بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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BA Islamic Studies

BA Islamic Studies

Duration: 3 years Full time / 6 years Part time

Programme convener: Dr. Ahmad Achtar (Hyper link to my

Email : a.achtar@muslimcollege.ac.uk)

Entry requirements:

Minimum of one B and two C grades at A-level. Mature students and non-standard qualifications will be also considered.

English language requirement: 

Students whose first language is not English will need to show proof of English language proficiency.

Interim awards: Certificate of higher education and Diploma of Higher Education.

Fees and Funding  (…….)

How to apply (Hype link to the registry or application form with some explanations about the process and requirements such as references, etc).

Contact hours:  Two hours per week for each module (11 weeks)

Assessment: (Coursework assignments for all modules except for Qur’anic  Arabic which is assessed by exam).

Overview of the programme

This BA programme offers a broad and flexible syllabus which allows students to gain a deep understanding of traditional Islamic scholarship in its various manifestations as well as contemporary Islamic thought. The degree will enable students to appreciate the diversity of Islamic intellectual discourses past and present.  Students will engage with the study of Qur’an and Hadith from the first year. They will also engage with Islamic history and the foundations of the Shari‘a. In addition, students will focus on the main branches of Islamic scholarship such as law and legal theory, theology, Sufism, and Qur’anic exegesis (tafsir).  Students also will engage with the contemporary developments and debates about these branches.

Graduates of the programme will be well placed to prepare for teaching, further studying, work in the public sector or elsewhere requiring knowledge of different faith communities.

Programme Structure:

Total credits: 360

Year 1: 120 credits (level 4)

Year 2: 120 credits (level 5)

Year 3: 120 credits (level 6)

Year 1

Introduction to Quranic sciences

(The Course is intended to provide a deep understanding of the Quran, examined under the twin concepts of the oral and the written, indicated by the names given to it: al-Qura’an (Recitation) and al-Kitab (The Book). It will explore the history of the muṣḥaf, collection, readings, makki & madani, and occasions of revelations. It will also investigate the oral aspect of the Qur’an and its role in the life of Muslims. The investigation will engage with both the classical and modern scholarship of the Qur’an. )

Islamic History and Civilisation I

(The module aims to develop a critical understanding of methods, procedures, and materials appropriate to the study of Islamic History and Civilisation. It will present a general introduction to the concept of History from both the Muslim and non-Muslim Sources and an introduction to Pre-Islamic society. The Life of the Prophet Muhammad will be studied in four stages; before Prophet-hood, the revelation and key events leading up to migration, the building of a nascent Muslim community in Medina and key events leading to conquest of Mecca and the death of Prophet Muhammad. It will also cover the lives of the four caliphs after the leadership of the Prophet Muhammad.)

Introduction to Islamic Law: Sources, methodology and schools

The module examines history, sources and terminology of Islamic jurisprudence. It will introduce key concepts along with historical impact while examining different phases, through its sources and methodologies, leading to the development of schools of law, legal theory and practices in pre-modern period.

Science of Hadith I

This module focuses on the science of Hadith (Ulum al-hadith). The module will explore the importance and the development of Ḥadīth in Islam .  It will examine Hadith criticism with regards to both sanad and matn to establish the authenticity of Ḥadīth.  It surveys the terminology, authority, origins, formation, collections, criticism and classifications of Ḥadith in both Sunni and Shi‘i traditions. It will further explore legal and theological significance of Ḥadith and its use by the Sufis.

Major themes in the Quran

Most commentators approach the Qur’an as a sequence of verses to be understood as separate items in a series, leading to a loss of the coherence of the Qur’an. The module aims to introduce students to thematic reading of the Qur’an by examining selected topics in the Qur’an.  The focus will be on two methods namely: thematic interpretation and the sura as a unity. The themes that will covered include God, prophethood, salat, din, islam, du‘a’, huda, ‘ibada, taqwa and ghayb.

Sufism: past and present

This course explores the nature and development of Sufism as an intensification of spirituality in Islam from the earliest manifestations up to the modern times. The course will remain anchored by focusing on scriptural foundation of Sufism in the Qur’an and Sunna. It will examine the essential teaching and practice including maqamat (stations), ahwal (states), Zikr , Divine love and Sufi orders.

Islamic law: comparative ‘ibadat law

This module examines the lives, works, methodologies of the founders of the four Sunni schools of law Abu Hanifa, Malik, al-Shafi ‘i and Ibn Hanbal.  The module will also cover a comparative treatment of the essential features of the four pillars of Islam (‘ibadat) in the four schools.

Islamic theology

The module introduces students to major theological schools and foundational doctrines in Islam. The first part examines historical development of Islamic theology focusing on the Mu‘tazilites, Ash‘arites, Maturidies, Shi‘its, Salafi hanbalism.  The second deals with the six articles of the Islamic faith as articulated by the two major Sunni schools the Ash‘arites,and the Maturidies. The main doctrines are God, the angels, the prophets and messengers, the sacred scriptures and the Divine decree.

Introduction to Qur’anic Arabic -non-assessed optional module runs for two terms

Arabic is the language of the divine revelation; the Qur’an. Therefore studying Arabic is essential to whoever aims to acquire a deep understanding of Islam and its scripture. The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the basics of Arabic grammar and to enable them to read and understand selected parts of the Qur’an. It will cover essential features of Classical Arabic grammar in a clear and logical way.  Moreover, the module will enable the students to read and translate various texts extracted from the Qur’an and prophetic tradition.

World Religions- non-assessed

Western philosophy-non-assessed

Year 2

Core modules

Islamic history and Civilisation II

(The module deals with Islamic history and civilisation within the age of Umayyad and Abbasid period. It will examine political, social and cultural history of these periods focusing on Muslims’ achievements and contributions to the areas of science, philosophy and Arts).

Islamic family law  

(The module will introduce the main areas of Islamic family law within the four Sunni schools. It will examine the formation and the development of the law of marriage, divorce and inheritance giving the students an insight the role of human agency in shaping this law.)

Islamic legal theory: usul al-fiqh           

(The module will examine the major and minor sources of Islamic law and interpretive practices used by the scholars to produce the law. It will cover issues like Ijtihad, fatwas, and Qadais.  It will further examine the relationship between the state and the judiciary within Islam.)

Science of hadith II: major collections

(The module will focus on the six major hadith collections within Sunni Islam. It will examine the biography of the major authors and compare their hadith methodologies. It will further assess the reception and impact of these authors in the later development of this area)

Contemporary Islamic thought

(The module will examine the impact of Modernity on Islamic thought. It will assess Muslims’ response to this challenge from the 19th century onwards. The contemporary context will be analysed by focusing on the main trends and schools such as Salafis, Islamists, and progressive Muslims.)

Year 3

Core modules

Quranic interpretation (tafsir): approaches and commentaries

(This module will examine the main approaches and schools of Quranic interpretations past and present. It will give an overview of the development of the field and its interaction with other areas of Islamic scholarship. Major commentaries both classical and modern will be examined focusing on the intellectual and social conditions that helped to produce them.)

Shari‘a in the modern world

(The module will deal with contemporary context of Islamic law and issues related to its implementation. The module will trace the modern developments that started in the 19th century with the codification of Islamic law in the Ottoman era up to present time focusing the role of the state in its formation.)

Minorities fiqh: issues and challenges

(The module will examine the challenges and the issues of applying Islamic law within non-Islamic larger setting. It will examine the discourse of major Muslim jurists and their solutions to the challenges facing Muslims living as minorities around the world).

Hadith in the modern world: authenticity and authority

(The module will deal with the modern debate about the role of Hadith and Sunna that started in the 19th century. It will focus the discourse of major personalities and groups such as Ahl al-Quran. The module will also examine the role of Hadith in the teaching of contemporary Salafis.)

Dissertation (10000 words)

Optional modules for year 2 & 3

The programme allows you to choose options across the second and final years. Your choices can drive your individual specialism, interests, and the possibilities are very varied, including modules focused on various issues related to the study of Islam and Muslims and engagements with other faiths.

Reading classical Islamic texts in Arabic

(The module introduce students to a selection of texts from classical Arabic including Hadith, selected commentaries on the Qur’an, Kalam, fiqh and literature. The focus of the course will be on the interplay between grammar and meaning. Students are expected to produce English translation of some of these texts.)

Political Islam

(The module examines the phenomenon of political Islam and its various trends from the early 20th Century up till now. This course aims to provide intellectual and analytical tools to understand this multifaceted and complex phenomenon. The course is divided into three parts: an introductory section devoted to the issue of approaching this subject; a second section dealing with the origins and main figures; and third part focusing on the main characteristics of Islamism or political Islam in the contemporary period. )

Islamic philosophy           

(This module examines the development and main debates of Islamic philosophy (falsafa) from its beginning until the 13th century. The works of the main figures will be examined such as al-Kind, al-Farabi, Avicenna (Ibn Sina) and Averroes (Ibn Rushd). The focus of the course will be on the relation between reason and revelation in the writings of these philosophers. )

Muslims in Britain 

(This course will examine the origins of Islam in Britain beginning in the 19th century up to the contemporary period of third generation Muslims.  It will examine various issues and challenges that have arisen in the context of Britain such as identity, implementing of the Shari‘a and minorities jurisprudence, extremism, gender and Muslims participation at local and national levels, and inter-faith relations.)

Islam and Gender  

(This course will examine a range of ways in which Muslim scholars have constructed gender relations and roles. It will examine the interplay between interpretation and culture in this construction. Students will study concepts of gender as they are reflected in classical Islamic texts and the current debate about women and Islam. Attention will be paid to the rise of Islamic feminism and some of its main figures)

Islam and inter-faith relations    

(The course explores current issues related to Muslims relations with other faiths. It will first examine theological and historical context of Muslim’s attitudes to other religions and their impact on the current relations. It will further examine contemporary Muslims initiatives and engagements with other faiths.)

Islam and the media

(The module examine the representations of Muslims and Islam in the media. It will first explore pre-modern views of Islam in the West seen examined by the contemporary discourse about orientalism. The second part of the module will examine current representation of Muslims in various media channels such as TV, newspapers, films and the internet. )

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