Ustadha Mona Elzankaly
Born in Egypt and raised in Southern California, Ustadha Mona Elzankaly graduated from the University of California, Riverside with a bachelors degree in Computer Science and Mathematics in 1994. In 1997, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where she attended classes in Arabic, Maliki fiqh, Aqidah, Purification of the Heart, Prohibitions of the Tongue, and hadith with Shaykh Hamza Yusuf. In 2001, she joined the Fajr Center in Cairo and completed a year long program in Arabic. She then returned to the Zaytuna Institute in 2002 where she studied full time with Shaykh Salek bin Siddina, completing several books in Maliki fiqh and suluk, upon which he gave her permission (ijaaza) to start teaching. In 2004, Ustadha Mona traveled to Damascus, Syria to continue her studies in Qur'an, Aqidah, and Maliki fiqh. Her main teachers were Shaykh Muhammad Sukkar, Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, Ansi Mariam Dhouib, Ansi Hanodai Sukkar, Shaykh Hassan Al-Hindi, and Shaykh Abd al-Aziz al-Saayib. While in Damascus, she obtained a teaching license in Qur'anic recitation in the Hafs style from Shaykh Shukry Luhafi. She has also obtained licenses from Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi upon hearing the complete recitation of Sahih al-Bukhari and the Muwatta of al-Imam Malik. She then completed the four year Zaytuna Seminary pilot program and received a baccalaureate degree in Islamic Studies in 2008. Ustadha Mona has also attended the Dowra programs in Tarim, Yemen where she had the opportunity of learning from the great scholars of Tarim. Ustadha Mona began teaching in 2002 both privately and publicly and has taught for Zaytuna Institute and Dar az-Zahra, to name a few. Currently Ustadha Mona resides in Egypt where she is continuing her studies.