Courses may be one, two or three credit hours, depending on the number of class contact hours scheduled.
500 Epistemology of Islam: Students will study the fundamental dimensions of an Islamic epistemology and its philosophy, beginning with a study of the Islamic worldview (of life, man, and the universe), and then moving on to consider the classification of knowledge by Islam, the paradigms regulating that classification, and the methodology used to study it. The development of knowledge in the experience of Islamic civilization is also studied, with particular attention to contemporary efforts at articulating a revised Islamic theory of knowledge and its prescriptions for dealing with the Quran, the Sunnah, the intellectual heritage of Islam, and the intellectual heritage of humanity in general.
501 Islamic Philosophy: This course surveys the development of ideas in the history of Islamic philosophy by examining the nature of philosophical thinking, the speculative tradition in Islamic thought, and the rise of the philosophical tradition.
502 Comparative Religion and Civilization: This course studies the nature of the relationship between religion and civilization in both history and theory. The course also examines how the vitality of civilizations may be seen as proportionate to the strength of their religious vision and practice.
505a Preliminary Arabic: This course is designed for students who have no background in Arabic. It will focus on learning the Arabic alphabet, pronunciation, and basic vocabulary.
505b Introductory Arabic: Basic components of the classical Arabic language; with emphasis on the triliteral verbs (those verbs whose roots are based on three letters) and the recognition of parts of speech; elementary Arabic syntax and rules of grammar. Students will also be introduced to the use of Arabic dictionaries.
506a Intermediate Arabic: This course is designed to further the student's facility with Arabic phonology, syntax, and morphology through exercises and readings of selected text, from the Quran, Sunnah, and other religious literature of the classical period so as to familiarize the students with the styles, idioms, imagery, and symbolism of the Arabic verb forms (irregular verbs and verbs whose roots are based on four, five, and six letters).
506b Advanced Arabic: Further studies in Arabic grammar, morphology, and syntax; and their applications in the Quran, Sunnah, and other classical Arabic texts. More emphasis will be placed on the techniques and approaches to the problems of contemporary translation.
507 Principles of Islamic Sciences: This course will examine the general foundations of Islamic Sciences; Quranic Sciences, Hadith Sciences, Legal Theory, Fiqh, and Theology. The course will clarify the definitions, premises, and the epistemological postulates and boundaries of these sciences. The course will also explore the relationships among them and how they are distinct but interrelated.
508 History of Islamic Sciences: This course traces the emergence and the evolution of Islamic disciplines, surveying the key turning points and focusing on major scholars and their contributions. The course will survey the historical context and paradigmatic transformation of each of the disciplines.
509 Religion and the Philosophy of History: This course examines the philosophy of history, and its place in the scheme of knowledge. The course is an attempt to examine the Islamic philosophy of history compared and contrasted to several other Western philosophies. The course will explore the concept of universal laws (sunnan) as the philosophical framework in which the development and the motion of history takes place.
510 Epistemology and Research Methodology: This course will examine the process by which one knows the premises and postulates of sciences and their relations to conclusions. The course will emphasize methods of analysis and critique of different approaches to knowing. It combines methodology and research in Islamic and social sciences.
511 Introduction to Quranic Sciences: This course deals with the general concepts of Quranic sciences, including issues such as variant readings, abrogations, absolute and relative verses, etc. Different schools of interpretations will be studied along with their methodologies, the authenticity of tafsir, and its relation with the Quran. The course will also consider the impact of culture and the societal context on tafsir.
512 Methods of Deriving Rules in Fiqh: This course will deal with the methods and principles used by scholars of fiqh in deriving their rules and establishing schools of fiqh. The course is theoretical, examining the rules of Islamic legal theory (usul) and its application to fiqh. The course will cover three levels of fiqh discourse: usul al fiqh, al qawaid, and fiqh.
513 Introduction to Islamic Fiqh: The focus of this course will be to provide the students with an overview of the key concepts in the field of fiqh, the different types of fiqh, the madhabs and their differences, the relation between usul al fiqh and fiqh, and also the implications of fiqh on life and society, with a special reference to North America.
514 Comparative Methods in Fiqh: This course analyzes the reasons behind the differences of schools of Islamic fiqh, investigating the methodology of each and how to approach them. Different schools of law surveyed include the Malikiyyah, Shafiyyah, Hanafiyyah, Hanabilah, Zaydiyyah, Jaffariyyah, and Ibadiyyah.
516 Movements of Political Reform and Intellectual Renewal in Islam: This course surveys the emergence and development of the main movements in Islamic history, such as the Kharajite, Shi'a, Sufi groups, etc. The course will also examine the attempts to renew Islamic intellectual thought by scholars such as Ghazzali, Ibn Taymiyyah, Al 'Izz Ibn Abd al Salam, and Sufi groups. The connection between historical groups and contemporary movements will be examined to reveal whether the new movements are a continuation of earlier movements or of a different nature to introduce fundamentally new ideas and practices.
517 Prophethood and Politics: This course explores the Islamic experiment as a different model with regard to the relationship between prophethood and politics. It explores the relationship between the state and society in Islamic society; and the meaning, nature, and role of prophethood from the perspectives of the major religious traditions. Particular emphasis will be placed on sovereignty and its relationship to prophethood. The point of agreement and disagreement between religion and politics through an understanding of key concepts such as authority, the Islamic state, theocracy, and others will be explored.
518 Islam and World Affairs: This course examines some of the factors behind the politicalization of Islam, ranging from the "theocratic tradition" in Islam to the partition of India, from the politics of petroleum to the Islamization of Black nationalism, from the jihad tradition to Islam's dispute with Zionism over Palestine. Special attention will be paid to trends in the final years of the twentieth century and the tensions between Islam, capitalism and other ideologies. The course will examine not only the "clash of civilization" thesis but also dialogue between cultures and religions.
520 Creed and Ethics: This course will analyze the general rules of 'ilm al aqeedah (creed), and its application to ethics. Issues such as tawhid, and Allah's Names and Attributes will be analyzed and applied as a source of ethics.
521 Textual Analysis of Quran and Hadith: This course will examine the possibilities for a new methodology in dealing with the Quran and hadith, and applied to specific subjects including riba, the family, and women's issues. This methodology should take into consideration the traditional Islamic sciences, modern social sciences, and linguistics.
522 Islamic Social System: This course will examine the fiqh of family, marriage, children, inheritance, and social relations. The traditional fiqh in these areas will be examined against contemporary problems.
523 Islamic Economics: This course will analyze traditional fiqh in transactions and relate it to contemporary problems that were not known in Islamic history. It will examine the possibilities of implementing Islamic law in modern situations involving exchange with institutions rather than individuals.
524 State - Society Relations in the Muslim World: A "Regional Study": This course examines state-society relations in different Islamic regions from a historical point of view. We begin with the historical background of this relation, examining its type and the rules that shaped this relation. The course investigates the role of the society and state, the building of the polity, and the outcome of this relation. This course will deal with different regions of the Islamic world each time it is taught, including the Arab world, sub-Sahara Africa, Central Asia (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, and the Turkish world), South Asia, and Southeast Asia.
525 Political Culture and Development in the Muslim World: This course will examine political norms and ethics, and their role in building societies in the Muslim world. The course will consider the impact of culture on the individual's perception of politics, the state, acceptance and adoption of new technology, and willingness to deal with new institutions such as parliaments and political parties.
526 New Social Forces in the Political Process: This course will examine women and civil society as new emerging players in politics and political science. Examples from the Muslim world will be studied under both topics.
530 Quranic Sciences: The Quran and its Exegesis: The major concentration in this course will be the rich exegetical tradition of the Quran. Before reading one major surah or a number of shorter suwar, students study the development of the science of Tafsir (exegesis) and its ancillary branches, along with examining the history of varieties of Quran exegesis.
531 Methodology for Dealing with the Quranic Sciences: An in-depth look at the place of the Quran in the Islamic paradigm of knowledge, the nature of the Quran and its universal message, defining the special characteristics of its globality and finality. Students will study two readings, the reading of the Quran in light of real-existential and the reading of the real-existential in the light of the Quran. The structural characteristics of the Quran; its coherence, syntactical integrity, and the relationship between its verses and chapters will be explored. Students will also study contemporary attempts at developing new approaches for understanding the Quran as a source of knowledge, a source of legislation, a book of worship, and a book of stewardship.
541 Independent Studies (usually 3 credit hours): Course content is determined by the faculty member and the student taking that course.
542 Women & the Family in an Islamic Context: This is a foundational course in an emerging interdisciplinary field that takes Muslim Women' Studies for its focus. It explores and suggests a conceptual framework for examining social questions against perspectives drawing on authentic Islamic cognitive and normative sources. Women's status and role are re-examined through engaging the Quran as the transcendent record of revealed guidance in a moral economy postulating creation, election, freedom and responsibility. The Quranic worldview on family philosophy and laws will be analyzed throughout a holistic methodology for sociological inquiry are evolved in a concrete issue oriented setting to the benefit of redefining women roles in the family, and shedding new light on the issues at stake.
544 Non-liberal Democracy and Islam: Western scholarship and policy have set impossible cultural standards to achieve democracy in the umma. The reason is that the so-called universalism of democracy is in fact not universal. It is drawn from the European Enlightenment for use by the West. Hence the accusation of "illiberal democracy" that is pinned on Muslim aspirants for democracy. It is the ancient Western philosophy of republican democracy that is more appropriate for Muslims. Beginning with the Roman Livy down through Machiavelli, Montesquieu, Hamilton and Madison, freedom consists of confronting the tyrannical state through the leadership of the ulama and intellectuals acting on behalf of the masses. This is the theory of the Prophet in Medina and that of al-Mawardi and others down to the present day. Freedom is the ability to look the ruler straight in the eye and not blink.
550a Applied Social Studies Dissertation Seminar: This course consists of 3 credit hours that will introduce the students to case studies of how the philosophical concepts and principles that have been developed throughout the program can be applied to a specific area of social studies. Students are expected to explore and develop their own understanding of how the principles that they have learned throughout the program can be applied to areas of practice and research interest.
550b Applied Social Studies Dissertation Seminar: This course continues an additional 3 credit hours that will examines case studies of how the philosophical concepts and principles that have been developed throughout the program can be applied to a specific area of social studies. Students are expected to explore and develop their own understanding of how the principles that they have learned throughout the program can be applied to areas of practice and research interest.
556 Islamic History: The history of Islam from the beginning of the Prophet's mission to the present from the perspectives of time and the workings of society. The objective of the course is to present a general civilizational picture of Islam in which economic, social, military, and political aspects are balanced.
557 History of Social and Economic Institutions in Islam: This course is an examination of the concept of institutions in Islamic thought and the reasons and purposes behind them. The development of social and economic institutions throughout the stages of the history of Islam and in different parts of the Muslim world is explored. Social institutions including hisbah, diwan, waqf, ulama, and the mosque and economic institutions connected to trade, agriculture, and manufacturing will be examined. Internal and external reasons for the rise and/or decline of these institutions will be examined, and comparisons will be drawn with the equivalent institutions that developed in other cultures.
575 Political Theory: This course will examine the definition of political science and explore its scope in the Western and Islamic paradigms. "Theory" will be examined from philosophical and practical perspectives. This course will analyze and compare the theoretical basis of Western and Islamic political science and their primary values.
578 Islamic Political Thought: The Islamic idiom and worldview provide the benchmark for delineating and redefining political thought as differentiated from political fiqh; probing and clarifying the concepts of thought and politics in the Muslim experience. Sources of Islamic political thought, the characteristics of each category, and the varying approaches and methodologies will be explored. Elements from Western political thought in its classical, medieval, and modern phases are addressed to highlight their counterpart in the Muslim legacy.
579 International Relations and Islam: An introduction and critical examination of various theoretical approaches and conceptual frameworks (normative and descriptive) for the study of international relations. An exploration of international, regional and domestic structural determinants of national security policies with special emphasis in the emerging New World Order as it affects the prospects of autonomy and development in Islamic societies. Historical and theoretical study of the emergence of international diplomacy and organizations in modern times.
599a Thesis or 599b Thesis: Dissertation or thesis work.
601 Fiqh of Muslim Minorities: This course will examine a variety of social issues as they pertain to minority communities and particularly to Muslims in the United States. The institutions of ifta' will be examined, along with its methodology, ethics, and guidelines for applying rulings to actual situations. The course seeks to teach students how different fiqh sources and methods may be utilized in the analysis of contemporary problems. Special concerns include moral laws and the problem of exceptions; the differences between taqwa and fatwa, and the place of conscious in the moral life.
603 Theological Schools of Thought: This course includes a survey of the schools of Ilm Alkalam, Tasawuf, and Islamic philosophy. It will analyze the reasons behind their emergence, the foundations of their thoughts, the differences among schools of thought, and the impact the clashes between schools of thought has on contemporary discourse in the Islamic world. Each school will be analyzed in its political and historical context.
604 Islamic Ethics: This course will examine the theory of ethics in Islam and the social function of ethics in Islamic civilization. The course will focus on the connections between Islamic ethics and the Quran and the Sunnah.
605 Introduction to Hadith Sciences: This course will examine the general principles derived from the sayings of the Prophet. Hadith sciences include the methodologies of narration and the critique of the text. The methods that the most renown scholars of hadith have used to authenticate their collections will be examined. The course will investigate the relationship between hadith and Quran and draw a comparison among several schools of hadith.
606 Worship Theory and Practice: An in-depth look at the Islamic concept of ibadah and niyyah and their various ramifications. Special attention will be given to the fiqh of taharah, salah, sawm, and zakah.
610 Muslim Presence in North America: This course will survey the contemporary Muslim presence in North America, and review its historical background. Students will study Muslim organizations that have played or play significant roles within and outside the Muslim community at large, dealing with issues related to community building, education, and civic involvement. The course will also examine leadership issues and management practices in Islamic centers, as well as the exercise of effective leadership in a variety of Muslim environments in North America.
612 Conflict Mediation and Intervention: This course will provide students with theoretical knowledge and practical training on conflict intervention methods, especially mediation, and to engage them in an ongoing reflection on the development of Islamic models of conflict intervention.
619 Comparative Fiqh: This course will consist of a comparative study of several schools' rulings in a chosen fiqh issue. The class will survey the methodologies of different schools of fiqh, the reasons for their differences, their legitimacy, and their functions. Based on their relevance to the subjects discussed, the instructor will choose selected topics.
620 History of Schools of Theology: This course will examine several schools of theology, tasawuf, and fiqh, considering the social and political background in which these schools have emerged. This course will trace the development of these schools and conclude with a comparison of contemporary and traditional schools.
621 Al-Seerah Al-Nabawiyyah (Biography of the Prophet): This course is an introduction to an analytical study of the Seerah. Topics include realities in the Arab world and the world at large just before and at the time of the Prophet. The lessons drawn from his Seerah will be examined and his leadership style in different situations will be analyzed.
622 Tawhid: This course will examine the theological implications of tawhid and its relation to Allah as Lord and his names and attributes.
650 Counseling: An exploration of the functions and problems of the counselor, including assessment, treatment, community approaches, ethics, etc.
651 Ethics of Disagreement in Islam: This course teaches the art of disagreeing with others, and how to make such disagreements productive, whether they relate to different schools of intellectual thought, politics, or deeply held beliefs.
652 Philosophy of Punishment in Islam: Certain crimes have been singled out in the Islamic criminal law as "cardinal" crimes, and certain punishments have been prescribed for them. The course seeks to examine the philosophy aspects behind these punishments, and to relate them to the broader Islamic cultural and social systems.
653 Leadership of Islamic Institutions: This course trains the student in how to be a successful leader and carry out leadership responsibilities.
654 Conflict Resolution: This course examines the principles of conflict resolution on different scales and subjects, including social problems, family problems, and interfaith conflicts.
655 Criminal Justice: The course focuses on the Islamic criminal law as an obligatory rule of private and public conduct. The deterrent and reformative aspects of law will be highlighted and related to the deeper Islamic moral system.
656 Applied Ethics: This course examines specific ethical precepts, and how to apply them in daily life. This includes topics such as the ethics of friendship, dealing with one's neighbors, and other practical areas.
657 Conducting Friday Sermons: The course re-examines the traditional way of conducting Friday Sermons and seeks to link it to modern ways of communication and public discourse.
658 Women in American Prisons: This course focuses on the cultural and social situation of women in prisons. It seeks to examine the links between reform and religious values.
663 Social Justice in Islam: This course seeks to clarify the concepts of freedom, justice, equality and social responsibility within the Islamic social and political systems. The demarcation between individual freedoms and social obligations, the role of the state as a distributive agent, and the role of the other Islamic institutions (e.g. the zakat) will be the focus of study.
667 Social Psychology: This course examines the social foundations of behavior. Topics include cognition, motivation, role behavior, communication, small-group processes affecting behavior.
668 Muslim Community Building and Development: This course addresses the administrative procedures, legal requirements, basic skills, and knowledge critical to managing a successful Islamic organization. It will explore the management processes and core strategies behind fund raising, volunteerism, community building, community problem solving, developing interrelationships among Muslim communities, public relations, marketing tools, and communications; and issues affecting their implementation in today's environment.
680 Judaism: This course introduces the theology, worship, and ethics of Judaism.
681 Christianity: This course introduces the theology, worship, and ethics of Christianity.
682 Non-Abrahamic Faiths: This course surveys the theology, worship, and ethics of non-Abrahamic religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism.