Changing my Intention While Fasting

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: If I begin a make-up fast, then change my intention to a voluntary fast, does that affect the type of fast?

Answer: Jazak Allah Khairan for your question.

Your change of intention, after having started a fast, will not harm or alter your fast, whatsoever. The original intention upon which the fast was started will remain.

“…the fasting person, who is making up an obligatory fast, if after having started the fast, he intends to start a different fast, it would not harm (the original fast).” [Maraqi al-Falah]

Allahu ‘Alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

Forms of Charity Not Permissible in Islam

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Amongst subcontinental Muslims, there is a practice of “sadaqa utarna” which is done when someone is suffering from sickness, or there is a suspicion of black magic. Something used for charity is cast over the affected person thrice, The object is then discarded or given to the poor for their use. Is this permissible or a bidah?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

This practice does not have any basis in the sunna as far as I know and should be avoided. There are many sunna supplications, suras, and collections of verses which are effective in such matters. It is better to refer to them.

Innovations

An innovation, bid’a, is a practice that contradicts the spirit of the sunna. In a sense, it opposes and attempts the replace it. Otherwise, new practices are not automatically problematic. (Nabulsi, al Hadiqa al Nadiyya).

This is understood from the hadith of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, “Whoever initiates in this matter of ours that which is not of it, it is completely rejected.“ (Bukhari) So, any matter which embodies the spirit of the sunna, and strives to achieve one of the higher aims of the Sacred Law, is not blameworthy – as long as it doesn’t contradict an established practice.

Seeking Protection and Healing

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace would seek healing and protection through the recitation of the last two chapters of the Qur’an and various other supplication which can be found in Imam Nawawi’s Book of Remembrances. He also sought out conventional means of treatment when he was ill.

It is better to adopt this approach than to take up superstitious actions. Always remember the words of our Maker, “If Allah afflicts you with any harm then there is no one who can remove it save Him.” (Qur’an; 10:107)

The practice you described is not rooted in Islam, nor in any form of medicine. It’s the best shunned.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Saving Our Souls Series

Our teacher, Shaykh Yusuf Weltch, guides us through a journey, a path that ultimately leads to true happiness; the love of Allah.  Join us as we take this trip.  Keep an eye on this page for updates to new articles and podcasts.

Part 1: Introduction | Click here

  • An article on the heart and the need to take care of it

Part 2: Obligations of the Heart | Click here

  • We’ve heard of bodily obligations, but what are the obligations of the heart?

Part 3: A Precious Counsel from a Revered Scholar | Click here

  • The believer’s state

Part 4: 22 Sins of the Heart | Click here

  • Yes, even the heart can sin, which are the worst of sins

Part 5: 12 Sins of the Stomach

  • Everything we digest has an impact on the heart

Part 6: The Disobedience of the Eyes

Part 7: The Sins of the Tongue

Part 8: The Sins of the Ears

Part 9: The Sins of the Hand

Part 10: The Sins of the Private Parts

Part 11: TBA

Part 12: TBA

Is It Obligatory to Participate in the Tabligh Movement?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: Is it obligatory to participate in the Tabligh Jamat Effort? Should I feel bad for not participating? How do I deal with the criticisms I face for not joining the Tabligh Effort?

Answer: Wa Alaikum al-Salam

May Allah continue to bring you closer to His good pleasure and make you a conduit of guidance.

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Tabligh Jamat is indeed a praiseworthy effort and was founded with great intentions of rectifying the state of the Muslims. They are indeed fulfilling a communal obligation of calling to Allah and forbid the evil.

It is, however, not an individual obligation. To consider this effort individually obligatory, such that one is sinful or shameful for not participating, is innovation and strictly prohibited.

Allah, Most High says, “Let there be amongst you a people who summon toward good, command what is right, and forbidding the prohibited. They are the successful.” [Qur’an; 07:104]

Calling to Good and Forbidding from Evil

The Believer is responsible to call to good and forbid evil on a general level within their one capacity. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever amongst you sees a wrong, then let him change it with his hand, and if (that is) not (possible), then with his tongue, if not, then with his heart, and that is the weakest of faith.” [Muslim] However, to do so, in the form or way of the Tabligh Jamat is not an obligation.

What do I do?

If you experience hardship when you go to such a masjid then if you have another option it may be best to go there instead. That is, if the alternative masjid, is proper and teaches the correct Islamic Understanding. If you are not able to go to another masjid, just explain to the people that you don’t wish to participate anymore.

You should not blame yourself and you should not feel that you are any less of a Muslim for not participating in that effort. There are many ways to gain the pleasure of Allah and you should search what works best for you.

Allah, Most High says, “Verily those who strive for Us, We will certainly guide them to our ways.” [Quran: 29;69]

Allah, Most High in this verse, mention ways, in the plural.

May Allah continue to bless you
Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

Is It Permissible for a Woman to Travel Accompanied by Her Young Son?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question: Is it permissible for a woman to travel accompanied by her young son?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Conditions of a Chaperone

It is permissible for you to travel with your 12-year-old son. A woman must travel either with her spouse or non-marriageable kin (mahram) who is trustworthy, mature (i.e. reached puberty), and of sound intellect. The pre-pubescent child is allowed as well, like the mature. [al-Hadiyah al-Alaiyah]

The Age of a Pre-Pubescent Child

A male child is considered pre-pubescent (murahiq) when he reaches 12 years of age. This is because 12 is the earliest age that a boy can reach puberty. [al-Hadiyah al-Alaiyah]

Hope this helps
Allahu A’alam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of Qur’an and the Islamic sciences.

One Year Intermediate Program in Shafi’i Fiqh and Usul

Reliance of the Traveller (Umdat al-Salik) (Level Three) with The Essence of Islamic Legal Theory (Lubb al-Usul) (Level Three) with Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

In the Name of Allah, Merciful and Compassionate, with blessings and peace upon our Master Muhammad, his folk, and companions

Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan, a senior instructor at SeekersGuidance, will be teaching live weekly classes covering two key texts in Shafi’i fiqh and usul over the course of one year:

Program Description

This one-year Specialization Certificate Program is an Intermediate Program in Shafi’i  Fiqh and Usul. It covers Level three of the SeekersGuidance Islamic Studies Curriculum in Shafi’i  Fiqh and Usul.

This program will encompass a thorough study of two texts.

  • Umdat as-Salik (Reliance of the Traveller) (Level Three of the SeekersGuidance Islamic Studies Curriculum), in full–with readings from the commentary of umda, Fath al-Wahhab al-Malik, and Mahalli’s commentary on the Minhaj, Kanz al-Ragibin, with its Hashiyah by Qalyubi  
  • Shaykh al-Islam’s Lubb al-Usul (Level Three)–with reference to his own commentary, Gayat al-wusul.

Class Format

Three live classes per week, 45-60 Minutes each. Students are expected to attend live, or to follow the recordings.

There will be an online forum for questions, discussion, and related texts and resources. 

Preparation, participation, and asking questions is expected – as is the following of recommended readings.

Conditions for Joining the Class

This is an intermediate level class in Shafi’i fiqh (Level Three) which adequately prepares a student to study the Minhaj al-Talibin of Imam al-Nawawi. It is therefore essential for students to have completed the study of the following works or their  equivalent:

Required Text:

  • al-Risalah al-Jami’ah (Habshi’s Encompassing Epistle Explained)
  • al-Mukhtasar (Ba Fadl’s The Short Abridgement)
  • Abu Shuja’ with experience readings from ibn Qasim’s commentary with its’ Hashiyah by Imam Bajuri

Recommended Text:

  • Safina al-Naja 
  • Al-Muqaddima Al-Hadramiyya with experience reading from one of its commentaries such as Bushra Al-Karim 

As this course encompasses Level Three usul, students are required to have completed a study of the Waraqat of Imam al-Haramayn.

For students without this, we recommend that they begin with Level One, then Level Two of the Islamic Studies Curriculum [link].

Although this class is completely free, students are expected to apply for the course and will need to be approved by the SeekersGuidance Academy team.

Language of Instruction

The Arabic text will be studied with English commentary.

Timings

Monday at 12:00 (GMT +2 | Cape Town)
Wednesday at 12:00 (GMT +2 | Cape Town)
Thursday at 12:00 (GMT +2 | Cape Town)

Location

This class will be offered online only via Zoom

Student Expectations

The expectations from the students would be to:

i. Prepare for the class.

ii. [a] Attend the class, with attentiveness, [b] participation, [c] asking questions.

iii. Review the class notes and text. Diagramming the text helps.

iv. Take notes. It is best to write out the matn itself, and essentials from the commentary (such as the key details and reasoning). This is also a good Arabic writing practice.

v. Participate in the Class Forum–by asking questions, sharing issues of benefit, and getting involved in the relevant discussions, with the proper manners of a keen seeker of knowledge (talib `ilm).

vi. Seek Allah’s Pleasure, and have high secondary intentions of acting upon what

Application Form

The Masters and the Millennials | Part 2: Knowledge – Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

This is the second part of a series, click here for the previous article.

Knowledge and it’s virtue
Knowledge is very important. It has a prominent place in Islam. It is one of the primary foundations of the Ba ‘Alawi way. Allah Most High said to His beloved (blessings and peace be upon him): “Say, my Lord, increase me in knowledge” (20:114). When Allah commands His beloved to do something, that thing is beloved to Him. He instructed the Prophet to ask for an increase in knowledge because it is one of the most noble and honourable qualities. So we should ask Allah as often as possible to increase us in knowledge.

Abu Hurayrah once announced in the marketplace, “O people, what is preventing you from taking your share of the Prophet’s inheritance? It is being distributed.” They asked where it was being distributed, so he answered, “in the mosque”. They went to the mosque and returned, saying, “O Abu Hurayrah, you said the Prophet’s legacy is being distributed in the mosque, but we found nothing except people praying, reciting the Qur’an and revising knowledge – the fiqh of halal and ḥaram.” Abu Hurayrah said, “Woe to you, the inheritance of the Prophet is in the gathering of knowledge.” He quoted the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him), “Indeed, Prophets did not leave wealth as an inheritance. They only left knowledge as an inheritance.”

The Prophet also said to his companions, “You are living in a time when the jurists are many and the teachers are few, those who ask are few and those who give are many, and action is better than knowledge. But a time will come when the jurists are few and the teachers are many.” This statement is very apt in our time. Many people study merely so they can deliver talks. The Prophet referred to this as a bad development. People are not focused on knowledge, but on how well they are able to speak. He went on to say: “A time will come when many will ask and few will give, and knowledge will be better than action.”

Hasan al-Basri said that, had knowledge taken a form, it would have been more splendid than the sun, the moon, the stars and the sky. Imam Shafi’i said whoever desires this world or the next should seek knowledge because he is need of knowledge in this life and the next. Allah Most High gives worldly things to those He loves as well as those He does not love, but He only gives knowledge to those He loves.

Habib ‘Aydarus bin ‘Umar al-Habshi said knowledge is food for the heart. Therefore he would make the du’a that is made after eating at the end of every gathering of knowledge.

Correct worship requires knowledge
Without knowledge we are not able to worship Allah truly. A man may worship Allah the way angels do, but if he does so without knowledge he will be one of the losers.

‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz said that the one who acts and does good without having knowledge spreads more bad than good. Sayyidina ‘Umar bin al-Khatab (Allah be pleased with him) said that someone who has not studied is not allowed to buy and sell in the marketplace. One who does not study the law of commercial transactions ends up consuming riba unknowingly.

Consider the following telling example: A man from Morocco was known to exert himself in worship. One day he purchased a female donkey that he did not use for anything. Someone asked him why he was keeping it if he was not using it. He replied that it was there to keep him chaste. He was engaging in bestiality not knowing it is haram.

It is really important to participate in classes of knowledge. Learning is a cycle that should never end. Imam Ghazali said one should attend a class every day. We should start by attending at least one a week, and then increase our attendance slowly until we are able to attend a class every day.

One Year Intermediate Program in Hanafi Fiqh and Usul

 

Nasafi’s Kanz al-Daqa‘iq (Level Three) with Halabi’s Mukhtasar al-Manar (Level Two) with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In the Name of Allah, Merciful and Compassionate, with blessings and peace upon our Master Muhammad, his folk, and companions

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, founder and senior instructor at SeekersGuidance, will be teaching a live weekly class covering two key texts in Hanafi fiqh and usul over one year:

One. Imam Nasafi’s Kanz al-Daqa’iq (Level Three of the SeekersGuidance Islamic Studies Curriculum), in full–with extensive readings from Imam Abu ’l-Su’ud’s Hashiya on Mulla Miskin’s Commentary; Afghani’s Kashf al-Haqa’iq; and other Hanafi reference works.

Two. Ibn Habib’s Mukhtasar al-Manar, an abridgement of Imam Nasafi’s Manar in usul al-fiqh (Level Two)–with reference to Ibn Qutlubugha’s Commentary, and other essential readings.

Class Format

Two live classes per week, 2 hours each. Students are expected to attend live, or to follow the recordings.

Preparation, participation, questions, and doing recommended readings is expected.

There will be an online forum for questions, discussion, and for related texts, and resources. The pdf of the commentary and other important works will be provided.

Conditions for Joining the Class

This is an intermediate level class in Hanafi fiqh (Level Three) and usul (Level Two of the Seekers Islamic Studies Curriculum)

Students are expected to have completed the equivalent of the Level One and Two requirements in Hanafi fiqh–such as having completed Quduri’s Mukhtasar, or Mawsili’s Mukhtar under a teacher.

For students without this, we recommend that they begin with Level One, then Level Two of the Islamic Studies Curriculum.

Student Expectations

The expectations from the students would be to:

One. Prepare for the class.

Two. Attend the class, with attentiveness, [b] participation, [c] asking questions.

Three. Review the class notes and text. Diagramming the text helps.

Four. Take notes. It is best to write out the matn itself, and essentials from the commentary (such as the key details and reasoning). This is also good Arabic writing practice.

Five. Participate in the Class Forum–by asking questions, sharing issues of benefit, and getting involved in the relevant discussions, with the proper manners of a keen seeker of knowledge (talib `ilm).

Six. Seek Allah’s Pleasure, and have high secondary intentions of acting upon what you learn with excellence, preserving and transmitting Prophetic guidance, to benefit yourself and to benefit others, and to gain all the benefits mentioned by Allah and the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) for those who seek and transmit sacred knowledge for the sake of Allah.

And Allah alone gives success.

Application Form

The Masters and the Millennials | Introduction – Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

This is the start of a series of articles that are based on al-Fawa’id al-Mukhtarah, one of the seminal works of the great scholar al-Habib Zayn bin Sumayt. The book contains advice on a wide range of subjects that are relevant to daily life, drawing on examples from the Habaib from Hadramout. We will be exploring this advice within the context of Muslims living in the West, with the aim of deriving guidance from it on ways to deal with modern challenges.

Click here to listen to their accompanying podcasts.

Introduction

This is the first article in a new series, which is designed to derive benefit from the book Al-Fawa‘id al-Mukhtarah li Salik Tariq al-Akhirah, which contains selected beneficial anecdotes for the wayfarer by Habib Zayn bin Sumayt.

The book covers a vast array of topics. The article series (and podcast series) aims to derive benefit from the ahadith and ayahs quoted in it, as well as to find practical examples from the lives of the pious that assist us in our lives.

We are 1,400 years away from the life of the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) so there are very few current prophetic examples for us to follow. However, the scholars of the Ba‘alawiyyah from Tarim in Yemen – the Haba’ib – are real examples from the twenty-first century.
We will draw on these examples and from the comments in the book to derive insight into the challenges, psychological problems, abuses and addictions we face in the west. Although the book is traditional, it provides us with an opportunity to see how we can live in the modern era by following the ways of these giants – the heirs of the Prophet.
Before we begin our discussion of the book, it is important to outline the biography of Habib Zayn bin Sumayt.

Author’s Biography
He is a member of the Prophet’s family. He is Ḥusayni. His lineage goes through many pious forebears, such as al-Faqih al-Muqqadam and al-Imam Ahmad ibn ʻIsa al-Muhajir, through Sayyidina Husayn to the Prophet Muhammad. He is Hadrami because his family hails from Hadramaut although he was born 79 years ago in Jakarta.
He is an authority on Shafi’i fiqh and taṣawwuf. He was born of pious parents and his father ensured that he sat in the company of the pious, such as Habib ‘Ali bin ‘Alawi al-Haddad. After he reached puberty he went to Tarim to study at the hands of various scholars and in various institutes. His most senior teacher was Habib ‘Alawi bin ‘Abd Allah bin ‘Aydarus bin Shihab. He was also taught by Habib Ja‘far bin Ahmad al-‘Aydarus, who manifested many miracles and who loved horses. Habib Muhammad bin Salim bin Hafiz was another of his teachers.
After he had been in Tarim for eight years, Habib Muḥammad told him to go to Bayḍa’ to teach. He did so and joined the ribat of Habīb Muḥammad al-Haddar. When Sayyid Habib ‘Umar bin Muḥammad al-Hafiz went to Bayda’ he studied under Habib Zayn.
Interestingly, both Habib Zayn and Habib ‘Umar married daughters of Habib Muhammad al-Haddar. Habib Muhammad observed Habib ‘Umar’s inner light and wanted him as a son-in-law. He told Habib ‘Umar that he had two daughters, one who had been married previously and had a daughter, and another who had never been married. He said Habib ‘Umar was free to choose to marry either of them.
Instead of deciding quickly, Habib ‘Umar consulted Habib Zayn. He said he was looking for a wife who would help him call people to Allah. Habib Zayn said the daughter who had been married previously was the one who would aid him best in that endeavour, so he married her.
Habib Zayn taught in Bayda’ for thirty years. Thereafter he moved to Madinah and opened a ribat. It attracted many students, so the government ordered that it be shut down. Habib Zayn had to decide whether to leave Madinah to continue teaching, or to remain there without teaching. He decided to remain there because of his connection to his grandfather (blessings and peace be upon him).
His wife passed away a few years ago, and this caused him much sorrow. This was because he was very attached to her, much like our beloved Prophet was attached to Sayyidah Khadījah (Allah be pleased with her).

Summary of the Book
The book begins with a chapter on the importance of knowledge. It delves into the etiquette between students, on the one hand, and shaykhs and imams, on the other, as well as the relationship between laypeople and scholars. These issues are foundational to Muslims.
Habib Zayn’s anecdotes span a broad spectrum of issues, including calling people to Allah; the importance of the Qur’an; halal and haram; the rights of one Muslim over another; enjoining the good; the tongue and it’s being a source of harm in the world; sincerity; humility; the disparagement of haughtiness and ostentation; hope in Allah; and following the sunnah.
With the aid of Allah, we will be traversing some of these issues in this series of articles (and podcasts). Our focus will be on how we can ensure that our lives in the West resemble the life of our beloved Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him).

 

One-Year Specialization Certificate in Islamic Theology, Logic and Contemporary Challenges

In the Name of Allah, Merciful and Compassionate, with blessings and peace upon our Master Muhammad, his folk and companions.

Program Description

This is a one-year Specialization Certificate Program in Islamic Theology, Logic and Contemporary Challenges. It covers Level Four of the SeekersGuidance Islamic Studies Curriculum in ‘Aqīda (Islamic beliefs), and Level Three of Manṭiq (Logic). 

This program will encompass a thorough study of three texts. 

  1. The first is Sharḥ al-‘Aqā’id al-Nasafīya, one of the most important works ever written in `Ilm al-Kalām, which will take the full duration of the program (50 weeks). 
  2. The second text is Shaykh al-Islam Zakarīyā al-Ansārī’s Commentary on al-Abaharī’s Īsāghūjī titled: al-Maṭlaʻ, an integral part of the Logic curriculum at al-Azhar of Egypt and the Madrasas of al-Shām, which will be taught in parallel to Sharḥ al-‘Aqā’id  during the first half of the program. 
  3. The third text is al-Intibahāt al-Mufīda ‘an al-Ishtibahāt al-Jadīda by Imam Muḥammad Ashraf ‘Alī Thānvī, one of the most powerful attempts to revitalize `Ilm al-Kalām in the early 20th century, which will be also taught in parallel of Sharḥ al-‘Aqā’id, but during the second half of the program, so after the conclusion of al-Matla`.

Class Format

Two pre-recorded classes per week, an hour and a half each; and one bi-weekly live discussion. 

Students are expected to follow the recordings and attend the live session.

Preparation, participation, questions, and doing recommended readings are expected.

There will be an online forum for questions, discussion, and for related texts, and resources. The PDFs of the assigned texts and other important readings will be provided.

Program Objectives

The objectives of this program are:

(1) to begin the journey of gaining mastery of Sunni theological reasoning; 

(2) to develop a capacity of reading advanced-level theological texts; 

(3) to be prepared and equipped for the study of Philosophical Theology; 

(4) to engage with contemporary theological challenges; and above all, 

(5) to seek the pleasure of Allah through benefiting oneself and others by preserving, acting upon, and transmitting this noble Prophetic inheritance.

Course Teacher

This course shall be taught by Shaykh Ahmed Hussein El Azhary, a Senior Instructor at SeekersGuidance. He is also a teacher of Kalam, Logic, Hadith, and Usūl at Rawdatul-Na`īm under the supervision of Habib `Ali al-Jifrī; and at Madyafat Shaykh Ismaīl Sadiq al-`Adawī (Allah have mercy upon him), a prominent learning center by al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo. Shaykh Ahmed began his journey of studying traditional sciences about 20 years ago. In addition to studying with scholars from al-Azhar, he had the privilege of studying with visiting scholars from Algeria and India in a one-on-one format and was thus given an exceptional opportunity to study and discuss advanced-level texts of different sorts and over a long period of time. Formerly, he worked as a Lead Researcher at Tabah Foundation. He was appointed by Habib `Ali al-Jifrī to architect the philosophical framework of Suaal initiative – an initiative concerned with modelling an Islamic philosophical response to contemporary existential questions. Shaykh Ahmed continues to participate in Suaal Initiative through essays, public lectures, and workshops. Alongside five published works on the Art of Deep Reading, Philosophy of Education and Pedagogy, Linguistics and the Art of Scientific Investigation, he has published a commentary on “Kifayat al-Muhaqiq,” Imam al-Arwādi’s Logic manual. He also has two published research papers by Tabah Foundation; one on the permissibility of inquiry in matters of creed and the other is a critical response to Sam Harris’ “The Moral Landscape.”

Conditions for Joining the Program

This is an upper-intermediate to advanced class in `Ilm al-Kalām—the science of Islamic beliefs (‘Aqīda). It covers Level Four of the SeekersGuidance Islamic Studies Curriculum.

Students need to have completed a study of at least two of the following texts or their equivalent: al-Dardir’s Commentary on al-Kharīda, al-Bajūrī’s Commentary on al-Jawhara, and al-Sanusi’s Commentary on Umm al-Barāhīn.

This program will be taught in English, but knowledge of Classical Arabic and familiarity with Classical Arabic texts is necessary.

Student Expectations

The expectations from the students would be to:

Prepare for the classes, by 

[a] thorough reading of the matn; 

[b] deep reading of the commentary–with focus on the theological reasoning mentioned in the commentary; 

[c] preparing properly thought-out questions related to the text and its implications. 

It is encouraged, especially for more advanced students, to research key issues in the various super-commentaries and glosses written on Sharḥ al-‘Aqā’id and al-Maṭlaʻ. This, however, is a recommendation, but not a requirement. Students who are ready to engage super-commentaries are welcome to email the teacher for advice on this.

Watch the recordings of the class with 

[a] attentiveness, through cutting out distractions (no surfing, messaging, texting, etc); 

[b] taking notes of essential details, especially matters related to unpacking the text and analyzing its content; 

[c] asking questions based on their preparation or related to anything they found to be unclear whether in the text or the recordings of the teacher.

Review of the class notes and texts. Research of issues that arise is encouraged and asking questions regarding things that remain unclear is essential. The more you can keep reviewing the text and its commentary the better. 

Test yourself by checking whether you remember the key details. Diagramming the text helps.

Take notes. It is best to create your own copy of the texts (‘Aqā’id al-Nasafī and Īsāghūjī) itself and add to it essentials from the assigned commentaries and preferably from the recommended super-commentaries. This is also good Arabic scholarly writing practice.

Participate in the Class Forum by asking questions, sharing issues of benefit, and getting involved in the relevant discussions, with the proper manners of a keen seeker of knowledge.

Seek Allah’s assistance, make this a means of seeking His pleasure, have high secondary intentions of acting upon what you learn with excellence, preserving and transmitting Prophetic guidance, to benefit yourself and to benefit others, and to gain all the benefits mentioned by Allah and the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) for those who seek and transmit sacred knowledge for the sake of Allah.

Students Evaluation

Students will be evaluated through a variety of quizzes, written assignments, projects and oral exams.  Each class will be accompanied by a quiz. Writing assignments and projects will be demanded periodically (a detailed schedule will be announced). Oral exams are imperative to receive the Ijaza Certificate.

Application Form