- Study a concise, versified summation of the entire discipline of theology that was the standard book of theology studied by Muslims across the world
- Develop a detailed mental framework of exactly what a Muslim believes in
- Be able to spot belief-related mistakes in discussions that go on among Muslims
- Identify exactly where orthodox beliefs differ from the beliefs of other Muslim groups and sects, and from people of other faiths
- Builds on major discussions of theology presented in Introduction to Islamic Belief (BLF101).
- The second step on the path to mastering the discipline of theology
About the Course
Continue on in your second level of studying Islamic theology with this famous comprehensive poem of ‘Aqida. Gain a fuller picture of the wide spectrum of topics that Muslim theologians have battled with and answered over the last thousand or more year as you study the three central topics of ‘Aqida: divinity, prophethood and the unseen. Learn to clearly identify where the beliefs of others differ from orthodox Islamic positions. This will allow you to negotiate, dialogue, and interact with people of different sects, faiths, and worldviews.
Module 1: Introductory Topics
- Week 1
- Lesson 1.1 (Sections 1.1 and 1.2 of the text): Author’s Introduction; What is Theology? Why is it important? What is our first obligation? What stops people from believing in Allah? How we can know Allah? The meaning of knowledge; Responsibility and the mind; Responsibility and Scripture; Discursive knowledge vs. spiritual realization; Possibility and impossibility.
- Week 2
- Lesson 1.2 (Sections 1.3 and 1.4 of the text): Belief, Reason and Spirituality; The Kalam cosmological argument in its three facets; The discussion of the increase and decrease of Iman.
- Module 1 Exam
Module 2: Divinity
- Week 3
- Lesson 2.1 (Section 2.1 of the text): Allah’s Glorious Attributes: The six “Negative” attributes of Necessary Being: existence, dissimilarity, beginninglessness, endlessness, self-subsistence and oneness; The seven “Existent attributes of power, will, knowledge, life, speech, hearing and sight; Proofs from Scripture and Proofs from the mind; Distinction between will, command and pleasure; The rest of the attributes.
- Week 4
- Lesson 2.2 (Sections 2.2 and 2.3 of the text): Divine Revelation, Effects, Names and Attributes; Distinction between attributes of entity and attributes of actions; What the attributes relate to.
- Week 5
- Lesson 2.3 (Sections 2.4 to 2.6 of the text): Divine Transcendence; Divine Omnipotence and Human Responsibility; Verses and ahadith that seem to convey anthropomorphism; Principles of interpretation and rhetoric; The creation of the Quran discussion.
- Week 6
- Lesson 2.4 (Section 2.7 of the text): Divine Omnipotence and Human Responsibility; The Beatific Vision of Allah in the Afterlife; Morality and divine pre-determination; The meaning of divine wisdom and how to deal with it practically; Physically seeing Allah in the Next Life
- Module 2 Exam
Module 3: Prophecy
- Week 7
- Lesson 3.1 (Sections 3.1 and 3.2): The Four Necessary Attributes of Prophets; Four Imperfections that Prophets may not be Characterized By; Matters that Prophets may be Characterized By; La IlahaIlla Allah Muhammad Rasul Allah as a Summary of Belief; Prophetic and Angelic Ranks; Prophets and sins; Some legal principles; Allah and morality.
- Week 8
- Lesson 3.2 (Lines 69 to 83 of the Jawhara): Abrogation; The Finality of the Prophet Muhammad’s (Allah bless him and give him peace) Prophethood and its relation to the validity of other religions; The Miracles of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace); The Companions, their exalted rank and inter-Sahabi politics; Early Muslims, and Saints; Supplication (dua) and predestination.
- Module 3 Exam
Module 4: The Unseen
- Week 9
- Lesson 4.1 (Sections 4.1 to 4.6 of the text): Life, Death, the Interworld, and the Afterlife; Specifics about the nature of death, the angels and the soul; Predestination and murder; The grave and resurrection.
- Lesson 4.2 (Sections 4.7 to 4.9 of the text): Intercession of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and the righteous; Major and minor Sins; Martyrdom.
Module 5: Concluding Topics
- Week 10
- Lesson 5.1 (Sections 5.1-5.5 of the text): Miscellaneous topics; The mind and reality; The concepts of things, thinghood and existence; Repentance, its nature, how it is done and its acceptance; Islamic law, government and jihad; Excommunication
- Lesson 5.2 (Sections 5.6 and 5.7 of the text): Sufism; Conclusion. Vices of the tongue and heart.
- Module 4 and 5 Exam
The course consists of weekly Live Sessions where commentary shall be given on the text; slides outlining the material covered; HW Assignments; and exams after each course module. Ustadh Farid shall hold weekly office hours where students 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 1-5 hours per week outside the live session, to review the material and take notes.
The Arabic/English translation of the text Jawharat al-Tawhid shall be provided as part of the course material. Students are strongly encouraged to memorize the text.
Successful completion of Introduction to Islamic Belief (BLF101) is a required prerequisite. Students who have not taken this course but believe they fulfill the requirements can apply into the course after registering.
Additionally, having a background in Arabic will help students but is not a required prerequisite to enrolling in the course.
Why is the Jawhara famous?
As a comprehensive, well-organized, reliable intermediate poem in Ashari ‘Aqida, Jawhar al-Tawhid has won respect, love and acceptance in many, many Muslim countries for centuries. Easy to sing and memorize, students of knowledge all over the world studied and benefited from this text. And not only do students love it, but its value in the eyes of the ‘ulema has earned well over twenty-odd commentaries and super commentaries by many of the great later scholars of Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama`a such as al-Ajhuri, al-Sawi, al-Bajuri and al-Nafrawi.
Who is Imam al-Laqqani?
Imam al-Laqqani (1041 AH/ 1631 CE) was a master of Kalam and Fiqh in Egypt. He was so learned that it was he who would solve the fatwa questions when they proved too difficult for others. He studied with Imam al-Ramli, one of the great Shafi`is of his time, Shaykh al-Islam Ali bin Ghanim al-Maqdisi and Umar bin Nujaym of the Hanafis, and al-Burmuni of the Malikis, and taught a great many students of his time. None, they say, had more students than he.
Besides the outward sciences, Imam al-Laqqani was greatly involved in Sufism and benefited particularly from the company of Abu al-Naja Salim al-Sanhuri. He had many, many miracles.
Who should take this course?
This course is perfect for Muslims who are faced with challenging questions about their beliefs, particularly those who are engaged in dialogue with people of other faiths, such as tullab al-ilm and anyone involved in academia.