It is Mrs. Saima Adnan’s belief that the Quran and Sunnah lay extreme importance on knowledge – both acquiring it and then passing it on. She believes our children have natural curiosity and teachers are facilitators. It is a teacher’s responsibility to guide them, and help them achieve their full potential.
Mrs. Adnan joined Daarul Uloom in 2014 as a 3rd Grade teacher. She is excited to work with the 3rd graders again this year. 2018-19 school year marks her 5th year with Daarul Uloom.
Mrs. Adnan received a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Karachi University, Pakistan. After coming to USA, she observed the professionalism and passion of the educators. So when she decided to return to school after her children were a little older, she decided to pursue the field of education. She graduated with honors in Spring 2014 with Associates in Science (Elementary Education) from Illinois Central College. As a student teacher, she worked in several schools in the area including Ridgeview Elementary School in Dunlap School District 323 and Quest Academy in Peoria School District 150. She also had the opportunity to observe a 2nd grade teacher at Peoria Academy for a complete semester. In 2015, she along with a few other DU teachers attended a week-long teachers’ conference in Nevada. That same year, she attended another workshop on reading in East Peoria. She also attended educators’ conference organized by ISNA in 2016. Mrs. Adnan lays a lot of importance on professional development. She regularly attends many webinars/workshops/conferences/seminars organized by other experts in education, and brings what she learns to her class in order to enhance students’ learning experience. In the past, Mrs. Adnan was an administrator for Islamic Foundation of Peoria Sunday School from 2009-2014. She has been a part of Peoria’s Muslim community for the last 18 years. She is married and has two children. In her free time, she enjoys reading. She also loves traveling and camping. She camps with her family and friends, and with her daughter’s Girl Scouts’ troop.
Mrs. Affifi began teaching at Daarul Uloom in 2005. She has taught both in the part-time and full-time capacity. In addition, she taught Arabic, Quran, and Islamic Studies in the past. Currently, Mrs. Affifi is an assistant teacher for Pre-K2 as well as the Islamic Studies teacher for that class.
Mrs. Affifi’s love for children is what makes her passionate about teaching. She feels that building a strong foundation is the most important part of teaching. It is her belief that the hands-on approach to teaching is the best way for children to learn. She believes that the more experiences children have, the more they will learn. These experiences are what make children more curious and enthusiastic about learning.
Mrs. Maha Ahmed is teaching Islamic Studies and Quran/Arabic for middle school and high school and is a teacher in Daarul Uloom Qur’an Academy. She taught Islamic Studies, Computer Science, Art and Character Education the previous school year. Mrs Ahmed holds Bachelor degree in Medicine & Surgery, a Master’s degree in Human Physiology, a teacher certificate in Hafs and Tajweed, and a Certificate in Nooraniyah. Additionally, she comes to Daarul Uloom with five and a half years of past teaching experience, with about 18 months out of those years teaching here at Daarul Uloom.
Mrs. Al-Qudah has done her Ijaza in Quran 2018 from Chicago. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Islamic Studies from Zarka Private University. She also completed all course work for a Masters in Islamic Studies from American Open University in 2004. She has been active in our community since 2002 by establishing the Weekend School at ICP as a teacher then starting Hafs Center 2006 as a principal and is currently working at DUQA 2011 as a fulltime teacher. She has 13+ years of education experience for younger and older ages and attended several conferences in Chicago on education and Islamic Studies.
Mrs. Khawla Al-Qudah is Daarul Uloom Arabic and Quran teacher for the 2019-20 school year. She joined Daarul Uloom in 2003 as the first Quran, Arabic and Islamic Studies teacher. Currently, she is a co-founder and a fulltime teacher at Daarul Uloom Quran Academy, Advisory board at Hafs Quran Memorization Center and working on her Reading Ijaza in Quran third level.
Mrs Alqudah is originally from Jordan and is married to Osama Alrefai, former Imam of Islamic Center of Peoria. Mrs Alqudah and Osama Alrefai have two wonderful daughters and two lovely sons, Alhmadu LiLLAH. They both believe that knowledge, Islamic environment and faith are the most important elements to develop a strong future generation of Muslims proud of their deen and working positively in their society. Mrs Alqudah likes to help students love Arabic by conducting on hand activities. She is also passionate about connecting the students with the book of Allah, Subhanahu Wa Taala in their life. Mrs. Alqudah likes to read, walk and enjoys cooking.
Arbidha Babul was born and brought up in Mysore,India and has been living in peoria for the past seven years post her marriage to Mohamed Rafiq. She holds an Engineering Degree in Computer Science and worked as Education and Research Engineer at Infosys,Mysore.
She has always enjoyed teaching and has taught all the way from preschoolers to college graduates. She has been a part of IFP Sunday School for over three years. She has served DU in different capacities throughout the course of time starting with volunteering then moving onto being a teacher.
She loves reading and always looking to learn something new. She believes in strong educational foundation but in a fun filled way. She is looking forward for a great year, Inshaallah.
Mr. Hassan Brik is beginning his seventh year at Daarul Uloom as a Physical Education Teacher. Mr. Brik believes all of his students are special and possess a wide variety of talent and skills. It is his mission to expose the students to a wide variety of activities, as to encourage them to discover and enhance these skills. As a professional educator, Mr. Brik will present these activities in a positive and professional manner, as to maximize the self-esteem and the self-confidence of his students. As a result of physical education, his students will learn that physical fitness is crucial for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, not only now, but for the rest of their lives. Mr. Hassan has a great passion into soccer in which he specializes. Outside of DU, Mr. Brik had the opportunity to coach soccer in Morton Premier Soccer Club and ICC as goalkeeper coach . Mr. Brik is originally from Morocco and he has been in the United States for ten years now.
Mr. Brik is happily married and recently blessed with a beautiful daughter. He now has 2 daughters, one from his wife previous marriage.
I was born and raised in central Illinois and currently reside in Peoria. I graduated December 2015 with a bachelors in elementary education with middle school endorsements in language arts, physical science, and social studies.
I married a wonderful man named Jeff on April 22, 2017. We had a little girl named Maylee in May of 2018. With that being said, my summers are spent with lots of mommy and Maylee time.
This is my fourth year with Daarul Uloom. Before coming to DU, I taught pre-k at a daycare and was a substitute in various districts including District 150. I am very excited to begin this year. I hope to accomplish my goal of having a safe, but fun environment for my students.
Mrs. Saba Fatima has been an active member of the Muslim community in Peoria for thirteen years. She is married to Asim Uzzaman and has three children that are currently enrolled in Daarul Uloom. Mrs. Fatima been serving Daarul Uloom Islamic School for the last eight years in various capacities’: from heading the PTO, Assistant Teacher to Kindergarten, teaching Islamic Studies from KG-High School and now as the Middle and High School Girls P.E teacher. She is currently the Principal of Daarul Uloom Quran Academy, which is a full time Hifd’ Program.
As the P.E teacher she will be focusing on the overall benefits of exercise through cardio, strength training, stretching and sports. Instilling sportsmanship through group play is her ultimate goal for the school year.
May Ghazawna is from Palestine and was born in Kuwait and raised in Jordan. She has lived in the United States for the past 18 years. Education has always been an important component of her life; it’s one of the main reasons why her parents brought her to America. They wanted to see her strive to receive an education that would ensure a successful future. Alhamdulillah, she was fortunate enough to go to school here and receive a high school and college education which has opened many doors for her. Mrs. Ghazawna has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Bradley University and is on her way to a master’s degree in Education.
Mrs. Ghazawna is married to Nashaat Ghazawna, who is an engineer in Caterpillar and has three wonderful children. Her children are students of this promising school, and she wants to continue to contribute to the efforts of helping children receive a good education. Ever since her first child was enrolled in Daarul Uloom, she has volunteered in various activities in the school and was the PTO secretary for a couple of years.
Mrs. Ghazawna is very passionate about teaching Arabic and Quran. She is fluent in Arabic as it is her first language. She also taught in Daarul Uloom Quran Academy along with her husband for four years. She taught al nooraniyah method to children and has a very well known knowledge in Tajweed. She is very excited and honored that she will be the first one to instill the love of Arabic and Quran to the children at a young age.
Mr. Harun is joining Daarul Uloom this year, teaching the subjects of high school history, geography, business, and middle school social studies.
He holds a Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from UC Berkeley, and has two years of prior teaching experience in the field of speech & debate, in addition to tutoring in reading and SAT prep.
In his free time, Mr. Harun enjoys bicycling, gardening, reading, and spending time with his wife, with whom he moved to Peoria this summer.
Mrs. Basmah Juma is the kindergarten teacher assistant as well as Islamic Studies teacher. She came to the states 31 years ago with her husband to provide a better education for their kids. They have seven children; so she loves working with kids to help them grow and aspire for big things in life.
She completed her education at Forsyth Tech in North Carolina. She joined Daarul Uloom in the 2012-2013 school year as an assistant teacher for Pre-K2. She was subsequently asked to become the kindergarten assistant teacher for the 2013-2014 school year, which she accepted. This will be her seventh year assisting in kindergarten and her fifth year as the Islamic studies teacher for kindergarten. In addition to her experience at Daarul Uloom, she was also a part of Noor Al- Huda Sunday School for seven years, teaching Arabic and Quran for the preschool grades as well as being a substitute for the Hafs Program.
Her goal for Islamic studies is to get the students to learn and understand the foundation of Islam (the 5 pillars of Islam). She plans to build a strong foundation by learning the pillars in details and then branching off of this. She is determined to finish memorizing all 99 names of Allah this year. She hopes to have a wonderful year inshallah. Please don’t hesitate to ask her if you have questions. She will be updating the website weekly on what is going on in the classroom.
Mrs. Maloof comes to DU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies and a Master’s Degree in Writing, both from DePaul University. Her Master’s studies concentration was in teaching writing and she has taught at Harold Washington Community College in Chicago and Illinois Central College. She also has experience running and managing writing centers at both DePaul and Illinois Central College.
She believes strongly that writing and reading are skills that can be developed and honed through practice. She is passionate about student-centered teaching and her goal is to get each student to view themselves as a writer and a reader. One of her favorite things is helping students find books they love and that are relevant to their lives. She views literacy as a lifelong skill that is crucial to success in the 21st century.
Mrs. Maloof moved to Peoria nine years ago from Chicago with her husband. They have a 4-year old and a month old boys. She is also a published writer and is committed, in her spare time, to community work and interfaith work in the Peoria area.
Mrs. Maoued graduated in 2016 from Western Governors University with a Post-Baccalaureate degree in Elementary Education K-9, and an endorsement in middle school science. In addition, she graduated in 2008 from Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s degree of Science in Human Environmental Sciences, majoring in Human Nutrition. She also has an associate degree in Medical Technology.
Mrs. Maoued has been teaching for eight years at Daarul Uloom Islamic School. Outside the Education field, she worked as a medical technologist for 2 years. While attending Oklahoma State University, she worked in the nutrition research lab for one semester.
Mrs. Maoued is passionate about Science and she enjoys both learning and teaching it. When it comes to teaching Science, Mrs. Maoued believes that students will best learn the subject through many hands-on activities. Also, she believes that each student has the potential to succeed and thrive when provided with an accepting and trusting environment. Each student should be treated as an individual with unique learning abilities and requirements.
Mrs. Maoued and her family joined Peoria Muslim Community late 2008. She is happily married and has three boys (who keep her on her toes). In her little free time, Mrs. Maoued likes to read about nutrition, exercise and go for walks.
Miss Robin E. Mathis came to DU after 10 years in District 150. This is her fourth year
here. She graduated from Bradley University in May, 2005 with a BS in Elementary
Education and a minor in science. She has taught K-5 Science, K-4 Language Arts, as
well as Kindergarten and First grade. She was also a summer school teacher for several
Miss Mathis has two daughters, Amber and Emma. Amber, 27, is a graduate of Eureka
College and is beginning her fourth year as the 1st grade teacher at DU. Emma, 17, is
starting her last year of high school and wants to be a chef "when she grows up". Miss
Mathis' 1st granddaughter was born on May 23, 2018 and she spent as much time as
possible this summer cuddling her.
Miss Mathis understands that the partnership between the parents and the teacher is a
critical component to the child’s success. She looks forward to meeting the parents and
working together to give the children the best education possible.
Mrs. Mizyed has been an assistant teacher in the Pre-K1 classroom at Daarul Uloom for
14 years now, Alhamdulillah. Mrs. Mizyed’s tenor at DU has been an asset to Daarul
Her affection for children is what brought Mrs. Mizyed to DU. She loves being around
children and watching them grow and flourish into school-age kids. With being the
assistant in the Pre-K1 classroom, she feels pleasure in knowing that she is able to play
a significant role in establishing a strong foundation for the students of DU.
Mrs. Naffakh joined in 2008 as Daarul Uloom’s Math teacher. She graduated from Bradley University in 2004 with a BS in Computer Information Systems; however, it was her love for children and teaching that led her to seek a degree in Education at Illinois Central College. Subsequently, she graduated with a master’s degree in Elementary Mathematics Education at the University of Houston-Victoria in 2013. She later earned her certification through the state of Illinois.
Mrs.Naffakh has been teaching 2nd through 8th grade Math for eleven years. She has a great passion for the subject and enjoys sharing it with her students in various interactive and entertaining ways.
Cassandra Dixon-Nazzal was born and raised in Peoria, Illinois. She has been working in the education field since 2001, beginning as a substitute teacher assistant for Peoria School District 150, and then as a daycare teacher, having taught in the various age groups (Toddlers, 2s, 3s, 4s/5s classes). This is her 2nd year at Daarul Uloom.
Mrs. Nazzal is currently working on her Degree in Education (Early Childhood), in sha Allah, after having taken a break from her schooling.
Mrs. Nazzal reverted to Islam on 30 August 2015, Alhamdulillah, and is excited to be active in the Muslim Community; she helps out with the Dawah Committee.
Mrs. Nazzal is married to Ashraf Nazzal, and has 3 children.
In her spare time, Mrs. Nazzal enjoys reading, working on her Arabic, working on genealogy, and spending time with her family
Fehmida Rajiwate was born in Mumbai, India and have been living in the Peoria for the past 21
years. She completed her Master’s degree in Arts with Economics major. She is married to Arif
Rajiwate who works at Caterpillar.
After coming to Peoria, she took some classes related to education, culinary arts and computers
to broaden her horizon. She helped her husband with his restaurant business venture and then
moved on to retail industry. She worked with Bergner’s for a period of 6 years. Over these 6
years, she took on different roles: Sales Associate, Team Lead, Mentor, and assisting manager
with planning and organizing. She enjoyed every moment of it!
She loves working with Kids and have a passion for teaching. This is her ninth year in Daarul
Uloom. She thought Pre-K1 for six years, and Kindergarten for one year. She is looking forward
to working with your kids in Pre-K1. She is grateful to Allah S W T to have presented her with
When she is not working, she loves to read, cook, bake, and gardening.
Stephanie Ramquist is DU’s Middle School English Language Arts teacher. Stephanie began her career as a tax accountant after obtaining a BS in Accountancy and a MS in Taxation from the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign. She practiced as a tax accountant in Northern Virginia before moving to Germany with her husband.
After moving back to the US in 2010, Stephanie worked as a teacher’s aide in a bilingual Spanish-English preschool and volunteered as both a GED and an English as a Second language (ESL) tutor. She obtained a MA in Teaching English as a Second Language in 2016, completing a portion of her teaching practicum in the DU 8th grade classroom.
Outside of the classroom, Stephanie enjoys reading, hiking, travelling, and spending time with family and friends. In her mind, there is little better than sharing a cup of chai on the deck with her husband (Nathan) and two daughters (Elena and Annika).
Miss Katherine Rhoades is the fifth grade teacher. This is her third year with Daarul Uloom. Miss Rhoades earned her Bachelor of Science in Education degree at Illinois State University in 2015 with endorsements in Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies. She has worked with students of all ages before coming to D.U., including kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth, and sixth grade. When not teaching, she enjoys reading and traveling with her family.
Sharon Trussler is beginning her 4th year at Daarul Uloom. She
teaches high school Algebra 1 & 2, Geometry, and PreCalculus. Mrs.
Trussler knows that her students may not love math as she does but
they must realize how very important it is to learn. She tries to instill
the need for lifelong learning.
Mrs. Trussler is married to Freddie Trussler going on 26 years. They
have two daughters and two grandchildren that are sources of great
pride. Mrs. Trussler graduated from University of Illinois -
Urbana/Champaign with a BS in Secondary Math Education and
received her Master’s degree in MS Math Education from Illinois State
Mrs. Trussler is a part-time, afternoon teacher now. She retired from
District 150 after 20 years full-time and prior to that, taught high
school math for 6 additional years as far away as Arizona. Her hobbies
are playing piano, flute, organ, and soon, she will master the guitar. She
collects shiny rocks!
I was born in Madrid, Spain and grew up in a bilingual and bicultural family. I am lucky enough to have lived and or traveled to several countries and states. I am certified in Bilingual (Spanish), English as A Second Language (ESL) and K-12 Spanish. I also have a Master’s in Education Leadership.
I always try to have the student’s best interest at heart and remain focus on the teaching and learning process. I also try to remain innovative and explore ideas and options to increase my student’s success.
This is my first year with Daarul Uloom. I have had the pleasure of working with students from different cultural, sociological, economical, and learning backgrounds. Before coming to DU, I have taught K-12 in various academic subject area such as Bilingual, Emotion Disorders (co-taught), ESL, Spanish, and Regular Division. During the past two summers, I am a Spanish instructor, during the school I am an academic tutor through the at Illinois Central College (ICC).