- Traditional handwritten Ijaza to teach all transmitted and rational Islamic Sciences, issued by Sh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi (1425/2005)
- Scholar (Alim) Degree, issued by Sh Akram al-Nadwi, endorsed by Nadwatul Ulema, India
- Medical Bachelor, Bachelor of Surgery (MB,BS)
- Master of Science (Anthropology)
Ridhwan ibn Muhammad Saleem graduated in Medicine from Kings College London in 1997. During his clinical training, he commenced his pursuit of Islamic knowledge attending the circles of the spiritual master, Shaykh Nazim al-Haqqani, and sitting at the feet of the prolific thinker and scholar, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, with whom he completed several texts including the Ajerumiyya in Grammar, Sanusiyya in Aqeedah, and al-Naseeha al-Kafiya of Sidi Ahmad Zarruq. During this time, he also had the blessing of studying some of the Hikam of Ibn `Ata-illah with Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller.
After his graduation and pre-registration training, Shaykh Ridhwan decided to pursue Islamic knowledge full-time and was able to do so with the help of a supportive wife who shared his commitment to Islamic study. They lived for over a year in Liverpool, where Shaykh Ridhwan sat on a daily basis with the Hadith-Master, ‘Allamah Shaykh Siraj al-Islam Chawdry (may Allah protect him), studying Hanafi Fiqh and Tafsir of Quran. Shaykh Ridhwan later asked for Shaykh Siraj’s permission to teach, which he granted.
Following his sojourn in Liverpool, Shaykh Ridhwan continued his studies for several years in the blessed ancient city of Damascus at the feet of notable individuals. His studies were supervised by the erudite scholar, Sayyid Shaykh Muhammad al-Ya’qoubi al-Hassani, who issued him several written ijaazas (licences) to teach the sacred sciences. During his time in Damascus, Shaykh Ridhwan benefited from private classes with several remarkable teachers, including Shaykh Khaleel al-Sabbagh and Shaykh Mur`i al-Rasheed. He had daily classes with Shaykh Abd al-Wahhab Najib in his small mosque in the old souq in the Maghribi quarter of Damascus.
He had the blessing of being taken by Shaykh al-Yaqoubi to sit with some of the spiritual giants of Damascus, many of whom have since passed from this worldly plane. These notables included the late Shaykh Ahmad Habbal, the Sayyid Shaykh Taj al-Deen al-Kittani, and the late Shadhili Master Shaykh Abd al-Rahman al-Shagouri. He sat in many private gatherings of Shaykh al-Shaghouri and received the blessing of the Shaykh holding his subha in his hand along with his own and mixing them together while smiling at Shaykh Ridhwan.
While in Damascus, Shaykh Ridhwan was a regular attendee at the public classes and Friday sermons of the shining beacon of Ahl al-Sunnah in the Arab world, Shaykh Saeed Ramadan al-Bouti. He also met the esteemed Shaykh personally on occasions, and asked for and was granted his blessing and special supplication for the work of the deen in Britain.
Shaykh Ridhwan visited the late celebrated scholar of Damascus, Shaykh Adeeb al-Kallas, and, for the baraka requested his Ijaza to teach the religious sciences which the Shaykh graciously granted.
During his studies, Shaykh Ridhwan benefited greatly from the personal company of Imam Zaid Shakir and regular attendance at the private circles of Shaykh Muhammad Ba Shuayb.
Shaykh Ridhwan is a medical practitioner, currently specialising and working in field of general adult psychiatry.
He is Honorary Principal at the Ha Meem College of Islamic Studies in West London, and Co-founder of Lady Nafisa Independent School for Girls. He continues his specialist Islamic studies periodically in private classes with Shaykh Akram al Nadwi, who has granted him an Alim degree endorsed by Nadwat-ul Ulema. He lives with his wife and four children in Hounslow, West London.
Shaykh Ridhwan has been teaching the Islamic sciences at all levels since he returned to the UK from Damascus in 2005, and many students have completed traditional madrassa texts with him, including the staples of Hanafi fiqh such as the Maraqi al Falah and the Lubbab, Nasafi’s Aqaid, parts of the Hidayah of Murghinani, the Fath al Bari, the Ihya, and many other texts. He has produced several highly original papers in Islamic studies including: a novel research on the identity of Gog and Magog, building on the work of Shaykh Imran Hossein; a ground-breaking paper on the true age of Sayyida Aisha; and an exposition of the reality of militant Salafist groups claiming to represent Islam, all of which have been well received by scholarly circles. (Sh Ridhwan’s papers can be downloaded here).
In 2014, following a period of reflection on the situation of the Muslim community, Shaykh Ridhwan began work in earnest on the History course which was intended to be the first stage of the 3-stage syllabus, now named Civilizations.
The History course was delivered at Ha Meem college in 2016/2017 to very positive feedback from attendees, and delivered to a second cohort of students at Karima Foundation in High Wycombe, once again received very warmly. Guest lecturers at the History course have included Sh Faraz Rabbani, Sh Talal al Azem, Prof. Ahmad Khan (Netherlands), Sh Jawad Khalid.