This course will enable you to study the core classical sciences in the original Arabic language. It will develop competence to engage with core classical Arabic texts and understand their interpretation in the contemporary world. It will be a steppingstone for you to unlock more advanced texts and delve into deeper Islamic sciences/studies.
Aqida 100: Aqida at-Tahawi
Study in its entirety a foundational creedal text, ‘Aqida at-Tahawi, combined with reputable commentary of the text in the original Arabic language in this subject. As one of the foremost scholars of early Islam and a polymath, Abu Ja’far al-Tahawi’s (d. 321/933) creedal text is universally accepted across the Islamic world and Abu Hafs al-Ghaznawi’s (d. 773/1372) commentary is considered one of the most authoritative and accessible. This subject allows students to not only become familiar with an authentic Sunni creed and its associated terminology in the Arabic original, but also become acquainted with the textual proofs from the Qur’an and Sunnah behind these creedal positions.
Hadith 100: Selections from Sahih Muslim and their Commentaries
This subject introduces the hadith genre by engaging with a selection of ahadith from one of the six authentic hadith collections. Studying selected ahadith on various topics from the second most authoritative hadith collection, Sahih al-Muslim, students will obtain a good grasp of the structure of jami’ (comprehensive) as well as sahih (authentic) type of hadith collections. Considered one of the most systematic primary sources, studying Muslim’s Sahih with its significant commentary by Nawawi will enable students to become familiar with the structure of primary hadith collections as well as how to access their interpretations. Students will also exercise how a hadith can be analysed and understood from the chain (sanad) and text (matn) through solid examples.
Fiqh 100: Selections from Imam Mawsili’s Mukhtar and its explanation Ikhtiyar
Become familiar with and gain detailed understanding of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) through this subject, particularly in matters pertaining to acts of worship (ibadat) such as ablution, prayer, fasting and zakat. Selected passages from al-Mukhtār lil-Fatwa [The Chosen One in Edicts], one of four authoritative works in Hanafi Islamic jurisprudence, will be discussed together with its interpretation, al-Ikhtiyar li Ta’lil al-Mukhtar [The Choice in Explaining the Chosen One], penned by its author Imam al-Mawsili. Students will be able to study and learn the rulings and be exposed to questions surrounding their proofs/evidences (adillah) and what they mean, derived from and based on the primary sources of Islamic law, i.e. the Qur’an and sunnah.
Tafsir 100: Introduction to Selected Tafsirs
This subject introduces the broad field of tafsir studies directly in the original Arabic language. A booklet comprising a range of introductory level tafsir texts (such as Safwat at-Tafasir, Tafsir Jalalayn, etc.) will be the textbook for this subject. Students will read and present from this textbook at each class. More in-depth discussion of some verses will take place by comparing the commentary read in class with English commentaries (such as the Study Quran) towards the end of each class. While the subject’s primary focus is to build speed and confidence in correctly reading Arabic tafsir texts, assessment tasks will be geared to delve deeper into the more complex tafsir texts studied in year two.