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Alimiyyah Programme

Alimiyyah Overview

The Alimiyyah Programme is designed to provide students with a firm grounding in the Arabic language and Classical Islamic Disciplines. Students begin by getting a solid formation in the Islamic Sciences, studying intermediate texts in a variety of disciplines, before being exposed to broader and more advanced texts.

Students will be educated in both classical texts and applicable contemporary perspectives, thereby cultivating a comprehensive understanding of the religion in the modern era. Students are able to enter the programme at this level directly, conditional on sufficient proficiency in the Arabic language, receipt of satisfactory references and Islamic education history.

Students who successfully complete the Alimiyyah Programme (including written assignments and examinations) will be awarded a Licence in Islamic Scholarship.

Qualification

Licence in Islamic Scholarship (Shahadat al-Alimiyyah)

The Shahadat al-‘Alimiyyah or ‘Licence in Islamic Scholarship’ is the most distinguished accolade awarded by the Institute.

Students will spend five years under the tutelage of Senior Lecturers, including Shaykh Mohammad Akram Nadwi, perfecting their studies in the Islamic Sciences. After the five years, students will be eligible to sit their final exams which signify the completion of their Alimiyyah studies and grants the student authorisation in Islamic Scholarship (shahadah). This is in addition to the ijazat received throughout the ISP upon completion of certain texts on Fiqh and Hadith, and those issued on our Sacred Sciences Journeys.

Graduates may choose to progress onto the 2-year Advanced Islamic Sciences Programme 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 four-tier structure makes our Islamic Scholarship Programmes unlike any others. The Programmes are split into four distinct levels: Foundation Year, Arabic Immersion Year, Alimiyyah Programme, and the world-renowned Advanced Sciences Programme – taught exclusively by Shaykh Akram Nadwi. These four programmes together form the UK’s first part-time highly specialised series of Islamic Sciences programmes 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. 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 2019-2020 Academic Year:

Induction Day:
Sunday 6th October 2019
Autumn term:
Sunday 13th October 2019 – Sunday 15th December 2019
Winter term:
Sunday 12th January 2020 – Sunday 15th March 2020
Spring term:
Sunday 19th April 2020 – Sunday 28th June 2020
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 2020)

Overview

MODULES
UNITS
CREDITS
Arabic Language
  • Unit 1: Qatr al-Nada
30
Hadith Studies
  • Unit 1: Ritual purification & prayer
  • Unit 2: Prayer
  • Unit 3: Alms, fasting and pilgrimage
30
Islamic Law
  • Unit 1: Ritual purification & prayer
  • Unit 2: Prayer
  • Unit 3: Alms, fasting and pilgrimage
30
Quranic Studies
  • Unit 1: Juz Amma
30
Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence
  • Unit 1: Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence (Text: Mukhtasar al-manar)
15
Principles of Hadith Classification
  • Unit 1: Principles of Hadith Classification (Text: al-Muqiza)
15
Principles of Quranic Exegesis
  • Unit 1: Principles of Quranic Exegesis
15
Theology
  • Unit 1: Theology
15
History
  • Unit 1: Sira of the Prophet ﷺ
30

 

Preparatory Modules

(See ‘Entry Requirements’ tab for more details)

MODULES
UNITS
SEMESTER
Logic
  • Unit 1: Logic
Prior to Semester 1
Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence
  • Unit 1: Mabadi fi ‘Ilm Usul al-Fiqh
Prior to Semester 1
Principles of Hadith Classification
  • Unit 1: Mabadi fi Usul al-Hadith wa al-Isnad
Prior to Semester 2
Principles of Quranic Exegesis
  • Unit 1: Mabadi fi ‘Ilm Usul al-Tafsir
Prior to Semester 2

 

 

 

Arabic Language

Unit 1:
Qatr al-Nada

Overview

In this module students will study Qatr al-nada, the classical grammar text by Ibn Hisham, with a focus on comprehending the text and understanding the grammatical discussions. Students will be expected to use one of the standard commentaries of Qatr al-nada such as those by Ibn Hisham, al-Fakihi or al-Shirbini. Students will be expected to read the text in advance using selected commentaries and dictionaries, as well as occasionally read selections from other grammar books. Class will focus on clarifying concepts, responding to problems that have emerged during self-study, and on grammar application.

Primary Text

Qatr al-Nada

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:
• Have a more in-depth of understanding of Arabic grammar
• Be comfortable reading Qatr al-nada and its commentaries
• Understand discussions in classical Arabic grammar
• Be familiar with a wide variety of Arabic grammar literature

Hadith Studies

Unit 1:
Ritual purification and prayer
Unit 2:
Prayer
Unit 3:
Alms, fasting and pilgrimage

Overview

This module is the first part of a two-year programme where students study Shaykh Akram Nadwi’s al-Ihkam li ’l-Mujma‘ ‘alayhi min al-Ahkam. The module focuses on understanding the language of the hadith, as well as how those hadith were interpreted by the different sunni schools. For this purpose, students are expected to use the entry-level commentary of ‘Umdat al-Ahkam by Al-Bassam and the more advanced commentary of Ibn Daqiq al-‘Id. The first year focuses on ritual acts of worship (‘ibadat) where students will study over half of the complete book and cover ritual purification (tahara), prayer (salah), alms (zakat), fasting (siyam) and pilgrimage (hajj). The course is not madhhab-centric and focuses primarily on how hadith can be understood in different ways, depending on linguistic analysis and applied hermeneutical principles.

Primary Text

Al-Ihkam

About the Text

The full title of the text is al-Ihkam li ’l-Mujma‘ ‘alayhi min al-Ahkam. This short collection of approximately 200 hadith from Bukhari and Muslim covers all the key chapters of the law, selecting key hadiths for each topic. The book is heavily influenced by al-Maqdisi’s ‘Umdat al-Ahkam and can be thought of as a summary of it.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:
• Comfortably read and understand most hadith related to ritual acts of worship (‘ibadat)
• Have an understanding of some of the key interpretative mechanisms used by scholars to deduce rules from hadith
• Be comfortable reading Ibn Daqiq and Al Bassam’s commentaries of ‘Umdat al-Ahkam, as well as having some familiarity with other hadith commentaries

 

Islamic Law

Unit 1:
Ritual purification and beginning of prayer
Unit 2:
Prayer
Unit 3:
Alms, fasting and pilgrimage

Overview

This module is the first part of a three-year programme where students study al-Quduri’s Mukhtasar in Hanafi law. The module focuses on understanding the language of the text, as well as developing a further understanding of ritual law (‘ibadat). For this purpose, students are expected to use the entry-level commentaries of al-Lubab by al-Maydani and al-Jawhara al-Nayira by al-Haddad. The first year focuses on ritual acts of worship (‘ibadat) where students will cover ritual purification (tahara), prayer (salah), alms (zakat), fasting (siyam) and pilgrimage (hajj). An important part of the focus is on understanding the terminology and language of the book, as well as gaining familiarity with the internal logic of the school and hierarchies of authority.

Primary Texts

Mukhtasar al-Quduri

About the Text

This book is one of the relied-upon books within the Hanafi school that covers all the key chapters of the law. It is both the first source for scholars and a manual for the general reader.

About the Author

The author of Mukhtasar al-Quduri, the Hanafi jurist Abul-Husayn al-Quduri, was born in Baghdad in 362 A.H. / 973 C.E. and died on Sunday 5th Rajab 428 A.H. /1037 C.E. aged 66. Ibn Khallikan, Ibn Kathir, Ibn al-Jawzi (and others) considered him to be an utterly truthful hadith narrator (saduq) – which is a testament to his knowledge and memory in the field of hadith studies. He was one of the verifiers of the most authentic positions (ashab al-tarjih) in the Hanafi School of law, which is one of the highest levels one can attain.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:
• Comfortably read and understand Quduri’s discussions on ritual acts of worship (‘ibadat)
• Have an understanding of some of the key terminology used by Hanafis scholars to prioritise and give authority to particular views.
• Be comfortable reading al-Maydani and al-Haddad’s commentaries of Mukhtasar al-Quduri.
• Having some familiarity with some key Hanafi works

 

Quranic Studies

Unit 1:
From al-Nas to al-Qadr
Unit 2:
From al-‘Alaq to al-Buruj 
Unit 3:
From al-Inshiqaq to al-Naba’

Overview

In this module students will undertake a close textual study of the 30th juz’ of the Qur’an, with a focus on lexical and grammatical analysis. This juz’ is the most popular to memorise, yet is challenging linguistically and lexically. The module focuses on understanding all the vocabulary and grammatical constructions of the surahs in the juz’. Students will be expected to use an intermediate classical tafsir such as Madarik al-Tanzil of al-Nasafi, Ma‘alim al-Tanzil by al-Baghawi or al-Tashil by Ibn Juzzay, linguistic tafsir such as Darwish’s I‘rab al-Qur’an, and dictionaries such as al-Raghib’s Mufradat Alfaz al-Qur’an and al-Farahi’s Mufradat al-Qur’an.

Students will be expected to prepare the selected surahs using selected commentaries and dictionaries, as well as occasionally read selections from other Qur’anic commentaries. Class will focus on clarifying any problems that have emerged during self-study.

Primary Text

The Quran

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:
• Comfortably read, understand and do linguistic analysis of juz’ ‘amma
• Have some familiarity with classical Qur’anic commentaries of juz’ ‘amma
• Be comfortable reading classical Qur’an commentaries
• Know how to use classical Arabic dictionaries

Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence

Unit 1:
Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence

Overview

This module focuses on introducing students to Mukhtasar al-Manar, a seminal text in Hanafi usul. This short matn, will be studied closely, with students expected to read the relevant passages as homework, and discuss linguistic difficulties and key concepts in class. For this purpose, students are expected to regularly use one of the well-known commentaries of Mukhtasar al-manar. There will also be occasional readings from other Hanafi Usul books that will be used for particularly relevant discussions.

Primary Text

Mukhtasar al-Manar

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
• Comfortably read and understand the matn of Mukhtasar al-Manar
• Have basic familiarity with key concepts in usul al-fiqh according to the Hanafi school.
• Be able to read at least one commentary of Mukhtasar al-Manar.
• Be aware of and have basic familiarity with key Hanafi usul works.

 

Principles of Hadith Classification

Unit 1:
Principles of Hadith Classification

Overview

This module focuses on introducing students to al-Dhahabi’s al-Muqiza, a short manual on hadith terminology. This short book will be studied closely, with students expected to read the relevant passages as homework, and review linguistic difficulties in class. Teaching will focus on providing practical examples for illustrative purposes and getting students to do basic isnad-analysis. There will be occasional readings from other books on mustalah and related fields.

Primary Text

Al-Muqiza

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
• Comfortably read and understand the text of al-Muqiza
• Have some familiarity with key concepts in hadith criticism.
• Be able to use basic biographical dictionaries to evaluate isnads.
• Have basic familiarity with some of the key literature in hadith studies

 

Principles of Quranic Exegesis

Unit 1:
Principles of Quranic Exegesis

Overview

This module focuses on introducing students to key concepts in Qur’anic studies via Ibn Juzzay’s introduction to his Qur’anic commentary al-Tashil li ‘Ulum al-Tanzil. This treatise covers the history of the Qur’an, key Qur’anic topics, tafsir methods, Qur’anic interpreters, Qur’anic style and the virtues of the Qur’an. The text will be studied closely, and students are expected to read the relevant passages as homework, and discuss linguistic difficulties and key concepts in class. Students may want to use Tayyar’s commentary of the text. There will also be readings from other texts in Qur’anic studies.

Primary Text

al-Tashil li ‘Ulum al-Tanzil

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
• Comfortably read and understand Ibn Juzzay’s introduction to his Qur’anic commentary
• Have basic familiarity with key concepts in Qur’anic studies
• Be able to read entry-level books in Qur’anic studies
• Be aware of and have basic familiarity with key Qur’anic studies works.

 

Theology

Unit 1:
Theology

Overview

This module focuses on introducing students to Islamic dogma and key theological concepts via al-Tahawi’s short theological treatise ‘Aqidat Ahl al-Sunna wa ’l-Jama‘a. This text covers Allah, prophethood, the ghayb, faith, and lesser topics. The text will be studied closely, and students are expected to read the relevant passages as homework, and discuss linguistic difficulties and key concepts in class. Students will may want to use al-Maydani’s commentary of the text. There will also be readings from other theological texts.

Primary Text

Aqida Tahawiyya

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
• Comfortably read and understand al-Tahawi’s theological treatise
• Be familiar with key theological concepts
• Be able to read entry-level theology books
• Be aware of the key Sunni theological trends

 

History

Unit 1:
Sira of the Prophet ﷺ

Overview

In this course students will study the life of the Prophet (saw) through Ibn Sayyid al-Nas’ Nur al-‘Uyun alongside Ibn al-‘Ajmi’s commentary Nur al-Nibras. As well as studying this key text, students will use secondary readings and lectures to become familiar with a broad range of Sira literature. This will shed light on both the historical context in which Islam emerged, as well as the evolution of Sira literature and its sub-genres. Students will be expected to memorise key dates, understand key events and demonstrate awareness of key Sira works.

Students will be expected to read the relevant section of Nur al-‘Uyun and any further set readings before class, do regular tests and write a relevant essay.

Primary Text

Nur al-‘Uyun

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
• Be familiar with the early history of Muslims and the historical context in which Islam emerged
• Be able to critically read a wide variety of historical sources in Arabic
• Be aware of major trends in classical and modern historical literature
• Have a greater appreciation for the Prophet ﷺ and the early Muslims

 

Overview

MODULES
UNITS
CREDITS
Hadith Studies
  • Unit 1: Family law and commercial law
  • Unit 2: Communal rights, criminal law and state law
  • Unit 3: Oaths, manumission, dietary laws and clothing
40
Arabic Language
  • Unit 1: Arabic Rhetoric
20
Islamic Law
  • Unit 1: Family law
  • Unit 2: Commercial law
  • Unit 3: Commercial law
40
Quranic Studies
  • Unit 1: Study of Legal Verses
30
Arabic Language
  • Unit 1: Adab
30
Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence
  • Unit 1: Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence (Text: Khulasat al-Afkar)
20
Principles of Hadith Classification
  • Unit 1: Principles of Hadith Classification (Text: Nuzhat al-Nazar)
20

 

 

 

Hadith Studies

Unit 1:
Family law and commercial law
Unit 2:
Communal rights, criminal law and state law
Unit 3:
Oaths, manumission, dietary laws and clothing

Overview

This module is the second part of a two-year programme where students study Shaykh Akram Nadwi’s al-Ihkam li ’l-Mujma‘ ‘alayhi min al-Ahkam. The module focuses on understanding the language of the hadith, as well as how those hadith were interpreted by the different Sunni schools. For this purpose, students will be expected to use the entry-level commentary of ‘Umdat al-Ahkam by Al-Bassam and the more advanced commentary of Ibn Daqiq al-‘Id.

The second year focuses on positive law (Mu‘amalat) where students will study the second half of the book and cover family law (nikah, talaq, nafaqa), business law (buyu‘), communal rights (huquq), criminal law (hudud, jinayat, ta‘zir), state law (jihad, imara,qada’), oaths (ayman, nudhur), manumission (‘itq), dietary laws (ta‘am) and clothing (libas). The course is not madhhab-centric and focuses primarily on how hadith can be understood in different ways, depending on linguistic analysis and applied hermeneutical principles.

Primary Text

Al-Ihkam

About the Text

The full title of the text is al-Ihkam li ’l-Mujma‘ ‘alayhi min al-Ahkam. This short collection of approximately 200 hadith from Bukhari and Muslim covers all the key chapters of the law, selecting key hadiths for each topic. The book is heavily influenced by al-Maqdisi’s ‘Umdat al-Ahkam and can be thought of as a summary of it.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:
• Comfortably read and understand most hadith related to positive law (Mu‘amalat)
• Have an understanding of some of the key interpretative mechanisms used by scholars to deduce rules from hadith
• Be comfortable reading Ibn Daqiq and Al Bassam’s commentaries of ‘Umdat al-Ahkam, as well as having some familiarity with other hadith commentaries

Arabic Language

Unit 1:
Arabic Rhetoric

Overview

In this module students will study Ibn al-Shihna’s Mi’at al-Ma‘ani, a short nazm of 100 verses which has traditionally been used as a primer on Arabic rhetoric. The focus will be on comprehending the text and familiarising students with classical rhetoric theory. Students will be expected to use al-‘Umari’s commentary of Mi’at al-Ma‘ani, alongside a contemporary commentary such as al-Munisi’s al-‘Adhba al-Mustasagha.

Students will be expected to read the text in advance using the selected commentaries, well-known dictionaries, as well as secondary readings from other books on rhetoric. The class will focus on clarifying concepts, responding to problems that have emerged during self-study, and on analysis of the Shawahid.

Primary Texts

Mi’at al-Ma‘ani

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:
• Have a foundational grounding in Arabic rhetoric
• Be comfortable reading commentaries of Mi’at al-Ma‘ani and al-Jawhar al-Maknun, and accessing more advanced books
• Understand basic discussions in classical Arabic rhetorical texts and in rhetoric-focused tafsirs
• Be familiar with a wide variety of Arabic rhetoric literature

 

 

 

Islamic Law

Unit 1:
Family law (nikah)
Unit 2:
Commercial law (buyu’)
Unit 3:
Commercial law (buyu’)

Overview

This module is the second part of a three-year programme where students study al-Quduri’s Mukhtasar in Hanafi law. The module focuses on understanding positive law (Mu‘amalat). For this purpose, students are expected to use the entry-level commentaries of al-Lubab by al-Maydani and al-Jawhara al-Nayira by al-Haddad.

The second year focuses on positive law, where students will cover family law and commercial law. An important part of the focus is on understanding the terminology, internal coherence and hierarchies of authority within the Hanafi school. Students will also be expected to regularly use other Hanafi books so as to become familiar with the broad range of legal literature within the school.

Primary Text

Mukhtasar al-Quduri

About the Text

This book is one of the relied-upon books within the Hanafi school that covers all the key chapters of the law. It is both the first source for scholars and a manual for the general reader.

About the Author

The author of Mukhtasar al-Quduri, the Hanafi jurist Abul-Husayn al-Quduri, was born in Baghdad in 362 A.H. / 973 C.E. and died on Sunday 5th Rajab 428 A.H. /1037 C.E. aged 66. Ibn Khallikan, Ibn Kathir, Ibn al-Jawzi (and others) considered him to be an utterly truthful hadith narrator (saduq) – which is a testament to his knowledge and memory in the field of hadith studies. He was one of the verifiers of the most authentic positions (ashab al-tarjih) in the Hanafi School of law, which is one of the highest levels one can attain.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:
• Comfortably read and understand Quduri’s discussions on positive law
• Have a good understanding of the key terminology used by Hanafis scholars to prioritise and give authority to particular views.
• Be comfortable reading al-Maydani and al-Haddad’s commentaries of Mukhtasar al-Quduri.
• Develop familiarity with key Hanafi works

 

Quranic Studies

Unit 1:
Study of Legal Verses (Family law)
Unit 2:
Study of Legal Verses (Commercial law)
Unit 3:
Study of Legal Verses (Criminal law)

Overview

In this course, students will study how Muslim scholars used the Qur’an as a source of law by going through selected verses focusing primarily on family law, commercial law and criminal law. Students will be expected to identify the meaning of the selected verses with some background reading before coming to the lesson. In lessons, the focus will be on clarifying confusions and undertaking further analysis.

Primary Text

Various

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:
• Understand and undertake grammatical analysis of the verses which are studied
• Develop close familiarity with a number of important legal commentaries of the Qur’an
• Learn how to use a wide variety of legal Qur’anic commentaries and supplementary materials to undertake their own research
• Become familiar with a broad range of legalistic Qur’an commentaries.

 

Arabic Language

Unit 1:
Adab

Overview

In this module students will study a selection of texts, focusing on broadening their vocabulary, becoming familiar with idioms and literary conventions, improving their translation and improve their Arabic writing. At the same time, the course will be an opportunity to study the biographies of early scholars, ascetics and poets, and delve into a wide variety of literature.

Students will be expected to prepare set readings before class using well-known dictionaries, as well as do writing and translation homework. The class will focus on reading correctl,y clarifying obscure passages and reflecting on what has been written.

Primary Text

Various

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:
• Improve their Arabic reading skills and widen their vocabulary
• Develop Arabic writing skills
• Become proficient in translation, using English and Arabic dictionaries
• Develop familiarity with a broad range of literature

Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence

Unit 1:
Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence

Overview

This module focuses on deepening students’ knowledge of Hanafi legal theory via the study of Qutlubugha’s commentary of Mukhtasar al-manar entitled Khulasat al-Afkar. This accessible commentary will allow students to revise what was studied in the previous year but at a higher level. Students will be expected to read the relevant passages as homework, with classes being used to clarify obscurities and develop discussions of key concepts. There will also be occasional readings from other Hanafi Usul books that will be used for particularly relevant discussions.

Primary Text

Khusalat al-Afkar

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
• Comfortably read and understand Khulasat al-Afkar
• Have a solid grounding in Usul al-Fiqh according to the Hanafi school.
• Be able to read a wide variety of Hanafi usul works.
• Have a mental map of the development and key figures in Hanafi Usul.

 

Principles of Hadith Classification

Unit 1:
Principles of Hadith Classification

Overview

This module focuses on studying Ibn Hajar’s Nuzhat al-Nazar, considered one of the most comprehensive and concise texts on hadith terminology. Students are expected to read the relevant passages as homework and use some of the commentaries for reference, with lessons focusing on theoretical discussions and practical application of hadith-criticism theory to do isnad-analysis. There will be occasional readings from other books on mustalah and related fields.

Primary Text

Nuzhat al-Nazar

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
• Comfortably read and understand Nuzhat al-Nazar and its main commentaries
• Have a solid grounding in key concepts in hadith criticism.
• Be able to use intermediate biographical dictionaries to evaluate isnads.
• Be familiar with the key literature in hadith studies

 

Overview

MODULES
UNITS
CREDITS
Hadith Studies
  • Unit 1: Muwatta of Imam Malik
  • Unit 2: al-Mujtaba of al-Nasa’i
  • Unit 3: al-Sunan of Ibn Majah
40
Islamic Law
  • Unit 1: Criminal law
  • Unit 2: Legal procedure
  • Unit 3: Remaining topics
40
Quranic Studies
  • Unit 1: Quranic Exegesis
30
Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence
  • Unit 1: The five maxims
  • Unit 2: Selected legal maxims and case studies
  • Unit 3: Ifta’ method and case studies
30
Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence (2)
  • Unit 1: Adilla (Text: Al-Mustasfa min ‘Ilm al-Usul)
30
Balagha
  • Unit 1: Qur’anic Balagha
30

 

 

Hadith Studies

Unit 1:
Wuqut al-salat and Tahara from Muwatta of Imam Malik
Unit 2:
Salat, Mawaqit and Adhan from al-Mujtaba of al-Nasa’i
Unit 3:
Iman from al-Sunan of Ibn Majah

Overview

This is the second of a two-part course where students will study the main books of hadith. In this year, the focus is on Muslim’s Sahih and on Abu Dawud’s Sunan. Students will learn about each author, the book, the most important works revolving around the book, and survey a significant number of narrations from each book that will allow them to understand the author’s methodology by studying some narrations in particular detail. They will also read one of the books of awai’l and read selections from each hadith book covered.

Students must read approximately 30-40 narrations each week as preparation, as well as basic information about the authors and book from Bustan al-muhaddithin, al-Awa’il al-hadithiyya al-mi’a and al-Wajiz fi ta‘rif kutub al-hadith. There will also read selections from commentaries and other background reading. They will also be expected to memorise 20 hadith and the biographies of 20 narrators from each book.

Primary Text

Various

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:
• Become familiar with the selected scholars, their hadith collections, and methodology
• Memorise 20 hadith and 20 biographies from each book
• Improve hadith reading and comprehension
• Develop skills in hadith criticism

 

Islamic Law

Unit 1:
Criminal law (jinayat)
Unit 2:
Legal procedure (qada’)
Unit 3:
Remaining topics

Overview

This module is the third part of a three-year programme where students study al-Quduri’s Mukhtasar in Hanafi law. This book is one of the relied-upon books within the Hanafi school that covers all the key chapters of the law. The module focuses on understanding positive law (mu‘amalat). For this purpose, students are expected to use the entry-level commentaries of al-Lubab by al-Maydani and al-Jawhara al-nayira by al-Haddad.

The third year focuses on positive law, where students will cover criminal law, legal procedure and some smaller topics. An important part of the focus is on understanding the terminology, internal coherence and hierarchies of authority within the Hanafi school. Students will also be expected to regularly use other Hanafi books so as to become familiar with the broad range of legal literature within the school.

Primary Text

Mukhtasar al-Quduri

About the Text

This book is one of the relied-upon books within the Hanafi school that covers all the key chapters of the law. It is both the first source for scholars and a manual for the general reader.

About the Author

The author of Mukhtasar al-Quduri, the Hanafi jurist Abul-Husayn al-Quduri, was born in Baghdad in 362 A.H. / 973 C.E. and died on Sunday 5th Rajab 428 A.H. /1037 C.E. aged 66. Ibn Khallikan, Ibn Kathir, Ibn al-Jawzi (and others) considered him to be an utterly truthful hadith narrator (saduq) – which is a testament to his knowledge and memory in the field of hadith studies. He was one of the verifiers of the most authentic positions (ashab al-tarjih) in the Hanafi School of law, which is one of the highest levels one can attain.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:
• Comfortably read and understand Quduri’s discussions on positive law
• Have a good understanding of the key terminology used by Hanafis scholars to prioritise and give authority to particular views
• Be comfortable reading al-Maydani and al-Haddad’s commentaries of Mukhtasar al-Quduri
• Develop familiarity with key Hanafi works

Quranic Studies

Unit 1:
Quranic Exegesis

Overview

In this module students will undertake a close textual study of selected chapters and verses of the Qur’an, with a focus on reading wide variety of exegetes. The module focuses on understanding the language and terminology of the Qur’anic commentaries. Students will be expected to use an intermediate classical tafsir such as Madarik al-Tanzil of al-Nasafi, Ma‘alim al-Tanzil by al-Baghawi or al-Tashil by Ibn Juzzay as their basic tafsir, but also regularly use a wide variety of Qur’anic commentaries such as those of al-Tabari, al-Zamakhshari, al-Razi, al-Qurtubi, al-Alusi, and more.

Students will be expected to do background reading for every lesson using the selected commentaries. Class will focus on providing background information for different commentaries and clarifying any problems that have emerged during self-study.

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

 

Legal Maxims

Unit 1:
The five maxims
Unit 2:
Selected legal maxims and case studies
Unit 3:
Ifta’ method and case studies

Overview

In this course, students focus on learning some of the key legal maxims (qawa‘id fiqhiyya) and basic ifta’ method. The key textbooks for legal maxims will be al-Ashbah wa’l-naza’ir of Ibn Nujaym and al-Subki, and for ifta’ it will be Rasm al-mufti by Ibn ‘Abidin and Sina‘at al-fatwa by Bin Bayyah. The course will focus on practical application, with the expectation that students will do further work at home.

Students will be expected to read both theory and case studies each week, as well as write brief reports on a regular basis. As well as the key textbooks, they will also be expected to read across a broad range of legal literature when looking at case studies.

Primary Text

Various

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
• Read and understand books on legal maxims and ifta’ methodology
• Demonstrate familiarity with key legal maxims and fundamental ifta’ principles and their practical application
• Demonstrate awareness of key principles where there is agreement and difference between the four schools
• Apply legal maxims and ifta’ principles when dealing with legal questions

Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence

Unit 1:
Sources of Law

Overview

This module focuses on broadening students’ knowledge of legal theory across the main legal and theological schools via the study of Ghazali’s Mustasfa. This masterpiece will allow students to engage with key discussions in legal theory. Students will be expected to read the relevant passages as homework, with classes being used to clarify obscurities and develop discussions of key concepts. Students will also be expected to read selections from other key legal theory works.

Primary Text

Al-Mustasfa min ‘Ilm al-Usul by Mohammad al-Ghazali

About the Text & Author

Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d.505h) was known as Hujjat al-Islam (the conclusive argument of Islam) due to his mastery of Islamic scholarship. He wrote key works in theology, legal theory, law and other important topics, before reconsidering his academic career and dedicating himself to Sufism. This experience led to him writing his magnum opus, Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din (the revival of the religious sciences), one of the greatest works produced by Muslim scholarship.

Al-Ghazali’s Mustasfa is widely recognised as one of the most important works of Islamic legal theory. It is divided into four distinct sections: (i) rulings; (ii) sources of law; (iii) methods of legal deduction; and (iv) ijtihad and the mujtahid. Al-Ghazali’s combination of profound scholarship and lucid writing style makes the work simultaneously thorough and accessible.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
• Comfortably read and understand al-Mustasfa
• Have a solid grounding in legal theory across schools
• Be able to read a wide variety of Usul works
• Have a mental map of the development and key figures in legal theory

 

 

Arabic Language

Unit 1:
Arabic Rhetoric (Balagha)

Overview

In this module students will undertake a close textual study of selected chapters and verses of the Qur’an, with a focus on reading wide variety of exegetes. The module focuses on understanding the language and terminology of the Qur’anic commentaries. Students will be expected to use an intermediate classical tafsir such as Madarik al-tanzil of al-Nasafi, Ma‘alim al-tanzil by al-Baghawi or al-Tashil by Ibn Juzzay as their basic tafsir, but also regularly use a wide variety of Qur’anic commentaries such as those of al-Tabari, al-Zamakhshari, al-Razi, al-Qurtubi, al-Alusi, and more.

Students will be expected to do background reading for every lesson using the selected commentaries. Class will focus on providing background information for different commentaries and clarifying any problems that have emerged during self-study.

Primary Text

Various

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:
• Use balagha principles to understand the Qur’an
• Understand Qur’anic discussions around balagha
• Conduct balagha analysis of the Qur’an
• Develop familiarity with Qur’an-focused balagha texts

 

 

 

Overview

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: Comparative Law (Text: Bidayat al-Mujtahid)
30
Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence
  • Unit 1: Alfaz (Text: Al-Mustasfa min ‘Ilm al-Usul)
30
Arabic Language
  • Unit 1: Classical Arabic Poetry
30
Quranic Studies
  • Unit 1: Classical Quranic Exegesis (Text: Al-Kashshaaf ‘an Haqa’iq at-Tanzil)
30

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.

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.

Hadith Studies

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.

Islamic Law

Unit 1:
Comparative Islamic Law

Overview

This module on comparative Islamic law aims to develop students’ understanding of the major schools in the Islamic legal tradition. Building upon years of in-depth study on the Hanafi school of law, students will be introduced to the different jurisprudential methodologies employed in the other schools, such as the Maliki, Hanafi, Shafi’i, Hanbali and Zahiri schools.

Primary Texts

Bidayat al-Mujtahid

About the Text

The Distinguished Jurist’s Primer (Bidayat al-Mujtahid wa Nihayat al-Muqtasid) is widely considered one of the most  authoritative texts on comparative Islamic jurisprudence. This two-volume primer presents a critical analysis of the rulings, opinions and evidences of the well-known schools of Islamic law: Maliki, Hanafi, Shafi’i, Hanbali and Zahiri. In evaluating the derivation of laws from these schools, the author intends to provide guidance for the independent jurist, mujtahid, who must address the legal issues of the age on which the legislation remains silent.

About the Author

Abul Walid Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Rushd, better known simply as Ibn Rushd or Averroes, was born into a family of jurists in Al-Andalus in 520AH/1126CE. A distinguished jurist of the Maliki School, he wrote many tracts on Maliki jurisprudence, as well as on logic, philosophy and the secular sciences of the medieval era. He was appointed physician to the court of the Caliph Abu Yaqub Yusuf in 1182 CE where he continued to serve until shortly before his death in 594AH/1198CE.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:
• Demonstrate a profound understanding of the different methodological approaches of the well-known schools of law
• Understand how legal precedent operates in the Islamic courts of justice
• Understand the different techniques employed in the interpretation and formulation of Islamic law
• Appreciate the differing juristic tools employed in the derivation of Islamic law from authentic sources

Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence

Unit 1:
Alfaz

Overview

This module focuses on broadening students’ knowledge of legal theory across the main legal and theological schools via the study of Ghazali’s Mustasfa. This masterpiece will allow students to engage with key discussions in legal theory. Students will be expected to read the relevant passages as homework, with classes being used to clarify obscurities and develop discussions of key concepts. Students will also be expected to read selections from other key legal theory works.

Primary Text

Al-Mustasfa min ‘Ilm al-Usul by Mohammad al-Ghazali

About the Text & Author

Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d.505h) was known as Hujjat al-Islam (the conclusive argument of Islam) due to his mastery of Islamic scholarship. He wrote key works in theology, legal theory, law and other important topics, before reconsidering his academic career and dedicating himself to Sufism. This experience led to him writing his magnum opus, Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din (the revival of the religious sciences), one of the greatest works produced by Muslim scholarship.

Al-Ghazali’s Mustasfa is widely recognised as one of the most important works of Islamic legal theory. It is divided into four distinct sections: (i) rulings; (ii) sources of law; (iii) methods of legal deduction; and (iv) ijtihad and the mujtahid. Al-Ghazali’s combination of profound scholarship and lucid writing style makes the work simultaneously thorough and accessible.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
• Comfortably read and understand al-Mustasfa
• Have a solid grounding in legal theory across schools
• Be able to read a wide variety of usul works
• Have a mental map of the development and key figures in legal theory

 

Arabic Language

Unit 1:
Classical Arabic Poetry

Overview

In the Arabic Language module students will study a wide variety Arabic poetry to ensure that they complete the programme with full competence to access a range Arabic resources including the earliest sources of Islam directly. Critical analysis of classical poems will provide a deep insight into the essence of the language, whilst studies of eloquence and rhetoric will provide students with an understanding of the linguistic features of different classical texts.

Primary Text

Various

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:
• Communicate fluently in spoken and written forms of Arabic
• Demonstrate intermediate knowledge of the varying grammatical and morphological constructs
• Demonstrate proficiency in the different forms of Arabic verbs
• Differentiate and apply gender, number and form structures to verbs
• Demonstrate proficiency in reading, writing and comprehension skills

Quranic Studies

Unit 1:
Classical Quranic Exegesis

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 referenced.

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.

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

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: Comparative Law (Text: Bidayat al-Mujtahid)
30
Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence
  • Unit 1: Ahkam/Ijtihad (Text: Al-Mustasfa min ‘Ilm al-Usul)
30
Arabic Language
  • Unit 1: Pre-Islamic Poetry
30
Quranic Studies
  • Unit 1: Classical Quranic Exegesis (Text: Al-Kashshaaf ‘an Haqa’iq at-Tanzil)
30

 

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.

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.

Hadith Studies

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.

Islamic Law

Unit 1:
Comparative Islamic Law

Overview

This module on comparative Islamic law aims to develop students’ understanding of the major schools in the Islamic legal tradition. Building upon years of in-depth study on the Hanafi school of law, students will be introduced to the different jurisprudential methodologies employed in the other schools, such as the Maliki, Hanafi, Shafi’i, Hanbali and Zahiri schools.

Primary Texts

Bidayat al-Mujtahid

About the Text

The Distinguished Jurist’s Primer (Bidayat al-Mujtahid wa Nihayat al-Muqtasid) is widely considered one of the most  authoritative texts on comparative Islamic jurisprudence. This two-volume primer presents a critical analysis of the rulings, opinions and evidences of the well-known schools of Islamic law: Maliki, Hanafi, Shafi’i, Hanbali and Zahiri. In evaluating the derivation of laws from these schools, the author intends to provide guidance for the independent jurist, mujtahid, who must address the legal issues of the age on which the legislation remains silent.

About the Author

Abul Walid Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Rushd, better known simply as Ibn Rushd or Averroes, was born into a family of jurists in Al-Andalus in 520AH/1126CE. A distinguished jurist of the Maliki School, he wrote many tracts on Maliki jurisprudence, as well as on logic, philosophy and the secular sciences of the medieval era. He was appointed physician to the court of the Caliph Abu Yaqub Yusuf in 1182 CE where he continued to serve until shortly before his death in 594AH/1198CE.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:
• Demonstrate a profound understanding of the different methodological approaches of the well-known schools of law
• Understand how legal precedent operates in the Islamic courts of justice
• Understand the different techniques employed in the interpretation and formulation of Islamic law
• Appreciate the differing juristic tools employed in the derivation of Islamic law from authentic sources

Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence

Unit 1:
Ahkam/Ijtihad

Overview

This module focuses on broadening students’ knowledge of legal theory across the main legal and theological schools via the study of Ghazali’s Mustasfa. This masterpiece will allow students to engage with key discussions in legal theory. Students will be expected to read the relevant passages as homework, with classes being used to clarify obscurities and develop discussions of key concepts. Students will also be expected to read selections from other key legal theory works.

Primary Text

Al-Mustasfa min ‘Ilm al-Usul by Mohammad al-Ghazali

About the Text & Author

Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d.505h) was known as Hujjat al-Islam (the conclusive argument of Islam) due to his mastery of Islamic scholarship. He wrote key works in theology, legal theory, law and other important topics, before reconsidering his academic career and dedicating himself to Sufism. This experience led to him writing his magnum opus, Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din (the revival of the religious sciences), one of the greatest works produced by Muslim scholarship.

Al-Ghazali’s Mustasfa is widely recognised as one of the most important works of Islamic legal theory. It is divided into four distinct sections: (i) rulings; (ii) sources of law; (iii) methods of legal deduction; and (iv) ijtihad and the mujtahid. Al-Ghazali’s combination of profound scholarship and lucid writing style makes the work simultaneously thorough and accessible.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
• Comfortably read and understand al-Mustasfa
• Have a solid grounding in legal theory across schools
• Be able to read a wide variety of Usul works
• Have a mental map of the development and key figures in legal theory

 

Arabic Language

Unit 1:
Pre-Islamic Poetry

Overview

In the Arabic Language module students will study the language of pre-Islamic Arabia to ensure that they complete the programme with full competence to access the earliest sources of Islam directly. Critical analysis of classical poems will provide a deep insight into the essence of the language, whilst studies of eloquence and rhetoric will provide students with an understanding of the linguistic features of different classical texts.

Primary Text

Al-Mu’allaqat

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module students should be able to:
• Communicate fluently in spoken and written forms of Arabic
• Demonstrate intermediate knowledge of the varying grammatical and morphological constructs
• Demonstrate proficiency in the different forms of Arabic verbs
• Differentiate and apply gender, number and form structures to verbs
• Demonstrate proficiency in reading, writing and comprehension skills

Quranic Studies

Unit 1:
Classical Quranic Exegesis

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 referenced.

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.

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

Entry Requirements for the 2019-2020 Academic Year:

Language Proficiency
Classical Arabic
Preparatory Modules
Introductory Islamic Sciences
Time Commitment
Practical Considerations

Classical Arabic Language

Students will be expected to demonstrate proficiency in Classical Arabic to the level of an Arabic Immersion Year student, or equivalent. This will include being able to fluently read Arabic texts without diacritics (tashkil) and grammatically parse sentences (i’rab).

Students will be required to complete a placement test in order to assess their Arabic language proficiency. If they do not have proficiency they will be eligible to apply for the Foundation Year or Arabic Immersion Year instead.

Preparatory Modules

Students entering the Alimiyyah Programme in Year 1 will be expected to successfully complete a number of short preparatory modules online prior to the beginning of each semester. Completing these modules will include sitting a short exam after each module. The following modules are mandatory:

Prior to Semester 1:

1. Logic
2. Mabadi fi ‘Ilm Usul al-Fiqh

Prior to Semester 2:

1. Mabadi fi Usul al-Hadith wa al-Isnad
2. Mabadi fi ‘Ilm Usul al-Tafsir

Time Commitment

Students will be expected to commit to approximately 7 hours of personal study time during the week, outside of weekly classes held each Sunday during term time. This study time may vary depending on the students personal ability.

There may also be some scheduled tutorials and/or online classes for students to additionally benefit from.

Where and when do the classes take place?

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

Are the programmes taught in English?

Yes. All of the programmes are 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 entirely online?

Yes. Each of the programmes can be studied online from start to finish. Further, recorded access is available for all core lectures until the end of the academic year.

Does Shaykh Akram Nadwi teach the entire programme?

No. There are over 20 faculty members teaching the Islamic Scholarship Programmes who are experts in their respective fields. Shaykh Akram teaches certain modules in each programme and teaches the Advanced Islamic Sciences Programme exclusively. The Shaykh ultimately authorises the graduation from ASI, but he does not teach everything!

Is the Alimiyyah Programme 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?

Students are assessed by a mixture of written assignments and examinations, as well as an independent research project in the final year.

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 final year (graduation) 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.

Are the Residential programmes included?

Yes and no. The Residential programmes - including the Knowledge Retreat and Sacred Sciences Journey - exist in order to enable students to spend time in intensive study: visiting and gaining ijazah from some of the leading scholars of the Muslim world. However, they are elective programmes and are priced separately. Find out more.

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?

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

Can I enrol one year at a time, instead of the entire programme 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 often choose to 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 my intended programme?

Entry requirements for each programme are detailed on their respective pages. Generally, the entry requirements for each programme is successful completion of the preceding programme (or equivalent).

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

No. Students who have already graduated from an Islamic studies programme may be eligible to enter directly into a programme more suited to their educational history.

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 your chosen programme is subject to satisfactory results in the end of year examinations.

Where do I sign up?

Visit our Islamic Scholarship Programmes page to find the right programme for you and apply.

Tuition Fees for 2019-20120 academic year

 
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 a few days after the lessons are delivered.

Alimiyyah Year 1

Apply (Onsite)

Alimiyyah Year 2

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.

Alimiyyah Year 1

Apply (Online)

Alimiyyah Year 2

Apply (Online)

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