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Islamic Scholarship 2014 Email

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Islam requires sound knowledge of the Quran and Sunnah and sound action through obedience to Allah and His Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). The al-Salam Institute (ASI) is here to raise a new generation equipped to convey the message of Islam in the best way to all levels of society.

Shaykh Mohammad Akram Nadwi

Al-Salam Institute presents a unique opportunity to study Sharia and Islamic Sciences to an Advanced levelalt through its premier five-Year Degree in Islamic Scholarship. This unique part-time course is primarily drafted by Shaykh Akram Nadwi to train students to become deeply familiar with the Islamic intellectual heritage. This course is designed to provide a profound understanding of the Quran, hadith and Shariah in a modern context for Muslims living in the west. In this regard, the course will focus on accepting different scholarly opinions and embracing critical thinking, which have been key components of our rich heritage of Islamic scholarship. Students will be taught a variety of subjects in a manner that will enable the serious amongst them to successfully sit examinations that will give them the equivalent to a degree in Islamic Scholarship (what is called ‘alimiyyah in the religious seminaries, or madrasahs, of the Indian subcontinent). Our aim is to provide dynamic training in the Islamic sciences – with a focus on classical texts – in order to produce informed, mature leaders and scholars who can provide religiously-authentic guidance and solutions for the Muslims.

 

Msg from Sh Akram

 

Islamic religious instruction has long suffered from needless sectarianism and inactivity. Such a state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue, especially amongst Muslims in the west. Therefore, I have worked with the al-Salam Institute (ASI) for almost eight years with the goal of empowering a new generation of Muslims who can dynamically contribute to society, conveying the truth of Islam, on all levels, from one’s neighbourhood, to one’s work colleagues and to the wider society.

 

My project with ASI is unique in so much as my ASI project is not one of merely preaching general truths of the religion; but one in which I and others actually teach Islamic texts in a profound manner so that students are empowered to access the sources of Islam. As opposed to merely introducing students to the classical heritage, at ASI we will actually teach the classical heritage by going through extensive passages of such texts, with detailed discussions and debates about their contents.

 

This ASI five-year programme is drafted for people to become deeply familiar with the Islamic intellectual heritage. In this regard, students will actually be taught subjects in a manner that will enable the serious amongst them to successfully sit final examinations that will give them the equivalent to a degree in Islamic scholarship (what is called ‘alimiyyah in the Indian subcontinent). Therefore, the extensive syllabus will include modules on the Arabic language, the Quran and its explanation (tafsir), hadith and its sciences, Islamic law and jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh), and Muslim history, as well as an opportunity to increase one’s spiritual connection with God (especially through the sacred journey to Saudi Arabia for umrah and study with various scholars).

 

Through ASI will a student be able to reach an advanced scholarly level after an official part-time basis insha Allah. The ultimate purpose of such a study is to provide believers with a sound basis for a genuine religious personality, which is fortified by acting upon one’s sound knowledge. In this way, we hope to raise a new generation that can present the truth of Islam on many levels, based on a profound understanding of the sources of the religion, without one having had to attend a religious seminary on a full-time basis, insha Allah.

 

Aim

Conception

Shaykh Akram Nadwi co-founded the Al-Salam Institute (ASI) eight years ago with the goal of empowering a new generation of Muslims who can dynamically contribute to society, conveying the truth of Islam, on all levels, from one’s neighbourhood, to one’s work colleagues and to the wider society. ASI was founded in response to a growing need to develop a profound understanding of the Quran, hadith and Shariah in a modern context for the Muslims living in the west. The absence of competent scholarship and profound training in the Islamic sciences has resulted in stunted critical thinking and research, which has also resulted in disunity and intolerance. The ASI has the goal of providing dynamic training in the Islamic sciences in order to produce informed, mature leaders and scholars who are able to take on the challenge of the time and provide real guidance and solutions for the Muslims through a profound reading of the pure primary sources and the classical intellectual heritage. In this regard, the ASI is here to bring together the many strands of diversity in the Muslim community, so that people from different schools of thought and outlook can come together as believers, and rise to the challenges of the age as one, insha Allah.

Aim

Our aim is to create a new generation of scholars (ulama’) and train them to present the truth of Islam on many levels, based on a profound understanding of the sources of the religion, without one having had to attend a religious seminary on a full-time basis, insha Allah. We believe through ASI a student will be able to reach an advanced scholarly level after completing all the modules of the programme, which are designed to be studied on a part-time basis. The ultimate purpose of such a study is to provide students with a sound basis for a genuine religious personality, which is fortified by acting upon one’s sound knowledge. Our vision is to train over a five-year period individuals with professional backgrounds, university students and graduates, and adults who have the zeal to acquire Islamic knowledge at a scholarly level.

Degree In Islamic Scholarship

The course is divided into three parts: Foundation level (one year), Intermediate level (two years) and Advanced level (two years). Successful completion of each level will be recognised with a certificate:

   •   Foundation level: Certificate in Classical Arabic and Islamic Sciences

   •   Intermediate level: Diploma in Advanced Arabic, Quran and Shariah Studies

   •   Advanced level: Degree in Islamic Scholarship (‘alimiyyah)

The course will cover the core modules of the programme. Students will also have access to exclusive knowledge retreats and journeys abroad for focused study periods to cover auxiliary modules and units.

Although it is recommended that students study the full Degree in Islamic Scholarship from the beginning, it will be possible for students to study modules or units independently. Students who complete any module or unit will be awarded a certificate for the module or unit; and whenever possible, an ijazah in the studied text by the teacher with a full isnad to the author will be provided.

Teachers

This is a unique programme taught by various expert scholars that seeks to introduce and expose students to the fundamental values and concepts of Islam; endeavouring to provide a pristine form of scholarship unmodified by culture, politics or power. Students in this course will study from a classical and contemporary perspective, developing an advanced level of understanding of Islam that can be beneficial in a diverse range of settings.

Syllabus

The extensive syllabus will include modules on the Arabic language, the Quran and its explanation (tafsir), hadith and its sciences, Islamic law and jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh), Muslim history, Islamic theology and training in contemporary issues and leadership. The course will also provide an opportunity to increase one’s spiritual connection with God through residential retreats in the UK and travelling abroad to study supplementary subjects with world-renowned scholars of different backgrounds. This programme is not cursory, but dedicated to a profound study of an extensive syllabus. The lessons will be taught in English (with Arabic texts being verbally translated, explained and discussed), utilising classical and modern Islamic books relevant to Muslims in a contemporary western society.

Why Study at ASI

Al-Salam Institute has set-out to make the ASI a unique institution of Islamic learning in the UK (and for its worldwide audience via the online access to distant students) in the following manner:

  • ASI promotes and teaches academic excellence and open-mindedness, without restricting students to a preconceived way of thinking or school of thought; but it is an open-mindedness that is conditioned by having achieved a certain expertise in the academic disciplines of Islam.
  • The texts of the syllabus have been chosen by ASI on the basis of Shakyh Akram’s extensive learning and experience of teaching. Therefore, the syllabus has the advantage of not being merely copied from an existing religious seminary in the Muslim world, where there has been an historical struggle to bring the Islamic tradition into a dynamic engagement with the modern world. In this manner, the ASI hopes that Shaykh Akram’s brilliance and expertise will provide a new way for the Muslims to develop a profound understanding of their faith.
  • Shaykh Akram Nadwi has personally selected some of his most able students to be co-teachers in the ASI. Not only have these teachers received the praise of Shaykh Akram, but they have also studied broadly with other teachers and traditions; in this respect, the ASI is now able to employ the benefit of the traditions of al-Azhar in Egypt, Syria, Mauritania, Morocco and the western system as taught at Oxford and SOAS, University of London.

No other institute has this kind of background, expertise and guidance from Shaykh Akram Nadwi and his accredited students.

  1. Directly led by Shaykh Akram: It is the only course of its kind led directly by Shaykh Akram Nadwi, an expert contemporary scholar who has been praised for his scholarship by contemporary titans of Islamic scholarship like Shaykh Sayyid Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi, Shaykh Abdul Fattah Abu Guddah and Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, 
  2. Eight years track-record: ASI sets-out to provide students with a profound familiarity of the Islamic intellectual heritage, in a way that is dynamic and true. This is not only a goal, but has been ASI’s track-record for eight years with actual courses professionally and expertly delivered by Shaykh Akram Nadwi.
  3. Broad syllabus: Not only is the ASI programme profound, but it is also extensive and broad, covering a wide range of sacred sciences – including the Arabic language, the Quran and its explanation (tafsir), hadith and its sciences, Islamic law and jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh), and Muslim history – that equip a Muslim to be empowered to dynamically present Islam in the modern age.
  4. Covering Arabic classics: ASI is proud to have a programme and forum that is genuinely classical, with a focus on classical literature, in a way that is wholly non-sectarian, and seeks to bring forth a genuine representation of the Prophetic Sunnah.
  5. Intense part-time study: Although the timetable is only part-time (one Sunday a week during university term-time), the content is incredibly full, so a student will be provided with a wonderful opportunity to cover a great deal of material in a condensed time frame.
  6. Spirituality is the key: Students at the ASI will be joining an institute which not only hankers after intellectual excellence, but one in which the student is constantly reminded of the spiritual duty of the Muslims: that one should not only know the full Islamic personality, but one must have a full Islamic personality of sound knowledge and practice of that knowledge, so that a genuine righteousness (taqwa) can flourish.
  7. Short knowledge-based journeys abroad: Students have the chance to travel every year abroad to the Muslim world and world-renowned centres of knowledge, including Makkah and Madinah. This is part of the ASI’s Sacred Sciences Journey: firstly, studying the sacred sciences in those cities; and secondly, benefiting from the wide array of excellent scholars that the ASI will provide the students through the scholarly contacts of Shaykh Akram Nadwi. 
  8. Annual retreats: Students will also benefit every year from knowledge and spirituality retreats in the UK. This is a 7-day programme to allow students to cover a number of classical Islamic texts over a week-long residential programme. The programme will be primarily run by Shaykh Akram Nadwi and it is scheduled to take place in August 2015.
  9. Online Virtual Madrasah: Our course is also available online through our Virtual Madrasah with full study materials and audio and video recordings of all lectures. Students will have the flexibility to study at their own speed and conveniences; and fit study around work and lifestyle commitments. The live online classes can be accessed from anywhere in the world and they are fully interactive; students can fully participate in the class discussion.
  10. Passive study route: An exclusive feature of the modules in the Advanced level is that students can also enter the programme through the ‘passive study route’ where they are exempt from examinations and pre-requisites. Thus students can benefit from the class discussion and knowledge without having any added pressure of exams. Please note that students opting for this mode of study will not qualify as an Islamic scholar (‘alim), because the Degree in Islamic Scholarship will only be given to those who successfully complete all in-course assessments and end-of-year examinations.
  11. Study individual texts with isnad: Although it is recommended that students study the full Degree in Islamic Scholarship from the beginning, it will be possible for students to study modules or units independently. Students who complete any module or unit will be awarded a certificate for the module or unit; and whenever possible, an ijazah in the studied text by the teacher with a full isnad to the author will be provided.

Venue

Stratford, London

 
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Islamic Scholarship 2014

Read about our 5 year programme


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foundation

Foundation Level

[One Year] 2014/2015

Certificate in Classical Arabic and Islamic Sciences

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Intermediate

Intermediate Level

Scheduled for 2015/16

Diploma in Advanced Arabic, Quran and
Shariah Studies
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advanced

Advanced Level

[Year One] 2014/2015

Degree in Islamic Scholarship (‘alimiyyah)

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