Islamic Studies Programme you can trust

What is iSyllabus?

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.

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.

The modules and material is fully integrated and refined so as to cover core hermeneutical concepts in a graded manner and incorporates life-hacks that make living one’s faith a fulfilling experience. The course both contextualises core texts as well as enhances the spiritual aspect of one’s religious observance.

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.

Students are given an unique opportunity to study subjects rarely taught in the English language through arguably the most detailed bespoke course notes and materials available in Islamic studies today.

As admittance to further courses require the student to have completed the One year iSyllabus diploma course, subjects can now be studied in greater depth, with specialist instructors who share in the students passion for the subject matter. What’s more, since the students now have a sound knowledge base by this stage our Intermediary and Advanced courses make for an accelerated and focused learning environment.

To find out more, download our course catalogue.

Our promise

We endeavour to hold our programs in the type of venues where quality education happens. Therefore our courses are taught in neutral, modern facilities with the latest audio-visual facilities so as to maximise the learning experience of students.

Working closely with partner organisations, the course also aims to provide foster inclusivity into its learning environment. For those that have the perception that religious teachings are delivered in environments that may be seen as judgmental, our sessions are conducted in venues where students can feel at ease.

Eschewing futile sectarianism is a basic contention of iSyllabus and as such the venues offer refreshing change in which to explore one’s rich religious tradition without fear of being labeled or stigmatised.

Find out more

We endeavour to provide you with teachers whose knowledge you can trust. Central to the teaching ethos of the iSyllabus is that all instructors faithfully convey mainstream Sunni Islamic teachings, as represented in the main teaching centres of the Muslim world. Through this, students can be safe in the knowledge that what is taught is reliable and consistently upheld throughout the teaching staff. Central to ensuring this is the system of the teaching ‘ijaza’.

The system of Ijaza is a scholarly chain of transmission for each subject, which links each generation of scholars back to the previous ones, all the way back to the source of all guidance, may God bless and grant him peace, thus ensuring that the each generation has acquired knowledge directly from recognised scholars, rather that gleaning pieces of information from books alone. Teachers are chosen on the basis of not only recognised qualifications, but also on their ability to connect with the students.

Meet our team

We endeavour to provide students with the best bespoke Islamic educational material in the English language. Period. The material used in the modules is created specifically for use in our integrated courses. Extracted from the most well respected works of Islamic scholarship, with extensive original texts translated direct from the sources, it affords students a glimpse into the vast ocean of Islamic religious and devotional literature.

Each lesson has its own set of notes.

Each class has clearly defined aims and objectives to enable students to track their own progress.

All material is made up of originally produced material, fully referenced and checked to represent the most widely accepted understanding of Sunni Islam.

Clear, well-produced presentations summarise the material covered in the lesson notes by the latest thinking on creating presentation material.

Find out more

Why iSyllabus?

I think therefore iSyllabus

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?

The subsequent review informed the full program that iSyllabus now offers. We asked why we are educating, how it is done and what we use as a marker of success. We believe this review, as well as the ongoing discussion and dialogue with teachers and scholars, makes the courses we offer unique. So what are these key issues?

The issues discussed and debated by Muslims and non-Muslims about Islam was central to deciding what content should be at the centre of the full curriculum. In a largely post-religious world as we live in today, such a recalibrating of religious content is particularly important to safeguard religion itself from being seen as irrelevant. After incorporating the essentials that every Muslim should know about their religion, the course develops the capacities within students that will aid them in flourishing into confident members of their societies. What are the core methodological issues that require attention in teaching an Islam that is both true to its intellectual heritage yet responsive to the age we live in? What are the elements that need to be developed in an Islamic studies curriculum to move towards a constructive and balanced Sunni orthodoxy/orthopraxy? What types of polemics are targeted against Islam and how can Muslims develop a framework that adequately defends its core teachings from such challenges? These are just some of the core questions that we asked on the issue of relevance.

One observation made while surveying religious practice in the West is the changing dynamics in the provision of religious advocacy and guidance. Effective religious leadership is no longer centralised with a person like an Imam. Instead new and dynamic structures dictated by social media and community initiatives are developing apace. Religious scholarship has now become democratised and this is a phenomena that should be embraced by our scholarly tradition, being as it is inherently part of the tradition. Any religious training program that is taught in the West has to therefore be aware that students that complete their studies will be required to provide religious guidance and inputs in a wide array of contexts.

A review was done of the most signifiant syllabi used in the Muslim world. These include: The Darsi Nizami of the Subcontinent (which is now albeit only partially taught as compared to the original curriculum) with its focus on the ancillary sciences; The Tahqiq (verification) method of Kurdish scholarship used in Turkey, Iraq and Syria, which focuses on discursive teaching methods; The Syrian model, best exemplified by Mahad al-Fath in Damascus, known for both its rigorous repetition and review of core content coupled with the comprehensive array of sciences covered.

The Syrian model was used to ensure that students adequately complete all core content with the required degree of competency; The relevant elements from all the above were incorporated to inform the content of our program.

Throughout its history, Islam has naturally integrated itself into native cultures and made use of indigenous languages to spread its teaching. In doing so it elevated them, as with Persian, Malay, Hausa, Turkish, Urdu and others, to being civilisational languages of the Ummah. As a result, Muslim scholarship was able to develop and be internalised by the cultures of the lands where these languages were spoken.

This was a statement of intent by Muslims scholars of a long term commitment to these lands. English is now the common language of communication for the majority of the world’s Muslims and so iSyllabus is committed to creating a complete and holistic Islamic studies curriculum that is fully teachable via the English language. It also works to develop a students appreciation of the Arabic language by focusing on core technical Arabic vocabulary used in the Islamic sciences.

By giving students the context and significant variations in vocabulary usage, the course is able to create leverage to enhance a students understanding of the subjects studied.

This is also a logical step to take, since studies in educational pedagogy continually show that the internalisation and understanding of fine and nuanced points, such as those discussed in Islamic law and theology, is either missed or misconstrued if the language of instruction is one that the learner does not have complete mastery of.

While rote-learning has always had a role in Islamic pedagogy, the insistence to overly rely on this element of religious training has had a detrimental result on the educational development. The program developed by iSyllabus plots a student’s progression not simply through how much they have memorised. Rather it measures the development of critical religious literacy as well as competency over the contents of the subjects studied.

Identifying the logical fallacies inherent in so much discourse on Islam – both from Muslims and non-Muslims – is one of the critical challenges facing students of the Islamic sciences today. The ability of students to navigate real-life as well as academic scenarios using their learning is key to measuring successful Islamic syllabi today.

The result: Our courses

The resultant iSyllabus course is therefore bespoke and has been authored from the ground up – from the opening modules to the final lessons, incorporating the action points identified in the review above. As a result we offer three levels of courses which build a pathway to serious Islamic scholarship.

Is this an Alim course?

This question is bereft of any substantiative meaning in the present age. The state of Islamic education in most parts of the Muslim world means that what was considered in the past as an Alimiyyah level education can hardly be equated to what is offered today in almost all Islamic seminaries.

As an alternative we should be asking the question posed at the start: What is the religious and social function for which students are being prepared?

To create syllabi that answer to the needs of the age is the pressing challenge for Muslim educationalist. The graded courses we offer allow students to work up to gain a high level competency in the Islamic sciences and set them up to upon completion to be fast tracked if they desire to pursue further studies through the medium of the Arabic language. This makes their education that they have received relevant and compelling. It is my experience that a further two years of full time study would not only equate to but surpass the level offered in traditional Alimmiyyah courses.

Given the thought that has gone into the iSyllabus course, it represents a comprehensive recalibration of the way Islamic education is delivered in the West.

Diploma Course

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. The modules and material is fully integrated and refined so as to cover core hermeneutical concepts in a graded manner and incorporates life-hacks that make living one’s faith a fulfilling experience. The course both contextualises core texts as well as enhances the spiritual aspect of one’s religious observance.

Intermediary Course

The Intermediary course develops an understanding of the primary texts of the Quran and Sunnah covered in the Diploma course, exploring the context and history of the Classical religious corpus of Islam. It incorporates detailed studies of religious text as well as the trends that led to their being set down in writing. Why did Fiqh develop the way we know it today? What are the main trends in Classical Islamic theology and what led to their genesis? How can the classical spiritual tradition of Islam help in creating healthier individuals and societies today?

Advanced Course

The Advanced course, as the two year culmination to the full course, focuses on the relevance of the Classical corpus of Islam to the challenges that Muslims face today. What can our intellectual tradition teach us in responding to the main Ethical and religious questions we face? To what degree are Religions decisive and violent by nature? What is the Question of Evil and what does Islamic theology say about it? Can Islamic law be applicable in the West? Can an understanding of the breadth of scholarly opinion on contentious issues help provide solutions to seemly intractable problems Muslims face? Does Islam have the requisite framework for navigating the problematics of Gender that affect religious scriptures generally?

Indeed the vast majority of the content which I teach in the Advanced course, such as on Polemics, Apologetics and the Philosophy of religion, is not covered in any Alimmiyah course, but is nevertheless today an absolute necessity for advanced students of knowledge.

Testimonials

"Masha Allah excellent course Even though I was bought up in this country with the full five day 2 hours every day teaching of islamic studies this course gave me a complete different insight on many of the topics Jazakallah Khair to all the shaykhs and organisers"

Manchester, 2018/19

"The course has helped me develop myself as a practising Muslim. It helped me make sense of a lot of things I learnt as a child and I feel like the course has helped me improve myself greatly. I would recommend it."

Manchester, 2018/19

"Packed full of useful information and taught by engaging, learned shuyukh - the course is well structured and the lessons are thorough in all respects. The constant linking back to how the content is relevant everyday is eye-opening and has hugely enriched my understanding of my faith"

Birmingham, 2018/19

"The iSyllabus One Year Diploma Course is full of essential learnings for people of any level of Islamic knowledge."

Birmingham, 2018/19

"Modern and diverse range of subjects covered in so much detail. Explained from a very basic level so you never feel judged for not knowing about it beforehand and you leave well equipped with the relevant knowledge and evidence.. and material to refer back to."

Glasgow, 2018/19

I joined iSyllabus as a way of 'touching base,' once a week whilst I had moved away to complete my secular studies. I was working full time and simultaneously studying for my PGCE whilst attending iSyllabus, which in all honesty, kept me feeling grounded during that intense year. It was so refreshing just to sit and let the day's worries and trouble drop whilst focusing in class. It's a learning experience, as one not only obtains sacred knowledge, but also learns a lot of the self (and subsequent self development) in the process. I'd like to sincerely thank the teachers, the volunteers and the admin for all their efforts this year. God bless you all."

Birmingham, 2018/19

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FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

Click on the Apply tab and choose the course you wish to apply for and click ‘Apply Now’ and follow instructions.

Please check individual course information for any age restrictions. 

iSyllabus has been for some time now seeking a method to extend and enhance the learning experience. We have been receiving numerous requests for some time from students to get closer to the class and be part of a larger community. We have been seeking such a solution that would not compromise the students privacy and data ownership, whilst at the same time providing a means for a positive online experience. Momentpin provided all the core feature sets we required and we are confident that it will provide the extended learning experience that our students have been requesting for.

Although it is not compulsory to download the momentpin app to enrol onto the courses, we would highly recommend this as the app is free and will enhance your learning experience with iSyllabus. Using the app will allow students to interact with fellow students, teachers and view the many additional resources and information shared on this platform by the teachers.

In order to apply for the iSyllabus Intermediary course, students must have successfully completed and passed the iSyllabus One Year Diploma Course.

Students with an overall average of 65% or above will be given priority. Students who have gained less than 65% are recommended to repeat the course (without exams) before applying to the Intermediary course.

The course will run from mid October till the following June.

It will follow a trimester system. For each trimester, generally each week there will be 3 lessons (each lesson for a different module, each module consisting of 6 lessons) and will be in 6-week blocks, with two such blocks for the first two trimesters.  In general there will be 2 exams the week after each 6-week block. Some modules may have a homework-type assessment instead of an exam. The third trimester will only consist of one 6-week block and there will be no assessments for the subjects taught in this block.

Classes will generally take place between 6.45-9.30 pm unless stated otherwise. Detailed timetables will be provided for students upon course commencement and will include dates and locations of all classes, tutorials (if any), exams/assessments and holidays.

See course guidelines provided on enrolment for more details.

Full Fee – £345

Early bird rate – £315

Repeat Student – £195

Please note that there are no other discounts available. Advanced and Intermediary fees are provided upon application.

No, payment must be made in one instalment when you apply for the course and have been accepted. Once we have received your full payment, you will be enrolled on to the course. Please note that an independent charity does help students who require financial assistance, please visit their website for further information.

It is the expressed aim of iSyllabus to provide all those that seek to further their understanding of their religion with ample opportunity to do so. We venture to ensure that no individual in genuine need will be denied access to the course on account of a lack of funds.

With this in mind, the iSyllabus Scholarships Charity (an independent charity to iSyllabus) helps those who require financial assistance.

Please note that the applicant will be required to demonstrate that such a need exists and only students who have proven their need of such assistance will be successful.

For further details on how to apply for a scholarship, please visit the iSyllabus Scholarships Charity website.

In order to gain a certificate of completion at the end of the course the assessment criteria for all exams/assessments must be met together with the attendance criteria. However, a student can choose to attend the lectures and not sit the exams but will not get a certificate at the end of the year and will not be able to progress onto the iSyllabus Intermediate & Advanced courses.

Written examinations will be held usually at the end of the 6 week module i.e. the week after the last set of lessons, though this may vary depending on circumstances. Students will be given prior notice relating to examination dates.

Yes. Students will be issued with a Self-Accredited Diploma in Islamic Studies on successful completion of the course provided that they met the attendance criteria and passed all exams /written assessments. See course guidelines provided on enrolment for more details.

All students will be issued with one set of notes for all subjects. Any additional sets of notes that a student requires due to loss or damaged will be subject to a £15 fee for each volume of notes.

It depends when a student wishes to leave the course.

If Admin is informed in writing of the intention to discontinue prior to commencing the course, then a full refund will be applicable minus a £50 admin charge.

If Admin is informed in writing of the intention of discontinuing the course before Sunday 1 December 2019 – 2359 hours then a 50% refund of amount payed for course will be applicable.

From Monday 2 December 2019, no refunds will be issued.

FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

1. Register with iSyllabus by clicking here.

2. All registrations will be through the Momentpin application.

3. Once you have successfully registered for the course you will be automatically added into the classroom on Momentpin.

4. Payment can be made online via a Debit/Credit card and upon completion you will be fully enrolled onto the course.

Yes students must be 16 years of age or over. Students who are 15 years of age may in exceptional circumstances apply to course but only if accompanied to class by a legal guardian who is also a students on the same course. However it should be noted that this will be at the discretion of the teaching staff and the level of maturity of the student.

iSyllabus has been for some time now seeking a method to extend and enhance the learning experience. We have been receiving numerous requests for some time from students to get closer to the class and be part of a larger community. We have been seeking such a solution that would not compromise the students privacy and data ownership, whilst at the same time providing a means for a positive online experience. Momentpin provided all the core feature sets we required and we are confident that it will provide the extended learning experience that our students have been requesting for.

Please contact the administration on info@www.isyllabus.org.uk

NO there are no costs for the end user to download the application and use it for personal and iSyllabus use.

NO Momentpin is an independent social network which has been developed with the core features of family, user privacy and control at the heart of its product feature set.  In addition to community groups being hosted on Momentpin, it also enables its users to create personal feeds, capturing all the important moments of your life and sharing them within family and private groups. It provides the feature to create a child account to enable users to capture moments of their children from birth and then to share them with children,  nurturing them on a virtual network in parallel to bringing them up.

NO Momentpin does not allow adverts on your personal feed and hence has no requirement to data mine or own your content. Momentpin revenue is clear through two means (a) They will be providing a Freemium model for the B2C customer and (b) Momentpin charge community groups, like iSyllabus, to create moments, i.e. class rooms or events, to interact and engage with our students.

The course will run from mid October till the following June.

It will follow a trimester system. For each trimester, generally each week there will be 3 lessons (each lesson for a different module, each module consisting of 6 lessons) and will be in 6-week blocks, with two such blocks for the first two trimesters.  In general there will be 2 exams the week after each 6-week block. Some modules may have a homework-type assessment instead of an exam. The third trimester will only consist of one 6-week block and there will be no assessments for the subjects taught in this block.

Classes will generally take place between 6.45-9.30 pm unless stated otherwise. Detailed timetables will be provided for students upon course commencement and will include dates and locations of all classes, tutorials (if any), exams/assessments and holidays.

See course guidelines provided on enrolment for more details.

In order to apply for the iSyllabus Intermediary course, students must have successfully completed and passed the iSyllabus One Year Diploma Course.

Students with an overall average of 65% or above will be given priority. Students who have gained less than 65% are recommended to repeat the course (without exams) before applying to the Intermediary course.

Full Fee – £345

Early bird rate – £315

Repeat Student – £195

Please note that there are no other discounts available. Advanced and Intermediary fees are provided upon application.

A discounted rate of £195 is available to previous students if they paid the full course fee when they attended the course. Any student who dropped out of the course, without paying the full fee, is not eligible for this discount. If you are a repeat student, please state in your application form that you paid the full-fee the first-time round so that this can be checked and a repeat student discount applied.

No, payment must be made in one instalment when you apply for the course and have been accepted. Once we have received your full payment, you will be enrolled on to the course. Please note that an independent charity does help students who require financial assistance, please visit their website for further information.

It is the expressed aim of iSyllabus to provide all those that seek to further their understanding of their religion with ample opportunity to do so. We venture to ensure that no individual in genuine need will be denied access to the course on account of a lack of funds.

With this in mind, the iSyllabus Scholarships Charity (an independent charity to iSyllabus) helps those who require financial assistance.

Please note that the applicant will be required to demonstrate that such a need exists and only students who have proven their need of such assistance will be successful.

For further details on how to apply for a scholarship, please visit the iSyllabus Scholarships Charity website.

Diploma Course

Yes, we expect students to have a good level of attendance throughout the year and attend each week to ensure they do not miss lessons. See course guidelines for more details.

Intermediary/Advanced Courses

Students need to attend a minimum of 22 weeks of the full 32 weeks to attain the minimum attendance criteria. This means that failure to attend 10 weeks or more will result in the student being unable to attain an acceptable attendance rate for the next year. See course guidelines provided on enrolment for more details.

In order to gain a certificate of completion at the end of the course the assessment criteria for all exams/assessments must be met together with the attendance criteria. However, a student can choose to attend the lectures and not sit the exams but will not get a certificate at the end of the year and will not be able to progress onto the iSyllabus Intermediate & Advanced courses.

Written examinations will be held usually at the end of the 6 week module i.e. the week after the last set of lessons, though this may vary depending on circumstances. Students will be given prior notice relating to examination dates.

Yes. Students will be issued with a Self-Accredited Diploma in Islamic Studies on successful completion of the course provided that they met the attendance criteria and passed all exams /written assessments. See course guidelines provided on enrolment for more details.

All students will be issued with one set of notes for all subjects. Any additional sets of notes that a student requires due to loss or damaged will be subject to a £15 fee for each volume of notes.

If you wish to leave for any reason, please email info@www.isyllabus.org.uk quoting your name, student number and which city you are attending the course in and the admin team will process your request.

It depends when a student wishes to leave the course.

If Admin is informed in writing of the intention to discontinue prior to commencing the course, then a full refund will be applicable minus a £50 admin charge.

If Admin is informed in writing of the intention of discontinuing the course before Sunday 1 December 2019 – 2359 hours then a 50% refund of amount payed for course will be applicable.

From Monday 2 December 2019, no refunds will be issued.