Advanced Islamic Texts Programme

Advanced Islamic Texts Programme

ASI excitedly relaunches one of its longest running programmes in a hybrid study format that accommodates self-paced learning. For the past 18 years, Shaykh Akram Nadwi has been teaching advanced level texts at ASI. These texts are now finally available to study in a uniquely customisable manner.

Our Advanced Islamic Texts programme has been designed to expose ‘Alimiyyah graduates and senior students of knowledge to a variety of classical works in the Islamic sciences. These notable texts, some of which enjoy seminal status, are often multi-volume works that can be hard to access without a teacher to guide one through their depth, density, nuances and/or complexity. These works have also often been written by prolific scholars, such as Imams al-Bukhari, al-Tirmidhi, al-Shafi’i, al-Zamakhshari, al-Shatibi, Muhammad al-Shaybani, ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi, Shah Wali al-Dehlawi & more, who made significant contributions to the development of the intellectual landscape of Islam. To study these texts is a dream for many students of knowledge. Exposure to these texts enables students to engage more deeply with their content whilst also supporting further study and research into the Islamic sciences. The texts cover an array of disciplines, from Quran, Hadith, Arabic Language, Arabic Literature, Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh and more. It is important to note that the teaching is focused on textual analysis of portions of these works, rather than completing entire texts, which is outside of the remit of this programme.

This programme is also available for admission on an audit-only basis. For further information, please email admissions@alsalam.ac.uk.

Qualification

Students that successfully complete the Advanced Islamic Texts programme will be issued with a Diploma in Advanced Islamic Texts. A list of modules studied will be included on the qualification.

 

Course Structure

A unique feature of this programme is the chance for students to design their own learning pathway by selecting their own optional modules, alongside core modules. This provides students with the flexibility to tailor-make their studies according to their own research interests. However, all modules, whether core, optional or additional, will be available for audit throughout the 2 years.

Successful completion of the Advanced Islamic Texts programme will depend on attaining 180 credits over the course of 2 years. Core modules are compulsory and are based on live classes. Optional modules are recorded classes available for study throughout the 2 years. Credits are obtained through completing end of module assessments with a minimum pass mark of 60%. Additional modules will also be provided that support students’ further learning, however, these modules will not contribute to one’s final credits.

Core Modules

Core modules consist of 2 years of live classes with Shaykh Akram Nadwi on Sahih al-Bukhari, Jami al-Tirmidhi and Tafsir al-Kashshaf. Classes run weekly and recordings will be available throughout the 2 years. Core modules will be assessed through end of year examinations. 

Optional Modules

Optional modules are recorded classes that are available to study throughout the 2 years. Modules studied that contribute to one’s final credits will be assessed via end of year exams and/or coursework. Students must opt-in to the correct examinations and successfully pass in order to obtain credits for each optional module. 

Additional Modules

Additional modules are recorded classes that are available throughout the 2 years. These modules complement students’ further study, however, they are not assessed and do not count towards the final number of credits obtained. 

Entry Requirements

Suitable for graduates in ‘Alimiyyah studies and/or equivalent Islamic studies with fluency in classical Arabic.

Assessment

Student progression is assessed primarily through summative assessment which will mainly consist of written assignments and examinations. There is a minimum pass mark of 60% for successful completion of each assessed module.

All assessments must be submitted within specified assessment periods. These assessment periods are detailed in the student handbook.

In order to graduate from the Advanced Islamic Texts programme students must pass all modules.

Core modules term dates for the 2024-2025 Academic Year:

Induction Day:
Sunday 29th September 2024
Autumn term:
Sunday 6th October 2024 – Sunday 24th November 2024
Winter term:
Sunday 5th January 2025 – Sunday 2nd March 2025
Spring term:
Sunday 27th April 2025 – Sunday 15th June 2025*
Optional modules:
Recordings available throughout the year
Additional modules:
Recordings available throughout the year
Residentials**:
Winter 2024: TBC
Spring 2025: TBC

Term dates may be subject to change.
*No live Sunday classes on 8th June due to Eid al-Adha. See dates above
**Residentials are elective programmes and are priced separately

Overview

Discipline
Module
Credits
Hadith Studies
  • Sahih al-Bukhari I
  • Sahih al-Bukhari II
  • Jami’ al-Tirmidhi I
  • Jami’ al-Tirmidhi II
  • 15
  • 15
  • 15
  • 15
Quranic Studies
  • Tafsir al-Kashshaf I
  • Tafsir al-Kashshaf II
  • 15
  • 15

Sahih al-Bukhari I & II

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.

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.

 

Jami’ al-Tirmidhi I & II

Unit 2:
Hadith Criticism and Fiqh Methodology of al-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.

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.

Tafsir al-Kashshaf I & II

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

Primary Text

Al-Kashshaf ‘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.

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.

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

 

Overview

Discipline
Module
Credits
Arabic Language
  • Al-Mufassal I
  • Al-Mufassal II
  • Al-Balagha al-Wadihah
  • 15
  • 15
  • 15
Arabic Literature
  • Mukhtarat
  • Al-Mu’allaqat
  • 15
  • 15
Islamic Law
  • Al-Mughni I
  • Al-Mughni II
  • Al-Mughni III
  • Bada’i’ al-Sana’i’ 
  • Kitab al-Umm
  • Kitab al-Hujjah: (‘ala Ahl al-Madina by Imam Muhammad)
  • 15
  • 15
  • 15
  • 10
  • 5
  • 5
Maqasid al-Shari’ah
  • Hujjatullah I
  • Hujjatullah II
  • Al-Muwafaqat
  • 15
  • 15
  • 5
Usul al-Fiqh
  • Irshad al-Fuhul
  • Usul al-Sarakhsi
  • Al-Risala
  • 15
  • 5
  • 5
Hadith Studies
  • Muqaddimah of Sahih Muslim
  • 5
Quranic Studies
  • Tafsir al-Tabari
  • Tafsir al-Baydawi
  • 5
  • 5

    Al-Mufassal I & II

    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.

    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 Outcomes

    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

    Al-Mughni I, II & III

    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.’

    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

    Hujjatullah I & II

    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-Balighah (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-Balighah

    About the Text

    The magnum opus of Shah Wali Allah, Hujjat Allah al-Balighah, 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-Balighah. The text laid the foundation of a new dialectical theology for the modern age of reason.

    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).

    Learning Outcomes

    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

    Mukhtarat

    Overview

    This module provides an opportunity to develop expertise in the nuances of the Arabic literary tradition, an oft-neglected area by many students of Islamic knowledge. For this purpose, selections from Mukhtarat min Adab al-‘Arab, a distinguished literary compilation by Abu ‘l-Hasan ‘Ali al-Hasani Nadwi, will be studied in depth.

    Primary Text

    Mukhtarat min Adab al-‘Arab

    About the Text

    Mukhtarat min Adab al-‘Arab is an extensive anthology that brings together a rich selection of Arabic literary texts that demonstrate the values of the Arabs, spanning various genres and historical periods. Compiled by the renowned scholar Abu ‘l-Hasan ‘Ali al-Hasani Nadwi, the text features works from the birth of Islam through the Islamic Golden Age right to the 20th century, with authors such as al-Ghazali, Ibn Taymiyya, Ahmad Amin, and Taha Hussein. Through these texts, students will gain insights into the socio-cultural contexts and literary aesthetics that shaped these works and be exposed to a comprehensive overview of the evolution of Arabic literary forms and styles.

    About the Author

    Shaykh Abu ’l-Hasan ‘Ali al-Hasani Nadwi was a prominent intellectual and religious scholar from India. He authored numerous works on history, biography, and contemporary issues affecting Muslims in India and abroad. Serving as rector of the Nadwat al-‘Ulama’ seminary in Lucknow, he taught Qur’anic exegesis, hadith, Arabic literature, history, and logic. He was a founding member of the Universal League of Islamic Literature and chaired the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board. His extensive literary contributions in Arabic and Urdu have been integrated into university curricula and translated into several languages.

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:
    • Develop a comprehensive understanding of classical Arabic literature, gaining insights into its historical and cultural contexts
    • Demonstrate mastery of the Arabic language
    • Appreciate the nuances of Arabic literary tradition

    Irshad al-Fuhul

    Overview

    This module will approach Usul al-Fiqh at an advanced level. The chosen text will highlight the intricate arguments and discussions in the field, allowing students to gain a profound understanding of key foundational concepts. The module will offer a dynamic approach for studying Islamic legal theory whilst applying a rigorous scholarly method that truly considers how traditional legal theory can be analysed in a holistic manner, in light of the other Islamic sciences.

    Primary Text

    Irshad al-Fuhul ila Tahqiq al-Haqq min ‘Ilm al-Usul

    About the Text

    Irshad al-Fuhul is renowned for its clarity, depth, and scholarly rigour, making it an essential text for advanced students and scholars of Islamic jurisprudence. The work not only elucidates classical principles but also offers a framework for approaching contemporary issues and debates, reflecting the author’s critical approach to Islamic legal theory.

    About the Author

    Imam Muhammad al-Shawkani was a prominent Yemeni scholar, jurist, theologian, and reformer, renowned for his significant contributions to the Islamic sciences. His influential works solidified his status as a leading authority in Islamic legal theory, and al-Shawkani was a major proponent of ijtihad (independent reasoning).

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:
    • Develop a comprehensive understanding of the principles and methodologies of Islamic jurisprudence, including linguistic tools and interpretative techniques
    • Enhance their ability to critically analyse and apply juristic principles to contemporary legal issues
    • Gain proficiency in independent legal reasoning

    Al-Balagha al-Wadiha

    Overview

    This module offers an in-depth study of Arabic rhetoric through the text al-Balagha al-Wadiha. Students will explore key rhetorical principles such as metaphors, similes, and the fundamentals of eloquent expression. The module emphasises the relationship between language, meaning, and style, encouraging a nuanced appreciation of rhetorical techniques. By engaging with this foundational text, students will enhance their understanding and application of Arabic rhetoric, fostering a deeper connection to the language and its literary tradition.

    Primary Text

    Al-Balagha Al-Wadiha

    About the Text

    The book is a foundational text in the study of Arabic rhetoric, authored by Ali Al-Jarim and Mustafa Amin. It is renowned for its clear and accessible explanation of complex rhetorical concepts, making it a staple in traditional Arabic and Islamic education. The text systematically covers the major components of Arabic rhetoric, including simile (tashbih), metaphor (isti’arah), and eloquent expression (fasahah), along with illustrative examples drawn from classical Arabic literature and poetry.

    About the Author

    Ali Al-Jarim and Mustafa Amin are highly respected scholars in the field of Arabic rhetoric. They are renowned for their expertise in classical Arabic literature and linguistic analysis. Both authors have made significant contributions to the study of rhetoric, particularly through their work on Al-Balagha Al-Wadiha. Their collaborative effort in compiling and elucidating this text has solidified their reputation as authorities in the realm of Arabic language and rhetoric, making their work indispensable for students and scholars alike.

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:
    • Grasp essential rhetorical concepts, enriching their understanding of Arabic language and literature
    • Analyse classical Arabic texts in their usage of rhetorical technique
    • Deepen their appreciation for Arabic literature

    Al-Mu‘allaqat

    Overview

    This module will allow students to delve into the captivating world of pre-Islamic Arabic poetry, focusing on the Mu’allaqat, a collection of seven renowned poems traditionally considered the pinnacle of Arabic poetic artistry. Students will explore the themes, styles, and linguistic significance of these pre-Islamic masterpieces. By examining the Mu’allaqat alongside the other modules, students will gain an understanding of the significance of these texts to the history of Islamic culture, as well as a deeper understanding of the language of the Qu’ran.

    Primary Text

    The Mu’allaqat

    About the Text

    The Mu’allaqat (the suspended odes) comprises seven pre-Islamic Arabic poems attributed to some of the most celebrated poets of the pre-Islamic era (Jahiliyya). These compositions, praised for their eloquence, imagery, and cultural insight, provide invaluable insights into the social, political, and emotional landscapes of ancient Arabia. Revered for centuries, the Mu’allaqat holds a central place in Arabic literary tradition, serving as a touchstone for subsequent generations of poets and scholars.

    About the Author

    The authors of the Mu’allaqat hailed from diverse tribes across the Arabian Peninsula, each contributing a distinct voice and perspective to the collection. Among the notable poets featured are Imru’ al-Qais, Antara ibn Shaddad, and Tarafa ibn al-Abd. These poets were revered for their mastery of language and their ability to capture the ethos of their time, reflecting themes of love, heroism, and the harsh realities of desert life.

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:
    • Analyse the themes, imagery, and stylistic features of the Mu’allaqat within their cultural and historical contexts
    • Appreciate the enduring legacy of pre-Islamic Arabic poetry and its influence on subsequent literary and intellectual developments in the Islamic world
    • Examine the stylistic and rhetorical features of the Quran

    Bada’i al-Sana’i

    Overview

    This module is an advanced study of Hanafi law, focusing on a seminal text that showcases the profound legal thought of this school of law. The module will delve into the sophisticated legal reasoning and methodologies presented by al-Kasani, exploring how traditional Hanafi fiqh can be analysed in light of hadith principles, the Arabic language, and in comparison to the reasoning of other Islamic legal traditions. By studying a selected chapter, students will gain an understanding of the structure and aims of the text, which will facilitate independent study of the entire text for students who wish to do so.

    Primary Text

    Bada’i al-Sana’i fi Tartib al-Shara’i

    About the Text

    Originally written as a commentary of the book Tuhfat al-Fuqaha by his teacher ‘Ala’ al-Din al-Samarqandi, al-Kasani’s text is a comprehensive and influential legal text in the Hanafi school. Although classified as a commentary, it functions more as a structured and comprehensive work on its own. Renowned for its depth and precision, it systematically organises and elucidates the Hanafi legal rulings, providing a detailed analysis of various legal issues. The text is praised for its meticulous research and clarity, making it an essential reference for both scholars and students.

    About the Author

    Ala’ al-Din Abu Bakr ibn Mas’ud al-Kasani was a prominent Hanafi jurist and scholar. He studied under many distinguished scholars and quickly gained recognition for his profound understanding of Hanafi jurisprudence. His contributions to Islamic jurisprudence have left a lasting impact on the field, cementing his legacy as one of the great Hanafi scholars.

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:
    • Understand the legal reasoning of the Hanafi school, as well as comparative perspectives with other legal schools
    • Appreciate the expertise and sophistication that characterised early Islamic legal thought
    • Demonstrate proficiency in comparative fiqh, with a specific focus on the methodologies and principles outlined in the text

    Usul al-Sarakhsi

    Overview

    This module is an advanced study of Hanafi legal theory, focusing on a key text that demonstrates the nuanced legal thought of the Hanafi school. The module will look at the legal reasoning and methodologies presented by al-Sarakhsi, exploring how Hanafi fiqh can be analysed in light of its underlying principles.

    Primary Text

    Usul al-Sarakhsi

    About the Text

    Al-Muharrar fi Usul al-Fiqh by al-Sarakhsi deals with Islamic jurisprudence and the exercise of sound intellectual deduction (ra’y) in systematic reasoning and juristic preference. To write this work, al-Sarakhsi incorporated information from many different sources, including Abu’l-Hasan al-Karkhi, Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Shashi, al-Jassas, al-Shafi’i and major works from the other legal traditions.

    About the Author

    Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Abi Sahl Abu Bakr al-Sarakhsi, known as Shams al-A’imma, was a Persian jurist and influential Islamic scholar of the Hanafi school. His works have profoundly impacted Hanafi jurisprudence, with later scholars like Al-Kasani and Burhan al-Din al-Marghinani drawing extensively from his legal reasoning in their seminal texts. The 19th-century scholar Abd al-Hayy al-Lucknawi classified him among the second grade of mujtahids, alongside figures such as Al-Tahawi, who were key jurists after Abu Hanifa’s direct students.

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:
    • Understand the foundational principles of Hanafi legal theory
    • Critically evaluate the influence of Usul al-Sarakhsi on subsequent Hanafi scholars and their writings
    • Analyse legal issues using the principles and methodologies outlined in the text

    Al-Risala

    Overview

    This module delves into the foundational principles of Islamic legal theory through a detailed study of Al-Risala by Imam al-Shafi’i. The course will emphasise the groundbreaking legal methodologies introduced by al-Shafi’i, exploring how these principles have shaped the development of Islamic legal theory. Students will engage with the text using a scholarly approach that integrates the other Islamic sciences.

    Primary Text

    Al-Risala

    About the Text

    Al-Risala is a pioneering work in Usul al-Fiqh and is considered the first comprehensive text on the subject. Al-Shafi’i meticulously outlines the principles and methodologies for deriving legal rulings, providing a structured approach to Islamic jurisprudence. The text significantly influenced the development of Islamic legal thought and served as a key reference for scholars across various legal schools.

    About the Author

    Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shafi’i is recognized as the founder of the Shafi’i school of law. Al-Shafi’i travelled extensively to study under renowned scholars in Medina, Iraq, and Egypt. His rigorous scholarship and innovative contributions to Usul al-Fiqh have left an enduring legacy.

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:
    • Comprehend the core principles of Shafi’i legal theory and how they compare with other Islamic legal traditions
    • Investigate the historical and intellectual context of the text
    • Evaluate the role of al-Risala in shaping the evolution of Usul al-Fiqh

    Kitab al-Umm

    Overview

    This module explores the foundational text Kitab al-Umm by Imam al-Shafi’i, emphasising its pivotal role in the Shafi’i school and to the entire field of fiqh. By studying a selected chapter, students will gain an understanding of the structure and aims of the text, which will facilitate independent study of the entire text for students who wish to do so.

    Primary Text

    Kitab al-Umm

    About the Text

    Kitab al-Umm is one of the first comprehensive compilations of the Islamic legal code, serving as an authoritative guide for the Shafi’i school and a seminal text in the history of Islamic law. It is distinguished by its interpretative methodology, deriving legal principles directly from revelation rather than relying solely on traditional authority.

    About the Author

    Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shafi’i is recognized as the founder of the Shafi’i school of law. Al-Shafi’i travelled extensively to study under renowned scholars in Medina, Iraq, and Egypt. His rigorous scholarship and innovative contributions to Usul al-Fiqh have left an enduring legacy.

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:
    • Understand the detailed legal rulings and principles outlined in the chapter of study
    • Investigate the historical and intellectual context of the text
    • Assess the influence of Kitab al-Umm on the evolution of Shafi’i fiqh and its impact on other schools.

    Kitab al-Hujjah

    Overview

    This module explores the text Kitab al-Hujjah ‘Ala Ahl al-Madinah by Imam Muhammad al-Shaybani. By studying a selected chapter, students will gain an understanding of the structure and aims of the text, which will facilitate independent study of the entire text for students who wish to do so. This module shows that al-Shaybani engaged with various Medinese scholars, mastering their legal theories and methods of deduction, and debated them on points of disagreement with Abu Hanifah.

    Primary Text

    Kitab al-Hujjah ‘Ala Ahl al-Madinah

    About the Text

    Imam Muhammad wrote this text to counter the views of the scholars of al-Madinah, particularly Imam Malik. The work addresses approximately 400 fundamental legal issues where the Medinese scholars diverged from al-Shaybani’s mentor, Imam Abu Hanifah, with al-Shaybani largely supporting Abu Hanifah’s positions.

    About the Author

    Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani was a prominent jurist and a student of Abu Hanifah and Malik ibn Anas, trained in the jurisprudence of both the Iraqi and Medina schools. He emphasised the decisive role of hadith in Islamic law and held a significant position in the Abbasid court, which allowed him to propagate Hanafi legal ideas. Al-Shaybani was the first to document Hanafi legal thought and authored extensive works on inheritance law and jihad.

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:
    • Understand the arguments and principles outlined in the chapter of study
    • Assess the influence of the text on the evolution of Hanafi fiqh and its impact on the field of comparative fiqh
    • Analyse the historical and intellectual context in which the text was written

    Al-Muwafaqat

    Overview

    This module is a close reading of the introduction to al-Muwafaqat by Imam al-Shatibi, as well as an overview of the aims of the entire text. By studying the introduction closely and gaining an understanding of al-Shatibi’s methodology, students will be able to independently study the entire work. This module highlights al-Shatibi’s engagement with various legal theories and methods of deduction.

    Primary Text

    Al-Muwafaqat fi Usul al-Shari’ah

    About the Text

    Al-Muwafaqat fi Usul al-Shari’ah deals with Usul al-Fiqh and Maqasid al-Shari’ah. Shatibi’s work was novel in Islamic jurisprudence for it was for the first time that the objectives of Shariah were addressed comprehensively. It was first published in 1884 in Tunis, and since then it has been a source of inspiration, moderation and renewal in fiqh. The book, however, deals with much more than the maqasid, and substantial research is needed to unravel its full contribution.

    About the Author

    Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Musa ibn Muhammad al-Shatibi al-Gharnati was an Andalusian Maliki legal scholar and reformer. He wrote on a variety of subjects, including usul al-fiqh, grammar, and poetry. He was critical of the fiqh of his age and disagreed with Maliki contemporaries on many points, including taxation and the significance of taqlid (following legal precedent). He emphasised the principle of Quranic supremacy as the ultimate source for making rules among Muslims, and he argued that the individual’s interests and common good (maslahah) constitute the prime purposes of Islamic law.

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:
    • Understand the arguments and principles outlined in the introduction of the text
    • Assess the influence of the text on the evolution of Usul al-Fiqh
    • Analyse the historical and intellectual context in which the text was written

    Muqaddimah of Sahih Muslim

    Course Overview

    This course covers the Sahih of Muslim’s introductory section in great depth along with an overview of Muslim and Bukhari’s methodologies and the differences between them. The early acceptance of Sahih Bukhari and Muslim into hadith canon is discussed along with a history of Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj including his life, teachers, quality of transmission (isnad), and legal affiliation (madhab).

    The Muqaddimah of Sahih Muslim’s is important for understanding the way he has organised his book, including the crucial distinctions he makes between primary hadith (usul), supporting hadith (mutabaʿat), and preambulatory hadith. Understanding Muslims own organisation of his work is crucial, as re-organisations by later scholars have led to a great deal of confusion about what is authentic.

    This course is a unique opportunity to benefit from someone with unmatched expertise, Shaikh Akram Nadwi is one of the world leading experts on Hadith and is currently  working on an extensive commentary on Sahih Muslim.

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

    • Understand the methodologies of early hadith scholars including Muslim and Bukhari
    • Gain a brief overview of Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj and his scholarship
    • Understand the basic differences between Bukhari and Muslim’s methodologies
    • Recognise Sahih Muslim’s internal structure and how it contrasts with later attempts at organisation
    • Understand Muslim’s characterization and division of narrators within his Sahih
    • Understand the influence and significance of Muslims Kitab al-Tamyiz

    Tafsir al-Tabari

    Overview

    This module examines a selection from the Tafsir of Imam al-Tabari. By studying a selected chapter, students will gain an understanding of the structure and aims of the text, enabling independent study of the entire work for those who wish to do so. This module showcases al-Tabari’s engagement with various exegetical methods and his comprehensive approach to Quranic interpretation.

    Primary Text

    Jami’ al-Bayan fi Ta’wil al-Qur’an (Tafsir al-Tabari)

    About the Text

    Tafsir al-Tabari has been esteemed since its creation and remains a vital resource for scholars today. As the earliest major comprehensive commentary on the Quran still available in its original form, it is notable for its thoroughness and its use of a wide range of sources, including many that present varying viewpoints on the same verses.

    About the Author

    Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari was a prominent Persian scholar and historian, known for his extensive works in Quranic exegesis, history, and jurisprudence. Al-Tabari’s scholarship reflects his profound expertise and his methodical approach to collecting and evaluating narrations.

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:
    • Identify al-Tabari’s interpretive techniques and use of narrations
    • Assess the role of the text in shaping the methodologies of later Tafsir literature
    • Analyse the historical and intellectual context in which the text was written

    Tafsir al-Baydawi

    Overview

    This module examines a selection from the Tafsir al-Baydawi. By studying a selected chapter, students will gain an understanding of the structure and aims of the text, enabling independent study of the entire work for those who wish to do so. This module highlights al-Baydawi’s exegetical methods and his approach to Quranic interpretation, which integrates linguistic, theological, and legal insights.

    Primary Text

    Anwar al-Tanzil wa Asrar al-Ta’wil (Tafsir al-Baydawi)

    About the Text

    Tafsir al-Baydawi is one of the most popular classical Sunni tafsirs. It gained particular prominence in non-Arab Muslim regions. It builds on al-Zamakhshari’s al-Kashshaf, which contains Mu’tazilite views that al-Baydawi either amended or omitted. Additionally, al-Baydawi draws from al-Raghib al-Isfahani’s Mufradat Alfaz al-Qur’an and his tafsir, as well as Fakhr al-Din al-Razi’s al-Tafsir al-Kabir.

    About the Author

    Nasir al-Din al-Baydawi was a Persian jurist, theologian, and mufassir who lived during the post-Seljuk and early Mongol era. His works attracted numerous commentaries, and he authored several theological treatises. During the Salghurid period, the Iranian region where he lived was relatively stable and safe due to the Salghurids’ amicable relations with the Mongols. This environment made it a preferred destination for scholars, and Baydawi benefited from the presence and knowledge of these learned individuals.

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:
    • Identify al-Baydawi’s interpretive techniques and use of tafsir literature
    • Assess the role of the text in shaping Sunni tafsir literature
    • Analyse the historical and intellectual context in which the text was written

    Overview

    Discipline
    Module
    Credits
    Spirituality
    • Mathnawi
    • Al-Hikam
    • History of Sufism
    N/A
    History Seminars
    • Seerah
    • Khulafa al-Rashidun
    • Ummayid Dynasty
    • History of Indian Scholarship
    • History of Early Religious and Political Sects
    N/A
    Usul al-Hadith
    • Madkhal ra’i’ ‘ila Sahih al-Bukhari
    • Kitab al-Tamyiz by Imam Muslim
    • Nukhbat al-Fikr
    • Muqaddimah ibn Salah
    N/A
    Ulum al-Quran
    • Muqaddimah ibn Taymiyyah
    • Asbab al-Nuzul
    • Muqaddimah – Tafsir Nizam al-Quran
    • Im’an fi Aqsam al-Quran by Allamah Hamid al-Din Farahi
    N/A
    Usul al-Fqh
    • Usul al-Shashi
    • Qiyas Ijma Ijtihad
    N/A
    Ulum al-Quran
    • Muqaddimah ibn Taymiyyah
    • Asbab al-Nuzul
    • Muqaddimah – Tafsir Nizam al-Quran
    • Im’an fi Aqsam al-Quran by Allamah Hamid al-Din Farahi
    N/A
    Sociology
    • Role of Contemporary Ulama
    • Ethics of Disagreement
    N/A

    Selections from The Mathnawi

    This discusses selections The Mathnawi/Masnavi, a vast body of poetry which includes advices, exhortations, stories and parables. The work is an important Sufi text written in Persian by Jalal al-Din Muhammad Balkhi, commonly known as Mawlana Rumi. The course covers the life, background, and standing of the author, who was a prominent member of the ‘ulama in the 7th century (AH)/13th century (CE), a Hanafi jurist, theologian, and poet.

    Course Overview

    This course introduces the Mathnawi and discusses selections from the work. The Mathnawi is an important Sufi text which written in Persian by Jalal al-Din Muhammad Balkhi who is commonly known as Rumi. The course covers the life, background, and standing of the author, as well as contemporary and current interpretations of the text. Notable lessons and teachings from the text are highlighted in the course, such as tawakkul and the frailty of life. The course also further expands on the potency and importance of salah.

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

    • Understand the importance and recurring themes of The Mathnawi
    • Appreciate the life and times of Jalal al-Din Rumi, and his background
    • Explain the lessons and interpretations of various selections of the work
    • Distinguish between the Mathnawi and other classes of text (e.g. the Quran / ahadith)
    • Demonstrate a profound understanding of tawakkul
    • Understand Sufism and its position within Islam

    Al-Hikam

    Course Overview

    The course covers Ibn ʿAtaillah al-Iskandari’s popular work Kitab al-Hikam’ and discusses excerpts from it. Discussions focus on the centrality of worship and salah, and the importance of certain prerequisites prior to worship. The course highlights the need to define and clearly understand the position of Allah in relation to the believer. It further describes the regulations on ablution and the benefits of purity, even outside of the prayer. Finally, the course covers the proper perspective for a believer: hope in one’s best efforts, in the goodness of Allah, as well as a remaining focus on the Hereafter and the temporary nature of this life.

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

    • Understand of the value of worship
    • Demonstrate a profound understanding of the importance of Allah and your relationship to Him
    • Explain the rules regarding ablution, purification and prayer
    • Understand the purpose of struggle and striving to achieving Allah’s Divine pleasure
    • Recognise the centralising influence of the Quran

    Seerah

    Course Overview

    This seminar covers the lessons from the sirah taken from a selection of events from the life of the Prophet ﷺ. The course covers snapshots from the life of Prophet and lessons taken from the sirah (prophetic biography). Emphasis is placed on understanding the Messenger in a comprehensive manner: how he was as a husband, father, teacher, and community leader.

    The Prophet’s actions in key events are discussed to illustrate the excellence of his character and his dealings with the people around him.

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

    • Understand how the Prophet ﷺ applied the Quran in his life
    • Understand the differences between sunnah and sirah
    • Demonstrate an appreciation for the qualities of the Prophet as demonstrated throughout his life

    Al-Khulafa Al-Rashidun

    Course Overview

    This series delves into the reigns of al-Khulafa al-Rashidun, highlighting significant events and lessons from their lives of the Rightly Guided Caliphs: Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali (may Allah be pleased with them). The course provides a look at their leadership, governance, and contributions to the early Islamic community. Emphasis is placed on understanding each Caliph’s unique approach to leadership, their interactions with the community, and their commitment to the Prophetic paradigm.

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

    • Understand the leadership styles and governance strategies of Al-Khulafa Al-Rashidun
    • Recognise the historical and social context of their reigns and how they addressed various challenges
    • Appreciate the qualities and virtues of the Caliphs as demonstrated through their actions and decisions

    Ummayid Dynasty

    Course Overview

    This series explores the Umayyad Dynasty, covering the key events and figures that shaped this pivotal period in Islamic history. The course provides a comprehensive examination of the political, social, and cultural developments during the Umayyad era, from its establishment by Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan to its decline and eventual fall. The course also highlights the challenges faced by the Umayyads, including internal conflicts and external threats, and how they navigated these issues to maintain their rule.

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

    • Understand the origins and establishment of the Umayyad Dynasty and its significance in Islamic history
    • Assess the challenges and conflicts that arose during the Umayyad reign and how they impacted the dynasty’s stability and legacy
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the contributions of the Umayyad Dynasty to the expansion and development of the Islamic empire

    History of Indian Scholarship

    This course examines the religious and political history of Indian Muslims, with a focus on its prominent leaders, thinkers and institutions. It covers the period from the establishment of the Mughal empire to the era of colonial rule through to the post-colonial context. In particular, it looks at the development of Islamic institutions, and their figureheads, such as Darul-Ulum at Deoband, Nadawa al Ulama at Lucknow, and the Aligarh Muslim University.

    Course Overview

    This course examines the religious and political history of Indian Muslims, with a focus on its prominent leaders, thinkers and institutions. It covers the period from the establishment of the Mughal empire to the era of colonial rule through to the post-colonial context.

    Of particular relevance are the religious reform movements that have shaped the way Islamic is experienced by hundreds of millions of people today. During the British rule of India, Islamic theologians and revivalist groups mobilised masses of Muslims with a call to return to the authentic and prophetic way by establishing Islamic institutions such as Deoband and the Tablighi-Jama’at. This course explores the social, political and religious changes that took place through the prism of these religious reform movements.

    Learning Outcomes

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

    • Understand the complexity of Muslim politics in India in the colonial and post-colonial context
    • Appreciate key developments that took place in India
    • Gain familiarity of prominent Indian scholars and thinkers
    • Understand the development of the various Islamic institutions, groups, and schools in India and appreciate the context in which they arose

    Madkhal ra’i’ ‘ila Sahih al-Bukhari

    Course Overview

    This 4-day short course will provide an in-depth introduction to Sahih al-Bukhari, one of the most important books in Islamic intellectual history. In order for students to be able to truly understand some of the intricacies of this monumental work, Shaykh Akram Nadwi has written ‘Madkhal Rai’ ila Sahih al-Bukhari’, which includes unique contributions informed by numerous years of research and teaching. This book will be the basis of the short course. Topics to be covered will include the biography of Imam al-Bukhari, the popularisation of the Sahih, its commentaries, Bukhari’s methodology, conditions as well as criticisms of the text, responses to criticisms and more.

    Soft copies of the text will not be available for this short course. As such, we highly recommend students purchase a hard copy of Shaykh Akram’s Madkhal for reference throughout the duration of the course.

    Learning Outcomes

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

    • Understand the context of Imam al-Bukhari and his Sahih
    • Be aware of the structure and features of the text
    • Better understand the conditions of the Sahih
    • Be aware of the unique contributions and status of Sahih al-Bukhari

    Kitab al-Tamyiz

    Course Overview

    Islam is comprised of two divine sources: Qur’an, and Hadith.

    The speech, actions, and teachings of the prophet (saw) have been meticulously preserved by scholars of hadith upholding the highest of academic standards. Each and every potential hadith must be tested and verified through the most rigorous authentication process before it can be declared sound and authentic.

    A key step in the process of verification is the topic of ‘ilal al-ḥadīth – hidden defects within hadith. These defects could either occur within the text itself (matn) or the chain of narration (sanad).

    Throughout the history of Islam, scholars who specialise in authenticating hadith have sought to preserve the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw) and distinguish that which is authentically attributed to him to that which is not.

    Imam Muslim is of the foremost scholars of Hadith, and his works are studied and relied upon for over 1,000 years after his time until today. Kitāb al-Tamyīz is one of his most important works, serving as an indispensable tool in the science of Hadith.

    Learning Outcomes

    Covering selected chapters of the book, Shaykh Akram will teach how to analyse chains of narration (asānīd) to identify a hidden defect (‘illah). The esteemed Shaykh will dissect and discuss examples of ‘ilal as well as shedding light on the emergence and development of the study of ‘ilal al-ḥadīth as a whole.

    Nukhbat al-Fikr

    Course Overview

    This two-day intensive seminar on Nukhbat al-Fikr covers the principles of prophetic traditions as penned in the small primer of Ibn Hajr. Students will apply the terminology, classification methods, and tools of authenticity to analyse the veracity of specific hadith narrations. In addition, the biographies of major hadith narrators will be evaluated as well as the relative strengths and weaknesses of the collective communities of hadith scholars in the early generations of Islam.

    Learning Outcomes

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

    • apply the principles of hadith classification to assess prophetic traditions
    • research the biographies of hadith narrators
    • recognise common chains of narration in the six sahih hadith collections
    • demonstrate familiarity with the biographies of the earlier narrators
    • critically analyse the text (matn) and chain (isnad) of different hadith narrations

    Muqaddimah of ibn Salah

    Course Overview

    Kitab Ma’rifat anwa’ Ilm al-Hadith, better known as the Muqaddimah of Ibn al-Salah, is a well-known intermediate-level text on the science of Usul al-hadith. For students familiar with the Arabic language and who have covered beginner’s texts in hadith methodology, this course provides an excellent opportunity to further one’s understanding of the science.

    Uthman b. ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Salah al-Shahrazuri was a Kurdish-Iraqi scholar who specialised in hadith studies. He is known to have held notable teaching positions in various centres of learning in the Muslim world, including in Damascus, Syria and Jerusalem, Palestine. The Muqadimmah is said to have begun as a series of lectures which then became ordered into a book. The final manuscript draws on, and develops, the arguments in various prior works, including al-Hakim al-Nisaburi’s similarly titled work Kitab Ma’rifat Ulum al-Hadith.

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

    • To become aware of the main concepts and arguments expounded on in the text
    • To develop an intermediate-level understanding of Usul al-Hadith
    • To gain an insight into key features of the text and the author’s approach to the science

    Muqaddimah ibn Taymiyyah

    Course Overview

    This course focuses on the essential principles of Qur’anic exegesis posited by Ibn Taymiyyah in small treatise, ‘Al-Muqaddimah fi Usul al-Tafsir’ or ‘An Introduction to the Principles of Qur’an Interpretation’.

    The text promotes a methodological framework of Tafsir that provides exegetes with the tools and principles to understand and unravel the Divine intent behind Quranic verses. The course also places emphasis on understanding the thinking process of the author and providing a comparative study of his work. It has proven to be a unique work in that, despite its conciseness, this small work of scholarship has been quoted by Qur’anic scholars from the earliest times like Ibn Kathir and Al-Suyuti up until the present day.

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion, students should be able to:

    • Understand different sources of Tafsir, from the Quran itself, to the Prophet, Companions and successors
    • Recognise ideological and sectarian biases in Tafsir works
    • Evaluate the pros and cons of  different genres of Tafsir

    Role of Contemporary Ulama

    Course Overview

    This seminar will address some of the unanswered questions surrounding the ‘ulama today. These include questions such as: who are the ‘ulama, what role do they play in contemporary society and what areas of concern do they face? With more and more Muslims studying their religion, beginning at various points in their lives, so many potential sources of knowledge ranging from books to the internet, and the great Islamic intellectual heritage that precedes us, where do we stand today with regards to our scholars? This course will explore their qualifications, roles, rights, responsibilities, and challenges with Shaykh Akram Nadwi, a long-standing member of both the international community of ‘ulama, as well as the ‘ulama in the UK.

    Usul al-Shashi

    Course Overview

    This four-part course will provide a detailed study of the Principles of Jurisprudence based on the text Usul al-Shashi. Usul al-Shashi is a well-known compendium on the principles of Islamic jurisprudence according to the Hanafi school. Despite its brevity and conciseness, the text is fit for a full, detailed study as it clearly articulates the position of the school, rather than the views and opinions of particular notable jurists.

    The study of usul al-fiqh focuses on the principles upon which scholars have expounded upon Islamic jurisprudence. It also includes the study of the historical development of the discipline. The goal is to become familiar with the historical, social and religious factors in the development of Islamic legal schools and to become acquainted with the framework of jurisprudential discussion.

    Learning Outcomes

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

    • Demonstrate considerable understanding of the development of usul al-fiqh
    • Apply traditional usul al-fiqh to the modern era
    • Demonstrate proficiency in the understanding of the methodology of Islamic lawmaking
    • Confidently recall the position of the Hanafi school of thought on different usuli principles
    • Understand the origins of the differences in the schools of Islamic law

    Qiyas Ijma Ijtihad

    Course Overview

    This course is designed to give students a deeper understanding of the concepts and applications of ijma’ and qiyas in Islamic legal theory and, in particular, as methods utilised during the process of ijtihad. This will include an examination of the historical background of these jurisprudential tools and how understandings of these tools have evolved over time. There will be a focus on differentiating between understandings in the various Islamic sciences, including kalam, usul al-fiqh and fiqh itself.

    Students will be provided with an understanding of the framework of Islamic legal theory in order to adequately determine the role of ijma’ and qiyas in relation to the sources, methods and principles of Islamic legal theory.

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion, students should be able to understand:

    • the historical development and practical implementation of ijma’ (consensus) in Islamic intellectual thought
    • the historical development and practical implementation of qiyas (analogical reasoning) in Islamic intellectual thought
    • the relationship between ijma’, qiyas and ijtihad (legal reasoning)
    • the foundations of ijma’, qiyas and ijtihad in the Quran & Sunnah
    • the roles and objectives of the mujtahid
    • who is authorised as a mujtahid in our times
    • how best to employ these tools effectively

    Tuition Fees for 2024-25 academic year

    Single Payment (GBP)
    Instalment Plan (GBP)
    Over 3 consecutive months
    3x
    Total
    Early Bird*
    £1,800
    £700
    £2,100
    Full Price
    £2,100
    £800
    £2,400

    *Early Bird Discount Ends: 31st July 2024

    For a detailed breakdown of our fees, please see our fees page.

     

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