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‘Alimiyyah- Islamic Scholarship Programme Level 1

Level 1  of Sirat’s flagship programmes contains 22 traditional texts, spread over 14 sciences, specially authored to serve as classical primers or introductions into each particular science, which serve as essential foundations for students of knowledge. The bulk of these texts will be taught over 5 terms or semesters (see overview for more details), with up-to 4 texts in each term. Although challenging, interactive lessons, dedicated Q & A sessions and knowledge acquisition tests provide a firm foothold to start the programme.

The texts & sciences covered in this level are:

– The Key to the Saintly Path (Miftah tariq al-Awliya)– Ibn Shaykh al-Hizamiyyin (d. 711 H)

A short primer from a master of Tazkiyah, the 8th century Hanbali scholar; Ibn Shaykh al-Hizamiyyin, gives insight into the deeper, inner workings of the soul, spiritual awakening, awareness and the actions that one must strive to fulfil upon the path of knowledge.

– Venerating Knowledge (Ta’thim al-‘Ilm– Sh Dr Salih al-‘Usaymi

A monumental work covering 20 milestones in the path of sacred, Islamic knowledge, written by Shaykh Dr. Salih b, ‘Abdillah al-‘Usaymi (may Allah preserve him). Ranging from sincerity and purifying the vessel of knowledge- one’s heart, to the etiquettes of a student of knowledge with Allah, himself and his teachers

– Foundations of the Sunnah (Usul al-Sunnah)- Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal (d. 241 H)

An explanation of the seminal work of the Imam of Ahl al-Sunnah: Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal (rh) covering the major tenants of creedal belief, as held by the Salaf.

– Al-Haa’iyyah- Ibn Abi Dawud al-Sijistani (d. 316 H)

A versified masterpiece that addresses theological points of consensus and provides an essential overview of knowledge that is pivotal for every student of knowledge to possess in their beginning stages of development.

Radiance of Faith (Lum’at al-I’tiqad)– Ibn Qudamah

Imam Ibn Qudamah (a reputable scholar of the Hanbali Mathhab and author of multiple revered and important works) summarises the creed of the early muslims in this his seminal 6th century treatise. He covers issues of consensus amongst the early generations of the muslims, from a hanbali’/ athari viewpoint. The work was of such importance that it gain widespread acceptance and became a cornerstone of hanbali/ athari theological framework. This text will also begin to address some controversies in creedal positions of the Names & Attributes of Allah.

• A Summary of Sects and Religions (Al-Mukhtasar fi’l Firaq wa’l Adyan)– Dr ‘Isa al-Sa’di

The following texts will also be heavily consulted during study of this text:

  • Theological Opinions of the Muslims (Maqalat al-Islamiyyin)– Abu’l Hasan al-Ash’ari
  • Creedal Beliefs of the Seventy Three Sects (‘Aqa’id al-Thalath wa’s Sabi’in)- Abu Muhammad al-Yamani
  • The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Theology

• Tafsir Surah al-Fatiha

This foray into exegetical Quranic studies will begin with a study of the meanings of Surah al-Fatiha. A number of essential exegetical sources will be relied on ranging from the  Tafsir of al-Tabari, Ibn Juzayy, Adwa al-Bayan, al-Tahrir wa’l Tanwir  and others, with emphasis made on the tafsir of Imam Ibn Juzayy al-Ghirnati (RH).

• Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur’an-  Ibn Juzayy

The introduction to the important exegete masterpiece of Imam Ibn Juzayy entitled: al-Tashil li ‘Ulum al-Tanzil,  serves as a summary and primer into the Sciences of the Qur’an.

• The Childrens’ Gift (Tuhfah al-Atfal)– Sulayman al-Jamzuri

 The Quranic Modes of Recitation (Al-Qira’at al-Qur’aniyyah) – ‘Abdul Halim Qabah

  • Mutun (texts) of the Sunnah
     The 40 Hadith of Imam al-Nawawi (Al-Arba’un al-Nawawiyyah) – Imam al-Nawawi, including the addition of Ibn Rajab (rh)
  • Mustalah
    • Chosen Thoughts in Hadith Nomenclature  (Nukhbah al-Fikr)– Ibn Hajar (rh)

• Al-Waraqat w/ Hashiyah Hanbaliyyah- Sh Dr Mutliq al-Jasir

• History of the Compilation of Fiqh & Introduction to Fiqh & the Maththahib- Dr. ‘Amir Bahjat

• An Epitome on Hanbali Substantive Law (Furu3 al-Fiqh)– Ibn al-Mibrad

• A Summarised Introduction to the Science of Maqasid (Al-Mukhtasar al-Wajiz fi Maqasid al-Tashri’) – ‘Awad al-Qarni

• A Poem on the Legal Maxims of the Shari’ah (Manthumah al-Qawa’id al-Fiqhiyyah)- Sh Abdurrahman al-Sa’di

100 Verses of Poem Regarding the Life of the Most Noble of Mankind (Al-Urjuzah al-Mi’iyyah)– Ibn Abil’Izz al-Hanafi