Sheikh Bilal Ismail was born in Durban, South Africa. He is one of three siblings and comes from a religious traditional hanafi family. Sheikh Bilal is an AlKauthar Instructor as well as the head of AlKauthar Students Guild. He is the founder and Director of the Imam Development Program.
He memorized the Quran while studying at school and went on to complete high school in 1998. Sheikh Bilal then went on to do a diploma in Computer Science in 1999, as well as qualifying as a Microsoft certified systems engineer. He was accepted into the Islamic University of Madinah in 2001 where he completed his Diploma in Arabic followed by a BA in Islamic Law from the faculty of Shariah.
Sheikh Tawfique Chowdhury says about him: “He was always one of the most studious people I have met and he never wasted time whilst in Madinah.” Also: “Sheikh Bilal is a personal friend of mine and I would describe him to be a true student of knowledge – someone who speaks with knowledge and is of the highest adab and morals.”
After graduating, he returned to South Africa where he had been teaching Fiqh and Tafsir weekly classes in Durban since the summer of 2007 and says he is “still a student of knowledge – and will always be!”