Tajdid and the Imams

This course takes a fresh look at the imams of the four leading madhabs, not just covering their lives but also connecting them to the concept of tajdid - renewal of the faith. These days we often think defining which practises are sunnah is straight forward. However, we will see how the four imams strove to answer the question, "What is the sunnah?" and came out with quite different answers! This diversity in perspectives has practical implications for us today...

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ISB's Classical to Contemporary Curriculum

This ambitious curriculum journeys through profound ideas on the questions of our time: exploring how we should define our understanding and priorities to best fulfil our purpose. At various points the curriculum will examine our attitudes, fiqh, culture and language in relation of our context today.

Students can expect to develop a deep understanding of our faith, society, culture and greater confidence in how to live our faith naturally and positively, with relevance to our modern lives, here in the West.

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Course Details

This module explores:

The course begins with tajdid, looking at what revivalism is all about and doing an enriching detour into Umar (RA)'s contribution before progressing to the Imams of the madhabs, exploring their similarities and differences and how they relate to our present situation.

With the amazing Imams we will explore their lives, their teachers, their weighty contributions and their unique perspectives in defining The Sunnah. We will clarify the 'when' and 'where' each Imam lived and the 'Chain of Learning' that meant, for example, that Imam Shafi'i learnt from Imam Malik. One fascinating fact for instance is that Iman Shafi'i had a female teacher, Sayyidah Nafisah bint Al-Hasan who financially supported him and read janaza for him when he passed away.

Analysing the unique perspective each Imam had in terms of deriving rulings will prove a real eye opener! We will delve into usul al fiqh - 'the principles of jurisprudence', covering the role of Hadith including weak ones, the role of public benefit (maslaha), reasoning ('aql), consensus (ijma') and dealing with new problems.

Course Instructors - Dr Rizwan Syed

Dr Rizwan Syed is a longstanding member of initially, the Young Muslims UK and later, the Islamic Society of Britain, where he has held numerous posts, including currently, Lead of Tarbiyah for ISB (Development & Education). He was course organiser for the advanced level Summer Islamic Studies Residential courses for some years and teaches in a number of study circles as well as recently, being the lead teacher at the ISB Classical to Contemporary e-circles. He is also a mentor for ISB Campus.

Dr Rizwan has been studying and teaching Islam at a lay level since his late teens, developing interests in comparative religion, usul al hadith, usul al fiqh and history. He is particularly concerned with the challenge of how to make core Islamic teachings relevant to our contemporary context.

He is also a GP with interests in training, mentoring and musculoskeletal medicine.

· November 20, 2020

Course Content

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Course Includes

  • 5 Modules
  • 27 Lessons