Born and raised in Kent, Muhammad Idris Watts accepted Islam in 1998 in the first year of his Arabic Language Degree at the University of Leeds. In the second year of the degree programme, he set off to the ancient city of Fez, Morocco to further his Arabic Language studies. During this period he attended circles of knowledge and zawiyahs around Fez. He also sat with many prestigious singers of Fez such as Sidi Muhammad Bennis.
Sheikh Idris graduated in 2002 from the University with First Class Honours and also received an award of excellence for his language skills.
He moved back to Fez to embark on an intensive period of study. He attended classes at the Qarawiyeen University in the Old City for the next four years studying with the likes of the adept grammarian Shaykh Abdel-Hayy al-‘Amrāwī and many other teachers.
He studied classical texts including the Ajrumiyah, Lāmiyat al-Af’āl, Matn az-Zanjānī, Alfiyah in Grammar and Morphology, Ibn ‘Ashir, al-Akhdarī, Risālah of Ibn Abī Zayd and sections of the ‘Asimiyyah in Mālikī Fiqh, as well as Jawharat at-Tawhīd in Creed. He also had the opportunity of sitting with the students of the late Shaykh Makkī bin Kīrān, (may God bless his soul), who was a master of the ten variant recitations of the Qurān and studied Tajwīd and four of the variant recitations with them.
He returned to England in 2007, and is currently the full-time Resident Scholar at the Abu Zahra Foundation.