2009-2010 INTENSIVE MASTER OF ISLAMIC STUDIES PROGRAM
The Intensive MA program offers the opportunity for students to complete a 36 credit hour MA degree program in ten months of full-time study, beginning in September of each year. The program is designed for a cohort of students who attend consecutive, accelerated courses.
The focus of the program is to develop a strong background in Islamic sources and their relationship with social sciences. This background is presented in an environment intended to nurture and develop open-minded, integrated, well-adjusted and morally upright students. The program prepares graduates for a career in community service, education or non-profit organizations. The program is also intended for specialists in social studies who would like to explore the broad possibilities, which an Islamic worldview based upon Quranic principles can illuminate in their respective fields.
511 Introduction to Quranic Sciences: This course deals with the general concepts of Quranic sciences, including issues such as variant readings, abrogation, 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.
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.
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.
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.
610 Muslim Presence in North America: This course focuses on the relationship between identity and politics. It examines how the growth of Islam in America is linked to the emergence of the American Muslim identity and its attendant politics. The course will also touch upon the institutional development of American Muslims and their post 9-11 realities.
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.
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.
512 Methods of Deriving Rules in fiqh (Usul al-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.
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.
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.
502 Comparative Religion and Civilization: The aim of this course is to understand and examine the impact of religion on civilization and to explore/develop a framework for effectively addressing the dialectics between the two central categories of human / historical experience. The course will postulate the continuity of this impact through history including the modern period that has ostensibly been overrun by the forces of "secularization" and the decline of religion. This postulate is grounded in an under-standing of religion as constitutive of, and not simply contingent on, the civilizational enterprise. The general aim of this course is to train students to think critically and constructively by exploring a new academic space that is currently being reclaimed at the interface of the study of religion and civilization, fields that have conventionally been demarcated separately within the university. To promote this objective, students are reminded of the integrative and bonding potential of the tawhidi episteme. This course may be seen as an application, and it provides a good exercise and testing ground for this postulate.
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.
- Dr. Taha Jabir Alalwani
- Dr. Richard Jones
- Dr. Amr Abdalla
- Dr. James Jones
- Adam Sheikh
- Waleed El-Ansary
- Zainab Alwani
- Dr. Muqtedar Khan, adjunct faculty
Admission to the Master ofIslamic Studies: Islamic Studies program may be granted to applicants who: have a Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher education, or an equivalent from a foreign college or university; and have demonstrated satisfactory performance through: a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.75 or better on a 4.0 scale or other evidence of graduate potential. An essay and two letters of recommendation are required for admission. These letters must be written by persons qualified to appraise the applicant's potential as a graduate student. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work must be sent directly to the school. To maintain the intellectual richness of class interactions, the School reserves the right to cancel the cohort program prior to the beginning of the academic year if student enrollment would be lower than 15 students.
Language Requirements and Applicants from Foreign Institutions
Proficiency in English is required for admission to the program. Students must be able to write and read English at a graduate level. A score of 213 computer-based Test of English as a Second Language (TOEFL) or 550 on the written version of TOEFL is required for students who are not native speakers of English. Students from foreign institutions must provide a Report of Evaluation of Educational Credentials, translated transcripts and original transcripts. Non-citizens must provide GSISS with documentation of their visa status as part of their application.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Tuition for the MA in: Islamic Studies is $7,200.00. Three payments of $2,400 are due on September 1st, January 1st and May 1st respectively.
Fellowships are available for qualified candidates to the ten-month intensive degree program. Fellowship applications are due by APRIL 1st, 2010
You can download the application form here