Note: There are currently three courses being offered. The Advanced Islamic Jurisprudence Program and the Advanced Islamic Theology Program are both one-year courses that are also available online. The advanced Ifta’ Specialisation Program is a rigorous two-year program for which only a dozen or so places are available, and which is only available to onsite students this year. Many applicants may want to advance their knowledge in jurisprudence but not necessarily want to commit to the rigours of training to be a mufti. The Advanced Islamic Jurisprudence Program is appropriate for this. The Advanced Islamic Theology Program can be taken alongside the Advanced Islamic Jurisprudence Program in the same year or separately over two years. The two courses taken together provide excellent training for imams and religious teachers.
The Advanced Islamic Theology Program
A comprehensive course on Islamic theological beliefs and creed (‘aqida) and the Western intellectual tradition – philosophy, theology and history. This course is to provide a better understanding of the world we live in, the beliefs and ideologies people hold, and the method of dealing with modern ideological challenges such as atheism and liberalism.
This is the ideal course for imams, teachers and any Islamic scholar or leader wanting to understand the modern day ideological challenges.
The advanced Islamic theology program will consist of two modules:
The first module will introduce the students to the Islamic theological tradition through a detailed study of two major primary theological texts namely a commentary of al-‘Aqida al–Tahawiyya by Imam Abu Ja’far al-Tahawi al-Hanafi (d. 321 AH) and Sharh al-Kharida al-Bahiyya of Imam Ahmad al-Dardir al-Maliki (1204 AH).
The study of both these celebrated classical Maturidi and Ash’ari texts will cover some of following issues:
- What Muslims must believe about Allah, the Prophets, and all that is transmitted
- The underlying methodology of mainstream Islamic beliefs
- The centrality of Allah’s transcendence
- The key arguments and doctrines related to the proofs for the existence of God
- The essence and attributes of God
- The subject of prophetology, inimitable nature of the Qur’an, angelology, eschatology, political theology, free-will and predestination.
- A chronological overview of the emergence, development and the key doctrines of the different major sects within Muslim thought.
- A brief overview of traditional Islamic spirituality (tasawwuf)
The second module will introduce the students to the essential ideas, thinkers terminologies, texts, methodologies and debates within the Western intellectual tradition – philosophy, theology, history, polity. Furthermore, students will develop practical skills through aspects of the trivium – thinking correctly (logic), writing well (grammar), speaking persuasively (rhetoric).
Where possible a comparative approach between the Islamic and the Western intellectual traditions will be elaborated.
This module will deal with the theism-atheism debate on theological problems, for instance, the arguments for the existence of god, divine attribute paradoxes, problem of evil, morality, science vs religion, religious truth, epistemology, along with questions related to tradition, modernity, postmodernity, relativism, feminism, gender fluidity, science (evolution, AI), ethics (sexual and biomedical), psychology, societal norms and political science.
Teachers: Mufti Abdur-Rahman Mangera, Ustadh Imran Iqbal and others.
This program taken along with the Advanced Islamic Jurisprudence Program is intended to create confidence in religious leadership, imamat, teaching and generally dealing with the wider intellectual, sociological and religious issues.
This course is open to brothers and sisters and will also be offered online. It requires sufficient Arabic skills to understand the Arabic texts covered. Advanced students of sacred knowledge may also apply.
This course is due to begin on the second week of September 2017.
Duration: 1 year, 3 classes a week (3 hours evenings)
(A discount will be applied for taking the Advanced Theology and Jurisprudence Programs together.)
Venue: Whitethread Institute, 329-333 High Street (2nd floor), Stratford, London E15 2TF (former site of Interlink College)
For more information please email email@example.com
To register please visit: http://whitethreadinstitute.org/advanced-islamic-theology-program/
FAQ for Advanced Islamic Theology Program
Q1) Can students pay monthly or do they have to pay in one payment?
- A full payment is required before the course begins or an assurance is required by a guarantor if paying through two installments.
Q2) What software will you use for those students who wish to study online?
- We are still exploring the various online learning platforms.
Q3) Will students be expected to log in live or is there pre-recorded option for those that are abroad due to time differences?
- We would like the students to login live so they can have interaction with the instructors. However, we may make recordings available where possible.
Q4) If Pre-recorded then how do we ask questions?
- We are still exploring this option.
Q5) When do you plan to start the course?
- The course has been scheduled to start on the second week of September following hajj.
Q6) Will the Jurisprudence course and the Islamic theology course run each year?
- We are planning to run it each year, insha Allah.
Q7) Does the cost of the course also cover the kitabs?
- The cost of the course will cover any handouts provided but not necessarily the cost of text books.
Q8) I was wondering if you offer financial aid opportunities or anything to help.
- We are trying to arrange some financial aid packages for those eligible for zakat.
Q9) Do you offer dorms for the Ifta’ Specialisation Program?
- Unfortunately, we do not have any dormitory facility for any of our courses. However, a person may take up residence in the local areas in rented accommodation or stay with family or friends and attend the classes.
Q10) Will students be permitted to attend days when they can make it and other days online?
- This is not encouraged unless absolutely necessary and may be available only for some of the courses.
Q11) Will there be exams and assignments?
- Yes, exams and some assignments are to be expected.
Q12) What will be the language of the instructor?
- English and some Arabic and possibly Urdu.
Q13) What can be expected in regards to workload?
- The Advanced Jurisprudence and Theology Programs will require at least a few hours a week in addition to taught classes for reading and preparation.
Q14) Will all classes be held at the same venue or are we expected to travel to different locations for some classes?
- Majority of classes will be held at our location, except in rare circumstances.
Q15) Will an authorization permitting graduates to teach some of the books be granted after completion of the course?
- Yes, insha Allah.
NOTE: All information above is subject to change as the programs are developed.