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Foundation Level

Foundation Level Overview

The Foundation level in Classical Arabic and Islamic Sciences is tailored for students of Islamic knowledge who are just beginning their journey. The course provides a solid basis in Islamic scholarship through part-time study with qualified teachers in the UK, including Shaykh Akram Nadwi. The year-long course forms the first level of ASI’s six-year Islamic Scholarship Programme (ISP) and can also be taken as an independent programme of study. Students who successfully complete all modules of the Foundation level (including written assignments and examinations) will be awarded a Certificate in Classical Arabic and Islamic Sciences.

Qualification

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 an 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.

Course Structure

The programme is delivered through a series of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials, including that which is streamed live and later uploaded onto our Virtual Madrasah for students to review and revise at their own convenience. This level consists of eight mandatory modules, covering the Arabic language extensively, as well as Islamic Law, Hadith, Quranic Studies, and the Principles of Islamic Sciences which underpin these disciplines. Students will also have the opportunity to further their studies by travelling abroad with the Institute on the annual Sacred Science Journey or 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 a wide variety scholars.

Teaching Delivery

Introduction

Our unique three-tier structure makes our Islamic Scholarship Programme unlike any other. The Programme is split into three distinct levels: Foundation Level, Intermediate Level, and the world-renowned Advanced Level – taught exclusively by Shaykh Akram Nadwi.

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 a formal classroom setting.  From Islamic funeral rites to essential study skills these workshops provide a more holistic approach to a student’s further studies.

Seminars

Seminars on the Foundation level are intended to introduce students to new areas of study and take their thinking and development to a more nuanced level. These are often provided as day-long intensives on topics such as the Etiquettes of a Student of Knowledge, The Rules of Quran Recitation and Introductions to the Principles of Islamic Sciences.

Term dates for the 2018-2019 Academic Year:

Autumn term:
Sunday 7th October 2018 – Sunday 9th December 2018
Winter term:
Sunday 13th January 2019 – Sunday 24th March 2019
Spring term:
Sunday 28th April 2019 – Sunday 30th June 2019
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
Residential:
10 days abroad during term breaks (April 2019)

Timetable for Core Lectures

Term 1
Term 2
Term 3
Time
Module
10am-11am
Arabic
Arabic Grammar
Arabic Grammar
Arabic Grammar
11am-12pm
Arabic
Applied Arabic
Applied Arabic
Applied Arabic
12pm-1pm
Arabic
Applied Arabic
Applied Arabic
Applied Arabic
1pm-2pm
LUNCH BREAK
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
Usul
Usul
5pm-6pm
Quranic Exegesis
Juz Amma
Juz Amma
Juz Amma

Provisional timetable subject to confirmation.

Overview

MODULES
UNITS
CREDITS
Arabic Language
  • Unit 1: Access to Quranic Arabic
  • Unit 2: Arabic Grammar
  • Unit 3: Applied Arabic
  • Seminar 1: Principles of Arabic Grammar
  • Seminar 2: Principles of Arabic Morphology
  • Tutorial: Applied Arabic Language and Literature
90
Hadith Studies
  • Unit 1: Hadith Analysis (Text: Riyad al-Salihin)
  • Seminar 1: Introduction to Hadith and Chains of Narration
  • Seminar 2: The Six Primary Hadith Compilations (Text: Bustan al-Muhaddithin)
30
Islamic Law
  • Unit 1: Chapters of Worship (Text: Al-Fiqh al-Islami)
  • Seminar 1: Muslim Life in the Modern Era
  • Workshop 1: Physiology of Menstruation and Rules of Purification
  • Workshop 2: Zakah Calculation
  • Workshop 3: Rituals of Burial
30
Quranic Studies
  • Unit 1: Quranic Exegesis
  • Seminar 1: Exegesis of The Last Ten Surahs
30
Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence
  • Unit 1: Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence (Text: Mabadi fi Usul al-Fiqh)
  • Seminar 1: Introduction to Islamic Jurisprudence and Legal Theory
  • Tutorial: Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence
10
Principles of Prophetic Traditions
  • Unit 1: Principles of Hadith Classification (Text: Mabadi fi Usul al-Hadith wa al-Isnad)
  • Seminar 1: Introduction to Hadith Classification and Nomenclature
  • Tutorial: Principles of Prophetic Traditions
10
Principles of Quranic Exegesis
  • Unit 1: Principles of Quranic Exegesis (Text: Mabadi fi ‘Ilm Usul al-Tafsir)
  • Seminar 1: Introduction to Quranic Exegesis and Interpretation
  • Tutorial: Principles of Quranic Exegesis
10
Skills and Training
  • Unit 1: Rules of Quran Recitation
  • Unit 2: Art of Quran Recitation
  • Seminar 1: Etiquettes of a Student
  • Seminar 2: Academic Writing and Research Methodology
AUX

 

Arabic Language

Unit 1:
Access to Quranic Arabic
Unit 2:
Arabic Grammar
Unit 3:
Applied Arabic
Seminar 1:
Introduction to Arabic Grammar
Seminar 2:
Introduction to Arabic Morphology
Tutorials:
Applied Arabic Language and Literature

Overview

The Certificate in Classical Arabic Language has been developed to take students from a beginner’s level in Arabic studies to proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing. The focus will be on introducing students to the principles of Arabic grammar and morphology and familiarising them with the language in a natural manner. The rules and patterns that form the basis of the Arabic language will be taught in the first unit, with detailed vocabulary, translations and literary extracts taught in the second unit of the module.

Primary Text

Various

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:
• Identify the components of sentences
• Demonstrate basic knowledge of the varying grammatical morphology
• Demonstrate basic understanding of the different scales of Arabic verbs
• Differentiate and apply gender, number and form structures to verbs
• Demonstrate measurable improvement in reading, writing and comprehension skills

 

Hadith Studies

Unit 1:
Hadith Analysis
Seminar 1:
Introduction to Hadith and Chains of Narration
Seminar 2:
The Six Primary Hadith Compilations

Overview

This module introduces students to hadith studies in order to derive points of benefit from Prophetic traditions. The style and method of teaching will be to encourage students to understand the essence of the teachings of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), rather than to discuss any legal injunctions stemming from them – though these will be touched upon at times. As such, this module addresses an important element of the programme, the tarbiyyah and personal development of the student.

Primary Text

Riyad al-Salihin

About the Text

The text, translated as ‘The Gardens of the Righteous’, is a two-volume collection of 1,905 hadiths compiled by the renowned jurist and hadith scholar Imam Nawawi. Unlike many compilations of hadith, the book does not focus on Islamic law, but rather on the ethics and moral teachings of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.

About the Author

Abu Zakariyya Yahya ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi, better known simply as Imam Nawawi, was a prominent 7th century (AH) Shafi’i scholar and prolific author. Born just outside of Damascus in the small town of Nawa, he was revered during his lifetime for his piety and commitment to Islamic knowledge and granted the epithet of ‘Reviver of the Religion’ (Muhiyuddin). He authored many influential books, including one of the greatest commentaries of Sahih Muslim and the well-known ‘Forty Hadith of Imam Nawawi’ (Al-Arba’in al-Nawawi)

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:
• Analyse and evaluate certain texts of hadith.
• Understand how these same narrations can be understood and applied in our time to modern questions that the community faces.
• Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of tazkiyah and ihsan.

 

 

Islamic Law

Unit 1:
Chapters of Worship
Seminar:
Muslim Life in the Modern Era
Workshop 1:
Physiology of Menstruation and Rules of Purification
Workshop 2:
Rituals of Burial
Workshop 3:
Zakah Calculation

Overview

This module covers the necessary aspects of the Islamic law of personal worship from the five pillars of Islam. Students will study ritual purification (taharah), the daily prescribed prayers (salah), purifying alms (zakah), fasting during the month of Ramadan (sawm) and the major pilgrimage (hajj); together with the textual evidences for these rulings. The Hanafi School of law will be the main school of law taught on this module, however, views and evidences from the Shafi’i, Maliki and Hanbali schools of law will also be discussed.

Primary Text

Al-Fiqh al-Islami

About the Text

Al-Fiqh al-Islami is an original masterly composition of the Fiqh (codified legal rulings) of Imam Abu Hanifah and his school of thought. For the first time in the English language the detailed rulings of Hanafi fiqh, which has the largest following in the Muslim world, alongside the evidences from which they have been derived are presented with meticulous research and detailed references.

About the Author

Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi is a world-renowned scholar of Indian origin, who has resided in England for an extensive time. After receiving in-depth training to an advanced level in the traditional Islamic disciplines at Nadwat al-Ulama, Lucknow, India, and receiving a PhD in Arabic literature from Lucknow University, he became a research fellow at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, where he conducted research for a number of years (including topics of Hadith and Sufi orders in India).

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:
• Understand the Islamic law related to the five pillars of Islam
• Cite textual evidences for ritual practices of worship
• Demonstrate a good understanding of Hanafi School of law
• Appreciate the differences of opinion existing in other Schools

 

 

Quranic Studies

Unit 1:
Quranic Exegesis
Seminar:
Exegesis of the Last Ten Surahs

Overview

In this module various Chapters (surah) of the Quran will be studied with theological, legal and spiritual emphases. Classical and contemporary interpretations of the Quran in the Muslim world will also be discussed and critically analysed, as well as highlighting the concept of thematic and structural coherence in the Quran; a concept which was developed by the great Indian scholar Mawlana Hamid al-Din Farahi (d.1930).

Primary Text

The Quran

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit 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

 

Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence

Unit 1:
Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence
Seminar:
Introduction to Islamic Jurisprudence and Legal Theory
Tutorial:
Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence

Overview

This module will cover the main areas of Islamic jurisprudence, Usul al-Fiqh, and the historic, social and religious factors in the development of Islamic legal schools. The focus will be the four primary sources of Islamic law, together with the supplementary sources used in the practice of ijtihad (independent legal deduction).

Primary Text

Mabadi fi Usul al-Fiqh

About the Text

Mabadi fi Usul al-Fiqh is part of a series of five books written by Shaykh Akram Nadwi in order to introduce the sciences of Quran, Hadith, Fiqh and Arabic language. The book provides an introduction to Usul al-Fiqh in a concise yet comprehensive manner, making it a suitable book for beginners.

About the Author

Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi is a world-renowned scholar of Indian origin, who has resided in England for an extensive time. After receiving in-depth training to an advanced level in the traditional Islamic disciplines at Nadwat al-Ulama, Lucknow, India, and receiving a PhD in Arabic literature from Lucknow University, he became a research fellow at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, where he conducted research for a number of years (including topics of Hadith and Sufi orders in India).

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
• Demonstrate an understanding of the development of Usul al-Fiqh
• Appreciate the methodology of Islamic law-making
• Critically evaluate the primary and supplementary sources of Islamic law
• Consider the arguments and propositions used in legal rulings (fatwas)

 

Principles of Prophetic Traditions

Unit 1:
Principles of Prophetic Traditions
Seminar:
Introduction to Hadith Classification and Nomenclature
Tutorial:
Principles of Prophetic Traditions

Overview

Studying the principles of hadith terminology and criticism is a major component of hadith studies (ulum al-hadith). The goal of the course is to help the student become acquainted with the most important terms in hadith criticism and gain a practical understanding of what these terms mean when applied in hadith analysis and isnad criticism.

Primary Text

Mabadi fi Usul al-Hadith wa al-Isnad

About the Text

Mabadi fi Usul al-Hadith wa al-Isnad is part of a series of five books written by Shaykh Akram Nadwi in order to introduce the sciences of Quran, Hadith, Islamic law and Arabic language. The book provides an introduction to Usul al-Hadith in a concise yet comprehensive manner, making it a suitable book for beginners.

About the Author

Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi is a world-renowned scholar of Indian origin, who has resided in England for an extensive time. After receiving in-depth training to an advanced level in the traditional Islamic disciplines at Nadwat al-Ulama, Lucknow, India, and receiving a PhD in Arabic literature from Lucknow University, he became a research fellow at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, where he conducted research for a number of years (including topics of Hadith and Sufi orders in India).

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
• Describe the difference between ‘ahadith’ and ‘sunnah
• Demonstrate an understanding of the different phases in the collating of hadith literature in the first three centuries of Islam
• Evaluate the methods used to classify hadith
• Demonstrate an understanding of the hadith types and their definitions
• Differentiate between the levels of authenticity of hadith narrations

 

Principles of Prophetic Traditions

Unit 1:
Principles of Quranic Exegesis
Seminar:
Introduction to Quranic Exegesis and Interpretation
Tutorial:
Principles of Quranic Exegesis

Overview

The Study of usul al-tafsir, the principles of Quranic exegesis, is part of the broader subject of ‘ulum al-Quran. The goal is to become acquainted with the essential aspects of the Scripture and rules of interpretation so as to avoid erring in one’s understanding. At the introductory level, it is important to gain an overview of the main features of the sacred text and the disciplines that are connected to it, so as to lay the foundation for the technical studies to follow.

Primary Text

Mabadi fi ‘Ilm Usul al-Tafsir

About the Text

Mabadi fi ‘Ilm Usul al-Tafsir is part of a series of five books written by Shaykh Akram Nadwi in order to introduce the sciences of Quran, Hadith, Islamic law and Arabic language. The book provides an introduction to Usul al-Hadith in a concise yet comprehensive manner, making it a suitable book for beginners.

About the Author

Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi is a world-renowned scholar of Indian origin, who has resided in England for an extensive time. After receiving in-depth training to an advanced level in the traditional Islamic disciplines at Nadwat al-Ulama, Lucknow, India, and receiving a PhD in Arabic literature from Lucknow University, he became a research fellow at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, where he conducted research for a number of years (including topics of Hadith and Sufi orders in India).

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:
• Understand the history of the development of Quranic exegesis
• Understand the Quran through a methodical approach to its interpretation
• Understand the terminology and general principles used in Quranic exegesis
• Analyse and evaluate interpretations of the Quran in text and other literature
• Apply different exegetical methods to the interpretation of the Quran

 

Skills and Training

Unit 1:
Rules of Quran Recitation
Unit 2:
Art of Quran Recitation
Seminar 1:
Etiquettes of a Student
Seminar 2:
Academic Writing and Research Methodology

Overview

The Skills and Training module consists of the essential skills that will enhance the students’ development whilst at ASI. Students who have entered onto the programme without any prior studies in the science of Quran recitation (tajwid) will be able to study the theory and practice of the discipline in supplementary classes conducted online. Similarly, etiquettes of a student of knowledge is an essential point of study for those embarking upon the noble path of religious knowledge. In addition, Academic Writing and Research Methodology will detail the best practices in constructing a written paper, transliterating from Arabic into English (and back again), and referencing methods in academic articles, journals and assignments.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:
• Demonstrate a working knowledge of the theory (rules) of tajwid
• Recite the last ten Surahs of the Quran from memory
• Appreciate the values and etiquettes sought after in a student of Islamic knowledge
• Demonstrate an understanding of the most crucial elements of academic writing and study skills
• Confidently reference using the most popular referencing methods, including Chicago and Harvard
• Understand the need for consistent transliteration and demonstrate proficiency in this regard

 

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?

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 2018-2019

Single Payment (GBP)
Instalment Plan (GBP)
3x
Total
Onsite
£1,550
£600
£1,800
Online
£1,850
£700
£2,100

Visit alsalam.ac.uk/fees for further information

APPLY NOW

 

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.

Apply (Onsite)

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.

Apply (Online)

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