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Islamic Scholarship Programme

The Al-Salam Institute Islamic Scholarship Programme (ISP) is at the forefront of Alimiyyah Programmes in the West.

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Al-Salam Institute presents its pioneering six-year Islamic Scholarship Programme.

Through part-time study and a dynamic selections of modules, the ASI Islamic Scholarship Programme (ISP) provides a unique opportunity for university students and full-time professionals to study Arabic and the Islamic sciences up to an advanced level. The syllabus is primarily authorised by one of the leading scholars and Islamic thinkers of our time, Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi, and has been designed to train students to become proficient in and acquainted with the Islamic intellectual heritage.

The course seeks to enrich the students’ understanding of the different scholarly opinions students and promotes critical thinking. Core lectures take place on just one-day a week and will foster a profound understanding of the prophetic Sira and Hadith, Tafsir, Fiqh, History, Theology, and the principles of jurisprudence underpinning these disciplines.

Students will graduate from the ISP with an incisive understanding of the Arabic language and Islamic sciences as an ‘Alim or ‘Alimah in full. Our pioneering curriculum has already produced graduates of the highest calibre who are marked by their sound knowledge of the authentic sources, contributions to the wider society, and embodiment of the prophetic example.

Course Structure

Our unique three-tier structure makes our Alimiyyah Degree unlike any other:

Foundation level: Certificate in Classical Arabic and Islamic Sciences (1 year)
Intermediate level: Diploma in Classical Arabic and Islamic Disciplines (3 years)
Advanced level: Licence in Islamic Scholarship (2 years)

Each level of the ISP consists of a number of modules of increasing scope, covering an extensive range of topics from the traditional Islamic Sciences including Arabic language, Islamic law, spirituality, hadith, history, poetry and literature, logic and Quranic studies. Detailed syllabus information can be found on the webpages for the respective levels. Students will also have opportunity to further their studies with ASI by travelling abroad during the term-breaks and attending intensive residential programmes. These are highly recommended for students who are able to dedicate the time to deepen their understanding of the material covered in the classroom and to be taught by international scholars.

Core Lectures

All students of the Islamic Scholarship Programme will come together for the compulsory lectures on Sundays. These are the core lectures and take place during term-time following the academic calendar. They provide the core information that you will discuss in tutorials, essays or examinations. All of the core lectures take place onsite (in London) and are streamed live to our online students all over the world. Afterwards, the recordings are made available to all students via ASI’s flagship learning management system: the Virtual Madrasah.


Tutorials take place during a weekday evening – usually lasting no more than two hours. Tutorials allow students to review their answers or theories that have been developed over the duration of the course, and to explore ideas that arise in discussion with your peers and tutors.


Workshops are arranged to provide the practical study experience that cannot always be assured in the classroom setting. Visits to graveyards to witness the Islamic funeral rites, or boot-camps in essential study skills are typical first-year workshops.


Seminars develop your ability to think for yourself – an essential ability for academic success and perhaps the single most important skill that is developed by students at ASI. You will learn to present and defend your opinions, accept constructive criticism, and consolidate your lessons into a coherent and articulate perspective.

Mode of Study

Online: This option allows students who are outside of London or can not travel to London on a weekly basis to watch the classes live online. The classes are of high-quality and are interactive; students can fully participate in the class discussions.

Onsite: Onsite students are those who choose to attend the lectures on Sundays in London. The benefit of attending onsite enables students to study directly from the teachers and benefit from the environment. Onsite students also have access to recordings of all lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials a few days after the lesson is delivered.

Term dates for the 2016-2017 Academic Year:

Autumn term: Sunday 9th October 2016 – Sunday 11th December 2016
Winter term: Sunday 8th January 2017 – Sunday 12th March 2017
Spring term: Sunday 16th April 2017 – Sunday 18th June 2017

Core Lectures: 30 full-day lectures on Sundays during the academic term-time
Workshops: 2-5 half-day practical sessions on Saturdays throughout the calendar year
Seminars: 8-15 one-day intensive seminars throughout the calendar year
Sacred Sciences Journey: 10 days abroad during term breaks (April 2017)
Residential: 7 days intensive teaching during summer holidays (August 2017)

Example timetable for core lectures:

Term 1     Term 2           Term 3   
Time Module
10am-11am Arabic Applied Arabic Applied Arabic Applied Arabic
11am-12pm Arabic Arabic Grammar Arabic Grammar Arabic Grammar
12pm-1pm Arabic Arabic Morphology Arabic Morphology Arabic Morphology
2pm-3pm Islamic Law Chapters of Worship Chapters of Worship Chapters of Worship
3pm-4pm Hadith Riyad al-Salihin Riyad al-Salihin Riyad al-Salihin
4pm-5pm Islamic Sciences Usul al-Fiqh Usul al-Hadith Usul al-Tafsir
5pm-6pm Quranic Exegesis Surah Yusuf Surah Yusuf Surah Yusuf

Qualification and Accreditation

A Student can receive accreditation from Al-Salam Institute after successful completion of any single and complete programme of study.

Foundation level: Certificate in Classical Arabic and Islamic Sciences (1 year)
Intermediate level: Diploma in Advanced Arabic and Islamic Disciplines (3 years)
Advanced level: Licence in Islamic Scholarship (2 years)

Certificate in Classical Arabic and Islamic Studies

The Certificate in Classical Arabic and Islamic Studies is awarded upon satisfactory completion of the Foundation level of the Islamic Scholarship Programme.

A student’s aptitude is tested throughout the year by a series of examinations and assignments designed to prepare the student for their end of year exams. The outcome of these exams will form the substance of the certification.

Students who decide to exit the Islamic Scholarship Programme at the end of this stage will be issued a transcript of their results and can request and academic reference from the Institute to aid in their undergraduate or postgraduate applications. They will also be eligible to apply for entry onto the Intermediate level of the ISP.

Diploma in Advanced Arabic and Islamic Disciplines

The Diploma in Advanced Arabic and Islamic Disciplines is awarded upon satisfactory completion of all three years of the Intermediate level of the Islamic Scholarship Programme.

A student’s aptitude is tested in the same manner as the Foundation level; a mixture of written assignments and examinations. The end of year exams will test the student’s material understanding and memorisation of the modules covered in each year as well as, in the case of the third year exams, their ability to convey it to others.

The Diploma signifies the extent of the student’s learning with ASI and will be awarded at the Al-Salam Institute Graduation Ceremony. A transcript will be provided as a record of their progress and a testament of their achievement. Academic references and letters of recommendation for employment or continuing education will be available on request. By the end of the level, students will be well-equipped to carry the message of Islam to their communities in the form of good conduct, da’wah, and social enterprise. They will also be eligible to apply for entry onto the Advanced level of the ISP – and to seek the shahada al-‘alimiyyah amongst some of the most devoted scholars and students of knowledge operating in the UK.

Shahada al-‘Alimiyyah | Licence in Islamic Scholarship

The Shahada al-‘Alimiyyah has been translated as ‘Licence in Islamic Scholarship’ and is the most distinguished accolade awarded by the Institute.

Students will spend a minimum of two years under the tutelage of Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi, perfecting their studies in the Islamic Sciences and completing a research dissertation. After the two years, students will be entitled to sit their final exams which signify the completion of the ISP and grants the student full authorisation in Islamic Scholarship (shahadah). This is in addition to the ijazat received throughout the ISP upon completion of certain texts of fiqh and hadith, and those issued Sacred Sciences Journeys.

Graduates may choose to remain on the Advanced level to receive further ijazat and/or to specialise in Legal Verdicts (fatawa), Hadith Classification (mustalah al-Hadith), or Arabic language. Those who demonstrate academic excellence may consider a teaching post at the Institute. Many have gone on to establish learning centres of their own; building on the legacy of Al-Salam Institute and realising the objective of the widespread creation and dissemination of religious knowledge.

Sacred Sciences Journey

The Sacred Sciences Journey is an exclusive ASI programme designed to enhance participants’ spiritual and intellectual development. Students will travel with Shaykh Akram Nadwi to visit and study under a number of scholars from around the globe; from Morocco, Egypt, and Turkey to the two Holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. Exposure to different international scholars enables students to develop a truly global insight and collect a portfolio of ijazah from the leading scholars of our time. For instance, in April 2015 students performed ‘Umrah with the Shaykh and studied with some of the most highly respected scholars of hadith in the Hijaz; collecting many ijazahs and connecting with the senior ‘ulema from Mecca and Madinah al-Munawarah. In April 2016, the SSJ took students to North Africa to the heart of Maliki scholarship: Morocco.

In April 2017, students will spend 10 days on the journey covering an intensive syllabus and connecting with the scholars, both junior and senior. The time spent on the trip will be split into two: the first for beginners and introductory level students to benefit from the teachings and companionship of fellow students of knowledge. The second, for intermediate and advanced level students, to recite and visit various scholars and collect a portfolio of ijazahs during the journey. A minimum of 5 hours’ instruction will be offered on a daily basis. This incredible journey will allow students to participate in collecting different ijazahs and isnads from scholars, linking them to the scholarly traditions around the world.

Foundation Level Islamic Studies

Certificate in Classical Arabic and Islamic Sciences

Intermediate Level Alimiyyah

Diploma in Classical Arabic and Islamic Disciplines

Advanced Level Alimiyyah Course

Licence in Islamic Scholarship (Shahada al-‘Alimiyyah)

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of students would recommend the ISP to their friends and family.

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