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Ifta' Programme

Ifta’ Specialisation Programme Overview

The Ifta’ Programme aims to introduce students to the theoretical framework, practical methods and experiential practise of fatwa formulation. This programme of study will also expose students to the importance of contextual understandings, the religious and pastoral responsibilities associated with this field, as well as the necessity of thorough inter-disciplinary research when manoeuvring this area of specialisation. This is in order to develop a group of informed scholars who not only can access and benefit from Islamic intellectual heritage but, God-willing, be able to address new concerns facing the Muslim community whilst knowing the limits and risks involved as related to ifta’. 

We aim to produce specialists that can holistically approach religion in such a way that preserves its spirit and greater objectives for humanity. This requires a balanced, humble, courageous and creative approach towards legal opinions. Students should be able to look deeper into the Quran, Sunnah, legal methods and various legal schools as well as classical and contemporary fatawa. They should also then be prepared to look deeper into the collective and individual contexts surrounding questions and present their opinion in a clear manner that educates the questioner. 

In this area of specialisation, scholars are asked to balance preserving the dictates of faith with facilitating the religion in order to meet the questions and needs of Muslims. As such, we see God-consciousness as the cornerstone of the legal process, legal opinion, the specialist and those in need of a fatwa. 

Qualification

License of Specialisation in Legal Verdicts (Takhassus fi al-Ifta’)

Students will spend two years under the tutelage of Senior Lecturers, including Shaykh Mohammad Akram Nadwi, refining their understanding of the practical application of Islamic law. After two years, students will be required to submit a portfolio demonstrating their cumulative studies, skills acquired and drafted fatawa, alongside a final year dissertation. To signify the completion of their formal ifta’ training, satisfactory students will be awarded a License of Specialisation. This will mark the beginning of their continued journey in specialised research in the practical application of Islamic law. 

Entry Requirements for the 2022-2023 Academic Year:

Language Proficiency
Classical Arabic
Educational Background
Minimum Requirements
Time Commitment
Practical Considerations

Classical Arabic Language

Students will be expected to demonstrate fluency in reading advanced texts in the Islamic Sciences in Classical Arabic. They will also be required to have sufficient proficiency such that they can both listen and contribute to classes held solely in the Arabic language.

Educational Background

Students will be required to provide proof of an Alimiyyah degree or equivalent (certificates/transcripts/ijazat). We will also be requesting details of texts studied across the Islamic sciences and the contact details for two references (one academic and one personal).

Time Commitment

Students will be expected to commit to approximately 15 hours of personal study time during the week. This will be in order to research and draft weekly fatawa contributing to their student portfolio, as well to prepare readings ahead of time for Sunday classes. 

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

 

Teaching & Learning

Teaching is delivered through lecture and/or seminar format which students are required to attend. Independent learning will be required for all modules through students engaging with weekly readings for various modules, completing weekly homework to consolidate their learning and preparing for their dissertation during their final year.  Lectures and seminars are accessible for revision via the ASI Portal for students to review at their own convenience. 

Students will also have the opportunity to gather and benefit from one another’s company during student retreats. These opportunities are highly recommended for students who are have the time and means in order to  under the guidance of their teachers.

Course Delivery

Approaches to Teaching & Learning

ASI utilises the following study methods:

  1. Formal lectures which outline themes of study, textual analysis and critical analysis where applicable. These lectures are based on core reading material, secondary readings and supporting material from the reading list.
  2. Workshops
  3. Seminars
  4. Tutorials
  5. Independent study
  6. Assignments
  7. Presentations
  8. Independent Research Projects/Dissertations

The use of these methods varies from module to module and programme to programme. The Ifta’ Specialisation Programme will use a combination of the above methods, but not necessarily all of them

Learning Objectives

Knowledge: For students to be aware of and able to engage with the methods and approaches used in the formulation of legal opinions.
Intellectual skills: For students to be aware of the theoretical frameworks and mechanisms that inform a jurists legal opinion.
Practical skills: For students to gain the practical tools, skill sets and experience in conducting research with breadth and depth in order for their legal opinions to be well-informed and contextually relevant.
Transferrable skills: For students to be able to conduct research with nuance and depth.

Contact Hours

Students will be required to attend all Sunday classes live, which approximates at 6 – 7 taught hours per week. They will also be required to draft and review answers to legal questions as weekly submissions. Most modules are taught through weekly term-time lectures which can be between 1 to 1.5 hours long. More information is provided on each individual module page. 

Students will be provided with access to a wide array of sources and additional readings which may be utilised in their weekly independent study and for further research purposes.

Assessment

Student progression is assessed through both formative assessment (compulsory weekly submissions) & summative assessment (examinations/research assignments/dissertations). In order to successfully complete the programme, students will be required to submit a final portfolio of all of their work to date. Students must pass all modules and have submitted the minimum number of weekly submissions in order to graduate.

Term dates for the 2022-2023 Academic Year:

Induction Day:
Sunday 2nd October 2022
Autumn term:
Sunday 9th October 2022 – Sunday 11th December 2022
Winter term:
Sunday 15th January 2023 – Sunday 19th March 2023
Spring term:
Sunday 30th April 2023 – Sunday 2nd July 2023
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
Residentials:
2 student retreats (Winter 2022 & Spring 2023)

Term dates may be subject to change.

Overview

MODULES
UNITS
CREDITS
Introduction to Ifta’
  • Unit 1: Core Principles
30
Adab al-Mufti
  • Unit 1: Adab
30
Advanced Fiqh
  • Unit 1: Family Law
  • Unit 1: Inheritance Law
30
Usul al-Fiqh
  • Unit 1: Advanced Usul al-Fiqh
30
Fiqh Research
  • Unit 1: Hanafi Madhhab
  • Unit 1: Maliki Madhhab
15
Qawa’id
  • Unit 1: Legal Maxims
15
Practical Fatwa Workshop
  • Unit 1: Family Law
  • Unit 1: Inheritance Law
15
Sociology
  • Unit 1: Islam in Britain
30

     

Introduction to Ifta’

Unit 1:
Core Principles

Overview

This is an introductory course that gives an overall view of the purposes, ethics, and universal principles of iftā’. This will be done through a combination of lectures, reflections on general principles from the Qur’an, and selected readings from different books. These will provide a foundation for trainee muftis as they progress in their studies and research.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
• Understand the basic theoretical and ethical principles of iftā’
• Gain an understanding of how different scholars have viewed iftā’
• Develop an appreciation of exemplary fatwas

 

Adab al-Mufti

Unit 1:
Adab

Overview

Students will study selections of Ibn al-Qayyim’s Iʿlām al-muwaqqiʿīn in order to understand the role of iftā’ in the classical Islamic period. Students will cover the academic, legal and ethical qualities necessary for the mufti, as well as the different levels of mufti. They will also see the processes and procedures of iftā’.
Students will have to read in advance and come to class prepared to discuss the points raised in class.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
• Understand the functions and processes of iftā’ in the classical Islamic period
• Gain an understanding of the academic and ethical qualities expected of a muftī
• Appreciate the social role of iftā’

 

Advanced Fiqh

Unit 1:
Family Law
Unit 2:
Inheritance Law

Overview

Students will study family law and inheritance law, as well as some ritual law, primarily focusing on contemporary issues. The focus will be on understanding how contemporary scholars and fatwa bodies have attempted to resolve these issues, and understanding the broad methodological tools used in deriving fatāwā, both from within classical literature and ijtihad methods.

Students will have to read in advance and come to class prepared to discuss the points raised in class.

Learning Outcomes

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

• Be familiar with key contemporary issues in family and inheritance law
• Gain confidence in researching contemporary legal questions using classical and modern resources
• Transfer research skills gained in this module to fatwā research

 

Usul al-Fiqh

Unit 1:
Advanced Usul

Overview

This is the first of a two-part course where students will study uṣūl al-fiqh across schools and with practical examples. The focus will be on reviewing all of uṣūl fiqh from a practical perspective. Muftāḥ al-wuṣūl by al-Talamsānī (d.771/1370) will be the textbook used in class, as it discusses the key concepts of uṣūl al-fiqh across the four schools, using practical fiqh examples where there is difference of opinions amongst the schools to illustrate the legal principles.

The teacher will bring contemporary fiqh examples to illustrate real-life applications.

Classes will be in Arabic, and students will need to have read and understood the text in advance, with use of existing commentaries.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:
• Review all the major concepts of uṣūl al-fiqh
• Understand how the differences in uṣūl al-fiqh affect differences in law
• Understand how uṣūl al-fiqh is applied in contemporary issues
• Attempt to apply uṣūl al-fiqh in fatwa and research

 

Fiqh Research

Unit 1:
Hanafi Madhhab
Unit 2:
Maliki Madhhab

Overview

Students will learn how to do legal research within the Ḥanafī and Māliki schools. They will learn about the history of each school, the development of legal literature, become familiar with key legal genres, key works in each of those genres, and understand who the most important authors are. As well as this, they will be expected to do case studies on a weekly basis.

Students will have to read in advance and come to class prepared to discuss the points raised in class.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:
• Be aware of the key figures and literature for both the Hanafi and Maliki legal schools
• Gain confidence in researching legal questions using a wide variety of resources
• Transfer research skills gained in this module to fatwā research

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Qawa’id Fiqhiyya

Unit 1:
Legal Maxims

Overview

This is the first of a two-part course where students will study key legal maxims (qawāʿid fiqhiyya) that are agreed upon across the four schools. The focus will be on developing an understanding of the legal maxims and their application to practical scenarios.

Students will be expected to do weekly readings and be ready to discuss in class.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
• Develop familiarity with legal maxims specific to each of the four schools
• Understand the five universal maxims (al-qawāʿid al-kulliya)
• Be familiar with examples of application of legal maxims in real life
• Develop awareness of how legal maxims can be applied to contemporary situations

 

Practical Skills: Fatwa Workshop

Unit 1:
Family & Inheritance Law

Overview

Students will discuss and practice how to research and write fatwas related to family and inheritance law, as well as some ritual law, primarily focusing on contemporary issues. The focus will be on responding to unresolved questions relating to topics studied in Advanced Fiqh 1, using both the resources from that module, as well as the research skills developed in Fiqh Research 1 and 2.

Students will be expected to produce a specified number of fatāwā per week.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
• Become familiar with key contemporary issues in family and inheritance law
• Research and resolve contemporary issues in family and inheritance law
• Learn to produce well-written fatāwā

 

Islam in Britain

Unit 1:
Sociological Context

Overview

Legal opinions are sought by individuals that are subject to their context. This module aims to elaborate on the context underpinning British Muslims and Islam in Britain in order to equip trainee Muftis with a greater awareness of the wider society. The role of the Mufti is one that specifically serves the Muslim community and as such there is a need for a deeper understanding of the changing dynamics within the Muslim community in order to best meet the needs of our time.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
• Be aware of the general demographics of the British Muslim community
• Be familiar with the history and context of major segments of the British Muslim community
• Understand how these demographics are relevant to culturally-sensitive fatwa formulation

Overview

MODULES
UNITS
CREDITS
Maqasid
  • Unit 1: Maqasid al-Shari’ah
30
Advanced Fiqh
  • Unit 1: Commercial Law
30
Usul al-Fiqh
  • Unit 1: Advanced Usul al-Fiqh
30
Fiqh Research
  • Unit 1: Shafi’i Madhhab
  • Unit 1: Hanbali Madhhab
15
Qawa’id
  • Unit 1: Legal Maxims
15
Practical Skills
  • Unit 1: Commercial Law
15
Psychology
  • Unit 1: Counselling Skills
30

     

Advanced Fiqh

Unit 1:
Commercial Law

Overview

Students will study commercial law, as well as some ritual law, primarily focusing on contemporary issues. The focus will be on understanding how contemporary scholars and fatwa bodies have attempted to resolve these issues, and understanding the broad methodological tools used in deriving fatāwā, both from within classical literature and ijtihad methods.

Students will have to read in advance and come to class prepared to discuss the points raised in class.

Learning Outcomes

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

• Be familiar with key contemporary issues in commercial law
• Gain confidence in researching contemporary legal questions using classical and modern resources
• Transfer research skills gained in this module to fatwā research

 

Usul al-Fiqh

Unit 1:
Advanced Usul

Overview

This is the second of a two-part course where students will study selected elements of uṣūl al-fiqh using al-Shāṭibī’s Muwāfaqāt as the basis for these discussions. The focus will be on developing a critical awareness of key theoretical and practical discussions in uṣūl fiqh, and reflecting on how they can be used in fiqh generally, with a focus on contemporary issues.

Students will be expected to do weekly readings and be ready to discuss in class.

Classes will be in Arabic, and students will need to have read and understood the text in advance, with use of existing commentaries.

Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:
• Develop a deeper understanding of key topics in uṣūl al-fiqh, and the ability to evaluate them critically
• Reflect on how uṣūl al-fiqh can be applied in ijtihad for contemporary issues
• Gain an understanding of how the broader ethical principles of sharīʿa affect the law
• Transfer research skills gained in this module to fatwā research

 

Fiqh Research

Unit 1:
Shafi’i Madhhab
Unit 2:
Hanbali Madhhab

Overview

Students will learn how to do legal research within the Shāfiʿī and Ḥanbalī schools. They will learn about the history of each school, the development of legal literature, become familiar with key legal genres, key works in each of those genres, and understand who the most important authors are. As well as this, they will be expected to do case studies on a weekly basis.

Students will have to read in advance and come to class prepared to discuss the points raised in class.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:
• Be aware of the key figures and literature for both the Shāfiʿī and Ḥanbalī legal schools
• Gain confidence in researching legal questions using a wide variety of resources
• Transfer research skills gained in this module to fatwā research

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Maqasid

Unit 1:
Maqasid al-Shari’ah

Overview

Students will become familiar with the concept of maqāṣid al-sharīʿa, a series of underlying ethical principles that govern Islamic law. Students will understand the origins and development of maqāṣid, delve into theoretical applications, and see how it can be applied through case studies.

Students will have to read in advance and come to class prepared to discuss the points raised in class.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
• Become familiar with the history and theory of maqāṣid al-sharīʿa
• Gain an understanding of how the broader ethical principles of sharīʿa affect the law
• Understand how maqāṣid theory can be useful in contemporary fiqh discussions
• Transfer research skills gained in this module to fatwā research

 

Qawa’id Fiqhiyya

Unit 1:
Legal Maxims

Overview

This is the second of a two-part course where students will study specific legal maxims (qawāʿid fiqhiyya) from each of the four schools. The focus will be on developing an understanding of the legal maxims and their application to practical scenarios.

Students will be expected to do weekly readings and be ready to discuss in class.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
• Develop familiarity with legal maxims specific to each of the four schools
• Be familiar with examples of application of legal maxims in real life
• Develop awareness of how legal maxims can be applied to contemporary situations

 

Practical Skills: Fatwa Workshop

Unit 1:
Commercial Law

Overview

Students will discuss and practice how to research and write fatwas related to commercial law, as well as some ritual law, primarily focusing on contemporary issues. The focus will be on responding to unresolved questions relating to topics studied in Advanced Fiqh 2, using both the resources from that module, as well as the research skills developed in Fiqh Research 1 & 2.

Students will be expected to produce a specified number of fatāwā per week.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
• Become familiar with key contemporary issues in commercial law
• Research and resolve contemporary issues in commercial law
• Learn to produce well-written fatāwā

 

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Counselling Skills

Unit 1:
Counselling Skills

Overview

The role of a Mufti directly impacts the lives of those seeking their legal opinion. As such, we feel it is essential that those training in ifta’ that they understand the nature of wellbeing, mental health and personal difficulty in order to better provide appropriate support, guidance and opinions for the Muslim community. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
• Understand the importance of sensitivity and empathy as it related to fatwa formulation and provision
• Have a basic awareness of mental health difficulties faced by the Muslim community
• Be able to understand the risks in involved when issuing legal opinions without due regard for the context and circumstances of the individual in need

Admissions Process

In order to apply for the programme, we will be requesting:

  • Proof of Islamic education background, including certificates/transcripts/ijazat
  • Contact details of 2 references (one academic & one personal)
  • Details of your studies in the various Islamic sciences
  • Your CV
  • An online interview

Admissions process:

  1. Submit an application form via the ‘Apply Now’ tab
  2. Fill out the Prior Education History form
  3. Complete the Arabic Placement Test
  4. Schedule your online interview (further details will be provided via email)

Tuition Fees for 2022/2023 academic year

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

 

 

 

Apply Now Online

The online enrolment option is available for all students who wish to study the Ifta’ Specialisation Programme. The classes are streamed live online via the ASI Portal. 

The Early Bird Discount for the Ifta’ Specialisation Programme ends on July 3rd 2022.

Apply Now

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