We teach a living, breathing Islam. We know the importance of building one’s faith and religion upon good, constructive foundations which come to life in everyday reality. This is why we decided to provide structured courses of learning to the already existing circles of study at the mosque.
The ‘Sisters’ Circle’ had been running for over a decade – maa.shaa.Allah! In recognition of the importance of women and education, the mosque consulted the sisters to see how the circle’s framework could be adapted to offer a structured programme of study to the sisters.
We came up with ‘Foundation Islam’ – a course of study combining flexibility and practicality with progression. Students are offered four-week courses on the essential Islamic sciences: Aqidah (Creed), Fiqh (Jurisprudence), Tafsir (Qur’anic Exegesis), Hadith, Sirah (the Prophetic Biography) at gradual progressive stages. Each course is assessed at the end of the four weeks before a new module is introduced. This enables the students to learn in manageable bite-size chunks as they build on their knowledge of Islam. Although the modules build on one another, breaking them into four-week chunks grants students the flexibility to join and rejoin the programme at any point since there is no ‘long-haul’ study. You get from the overall programme the number of courses you consistently attend!
We have so far covered two courses: the first was the ‘Methodology of Seeking Knowledge’ and the second – which we have just concluded – was ‘Introductory Aqidah’. The sisters sat their assessments this evening and the main picture of this post shows them taking in some calories before the test.
The test is of course not mandatory, but we believe that learning should be assessed for both the student and teacher’s sake. A bit of cake always helps! The next course of study is ‘Living Islam in the West: Challenges & Opportunities’. Since we started the ‘Foundation Islam’ course for women on Tuesdays at 6.30pm, the men requested a similar programme. We responded by offering them the ‘Student of Knowledge’ class on Thursdays at 6.30pm. The course content and design is the same for both.
We want to create a community of knowledge through creating a ‘living breathing’ study programme which can be accessed by anyone from anywhere. In beginning to achieve this, we plan on compiling the notes of study, sharing them online and editing them as we go along. Please stay tuned.