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Syllabus

At the heart of the Knowledge Retreat is its teachings.

The selection of texts and subjects taught have been designed to give students a grounding in Quran, hadith and spirituality. The aim, however, is to partake in more than just an academic pursuit. It is to seek the knowledge which benefits. This year the following will, God-willing, be taught at the retreat:

Purification of the Heart: The state of our hearts has been a topic addressed in religious and secular discourse from the East to West. Moreover, the Quran is replete with references to the heart. The sound heart, something the described as so valuable that it can benefit us on the Day of Resurrection, is an oft-neglected aspiration. So, what is the sound heart? The sound heart is one that is free of character defects and spiritual diseases. Our Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم is our greatest example of perfect purity in both. Topics will include: Envy, Anger, Suspicion, Backbiting and more.

The Forty Hadith of Imam Nawawi: This text has become one of the foremost hadith compilations across the Muslim world. Its collection of Prophetic sayings are deeply profound and beneficial for all Muslims. Selections from the text will be covered in-depth and the many wisdoms contained therein reflected upon.

Tafsir: Our relationship with the Quran is a lifelong journey. Revealed in time and yet timeless, re-ordered but not chronological, these tensions are something that gives the Quran immeasurable depth. Shaykh Akram will be teaching a selection of ayat from the Quran, looking into the essential meanings they convey. Begin the approach to Quranic wisdom, draw closer to the Prophetic encounters and uncover your own relationship with its words.

Al-Muhaddithat: The Female Scholars of Muslim Spain. For the first time ever, Shaykh Akram Nadwi will be teaching students about the lives and times of the Spanish female scholars of Islam from his monumental work, ‘Al-Muhaddithat’ – a 50+ volume biographical dictionary which charts the biographies of over 9,000 female scholars. This long-neglected area of study will be brought to its homeland, intending to reconnect students to our intellectual heritage in Muslim Spain.

Risala al-Mustarshidin: The ‘Treatise for the Seekers of Guidance’ by Imam al-Muhasibi (d. 243/857) is one of the early classical texts on Islamic spirituality. Drawing on the Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم it proffers guidance on both the theoretical and practical elements needed in order to further ones relationship with Allah. We recommend students to purchase a translation of this text ahead of time. We recommend the Arabic text edited by Shaykh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah or the English translation by Imam Zaid Shakir. These classes will be taught by Shaykh Thaqib Mahmood.

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