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course modules and structure

Module 1: The Worldview of Islam and Its Major Themes

This module serves as an introduction to the Worldview of Islam, its features and fundamental elements such as the nature of God; of Revelation (i.e. the Holy Qur’an); of his Creation; of man and the psychology of the human soul; of knowledge; of religion; of freedom; and of values and virtues, in critical and constructive comparison and engagement with the dominant secular worldview. The profound and intimate relationship between the Worldview and the language that projects it into the mind, and thereby guiding actions, will also be explicated.

 Module 2: Secularization and The External Crisis of the Muslims

This module discusses the definition and meaning of secularization as a philosophical program. The secularization of the natural world as it unfolded in the history of the Western civilization from the period of the ancient Greeks till the present day will be described. The process of secularization which affects political life by relativizing absolute values and denies religious truths and virtues will be explored. Several lessons offered by past and current attempts of Western Christianity to stem the tide of secularization will also be investigated. This module also describes the multifaceted and multidimensional external challenges faced by the Muslims posed by hegemonic Western civilization, by, inter alia, looking at the definition and characteristic features of Western civilization and the numerous points of conflict between the Islamic and Western civilizations in terms of worldviews, militaristic occupation, political and economic hegemony, and ideological and cultural infiltration.

Module 3: The Meaning of Religion and the Concept of Revelation

This module explores the meaning of the religion of Islam based upon the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith and through the lives of the Holy Prophet—Allah’s peace and blessings be on him—and the Companions. The study of religion from the perspectives of falsafah, kalam and tasawwuf will be described. A historical overview of the engagement between Islam and other religions will be provided. Several key issues in the field of comparative religion such as religious pluralism and interfaith dialogues from within the Islamic and Western frameworks will be touched upon.  ​​​​​​​

Module 4: Internal Crisis of the Muslims: Corruption of Knowledge, The Loss of Adab and False Leadership

This module aims to define and clarify some of the salient internal problems of the Muslims, including the corruption of knowledge, the loss of adab and the rise of false leaders. The factors that contribute to the emergence of such problems are explored and debated such as incessant sectarianism, the restriction and fragmentation of religious knowledge and practice, the vilification of tasawwuf and the breach of trust and dereliction of duties in both the political and social spheres.

Module 5: The Concept of Knowledge

This module seeks to describe the meaning, characteristics and purpose of knowledge; the various channels of knowledge, its classification and the proper attitudes of a knower. The relationship between knowledge and truth, the fundamental distinction between knowledge and information, the intimate link between knowledge, man and God, and the contraries to knowledge will also be explored. The concept of knowledge as conceived, understood and propounded by the West will also be presented as a basis for critical and constructive comparison.

Module 6: The Cosmos as the Created Book

This module aims to expound on some of the salient elements of the Islamic philosophy of science; especially the over-arching concept of the Cosmos as the Created Book and man as the reader of this Book in understanding the message of its Author. It will sketch out the multifaceted implications of such an understanding upon the scope, direction and purpose of the various disciplines of investigation and research in both the natural and social sciences and their various methodological and technological outcomes. Among the key issues that will be explored are the advocation of the tafsir-ta’wil interpretive framework in the study of the natural world in countering and reversing secularization of the sciences, and thereby restoring the scientific enterprise to its proper cognitive ad pragmatic function of facilitating responsible stewardship of nature and culture. Selected historical and contemporary case-studies from Islamic and modern science will be analyse to further inform the discursive framework adopted. 

Module 7: The Nature of Man and the Meaning of Happiness

This module explores the true nature of man according to the Worldview of Islam. It will touch upon various key concepts pertaining to the manner of the creation of man, of his dual nature as a physical being and spirit, the purpose of his existence, of his original responsibility and ultimate fate in this world, and of his identity and destiny. All these will be contrasted against the concept of man in the Western secular tradition of anthropology and psychology. This module  also explores the meaning and experience of happiness in relation to the twin concepts of virtue and freedom, which is closely connected to the original nature of man, and in contradistinction with the concept of misery which culminates in the notion of tragedy as acted out in the history and literature of the Western civilization from past to present. The various degrees of happiness and the profound relationship between happiness with truth, destiny and certainty will also be explained.

Module 8: Ta’dib as the Concept of Education in Islām

The module will explore the meaning of ta’dib as the guiding principle in the formulation of a genuinely Islamic philosophy of education. The purpose and goals of education in Islam will be studied in order to arrive at an educational framework that is conceptually sound and can be translated into a systematic program for reviving in the current age an effective and viable Islamic education system capable of critical integration of religious, social and natural sciences.