Mu’allim Ibrahim Al-Zakzaky was born in Zaria City on 14 Shaban 1372 A.H. (May 1953). The word Al-Zakzaky is a familiar title meaning 'Man of Zazzau.'

The genealogy of Mu’allim Ibrahim is as follows. Mu’allim Ibrahim son of Aliyu son of Tajuddin, son of Imam Hussain. Imam Hussain originated from Mali, and came to Sokoto during the time of Mujadid Sheikh Usman bin Fodiyo, and became his student, following which the Sheikh attached Imam Hussain with the Amir and standard bearer of Islamic Jihad, whose name was Mallam Musa, in order to establish an Islamic government in the province of (Lardin) of Zazzou. When Zazzou was defeated. Mallam Musa became the Amir and Imam Hussain became his religious adviser. There were intermarriages between their families. This happened in the early part of the 19th century.

The father of Mu’allim Ibrahim died in 1972. His mother is still alive. Mu’allim Ibrahim is the fifth born of his father. At the age of fifteen, he joined Fata Provincial Arabic School, Zaria, established by the then native authority (N.A.) for primary training of Arabic teachers. Due to his exceptional talent Mu’allim Ibrahim finished in two years instead of the usual four. He then proceeded to the School of Arabic Studies (AAS) in Kano, from 1971 - 1976 and obtained the ‘Grade II’ Certificate.

Following the completion of his school studies, Mu’allim Ibrahim attended the GCE A-Level Private from where he proceeded to Ahmedu Vello University (AVU), Zaria. He studied BSc Economics and graduated with a first class degree in 1979. The degree was denied to him by the university authorities due to his Islamic activities.

On the side of his Islamic education, Mu’allim Ibrahim has furthered his studies from various local ulema (scholars) who included Mallam Sani Abdulkadir, Mallam Isa Madaka, Mallam Sani (Deputy Imam of Zaria Central Mosque) and Mallam Ibrahim Kakaki. While he was in Kano he studied at the hawza (religious seminary) of Sheikh Nasir Kapara. He is also a hafiz of Quran and until the time of his recent arrest, he has been in full time research studies in various aspects of Islam.

Presently he has spent almost 18 years in dawah, calling for a total establishment of Islam. For this reason he has encountered atrocities by every regime in Nigeria, both civilian and military during this period. He has been to various prisons across the country which include Sokoto, Enuga, Kaduna, Lagos, Abuja, Portharcurt and presently in Kaduna.

Mu’allim Ibrahim Al-Zakzaky lives in Kwarbai quarters in Zaria City. he is married to Zeenah and has six children. He is the leader of the of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, and has never advocated violence in any form, despite the violence suffered by himself and his estimated 3 million supporters.

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