The basic principle underlying all of Sheikh Ahmad Kuftaro's efforts is the obligation of every person to pursue in balance and harmony the three kinds of knowledge implied in the classical Arabic word for education: thaqafa. They are:
1. Knowledge of the world gained through the scientific method, known as 'ain al yaqin', which was a pillar of the classic Islamic civilization of a millennium ago and the principal contribution of Islam to European civilization.
2. Knowledge of the purpose of everything in Creation, known as 'haqq al yaqin', including the history of humankind, which is gained primarily through the Divine Revelation that had been granted by the Creator through Messengers to all peoples, and which was the dynamo of the Islamic civilization flowered in the early Islamic period of global history before reverence for truth and purpose declined; and
3. Indirect knowledge gained through the use of the human intellect, largely in the form of the maqasid or universal principles and goals of Shariah, by processing the first two direct sources of knowledge.
This third source of knowledge, known as 'ilm al yaqin' in turn, is critically important for increasing our knowledge of the universe gained through scientific observation, as well as our understanding of true knowledge at the highest level, which is ultimate meaning and purpose, granted by Allah through the "eye of the heart".
After leaving this world, every person's knowledge will proceed from intellectual understanding, 'ilm al yaqin', to direct spiritual vision, 'ain al yaqin', of reality and truth, as promised in Surat at Takathur of the Holy Qur'an(102:5-7).
In this world, the product of all three of these kinds of knowledge is akhlaq or the development of virtuous character, which should be the core of all education.
The mission of Sheikh Ahmad Kuftaro in pursuing this primary goal is reflected in his life-long organizational activism in the field of education. In 1971, he established the Abu Nour Islamic Foundation, which contains four colleges that grant BA in Islamic and legal sciences, in addition to the higher studies department which grants MA and Phd degrees. In 1994 Sheikh Ahmad Kuftaro opened the An Nour Institute for Islamic Studies and Arabic Languages in Baltimore, Maryland. Sheikh Ahmad Kuftaro had received honorary doctorates for both his academic and organizational work over the years, the most recent one in Islamic jurisprudence from the Islamic University of Um-Durman during a visit in July 1994.