financial responsibilities. It is best that prospective students take cognisance of potential financial burdens well in advance of their arrival at the institute. We discuss these requirements and the various options for their fulfilment.

Visa Applications

Applications for study visas to South Africa generally require the payment of fees which could amount to anything between R1000 to R3500 (subject to change). This differs from country to country but is usually cheaper and easier to obtain in the country of origin than in South Africa. Prospective applicants are therefore advised to apply in their own country and not to prematurely travel to South Africa in the hope that internal applications could be more expeditious.

Applicants who arrive at our doorstep without the proper papers designating our institute as their place of study may not be accepted as students, as per government regulations. Acceptance of such students carries a heavy penalty which the institute cannot afford and which may jeopardize our continued existence. No exceptions are therefore made in this regard and any applications for concessions are disregarded.

Visa applications may also have hidden costs - such as the requirement of medical insurance prior to the granting of visas - and applicants are to ensure proper communication with their respective embassies so as to not fall prey to unforeseen complications. The institute is however prepared to provide temporary medical insurance for foreign applicants to facilitate visa acceptance. Upon arrival on the shores of South Africa such students are however required to personally secure medical insurance at any of the local insurance companies acceptable to the respective authorities.


As funding is limited and the day to day running of the institute generates a huge financial liability, all students in all departments - irrespective of whether or not they are accommodated at the premises of the institute - are financially liable for the following expenses:

  • A once off yearly maintenance fee to aid in the maintenance of the physical structures of the institute. This amounts to R250 [Two Hundred and Fifty Rand].
  • Monthly tuition and board and lodge fees of R1500 for the 12 months of the year. This amounts to R18 000 [Eighteen Thousand Rand] per annum.

The total yearly financial liability of all students towards the institute therefore amounts to only R18 250 [Eighteen Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Rand] excluding text book fees. Bursaries may be awarded to students who are unable to pay the entire amount. In general, however, all students are required to assume responsibility for at least one third of the total monthly fee which currently amounts to R500. The institute will then in conjunction with the student apply for bursaries from organisations or parties to cover the remainder. The bursaries are subject to qualification and acceptance and as such the institute makes no guarantee to any students that bursaries will be provided for them.

Payment Options

The maintenance fee is to be paid immediately upon student registration. The tuition and board and lodge fees which amounts to R18 000 may be paid as follows:

  • A once off payment of the entire amount which should be settled before the end of March. Failure to pay the entire amount prior to March end results in the payment plan converting to either the quarterly or monthly payment plan.
  • Quarterly payments of R4500; to be paid before the end of the first month of the respective quarter.
  • Monthly, in installments of R1800 to be paid before the 7th of every month.

Board and Lodge

Accommodation and meals are provided at the premises of the institute, the cost of which is included in the fees mentioned above. Meals are provided three times a day as per the usual breakfast, lunch and supper system employed at other sister institutes. Accommodation is usually shared by other students and can amount to up to 10 students per room in large rooms. Beds, bedding [linen] and lockers are also provided. Students are however advised to bring along their own bedding if they have special needs or just feel more comfortable in their own bedding.

In the event that the student wishes to find accommodation off-premises, the above fee will not be deducted and all resultant expenses are to the student's liability. In addition, the institute accepts no responsibility or liability for students living off-premises and their safety and security is their own priority. Permission to live off-premises is only granted on condition of sharīʿah compliant accommodation and living conditions. Periodic investigations may also be conducted to ensure that such students perform their religious duties such as regular attendance of local congregational prayers. Failure to comply with requirements can lead to the revocation of any such concessions.

Additional Expenses

Financial obligations generated by personal needs as diverse as the cost of toiletry, traveling expenses, textbooks and stationery are to be assumed by the applicant and the institute assumes no responsibility whatsoever for its provision. Emergency medical and other expenses generated during the fulfilment of essential needs will however be provided as per the discretion of the institute for which it will have to be reimbursed.

SA Visa requirements for foreign students

A foreigner who wishes to study in RSA for longer than 3 months requires:

  • An official letter of provisional enrollment by the learning institute stating the following:
    • Details regarding arranged accommodation, if any. That the applicant has sufficient funds to cover tuition fees, maintenance and incidental costs.
    • In the case of a minor, the particulars of the person in the Republic who will act as the learner's guardian and proof of consent for the intended stay from both parents or from sole custody parent along with proof of sole custody.
    • The course or academic programme for which the applicant has been accepted and that the applicant has the required qualifications to attend it, including any applicable language proficiency requirement.
    • The undertaking by the learning institute to notify the department when the learner has completed his studies.
  • Proof of funds.
  • Details regarding accommodation.
  • In the case of a minor, a letter of consent from parents or guardians.
  • A letter from person in RSA who will act as guardian.
  • Proof of qualifications.
  • Police clearance certificate.
  • Medical Insurance.

Please Note: Validity of permit may not exceed duration of course. Contact us and we will send you the required documentation via email or fax. Alternatively phone us at +2721 8369377 and ask for Moulana Abubakr Shaibu.