- Study the entire text of a famous primer on balagha, Arabic rhetoric
- Understand the key principles of rhetoric and learn how to apply them
- Gain one of the keys to understanding the Quran and Hadith correctly
- Cover many, many examples of balagha in the Quran and hadith
- Learn how balagha influences debates in many areas of Islamic law and beliefs
- Perfect for any student of knowledge, especially someone looking to specialize in either tafsir or Arabic literature
About the Course
Tuhfa al-Ikhwan Explained gives you a comprehensive map of the theory of Arabic rhetoric through a study of a classical primer on the subject. The goal of this course is to give you exposure to a classical text in balagha such that you can understand it word for word and learn how to apply the rules of balagha. The entire course is based around Quran and hadith examples. In addition, the course provides an excellent opportunity for exposure to the particular style of classical texts.
As an added bonus, four complete weeks have been added to the course based on Sa’d al-Din al-Taftazani’s celebrated work Mukhtasar al-Ma’ani. These Weeks will cover the most frequently used rhetorical devices needed to correctly understand both basic Arabic sentences and the words of the Divine. Al-Ma’ani is about discovering subtle nuances in language that completely change the color of what you read. Suffice it to say that al-ma’ani is an absolutely essential member of every student of knowledge and scholar’s tool kit.
Week 1: Introduction
- Importance of Balagha
- Use in Tafsir
- Use in the Classical Islamic Sciences
Week 2: Majaz (Metaphor)
- Majaz Aqli
- Concept of Isnad (predication); Isnad in Sentences and in Constructions
- Concept of Verb and its meaning; Concept of word associations
- Concept of Qarina (diverting indications); Qarina Ma’nawiya and Qarina Lafdhiya
- Concept of word coinage and word relations
- Distinction between Majaz Mursal and Isti’ara
- Majaz al Lughawy
Week 3: Isti’ara
- Concept of implicit and explicit references to that with which a comparison is being made
- Words that enforce or detract from the strength of the comparison
- Isti’ara in different types of words
- Distinction between Isti’ara Asliyya and Isti’ara Tab’iyya
- How Nouns indicate meanings
- How Verbs indicate meanings
- How particles indicate meanings
Week 4: Composite Majaz and Istiara
- Metaphor in Sentences
- Distinction between Majaz Murakkab and Isti’ara Tamthiliyya
- Turns of phrase
Week 5: Tashbih (Simile)
- Integrals of Simile
- Types of Tashbih: Mujmal, Mufassal, Mursal, Mu’akkad, Baligh
- Distinction between Majaz and Tashbih Baligh
- Composite Tashbih
- Special styles of Tashbih: Tashbih Maqlub; Tashbih Dimni
Week 6: Kinayah
- Distinction between Majaz and Kinaya
- Kinaya in attributes
- Kinaya in predication
Week 7: Ahwal al-Musnad Ilayhi
- The various ways the subject of sentence can be altered for various rhetorical effects
Week 8: Al-Ma’rifa wa al-Nakira
- The various different meanings that the definite article can convey
- How the indefinite can be used with various shades of meaning
Week 9: Al-Hasr
- Various techniques that indicate exclusivity (X is only Y)
Week 10: Al Fasl wa al-Wasl
The huge effect on meanings that tiniest of words can have: conjunction particles
The course will consist of weekly Live Sessions, pre-recorded audio lessons, as well as Mid-Term and Final Examinations. Ustadh Farid shall hold weekly office hours where student can consult with him one-on-one. Students are highly encouraged to post their questions in the Forum over the course of the week, which are answered during the Live Sessions.
Weekly Time Commitment
The course shall require an estimated 2-4 hours per week outside Live Sessions to listen to the pre-recorded audio material, review the information, and take notes.
The text for the course is Imam Dardir’s Tuhfa al-Ikhwan fi ‘Ilm al-Bayan. Students shall be provided with a soft copy of the text in Arabic as part of the course material.
ARB203 is a required prerequisite. If you have not taken this course, you will be required to complete the written assessment after registering.
300-level Arabic courses can be taken in any order and are not interdependent.
You are required to have a working headset microphone.
Why is learning balagha key to understanding the meaning of the Quran and hadith?
Rhetoric is commonly defined as “the art of speaking or writing effectively.” Learning the science of balagha, or rhetoric, is not only a necessary means to improving your own speech and writing, but it is also vital for a complete understanding of Arabic—without it, it’s easy to lose track of the message of a sentence and thus miss out on much of the meaning. Balagha is therefore key to understanding the Quran and Hadith correctly. Many debates in aqida, most debates in usul al-fiqh, and many debates in fiqh, especially those in relation to marriage, divorce, business contracts, oaths, and court claims, depend upon a solid understanding of balagha.
Why should I start my balagha studies with Tuhfa al-Ikhwan?
Balagha can be a very technical science for students, but Imam Dardir’s Tuhfa al-Ikhwan fi ‘Ilm al-Bayan was written with ease and brevity in mind. In addition, it focuses exclusively on Ilm al-Bayan, one of the three branches of balagha, as it is the most useful and applicable branch. And while the text is concise, it contains the language and terminology that you will need to be familiar with in order to understand other classical texts in balagha and tafsir.
What shall I know coming out of the course?
By the end of this course you will gain an understanding of the key principles of Majaz, Tashbih, Kinaya, and Ma’ani, and the terms that are used. You will be able to apply principles to specific examples from the Quran and Hadith and understand where there is room for debate. You will also get a feel for the language of classical texts and the language of the Quran.
Who should take this course?
Tuhfa al-Ikhwan Explained is for any student of knowledge, especially someone looking to specialize in either tafsir or Arabic literature.