Master of Arts in Islamic Studies

> Course Description

Course Description


Aqeedah: Islamic Creed

This course covers an introduction to the study of advanced aqeedah, the third category of tawheed: Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat, and matters pertaining to imaan.

 

Objectives:

A. To give the student an understanding of when and how deviation concerning the divine names and attributes of Allah started occurring in the ummah.

B. To enable the students, understand the rules governing the correct understanding of the divine names and attributes of Allah.

C. To enable students, have a correct understanding of some of the attributes of Allah which are highly debated.

D. To enable students, respond to the arguments of those who deviated from the correct understanding of the divine names and attributes of Allah.

E.  To teach students about some of the important matters pertaining to the concept of imaan.

This course is based on the study of the Asha'irah sect, one of the famous and widespread existing sects attributed to Islam and more specifically to the methodology of Ahl Sunnah wal Jama'at. This study is expected to give students a wider view across the Asha'irah sect looking into their origin, their beliefs of various aspect of the deen, and how truly they can be attributed to the Sunnah of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, once mentioned that his nation would be divided into 73 portions and all will enter hell except one. When asked about what group would be saved, he said, "(Those who follow) that which I and my companions follow." This statement is a great motivation for one to study the activities and beliefs of sects, and identify causes of deviations from the road of those who would be saved.




Arabic Language

This course is designed to help students acquire in-depth knowledge of morphological patterns that build the internal structure of Arabic words. Thus, enabling them to distinguish between different forms of derivation, word formation, root words, inflection, affixes, etc. Arabic morphology needs a lot of attention because it is the twin sister of Arabic Grammar; one cannot master Arabic without the knowledge of morphology.

Objectives:

A.  To acquire a more advanced background of fundamental principles of Arabic morphology.

B.  To gain a profound understanding of the meanings behind Arabic patterns and word formations.

C.  To enable students, realize and analyze the differences between various sentences and expressions in Arabic.

D.  To obtain a better understanding of Qur'anic texts and Prophetic sayings.

This course is a safeguard mainly for students who do not live in Arabic speaking country. It will help them to overcome their deficiency in understanding authentic sources of Arabic language and Islamic sciences. Furthermore, students will acquire more skills concerning reading, writing, listening, and speaking. This course delves on giving examples in four different aspects; firstly: by conjuring up essence and importance of reading, writing, listening, and speaking; secondly: by giving different examples of writing, reading, and speaking skills; thirdly: by setting examples concerning letter writing skills; fourthly: by giving rules, regulations, and the most essential principles of formulating and compiling sermon (khutba)  in Arabic with lively example of first Khalifa’s khutba after assuming the leadership.

 

Arabic communication skill need a lot of attention because they are the builder of students’ vocabulary and expression as well as acquiring fundamental skills of effective writing and speaking.

 

Objectives:

A. To acquire a more advanced background of fundamental principles of Arabic communication skills.

B. To gain profound skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking, which will enable them to express themselves fluently and accurately wherever they go and whenever they want.  

C. To enable students realize and analyze the differences between various expressions in Arabic.

D. To obtain a better understanding of Qur'anic texts and Prophetic sayings.

This course focuses on the Arabic literature and its relationship to the society. Students will learn how to use the language in practical settings.

Objectives:

A. To understand the multifaceted relationship of literature to the society as a mediator, mirror, interpreter and critique.

B. To develop the practice of reading literary texts within their social, historical, and cultural contexts.

C. To help students understand the role of formal religion, ethical thinking, and folk traditions in the creation of literature.

D. To encourage students, discover the pleasure of reading Arabic literature.

E. To learn how to use the language to express one’s interior mood and feelings.




Education

A study of the framework or philosophy for effective teaching that involves providing students with different avenues to acquiring content; to processing, constructing, or making sense of ideas; and to developing teaching materials and assessment measures so that all students within a classroom can learn effectively, regardless of differences in ability. Islamic perspective will be covered which will include examples from the life of Prophet Muhammad in which he utilized different methods of teaching.




Fiqh

This course focuses on an important area of Islamic jurisprudence, the discipline of Maqasid al-Shari’ah. The subject Maqasid al-Shari’ah aphoristically subsumes all the spectrums related to purpose of Shari’ah. Islamic law (Shari’ah), comprehensively deals with every aspect of human life by providing a set of guidelines and principles. The objective of the Shari’ah (Maqasid al-Shari’ah), is to achieve an easy, enjoyable, and successful life in both here and the hereafter; within certain boundaries. This course attempts to analyze those objectives and their relevant issues to comprehend the whole Shari’ah clearly and implement it easily.

 Objectives:

A. To introduce the definition, history, and significance of Maqasid al-Shari’ah.

B. To be familiar with a broader understanding of Maqasid al-Shari’ah in general.

C. To understand the methods of determining the Maqasid al-Shari’ah.

D. To know the categories of Maqasid al-Shari’ah.

E. To gain a broad knowledge of five necessities in the light of Maqasid.

F. To be aware of Maqasid al-Shari’ah and its relevance to wider concerns of Muslim life.

This course provides an in-depth study of modern fiqh issues and the different opinions regarding them, which include medical issues, western cultural issues, rules related to living as a minority in non-Muslim countries, modern marital issues, business issues, and issues related to food and drink.

Objectives:

A. To work towards widening the scope of Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh) and participate in the activation of reasoning by finding new solutions to juridical and juristic problems.

B. To raise the level of juristic and judicial awareness in order to address contemporary issues in the context of Islamic fiqh.

C. To be able to make juristic decisions on contemporary issues based on research of the ‘ulama.

D. To guide students by teaching them how to implement jurisprudence in contemporary issues in this modern world.

It is a common knowledge that the present day Muslim world is underdeveloped and weak, frustrated and conflict-ridden, suffering from internal tensions, and often controlled and occasionally abused by external powers. For Muslims, it is customary to blame external powers for all their ills. Although this habit may point out many of the grievances and challenges they face, it cannot explain the internal cause of their ills that generate, sustain, and accelerate the process of decay that spoils their internal power and provide an opportunity to bring external powers into the picture, which further complicate their difficulties. The way out of coming out of these crises and regain a respectable status among the nations of the world is undoubtedly a huge and complicated task. One possible and, perhaps, the most effective way is to revisit its intra-ummatic and international relations. This course is made up of a study of the fundamental issues of international relations with respect to Islam and the Muslim world. It focuses on exposing students to a number of important theoretical and empirical dimensions of this issue.

This course discusses a very important side of the Islamic shari'ah; the Islamic system of governance. Representing the final divine message to humankind, the teachings of Islam cover and organize all aspects of life. Thus, this course presents the Islamic view concerning the organization of Islamic society and state, the bases of Islamic political system, the relation between the ruling party and the subjects, the judiciary system, the international relations, and so many other related issues.

Objectives

A. To help students realize the comprehensiveness of the shari'ah.

B. To enable students, have an Islamic view concerning political issues.

C. To introduce students with the profound contributions of Muslim jurists to both political and judiciary systems.

D. To give students solid foundation in the face of modern challenges accusing Islam of falling short of the complexities of modern life.




Hadeeth

The course consists of an in-depth study of the chapter on financial transactions (buyoo’) from Imam Bukhari’s classic, al-Jaami as-Saheeh. The study will focus on his methodology in its compilation, as well as commentary by Hafiz Ibn Hajar on the chapter in his compendium, Fathul Baari. It is an all-inclusive study of sales and other types of financial transactions according to the Prophet’s guidance. Emphasize will be placed on studying both the texts (matn) of the compiled ahadeeth as well as on their chains of narrators (sanad). A detailed exposition of the narrators and their methods of narration (takhreej) will provide students with a clear understanding of why Imam Bukhari’s work was labeled as “the most authentic book after the Book of Allah” by the majority of scholars of Islam. Furthermore, this detailed study of the chapter on sales from Sahih al-Bukhari will enlighten students as to how divinely guided simple words revealed 1,400 years ago could provide a clear way in the age of complicated financial transactions in a modern economic world.

Objectives:

A. To provide students with a practical study of the science of hadeeth referencing (takhreej).

B. To familiarize students with the unique methodology of Imam Bukhari’s classic, al-Jaami as-Saheeh.

C. To provide a detailed study of the prophetic evidences used in establishing the framework of Islamic rules governing financial transactions.

D. To analyze the methodology utilized by Hafiz Ibn Hajar in his commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari in order to train students in how to comment on ahadeeth.

E. To further arm students with the necessary tools to find their way according to the Prophet’s guidance in a modern economic world.

F. To further train economic agents of the near future to be God-conscious, truthful, trustworthy, keen to earn honestly (halal). They should also strive to be generous and lenient in their dealings, and fair in conduct with their coworkers and subordinates.

With the help of a textbook, “The Sunnah and its Role in Islamic Legislation”, by Dr. Mustafa As-Siba'ee, this course focuses on the criticisms leveled against hadiths by both Muslims and non-Muslims, and the refutation of these criticisms. 

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was entrusted and sent as a mercy to the human race. Nevertheless, some personages shallow themselves with abhorrence, seeking to distiller the united authenticated message of Muhammad through hesitation, suspicion, and confusion. This course separates truth from false interpretations and accusations against the Sunnah. Furthermore, it manifests the methodology of Ahl ul Hadith from proposed ambiguity of other practices and procedures. It will, insha Allah, provide one with the common capabilities in rebutting these indictments. We will, insha Allah, embark on a stabilized journey, studying the theoretical world of the Sunnah and its truth.

Objectives:

A. To empower students with key awareness in defending the Sunnah and hadith

B. To be able to refute common accusations of orientalists against the hadith.

C. To clarify the discrepancies between “Ahl ul Hadith” and other methodologies.

D. To implement the love and understanding of the Sunnah in our lives.

This course is a detailed critical study of the recording of hadiths, the emergence of sciences of hadiths, methods applied by the Muhadditheen for hadith criticism, and the contribution of six canonical collectors of hadiths to the hadith literature. More emphasis is laid upon the Sunan of Imam Muhammad ibn Yazid ibn Majah (rahimahullah) with a comprehensive study of ten hadiths transmitted in Sunan ibn Majah.

Objectives of the course:

A. To connect students with the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.

B. To enlighten students on services of Muhadditheen in preserving the Sunnah.

C. To provide an overview of the development of hadith criticism and methodology of the canonical traditionalists in this regard.

D. To study criticism of prominent orientalists on hadith literature.




History

This course deals with philosophy, methodology, and effects of Orientalism.

Objectives:

A. To educate students about the dangers of Orientalism and Christian missionaries to Islam and Muslims.

B. To familiarize students with the methods of Orientalists and means of refuting them academically.

C. To enlighten students on the positive and negative aspects of Orientalism, and the negative aspects of Christian missionaries.




Tafseer

This is a unique course that deals with a lot of misconceptions about the Quran. It shows that no person is immune to mistakes. Even scholars can sometimes make mistakes and consequently over time, a simple idea becomes a dogma. Students will learn the strategies to refute it and apply it to any misconceptions they face anytime, anywhere.

Objectives:

A. To introduce the definition of Qur’an, compilation of Qur’an, refute any misconceptions regarding the topic.

B. To know different types of misconceptions against Qur’an by various different groups and individuals.

C. To demonstrate the sensitivity of certain issues where at times even many great scholars of their time have made mistakes.

D. To be able to analyze current affairs more wisely

This course focuses on an explanation of the narrative of Ibliss, by embarking on a chronological narrative of the aforementioned topic in the light of the Qur’an. The course will provide the students with the foundation to understand the topic and it will also take into consideration the role-play between shayateen and their capabilities, interactions, limitations, roles, accountabilities, and the insights for the topic matter.



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