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Advanced Level | Islamic Scholarship Programme

Advanced Level Overview

The Advanced level in Islamic Scholarship is designed to equip students with the means and ability to access the sources of Islam directly. The intent is to enable students to develop into leading thinkers and scholars for the coming age, characterised by sound knowledge, true piety, and positive contributions to the wider society.

The course forms the third and final level of ASI’s six-year Alimiyyah Programme. This level is equivalent to the final years of an ‘alimiyyah degree at a traditional madrasah in the Indian subcontinent. Accordingly, students are expected to have a proper command of Arabic grammar, Islamic Law, and the Principles of the Islamic Sciences.

Students who successfully complete both years of the Advanced Level (including written assignments, examinations, and a dissertation research project) will be awarded with a Licence in Islamic Scholarship (shahadah al-‘alimiyyah)

 

Qualification

Licence in Islamic Scholarship (Shahada al-‘Alimiyyah)

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 Shaykh 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 on our 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 full-time teaching post. 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.

Course Structure

The programme is delivered by a series of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials, all of which are streamed live and uploaded onto our Virtual Madrasah for students to review and revise at their own convenience. This level consists of eight mandatory modules, covering Arabic language extensively, as well as Islamic law, hadith, Quranic studies, and the principle sciences underpinning these disciplines. Students will also have the opportunity to further their studies by travelling abroad with the institute on the annual Sacred Science Journey and the Summer Residential Retreat. 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.


Teaching Delivery

Introduction

Our unique three-tier structure makes our Alimiyyah Degree unlike any other. The Degree is split into three-distinct levels: Foundation Level, Intermediate Level, and the world-renowned Advanced Level – taught exclusively by Shaykh Akram Nadwi. These three programmes together form the UK’s first part-time ‘Alimiyyah Degree taught exclusively in the English language.

Core Lectures

All students of the Islamic Scholarship Programme will come together for the compulsory lectures on Study Sundays. These are the core lectures and take place during term-time over 30 weeks (or 24 for the Advanced level). 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 the Virtual Madrasah: ASI’s flagship learning management system.

Tutorials

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

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

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.

Term dates for the 2016-2017 Academic Year:

Autumn term: Sunday 9th October 2016 – Sunday 27th November 2016
Winter term: Sunday 8th January 2017 – Sunday 26th February 2017
Spring term: Sunday 16th April 2017 – Sunday 4th June 2017

Core Lectures: 24 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)


Timetable for Core Lectures

Term 1     Term 2           Term 3   
Time Module
10am-11am Hadith Studies Sahih al-Bukhari Sahih al-Bukhari Sahih al-Bukhari
11am-12pm Hadith Studies Sunan al-Tirmidhi Sunan al-Tirmidhi Sunan al-Tirmidhi
12pm-1pm Quranic Studies Tafsir al-Kashaf Tafsir al-Kashaf Tafsir al-Kashaf
1pm-2pm LUNCH BREAK
2pm-3pm Arabic Language Al-Mufassal Al-Mufassal Al-Mufassal
3pm-4pm Objectives of Islamic Law Hujjatullah al-Baliga Hujjatullah al-Baliga Hujjatullah al-Baliga
4pm-5pm Islamic Law Al-Mughni Al-Mughni Al-Mughni
5pm-6pm Quranic Exegesis Surah Yusuf Surah Yusuf Surah Yusuf
Provisional timetable subject to confirmation.

Course Modules

Modules Units Credits
Hadith Studies
  • Unit 1: Hadith Criticism and Fiqh Methodology of Bukhari (Sahih al-Bukhari)
  • Unit 2: Hadith Criticism and Fiqh Methodology of Tirmidhi (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)
90
Islamic Law
  • Unit 1: Book of Transactions (Text: al-Mughni)
  • Seminar 1: Introduction to Kitab al-Hujjah ala Ahl al-Madina
  • Seminar 2: Introduction to Kitab al-Umm
  • Seminar 3: Book of Marriage (Text: Badai al-Sanai)
  • Seminar 4: Issuing Legal Verdicts (Text: Fatawa)
30
Quranic Studies
  • Unit 1: Classical Quranic Exegesis (Text: Tafsir al-Kashaf)
  • Seminar 1: Quranic Exegesis
  • Seminar 2: Introduction to Tafsir al-Tabari
  • Seminar 3: Introduction to Tafsir al-Kabir
  • Seminar 4: Introduction to Tafsir al-Baydawi
30
Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence
  • Seminar 1: Introduction to Usul al-Sarakhsi
  • Seminar 2: Introduction to al-Risalah
  • Seminar 3: Introduction to al-Ashbah wa al-Nazair
10
Objectives of Islamic Law
  • Unit 1: Objectives of Islamic Law (Text: Hujjatullah al-Baligah)
  • Seminar 1: Introduction to al-Muwaffaqat
30
Arabic Language
  • Unit 1: Arabic Grammar (Text: al-Mufassal)
  • Workshop 1: Arabic Composition
30
History
  • Seminar 1: Abbasid Period
  • Seminar 2: History of Indian Scholarship
  • Seminar 3: Muslim Spain
  • Seminar 4: Ottoman Period
10
Islam and Society
  • Seminar 1: Muslims without Islamic Governance: A study of Juwayni’s al-Ghayathi
  • Seminar 2: Islamic Law’s Recognition of the Secular: A Study of the Equity Courts
  • Seminar 3: Boundaries of Orthodoxy: A Study of Awni’s Takfir Ahl al-Shahadatayn
10
Research and Dissertation
  • Unit 1: Dissertation (10,000 words)
  • Workshop 1: Academic Writing and Research Methodology
45

Module 1: Hadith Studies

Unit 1: Hadith Criticism and Fiqh Methodology of Bukhari

Overview

This module involves the detailed study of hadith from Sahih al-Bukhari and Sunan al-Tirmidhi. The first unit on Sahih al-Bukhari will highlight the brilliant method used by Bukhari in extracting the narrations of his collection and understanding Islamic law and theology. In the process, chains of transmission (isnads) for the same hadith texts from other collections will be analysed so as to show why Bukhari only chose the chains that he did, and why he left the others, in line with his remarkably consistent and thorough methodology. Moreover, the criticisms of masters like Daraqutni against some of the narrations included by Bukhari will be fully discussed.

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Primary Text

Sahih al-Bukhari

About the Text

The full name of Sahih al-Bukhari (according to Ibn Salah) is al-Jami’ al-Sahih al-Musnad al-Mukhtasar min umur Rasul Allah wa Suanihi wa Ayyamihi. Bukhari travelled throughout the Abbasid-controlled lands from the age of 16, collecting over 300,000 hadith. One of Bukhari’s prominent teachers, Ishaq Ibn Rahwayh, requested him to compile a book of only authentic narrations of the Prophet, which led him to compile the al-Jami’. Bukhari finished his work around 846 CE/231 AH. In the remaining twenty-four years of his life, Bukhari made minor revisions to his book, notably the chapter headings. Each version is named by its narrator. According to Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani the number of hadiths in all the versions of Sahih al-Bukhari is the same. The most famous one today is the version narrated by al-Firabri (d. 932 CE/320 AH), a trusted student of Bukhari. Other narrations of Bukhari were transmitted through Ibrahim ibn Ma’qal (d. 907 CE/295 AH), Hammad ibn Shaker (d. 923 CE/311 AH), Mansur Burduzi (d. 931 CE/319 AH) and Husain Mahamili (d. 941 CE/330 AH). The importance of studying Bukhari’s work is the fact that it is held to be the most authentic book in Islam after the Quran. The two primary benefits to studying his book are: firstly, he collected, according to his criteria, all of the most-sound hadith; secondly, he shows how these soundest narrations are sufficient for one’s religion.

About the Author

Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Isma’il ibn Ibrahim ibn al-Mughira al-Ju’fi al-Bukhari was born in 194 AH and died in 256 AH, corresponding to 19 July 810 – September 870 CE. Bukhari’s great-grandfather, al-Mughirah, settled in Bukhara after accepting Islam at the hands of Bukhara’s governor, Yaman al-Ju`fi. Bukhari’s academic life in hadith began in the year 205 AH. He memorised the works of ‘Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak while still a child. He was raised by his mother because his father died when he was an infant. He began authoring books and narrating hadith as an adolescent.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Analyse and critically evaluate hadith commentaries
  • Relate the level of authenticity of a hadith to its social, theological and spiritual application
  • Demonstrate in-depth understanding of the criteria for hadith preference in legal applications
  • Investigate the primary source of hadith material in the analysis of religious issues
  • Understand how these same narrations can be understood and applied in our time to modern questions that the community faces.

Module 1: Hadith Studies

Unit 2: Hadith Criticism and Fiqh Methodology of Tirmidhi

Overview

The second unit on Sunan al-Tirmidhi lessons will further expand upon hidden defects of hadith by analysing the works of Daraqutni and others. Furthermore, Tirmidhi manages to bring together an incredible wealth of information about how the Companions, students of the Companions (taba’un) and the early generations of scholars derived law from hadith, or differed with some hadith or reconciled between certain hadith. In this way, the student is empowered with similar tools of analysis as those early generations when engaging with the hadith canon.

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Primary Text

Sunan al-Tirmidhi

About the Text

The full title of the text is al-Jami’ al-mukhtasar min al-sunan al-Rasul Allah wa ma’rifah al-sahih wa al-ma’lul wa ma ‘alaihi al-‘amal. It is one of the six major hadith collections. It was collected by Abu ‘Isa Muhammad ibn ‘Isa al-Tirmidhi. He began compiling it after the year 250 AH and completed it on the 10 Dhu al-Hijjah 270 AH. It contains 3,956 hadith, and has been divided into fifty chapters. It is also classified as a Sunan, which implies that the book has been divided into chapters according to their legal subject, such as purification, prayer etc. The work is an extraordinary collection of hadith relating to legal rulings (ahkam) and how isnads are to be analysed for hidden defects (‘illah), which are sometimes explicitly mentioned by Tirmidhi and sometimes not. The compiler’s principal aim was to discuss the legal opinions of the early jurists. Tirmidhi mostly mentioned those hadith which the jurists used as the basis for their legal decisions and he mentioned which school used which traditions. Hence this book became an important source for the different opinions of the various legal schools.

About the Author

Abu ‘Isa Muhammad ibn Isa al-Sulami al-Bughi al-Tirmidhi was born during the reign of the Abbasid Caliph al-Ma’mun in 209 AH (824/825 CE). He was born in Tirmidh, in modern-day Uzbekistan. Tirmidhi began the study of hadith at the age of 20. He was a pupil of Bukhari, Muslim and Abu Dawud. Muslim narrated one hadith from Tirmidhi in his own Sahih. Tirmidhi became blind in the last two years of his life and died on 13 Rajab 279 A.H. / 892 C.E.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Analyse and critically evaluate hadith commentaries
  • Relate the level of authenticity of a hadith to its social, theological and spiritual application
  • Demonstrate in-depth understanding of the criteria for hadith preference in legal applications
  • Investigate the primary source of hadith material in the analysis of religious issues
  • Understand how these same narrations can be understood and applied in our time to modern questions that the community faces.

Module 2: Islamic Law

Unit 1: Book of Transactions

Seminar 1: Introduction to Kitab al-Hujjah ala Ahl al-Madina

Seminar 2: Introduction to Kitab al-Umm

Seminar 3: Book of Marriage

Seminar 4: Issuing Legal Verdicts

Overview

This module is a comparative study of Islamic law. The text chosen for this area of study will highlight some of the most profound legal thought from contrasting legal traditions. The module will introduce a dynamic way of approaching traditional Islamic law; taking the schools of law as a foundation whilst applying a rigorous scholarly method that truly considers how traditional fiqh can be analysed in light of principles of hadith, Arabic language and Islamic legal theory (usul al-fiqh).

Primary Text

Al-Mughni

About the Text

Imam al-Muwaffaq Ibn al-Qudama’s al-Mughni is one of the foremost legal masterpieces of Islamic civilisation, with a superb documentation of the juristic findings of the Sunni schools of Islamic law. The one termed ‘Sultan of the Ulama’, Imam ‘Izz al-Din b. ‘Abd al-Salam, said, ‘In terms of quality and research, I have not seen in Islam the like of al-Mughni by al-Muwaffaq.’ The Hanbalis narrate that Imam Ahmad was seen in a dream and said, ‘Your companion al-Muwaffaq has not been remiss in [his] commentary [entitled al-Mughni].’ Ibn Taymiyyah is reported to have said, ‘No one has entered al-Sham after al-Awzaʿai with more knowledge of Islamic law than Shaykh Muwaffaq.’

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About the Author

His full name was Muwaffaq al-Din Abu Muhammad Abd Allah Ibn Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi. Imam Ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi was a noted Hanbali ascetic, juris-consult and traditionalist theologian. He authored many treatises on jurisprudence and doctrine. He was born in Palestine in Jammain in 1147AD/541AH. He received the first phase of his education in Damascus where he studied the Quran and hadith. He left Palestine with his maternal cousin, ‘Abd al-Ghani, for Baghdad in 561AH. In later life, Ibn Qudamah left Damascus to join Salah al-Din in his expedition against the Franks in 1187AD / 573AH, participating particularly in Salah al-Din’s conquest of Jerusalem. He died on Saturday, the Day of Eid al-Fitr on 7 July 1223 AD / 620 AH.

Learning Outcomes

  • Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:Understand legal reasoning of the different legal schools, including ones outside of the four standard Sunni legal schools of law
  • Appreciate the expertise, sophistication and open-mindedness that characterised early legal thought
  • Demonstrate proficiency in comparative Islamic law

Module 3: Quranic Studies

Unit 1: Classical Quranic Exegesis

Unit 2: Quranic Exegesis

Seminar 1: Quranic Exegesis

Seminar 2: Introduction to Tafsir al-Tabari

Seminar 3: Introduction to Tafsir al-Kabir

Seminar 4: Introduction to Tafsir al-Baydawi

Overview

This module is designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the application of Quranic exegetical methodology by studying famous exegetical works. Various passages of the Quran with theological, legal and spiritual emphasis will be critically discussed by studying these exegetical works based on tradition (riwayah) and deduction (dirayah). Classical and contemporary interpretations of the Quran in the Muslim world will also be discussed.

Primary Text

Al-Kashaf ‘an haqa’iq al-Tanzil

About the Text

Al-Kashshaf was written in the 12th century CE. It is considered a primary source by all major scholars. However, it is criticised for the inclusion of Mutazili philosophical views. Nevertheless, his work is the best for understanding the language of the Quran, its eloquence and miraculous nature. The work shows how the Quran was understood at the time of its revelation; hence, it has been used by Sunnis throughout the centuries in their religious seminaries.

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About the Author

Abu al-Qasim Mahmud ibn Umar al-Zamakhshari (1074 or 1075 – 1143 or 1144 CE) was of Iranian origin, who subscribed to the Mutazilite theological doctrine. [BIOGRAPHY 100x]Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the major exegetical types and works
  • Critically analyse and evaluate Quranic exegetical works
  • Relate multiple meanings of Quranic text by reference to exegetical works
  • Demonstrate critical ability to deduct theological, legal and spiritual meanings from the Quranic verses by following correct exegetical methodology

Module 4: Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence

Seminar 1: Introduction to Usul al-Sarakhsi

Seminar 2: Introduction to al-Risalah

Seminar 3: Introduction to al-Ashbah wa al-Nazair

Overview

This module will cover the study of the principles of Islamic jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh) at an advanced level. As part of the training process, students will engage with the four primary sources of law  together with the supplementary sources used in the practice of ijtihad (independent legal deduction). The module will detail the historical development of usul al-fiqh from its inception, to its usage in the later works by the scholars of the tariqah al-mutakallimin, to its modern implications.

Primary Text

Various

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the history of Islamic law and Islamic law-making
  • Critically evaluate the sources of Islamic law
  • Understand the historical usage of supplementary sources of law
  • Accurately describe the fundamental concepts of ‘Usul al-Fiqh’ and its development through the ages
  • Appreciate the theological, legal and spiritual implications of different approaches to Islamic jurisprudence

Module 5: Objectives of Islamic Law

Unit 1: Objectives of Islamic Law

Seminar: Introduction to al-Muwaffaqat

Overview

This module will cover the great work of Shah Wali Allah al-Dihlawi, Hujjatullah al-Baliga (The Profound Evidence of Allah). The text is monumental due to its balance and depth in explaining the wisdom of Islamic rulings through a study of the Prophetic hadith. Through critical analysis of the text, students will be able to put Islam into context and make a connection between each juristic ruling; because the Hujjat makes all the parts of Islam whole. The study of this work refines the intellect; and by studying how the author addressed the hadith corpus to the challenges of his time, we will be better prepared to apply the same corpus to the challenges of the present era. Similarly, students will discuss the dangers of attempting to make the wisdom or higher objectives (maqasid) of the shariah into independent sources for law-making.

Primary Text

Hujjatullah al-Baligah

About the Text

The magnum opus of Shah Wali Allah, Hujjat Allah al-Baligha, is a comprehensive and cogent work presenting a synthesis of the Islamic creed, devotions, transactions, morals, social philosophy, statecraft and spirituality.Few works can compare with the compendious yet clear and cohesive exposition attempted in the Hujjat Allah al-Baligha. The text laid the foundation of a new dialectical theology for the modern age of reason.

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About the Author

Shah Waliullah Dahlawi was born in 1703 C.E. four years before the death of Aurangzeb. His father, Shah Abdur Raheem was among the leading Hanafi jurists and a distinguished scholar of Islam in Delhi. Shah Waliullah was introduced to Islamic education at the age of five and completed the recitation of the Quran by the age of seven. At the age of 23 he travelled to Makkah for pilgrimage. During his stay in Makkah he received training and Ijazah in hadith from various leading scholars of the Hijaz.  Upon his return to India, he remained busy in teaching and writing until his death (20 August, 1762).

Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the objectives of Islamic law
  • Critically evaluate the usage of the ‘maqasid’ as a source of law-making
  • Understand the priorities of the different legislation in Islam
  • Articulate the reasoning for the differences in the development of the major legal schools

Module 6: Arabic Language

Unit 1: Arabic Grammar

Workshop: Arabic Composition

Overview

In the modern era there is an alarming trend for recent graduates from Islamic institutions, and even established scholars, to make fundamental mistakes in Arabic grammar. Therefore, this module provides an opportunity to revise one’s knowledge of this oft-neglected area and develop expertise in the nuances of the language. For this purpose, al-Mufassal of Imam Zamakhshari, a masterpiece on the fundamentals Arabic grammar, will be studied alongside workshops in Arabic composition and linguistic exposition of the books of hadith, Islamic law, and Quranic exegesis that are also taught in the Advanced level.

Primary Text

Al-Mufassal

About the Text

Commentators and critiques of classical works on Arabic grammar have noted that al-Mufassal is one of Zamakhshari’s most important, popular and best-known works. The Encyclopedia Britannica mentions that al-Mufassal was “celebrated for its concise but exhaustive exposition” of the principles of Arabic grammar. The text is perhaps the most important grammatical work that is taught from the traditional syllabus, and is an authority on the Arabic language despite its conciseness and relatively late addition to the corpus.

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About the Author

Abu al-Qasim Mahmud ibn Umar al-Zamakhshari (1074 or 1075 – 1143 or 1144 CE) was of Iranian origin, who subscribed to the Mutazilite theological doctrine. He is considered to have reached the level of ijtihad in Arabic in grammar, meaning that he will differ with Sibawayh and the Kufan/Basri schools on certain particulars of the language, which will benefit the student further.

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Accurately detail the properties of the Noun, Verb, and Particle
  • Demonstrate mastery of the Arabic language
  • Appreciate the subtleties of Arabic grammar and composition

Module 7: History

Seminar 1: Abbasid Period

Seminar 2: History of Indian Scholarship

Seminar 3: Muslim Spain

Seminar 4: Ottoman Period

Overview

This module will critically discuss the history of Muslim societies, focusing particularly on the historic events and the intellectual, economic, social and cultural aspects of Islamic civilisation. Key milestones in the development of different Islamic societies will be discussed at length,  as well as the Muslim contribution to science and human civilisation.

Primary Text

Various

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the intellectual, cultural, social and economic scale of the Islamic civilisation
  • Accurately detail the origin and progression of different Islamic societies through the ages
  • Appreciate the Muslim contribution to science and human civilisation
  • Critically evaluate the effects of European colonisation on the modern condition of Muslim societies
  • Critically evaluate the internal and external factors responsible for the decline of the Muslim world

Module 8: Islam and Society

Seminar 1: Muslims without Islamic Governance: A study of Juwayni’s al-Ghayathi

Seminar 2: Islamic Law’s Recognition of the Secular: A Study of the Equity Courts

Seminar 3: Boundaries of Orthodoxy: A Study of Awni’s Takfir Ahl al-Shahadatayn

Overview

This module will include a detailed textual analysis of some of the more salient works within the Islamic tradition. Through systematic study of some of the leading texts on the areas of society and societal groups, students will be able to develop a profound insight into composition of Islamic communities. Emphasis will be placed on detailing the reasoning and cogency of the authors, as well as critically evaluating the implications of each work.

Primary Text

Various

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a profound understanding of the composition and development of Islamic societies
  • Critically evaluate the arguments of Ghiyath al-Umam fi Ultiyath al-Zulam
  • Critically evaluate the arguments of Takfir ahl al-Shahadatayn
  • Appreciate the role of Equity courts in the history of Islamic societies

Module 9: Research and Dissertation

Unit 1: Dissertation

Workshop 1: Academic Writing and Research Methodology

Overview

This module will allow students to undertake a substantive piece of research and produce a 10,000 This module is a guided research module, in which the student submits a dissertation of approximately 10,000 words on a subject of her or his own choosing in consultation with a member of academic staff. A dissertation supervisor will provide guidance as to research methods, writing skills and analysis of evidence and arguments. The student is expected to identify and develop a dissertation topic appropriate to the scale of the project which is focused into a specific research question (or set of questions) providing scope to explore sophisticated evaluative and critical issues.

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Details

The student may choose a topic on any unit taught in the Foundation, Intermediate or Advanced level modules. In principle, this research can be conducted into any topic related to Islam, Islamic sciences, Muslims or the Muslim world, provided that the student can demonstrate that they have analysed the topic thoroughly. The dissertation must be an original piece of research, and it should not have been published by the student previously in whole or in part in any other outlet, which includes web publications.

The objectives of the Dissertation are to:

  • demonstrate the student’s critical abilities, as they plan and deliver an extended, independent research project,
  • encourage the student to manage their time effectively, organise their ideas, and extend and compliment their previous studies.
  • provide an opportunity to study and research on a topic in greater depth outside of the core Islamic sciences’ curriculum.
  • employ the skills, intellectual and practical, acquired during the previous years of the ISP.
  • prepare the student for life as a graduate of ASI; conducting independent research and contributing to the body of literature in their chosen field.

 

Support

Throughout the Islamic Scholarship Programme there will be a number of seminars and workshops on the needs of dissertation research; including academic writing, research methodology, and key skills of time management. This training will help the student to develop the key skills required for researching their chosen project and preparing a finished manuscript. During the second term of the Advanced Level, the supervisor will arrange a 30 minute group meeting. The student should have a written plan for his or her dissertation ready for discussion at the first meeting. It is then the student’s responsibility to arrange and attend further supervisions during the term, with a total allocation of 1 hour 30 minutes. Supervisors will read and comment on up to 2,000 words of written drafts, to be submitted as a formative assessment.

Learning Objectives

  • Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:
  • Develop research skills, including the independent construction of a bibliography
  • Identify a research issue or question
  • Demonstrate the ability to critically analyse classical Islamic texts
  • Demonstrate the ability to evaluate and critique modern scholarship
  • Exhibit confidence in expressing an opinion in an informed manner
  • Demonstrate awareness of the standards of academic presentation
  • Demonstrate an advanced ability to understand and analyse theoretical ideas, and to apply these ideas to a modern context

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 Makkah 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where and when do the classes take place?

The classes are held on Sundays in east London from 10am – 6pm.

Is the programme taught in English?

Yes. The entire programme is taught in the English language. Many of the texts are studied in the original Arabic with translation, explanation, and tuition in English.

I have a very busy schedule and cannot always dedicate an entire Sunday to my studies. Are the classes mandatory to attend?

Yes and no. Onsite students are required to attend every class and will be penalised for unauthorised absences. Online students have a little more flexibility to allow for the differences in time zones. However, it is strongly recommended for all students to attend all classes live.

Can I study the entire programme online?

Yes. The entire ISP can be studied online from start to finish. Further, recorded access is available for all core lectures.

Does Shaykh Akram Nadwi teach the entire programme?

No. There are over 12 faculty members teaching throughout the ISP who are experts in their respective fields. Shaykh Akram teaches modules in every year of the programme and teaches the Advanced level exclusively. The Shaykh ultimately authorises the graduation from ASI, but he does not teach everything!

Is the Alimiyyah Degree recognised by Nadwat al-‘Ulama or any national or international universities?

At the moment – no. The entire programme is authorised by Shaykh Akram Nadwi.

How will I be assessed?

Good question! Students are assessed by a mixture of written assignments and examinations, as well as an independent research project in the final year. For more details visit: www.alsalam.ac.uk/assessment

Do I have to sit the exams in the UK even if I live abroad?

No. All exams and assignments are conducted online via the ASI Virtual Madrasa. The Advanced level exams are required to be sat onsite. Students living outside of the UK are able to sit these exams at a designated test centre near to their location.

What happens once I graduate?

Graduates of ASI are marked by their embodiment of religious knowledge and are encouraged to contribute to society through their writings, actions, and dealings with others. Graduates may also choose to pursue post-graduate study in order to specialise in legal verdicts, hadith classification, or Arabic language.

Is there any financial assistance available?

Yes and no. Unfortunately ASI is no longer able to financially support students attending the Institute due to a lack of scholarship funds. However, there are a number of instalment plans available for students who struggle to pay the entire fees upfront.

What are the tuition fees?

Tuition starts from £1,550 per annum. For further details please visit: www.alsalam.ac.uk/fees

Is the Sacred Sciences Journey a part of the Islamic Scholarship Programme?

Yes and no. The SSJ initiative came about in order to enable students of the ISP to visit and gain ijazah from some of the leading scholars of the Muslim world. However it is an elective module and is priced separately.

Is the Sacred Sciences Journey only for students of the ISP?

No. The SSJ is open to external students from all across the world.

What texts are studied on the SSJ?

The syllabus changes from year to year, but will typically include a mixture of introductory level modules for beginners and maqra’ (hadith reading) sessions for senior students of knowledge.

The SSJ sounds amazing. Where can I find more information?

www.alsalam.ac.uk/residentials

Can I enrol one year at a time, instead of all six years at once?

Yes.

How many teaching hours are there per week?

There are 7-8 hours of core lectures on a weekly basis, as well as an average of 4 hours per week in seminars and tutorials.

How many hours of independent study is recommended?

We recommend 4 hours of independent study per week, in addition to the core lectures on Sundays.

I live outside of London. Should I attend onsite or online?

Onsite – if possible. Students of the ISP commute from all over the UK on a weekly basis in order to benefit from the classroom experience.

What are the entry requirements to join the programme?

A basic ability to recognise Arabic characters is required for entry onto the Foundation level.

I have been studying the Islamic sciences for quite a while on my own, do I have to start at the Foundation level?

No. Students who have already graduated from an Islamic studies programme may be eligible to enter directly into the Intermediate or Advanced levels of the ISP.

How can I determine which level I should enrol onto?

Contact admissions@alsalam.ac.uk or + 44 (0) 20 8090 1623.

Will I automatically be enrolled onto the following year?

No. Entry onto the next year of the ISP is subject to satisfactory results in the end of year examinations.

Where do I sign up?

www.alsalam.ac.uk/isp

Tuition Fees for 2016-2017

 

3 Month Plan

Select your study mode:

12 Month Plan

Select your study mode:

More information >

Onsite: Onsite students are those who choose to attend the lectures on Sundays in London. The benefit of attending onsite is that students are able to study directly from the teachers and benefit from the classroom environment. Onsite students (all students of the ISP) will also have recorded access to all of the core lectures lectures a few days after the lessons are delivered.
Online: The online enrolment option is available for students who live outside of London or cannot travel to the class venue on a weekly basis. The classes are streamed live online to students all over the world via the ASI Virtual Madrasah. Lessons are streamed at high-definition with a multi-camera setup, facilitating an interactive learning environment for dynamic student engagement and participation.

Licence in Islamic Scholarship (Shahada al-‘Alimiyyah)[2 Years]

Application Deadline: Passed

Status: We are still temporarily accepting applications for this academic year.

First day of term - 9th October 2016

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Course Statistics for 2015 Entry:

– Total number of students: 263
– Student attainment: 96%
– Would recommend: 98%

More Information:

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Advanced Level

Islamic Scholarship Programme

Advanced Level Overview

The Advanced level in Islamic Scholarship is designed to equip students with the means and ability to access the sources of Islam directly. The intent is to enable students to develop into leading thinkers and scholars for the coming age, characterised by sound knowledge, true piety, and positive contributions to the wider society.

The course forms the third and final Level of ASI’s six-year Alimiyyah Programme. This Level is equivalent to the final years of an ‘alimiyyah degree at a traditional madrasah in the Indian subcontinent. Accordingly, students are expected to have a proper command of Arabic grammar, Islamic Law, and the Principles of the Islamic Sciences.

Students who successfully complete both years of the Advanced Level (including written assignments, examinations, and a dissertation research project) will be awarded with a Licence in Islamic Scholarship (shahadah al-‘alimiyyah)

 

Qualification

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 Shaykh 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 on our 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 full-time teaching post. 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.

Course Structure

The programme is delivered by a series of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials, all of which are streamed live and uploaded onto our Virtual Madrasah for students to review and revise at their own convenience. This level consists of eight mandatory modules, covering Arabic language extensively, as well as Islamic law, hadith, Quranic studies, and the principle sciences underpinning these disciplines. Students will also have the opportunity to further their studies by travelling abroad with the institute on the annual Sacred Science Journey and the Summer Residential Retreat. 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.


Teaching Delivery

Introduction

Our unique three-tier structure makes our Alimiyyah Degree unlike any other. The Degree is split into three-distinct levels: Foundation Level, Intermediate Level, and the world-renowned Advanced Level – taught exclusively by Shaykh Akram Nadwi. These three programmes together form the UK’s first part-time ‘Alimiyyah Degree taught exclusively in the English language.

Core Lectures

All students of the Islamic Scholarship Programme will come together for the compulsory lectures on Study Sundays. These are the core lectures and take place during term-time over 30 weeks (or 24 for the Advanced level). 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 the Virtual Madrasah: ASI’s flagship learning management system.

Tutorials

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

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

Seminars

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.

Term dates for the 2016-2017 Academic Year:

Autumn term: Sunday 9th October 2016 – Sunday 27th November 2016
Winter term: Sunday 8th January 2017 – Sunday 26th February 2017
Spring term: Sunday 16th April 2017 – Sunday 4th June 2017

Core Lectures: 24 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)


Timetable for Core Lectures

Term 1     Term 2           Term 3   
Time Module
10am-11am Hadith Studies Sahih al-Bukhari Sahih al-Bukhari Sahih al-Bukhari
11am-12pm Hadith Studies Sunan al-Tirmidhi Sunan al-Tirmidhi Sunan al-Tirmidhi
12pm-1pm Quranic Studies Tafsir al-Kashaf Tafsir al-Kashaf Tafsir al-Kashaf
1pm-2pm LUNCH BREAK
2pm-3pm Arabic Al-Mufassal Al-Mufassal Al-Mufassal
3pm-4pm Islamic Sciences Hujjatullah al-Baliga Hujjatullah al-Baliga Hujjatullah al-Baliga
4pm-5pm Islamic Law Al-Mughni Al-Mughni Al-Mughni
5pm-6pm Quranic Exegesis Surah Yusuf Surah Yusuf Surah Yusuf
*Timetable subject to change

Course Modules

Modules Units Credits
Hadith Studies
  • Unit 1: Hadith Criticism and Fiqh Methodology of Bukhari (Sahih al-Bukhari)
  • Unit 2: Hadith Criticism and Fiqh Methodology of Tirmidhi (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)
90
Islamic Law
  • Unit 1: Book of Transactions (Text: al-Mughni)
  • Seminar 1: Introduction to Kitab al-Hujjah ala Ahl al-Madina
  • Seminar 2: Introduction to Kitab al-Umm
  • Seminar 3: Book of Marriage (Text: Badai al-Sanai)
  • Seminar 4: Issuing Legal Verdicts (Text: Fatawa)
30
Quranic Studies
  • Unit 1: Classical Quranic Exegesis (Text: Tafsir al-Kashaf)
  • Seminar 1: Quranic Exegesis
  • Seminar 2: Introduction to Tafsir al-Tabari
  • Seminar 3: Introduction to Tafsir al-Kabir
  • Seminar 4: Introduction to Tafsir al-Baydawi
30
Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence
  • Seminar 1: Introduction to Usul al-Sarakhsi
  • Seminar 2: Introduction to al-Risalah
  • Seminar 3: Introduction to al-Ashbah wa al-Nazair
10
Objectives of Islamic Law
  • Unit 1: Objectives of Islamic Law (Text: Hujjatullah al-Baligah)
  • Seminar 1: Introduction to al-Muwaffaqat
30
Arabic Language
  • Unit 1: Arabic Grammar (Text: al-Mufassal)
  • Workshop 1: Arabic Composition
30
History
  • Seminar 1: Abbasid Period
  • Seminar 2: History of Indian Scholarship
  • Seminar 3: Muslim Spain
  • Seminar 4: Ottoman Period
10
Islam and Society
  • Seminar 1: Muslims without Islamic Governance: A study of Juwayni’s al-Ghayathi
  • Seminar 2: Islamic Law’s Recognition of the Secular: A Study of the Equity Courts
  • Seminar 3: Boundaries of Orthodoxy: A Study of Awni’s Takfir Ahl al-Shahadatayn
10
Research and Dissertation
  • Unit 1: Dissertation (10,000 words)
  • Workshop 1: Academic Writing and Research Methodology
45

Module 1: Hadith Studies

Unit 1: Hadith Criticism and Fiqh Methodology of Bukhari

Overview

This module involves the detailed study of hadith from Sahih al-Bukhari and al-Jami al-Sunan al-Tirmidhi. The first unit on Sahih al-Bukhari will highlight the brilliant method used by Bukhari in extracting the narrations of his collection and his methodology in understanding Islamic law and theology. In the process, chains of transmission (isnads) for the same hadith texts from other collections will be analysed so as to show why Bukhari only chose the chains that he did, and why he left the others, in line with his remarkably consistent and thorough methodology. Moreover, the criticisms of masters like Daraqutni against some of the narrations included by Bukhari will be fully discussed.

Read More…

Primary Text

Sahih al-Bukhari

About the Text

The full name of Sahih al-Bukhari (according to Ibn Salah) is al-Jami’ al-Sahih al-Musnad al-Mukhtasar min umur Rasul Allah wa Suanihi wa Ayyamihi. Bukhari travelled throughout the Abbasid-controlled lands from the age of 16, collecting over 300,000 hadith. One of Bukhari’s prominent teachers, Ishaq Ibn Rahwayh, requested him to compile a book of only authentic narrations of the Prophet, which led him to compile the al-Jami’. Bukhari finished his work around 846 CE/231 AH. In the remaining twenty-four years of his life, Bukhari made minor revisions to his book, notably the chapter headings. Each version is named by its narrator. According to Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani the number of hadiths in all the versions of Sahih al-Bukhari is the same. The most famous one today is the version narrated by al-Firabri (d. 932 CE/320 AH), a trusted student of Bukhari. Other narrations of Bukhari were transmitted through Ibrahim ibn Ma’qal (d. 907 CE/295 AH), Hammad ibn Shaker (d. 923 CE/311 AH), Mansur Burduzi (d. 931 CE/319 AH) and Husain Mahamili (d. 941 CE/330 AH). The importance of studying Bukhari’s work is the fact that it is held to be the most authentic book in Islam after the Quran. The two primary benefits to studying his book are: firstly, he collected, according to his criteria, all of the most-sound hadith; secondly, he shows how these soundest narrations are sufficient for one’s religion.

About the Author

Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Isma’il ibn Ibrahim ibn al-Mughira al-Ju’fi al-Bukhari was born in 194 AH and died in 256 AH, corresponding to 19 July 810 – September 870 CE. Bukhari’s great-grandfather, al-Mughirah, settled in Bukhara after accepting Islam at the hands of Bukhara’s governor, Yaman al-Ju`fi. Bukhari’s academic life in hadith began in the year 205 AH. He memorised the works of ‘Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak while still a child. He was raised by his mother because his father died when he was an infant. He began authoring books and narrating hadith as an adolescent.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Analyse and critically evaluate hadith commentaries
  • Relate the level of authenticity of a hadith to its social, theological and spiritual application
  • Demonstrate in-depth understanding of the criteria for hadith preference in legal applications
  • Investigate the primary source of hadith material in the analysis of religious issues
  • Understand how these same narrations can be understood and applied in our time to modern questions that the community faces.

Module 1: Hadith Studies

Unit 2: Hadith Criticism and Fiqh Methodology of Tirmidhi

Overview

The second unit on Sunan al-Tirmidhi lessons will further expand upon hidden defects of hadith by analysing the works of Daraqutni and others. Furthermore, Tirmidhi manages to bring together an incredible wealth of information about how the Companions, students of the Companions (taba’un) and the early generations of scholars derived law from hadith, or differed with some hadith or reconciled between certain hadith. In this way, the student is empowered with similar tools of analysis as those early generations when engaging with the hadith canon.

Read More…

Primary Text

Sunan al-Tirmidhi

About the Text

The full title of the text is al-Jami’ al-mukhtasar min al-sunan al-Rasul Allah wa ma’rifah al-sahih wa al-ma’lul wa ma ‘alaihi al-‘amal. It is one of the six major hadith collections. It was collected by Abu ‘Isa Muhammad ibn ‘Isa al-Tirmidhi. He began compiling it after the year 250 AH and completed it on the 10 Dhu al-Hijjah 270 AH. It contains 3,956 hadith, and has been divided into fifty chapters. It is also classified as a Sunan, which implies that the book has been divided into chapters according to their legal subject, such as purification, prayer etc. The work is an extraordinary collection of hadith relating to legal rulings (ahkam) and how isnads are to be analysed for hidden defects (‘illah), which are sometimes explicitly mentioned by Tirmidhi and sometimes not. The compiler’s principal aim was to discuss the legal opinions of the early jurists. Tirmidhi mostly mentioned those hadith which the jurists used as the basis for their legal decisions and he mentioned which school used which traditions. Hence this book became an important source for the different opinions of the various legal schools.

About the Author

Abu ‘Isa Muhammad ibn Isa al-Sulami al-Bughi al-Tirmidhi was born during the reign of the Abbasid Caliph al-Ma’mun in 209 AH (824/825 CE). He was born in Tirmidh, in modern-day Uzbekistan. Tirmidhi began the study of hadith at the age of 20. He was a pupil of Bukhari, Muslim and Abu Dawud. Muslim narrated one hadith from Tirmidhi in his own Sahih. Tirmidhi became blind in the last two years of his life and died on 13 Rajab 279 A.H. / 892 C.E.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Analyse and critically evaluate hadith commentaries
  • Relate the level of authenticity of a hadith to its social, theological and spiritual application
  • Demonstrate in-depth understanding of the criteria for hadith preference in legal applications
  • Investigate the primary source of hadith material in the analysis of religious issues
  • Understand how these same narrations can be understood and applied in our time to modern questions that the community faces.

Module 2: Islamic Law

Unit 1: Book of Transactions

Seminar 1: Introduction to Kitab al-Hujjah ala Ahl al-Madina

Seminar 2: Introduction to Kitab al-Umm

Seminar 3: Book of Marriage

Seminar 4: Issuing Legal Verdicts

Overview

This module is a comparative study of Islamic law. The text chosen for this area of study will highlight some of the most profound legal thought from contrasting legal traditions. The module will introduce a dynamic way of approaching traditional Islamic law; taking the schools of law as a foundation whilst applying a rigorous scholarly method that truly considers how traditional fiqh can be analysed in light of principles of hadith, Arabic language and Islamic legal theory (usul al-fiqh).

Primary Text

Al-Mughni

About the Text

Imam al-Muwaffaq Ibn al-Qudama’s al-Mughni is one of the foremost legal masterpieces of Islamic civilisation, with a superb documentation of the juristic findings of the Sunni schools of Islamic law. The one termed ‘Sultan of the Ulama’, Imam ‘Izz al-Din b. ‘Abd al-Salam, said, ‘In terms of quality and research, I have not seen in Islam the like of al-Mughni by al-Muwaffaq.’ The Hanbalis narrate that Imam Ahmad was seen in a dream and said, ‘Your companion al-Muwaffaq has not been remiss in [his] commentary [entitled al-Mughni].’ Ibn Taymiyyah is reported to have said, ‘No one has entered al-Sham after al-Awzaʿai with more knowledge of Islamic law than Shaykh Muwaffaq.’

Read More…

About the Author

His full name was Muwaffaq al-Din Abu Muhammad Abd Allah Ibn Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi. Imam Ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi was a noted Hanbali ascetic, juris-consult and traditionalist theologian. He authored many treatises on jurisprudence and doctrine. He was born in Palestine in Jammain in 1147AD/541AH. He received the first phase of his education in Damascus where he studied the Quran and hadith. He left Palestine with his maternal cousin, ‘Abd al-Ghani, for Baghdad in 561AH. In later life, Ibn Qudamah left Damascus to join Salah al-Din in his expedition against the Franks in 1187AD / 573AH, participating particularly in Salah al-Din’s conquest of Jerusalem. He died on Saturday, the Day of Eid al-Fitr on 7 July 1223 AD / 620 AH.

Learning Outcomes

  • Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:Understand legal reasoning of the different legal schools, including ones outside of the four standard Sunni legal schools of law
  • Appreciate the expertise, sophistication and open-mindedness that characterised early legal thought
  • Demonstrate proficiency in comparative Islamic law

Module 3: Quranic Studies

Unit 1: Classical Quranic Exegesis

Unit 2: Quranic Exegesis

Seminar 1: Quranic Exegesis

Seminar 2: Introduction to Tafsir al-Tabari

Seminar 3: Introduction to Tafsir al-Kabir

Seminar 4: Introduction to Tafsir al-Baydawi

Overview

This module is designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the application of Quranic exegetical methodology by studying famous exegetical works. Various passages of the Quran with theological, legal and spiritual emphasis will be critically discussed by studying these exegetical works based on tradition (riwayah) and deduction (dirayah). Classical and contemporary interpretations of the Quran in the Muslim world will also be discussed.

Primary Text

Al-Kashaf ‘an haqa’iq al-Tanzil

About the Text

Al-Kashshaf was written in the 12th century CE. It is considered a primary source by all major scholars. However, it is criticised for the inclusion of Mutazili philosophical views. Nevertheless, his work is the best for understanding the language of the Quran, its eloquence and miraculous nature. The work shows how the Quran was understood at the time of its revelation; hence, it has been used by Sunnis throughout the centuries in their religious seminaries.

Read More…

About the Author

Abu al-Qasim Mahmud ibn Umar al-Zamakhshari (1074 or 1075 – 1143 or 1144 CE) was of Iranian origin, who subscribed to the Mutazilite theological doctrine. [BIOGRAPHY 100x]Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the major exegetical types and works
  • Critically analyse and evaluate Quranic exegetical works
  • Relate multiple meanings of Quranic text by reference to exegetical works
  • Demonstrate critical ability to deduct theological, legal and spiritual meanings from the Quranic verses by following correct exegetical methodology

Module 4: Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence

Seminar 1: Introduction to Usul al-Sarakhsi

Seminar 2: Introduction to al-Risalah

Seminar 3: Introduction to al-Ashbah wa al-Nazair

Overview

This module will cover the study of the principles of Islamic jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh) at an advanced level. As part of the training process, students will engage with the four primary sources of law  together with the supplementary sources used in the practice of ijtihad (independent legal deduction). The module will detail the historical development of usul al-fiqh from its inception, to its usage in the later works by the scholars of the tariqah al-mutakallimin, to its modern implications.

Primary Text

Various

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the history of Islamic law and Islamic law-making
  • Critically evaluate the sources of Islamic law
  • Understand the historical usage of supplementary sources of law
  • Accurately describe the fundamental concepts of ‘Usul al-Fiqh’ and its development through the ages
  • Appreciate the theological, legal and spiritual implications of different approaches to Islamic jurisprudence

Module 5: Objectives of Islamic Law

Unit 1: Objectives of Islamic Law

Seminar: Introduction to al-Muwaffaqat

Overview

This module will cover the great work of Shah Wali Allah al-Dihlawi, Hujjatullah al-Baliga (The Profound Evidence of Allah). The text is monumental due to its balance and depth in explaining the wisdom of Islamic rulings through a study of the Prophetic hadith. Through critical analysis of the text, students will be able to put Islam into context and make a connection between each juristic ruling; because the Hujjat makes all the parts of Islam whole. The study of this work refines the intellect; and by studying how the author addressed the hadith corpus to the challenges of his time, we will be better prepared to apply the same corpus to the challenges of the present era. Similarly, students will discuss the dangers of attempting to make the wisdom or higher objectives (maqasid) of the shariah into independent sources for law-making.

Primary Text

Hujjatullah al-Baligah

About the Text

The magnum opus of Shah Wali Allah, Hujjat Allah al-Baligha, is a comprehensive and cogent work presenting a synthesis of the Islamic creed, devotions, transactions, morals, social philosophy, statecraft and spirituality.Few works can compare with the compendious yet clear and cohesive exposition attempted in the Hujjat Allah al-Baligha. The text laid the foundation of a new dialectical theology for the modern age of reason.

Read More…

About the Author

Shah Waliullah Dahlawi was born in 1703 C.E. four years before the death of Aurangzeb. His father, Shah Abdur Raheem was among the leading Hanafi jurists and a distinguished scholar of Islam in Delhi. Shah Waliullah was introduced to Islamic education at the age of five and completed the recitation of the Quran by the age of seven. At the age of 23 he travelled to Makkah for pilgrimage. During his stay in Makkah he received training and Ijazah in hadith from various leading scholars of the Hijaz.  Upon his return to India, he remained busy in teaching and writing until his death (20 August, 1762).

Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the objectives of Islamic law
  • Critically evaluate the usage of the ‘maqasid’ as a source of law-making
  • Understand the priorities of the different legislation in Islam
  • Articulate the reasoning for the differences in the development of the major legal schools

Module 6: Arabic Language

Unit 1: Arabic Grammar

Workshop: Arabic Composition

Overview

In the modern era there is an alarming trend for recent graduates from Islamic institutions, and even established scholars, to make fundamental mistakes in Arabic grammar. Therefore, this module provides an opportunity to revise one’s knowledge of this oft-neglected area and develop expertise in the nuances of the language. For this purpose, al-Mufassal of Imam Zamakhshari, a masterpiece on the fundamentals Arabic grammar, will be studied alongside workshops in Arabic composition and linguistic exposition of the books of hadith, Islamic law, and Quranic exegesis that are also taught in the Advanced level.

Primary Text

Al-Mufassal

About the Text

Commentators and critiques of classical works on Arabic grammar have noted that al-Mufassal is one of Zamakhshari’s most important, popular and best-known works. The Encyclopedia Britannica mentions that al-Mufassal was “celebrated for its concise but exhaustive exposition” of the principles of Arabic grammar. The text is perhaps the most important grammatical work that is taught from the traditional syllabus, and is an authority on the Arabic language despite its conciseness and relatively late addition to the corpus.

Read More…

About the Author

Abu al-Qasim Mahmud ibn Umar al-Zamakhshari (1074 or 1075 – 1143 or 1144 CE) was of Iranian origin, who subscribed to the Mutazilite theological doctrine. He is considered to have reached the level of ijtihad in Arabic in grammar, meaning that he will differ with Sibawayh and the Kufan/Basri schools on certain particulars of the language, which will benefit the student further.

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Accurately detail the properties of the Noun, Verb, and Particle
  • Demonstrate mastery of the Arabic language
  • Appreciate the subtleties of Arabic grammar and composition

Module 7: History

Seminar 1: Abbasid Period

Seminar 2: History of Indian Scholarship

Seminar 3: Muslim Spain

Seminar 4: Ottoman Period

Overview

This module will critically discuss the history of Muslim societies, focusing particularly on the historic events and the intellectual, economic, social and cultural aspects of Islamic civilisation. Key milestones in the development of different Islamic societies will be discussed at length,  as well as the Muslim contribution to science and human civilisation.

Primary Text

Various

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the intellectual, cultural, social and economic scale of the Islamic civilisation
  • Accurately detail the origin and progression of different Islamic societies through the ages
  • Appreciate the Muslim contribution to science and human civilisation
  • Critically evaluate the effects of European colonisation on the modern condition of Muslim societies
  • Critically evaluate the internal and external factors responsible for the decline of the Muslim world

Module 8: Islam and Society

Seminar 1: Muslims without Islamic Governance: A study of Juwayni’s al-Ghayathi

Seminar 2: Islamic Law’s Recognition of the Secular: A Study of the Equity Courts

Seminar 3: Boundaries of Orthodoxy: A Study of Awni’s Takfir Ahl al-Shahadatayn

Overview

This module will include a detailed textual analysis of some of the more salient works within the Islamic tradition. Through systematic study of some of the leading texts on the areas of society and societal groups, students will be able to develop a profound insight into composition of Islamic communities. Emphasis will be placed on detailing the reasoning and cogency of the authors, as well as critically evaluating the implications of each work.

Primary Text

Various

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a profound understanding of the composition and development of Islamic societies
  • Critically evaluate the arguments of Ghiyath al-Umam fi Ultiyath al-Zulam
  • Critically evaluate the arguments of Takfir ahl al-Shahadatayn
  • Appreciate the role of Equity courts in the history of Islamic societies

Module 9: Research and Dissertation

Unit 1: Dissertation

Workshop 1: Academic Writing and Research Methodology

Overview

This module will allow students to undertake a substantive piece of research and produce a 10,000 This module is a guided research module, in which the student submits a dissertation of approximately 10,000 words on a subject of her or his own choosing in consultation with a member of academic staff. A dissertation supervisor will provide guidance as to research methods, writing skills and analysis of evidence and arguments. The student is expected to identify and develop a dissertation topic appropriate to the scale of the project which is focused into a specific research question (or set of questions) providing scope to explore sophisticated evaluative and critical issues.

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Details

The student may choose a topic on any unit taught in the Foundation, Intermediate or Advanced level modules. In principle, this research can be conducted into any topic related to Islam, Islamic sciences, Muslims or the Muslim world, provided that the student can demonstrate that they have analysed the topic thoroughly. The dissertation must be an original piece of research, and it should not have been published by the student previously in whole or in part in any other outlet, which includes web publications.

The objectives of the Dissertation are to:

  • demonstrate the student’s critical abilities, as they plan and deliver an extended, independent research project,
  • encourage the student to manage their time effectively, organise their ideas, and extend and compliment their previous studies.
  • provide an opportunity to study and research on a topic in greater depth outside of the core Islamic sciences’ curriculum.
  • employ the skills, intellectual and practical, acquired during the previous years of the ISP.
  • prepare the student for life as a graduate of ASI; conducting independent research and contributing to the body of literature in their chosen field.

 

Support

Throughout the Islamic Scholarship Programme there will be a number of seminars and workshops on the needs of dissertation research; including academic writing, research methodology, and key skills of time management. This training will help the student to develop the key skills required for researching their chosen project and preparing a finished manuscript. During the second term of the Advanced Level, the supervisor will arrange a 30 minute group meeting. The student should have a written plan for his or her dissertation ready for discussion at the first meeting. It is then the student’s responsibility to arrange and attend further supervisions during the term, with a total allocation of 1 hour 30 minutes. Supervisors will read and comment on up to 2,000 words of written drafts, to be submitted as a formative assessment.

Learning Objectives

  • Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:
  • Develop research skills, including the independent construction of a bibliography
  • Identify a research issue or question
  • Demonstrate the ability to critically analyse classical Islamic texts
  • Demonstrate the ability to evaluate and critique modern scholarship
  • Exhibit confidence in expressing an opinion in an informed manner
  • Demonstrate awareness of the standards of academic presentation
  • Demonstrate an advanced ability to understand and analyse theoretical ideas, and to apply these ideas to a modern context

Sacred Science 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.

Your Application

Where and when do the classes take place?

The classes are held on Sundays in east London from 10am – 6pm.

Is the programme taught in English?

Yes. The entire programme is taught in the English language. Many of the texts are studied in the original Arabic with translation, explanation, and tuition in English.

I have a very busy schedule and cannot always dedicate an entire Sunday to my studies. Are the classes mandatory to attend?

Yes and no. Onsite students are required to attend every class and will be penalised for unauthorised absences. Online students have a little more flexibility to allow for the differences in time zones. However, it is strongly recommended for all students to attend all classes live.

Can I study the entire programme online?

Yes. The entire ISP can be studied online from start to finish. Further, recorded access is available for all core lectures.

Does Shaykh Akram Nadwi teach the entire programme?

No. There are over 12 faculty members teaching throughout the ISP who are experts in their respective fields. Shaykh Akram teaches modules in every year of the programme and teaches the Advanced level exclusively. The Shaykh ultimately authorises the graduation from ASI, but he does not teach everything!

Is the Alimiyyah Degree recognised by Nadwat al-‘Ulama or any national or international universities?

At the moment – no. The entire programme is authorised by Shaykh Akram Nadwi.

How will I be assessed?

Good question! Students are assessed by a mixture of written assignments and examinations, as well as an independent research project in the final year. For more details visit: www.alsalam.ac.uk/assessment

Do I have to sit the exams in the UK even if I live abroad?

No. All exams and assignments are conducted online via the ASI Virtual Madrasa. The Advanced level exams are required to be sat onsite. Students living outside of the UK are able to sit these exams at a designated test centre near to their location.

What happens once I graduate?

Graduates of ASI are marked by their embodiment of religious knowledge and are encouraged to contribute to society through their writings, actions, and dealings with others. Graduates may also choose to pursue post-graduate study in order to specialise in legal verdicts, hadith classification, or Arabic language.

Is there any financial assistance available?

Yes and no. Unfortunately ASI is no longer able to financially support students attending the Institute due to a lack of scholarship funds. However, there are a number of instalment plans available for students who struggle to pay the entire fees upfront.

What are the tuition fees?

Tuition starts from £1,550 per annum. For further details please visit: www.alsalam.ac.uk/fees

Is the Sacred Sciences Journey a part of the Islamic Scholarship Programme?

Yes and no. The SSJ initiative came about in order to enable students of the ISP to visit and gain ijazah from some of the leading scholars of the Muslim world. However it is an elective module and is priced separately.

Is the Sacred Sciences Journey only for students of the ISP?

No. The SSJ is open to external students from all across the world.

What texts are studied on the SSJ?

The syllabus changes from year to year, but will typically include a mixture of introductory level modules for beginners and maqra’ (hadith reading) sessions for senior students of knowledge.

The SSJ sounds amazing. Where can I find more information?

www.alsalam.ac.uk/residentials

Can I enrol one year at a time, instead of all six years at once?

Yes.

How many teaching hours are there per week?

There are 7-8 hours of core lectures on a weekly basis, as well as an average of 4 hours per week in seminars and tutorials.

How many hours of independent study is recommended?

We recommend 4 hours of independent study per week, in addition to the core lectures on Sundays.

I live outside of London. Should I attend onsite or online?

Onsite – if possible. Students of the ISP commute from all over the UK on a weekly basis in order to benefit from the classroom experience.

What are the entry requirements to join the programme?

A basic ability to recognise Arabic characters is required for entry onto the Foundation level.

I have been studying the Islamic sciences for quite a while on my own, do I have to start at the Foundation level?

No. Students who have already graduated from an Islamic studies programme may be eligible to enter directly into the Intermediate or Advanced levels of the ISP.

How can I determine which level I should enrol onto?

Contact admissions@alsalam.ac.uk or + 44 (0) 20 8090 1623.

Will I automatically be enrolled onto the following year?

No. Entry onto the next year of the ISP is subject to satisfactory results in the end of year examinations.

Where do I sign up?

www.alsalam.ac.uk/isp

Tuition Fees for 2016-2017

 

3 Month Plan

Select your study mode:

12 Month Plan

Select your study mode:

Example 12-Month Payment Plan

12-Month Payment Plan for Foundation level ONLINE

Month 1: £220
Month 2: £220
Month 3: £220
Month 4: £220
Month 5: £220
Month 6: £220
Month 7: £220
Month 8: £220
Month 9: £220
Month 10: £220
Month 11: £220
Month 12: £220

Total = £2,640.00

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.
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.

Course Statistics for 2015 Entry:

– Total number of students: 263
– Student attainment: 96%
– Would recommend: 98%

More Information:

Application Deadline: Passed

Status: We are still temporarily accepting applications for this academic year.

First day of term - 9th October 2016

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