Education in the West
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I think therefore iSyllabus
iSyllabus aims to develop the next generation of active citizens and faith-inspired thought leaders in the West through transformative Islamic education programs.
Our program is the thinking person's pathway to studying the Islamic sciences and our vision is to spark a revolution in the provision of Islamic education, developing upright individuals well-informed of their faith who are ready to deal with the challenges of their societies.
To achieve this, the courses we offer provide students with a clear and authentic presentation of the Islamic faith, laying the groundwork for extensive lifelong learning. The result is an Islamic studies program that spans over three levels, with each level having a well defined educational outcome.
The Diploma course serves as an excellent entry to a nuanced yet fulfilling experience of the Islamic sciences as they relate to both the individual and society in the 21st Century.
Building on the knowledge themes contained in the iSyllabus One Year Islamic studies Diploma, the iSyllabus has produced further courses that extend over four years and split conveniently over two self-contained and stand alone levels: Intermediary and Advanced.
What is the religious and social function for which students are being prepared?
What's significantly different about the iSyllabus Islamic studies program compared to other course on offer in the West? Surely most courses are essentially the same?
I am asked this question all the time not only from prospective students, but also other scholars who have their own educational initiatives running in the West.
When we set-out to write our curriculum, there was already a number of innovative initiatives doing excellent work in the field of Islamic education: they covered both essential Islamic knowledge as well as offering ongoing advanced studies in the Islamic sciences. However, when looking to enhance the provision of Islamic education in the West, we focused on five key issues identified as being critical to making Islamic education serve the needs of individuals and communities. These issues revolved around the central question all famous traditional curriculum of the Muslim world would have asked: What is the religious and social function for which students are being prepared?
Following the successful pilot launch of the iSyllabus Islamic studies course, it is now undergoing a phased rollout in partnership with city-based institutes that share the mainstream Sunni teachings and educational philosophy that the course represents.
These are organisations with a proven track record in progressive Islamic education: the iSyllabus works closely with its partners to ensure that the student journey and experience is of a type that reflects positively on the Muslim knowledge tradition.
The Advance course consists of specialized courses well defined aims
Firstly, to prepare students to make the classical religious sciences relevant to the modern age, looking at current thinking in the Philosophy of religion and the place of religion in society and how this helps focus relevant religious training for Muslims. With this in mind, the course will look at current trends in Muslim apologetics; Critical thinking; Applied ethics in the areas of medical practice, economics, civic society and family and modern trends in fiqh such as Minority fiqh.
Secondly, to complete a firm foundation in the Islamic sciences. With this in mind, students cover textual tafsir and hadith studies in the areas of family and commercial law; Advanced Usul and hadith studies; Inheritance; Heresiology and Sects; Classical Logic and Epistemology, and the philosophy of the Islamic legal code (Maqasid al-Shariah).
SHAYKH AMER JAMIL
iSyllabus Project Director