Course Descriptions

Islamic Theology

Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah

This course will cover three main areas of Islamic creed: the attributes of Allah, the nature of the Prophets, and transmitted revelatory knowledge from the unseen. Students will learn about what attributes that are necessary to, conceivable of, and inconsistent with divinity; what the Muslim understanding of Prophets and prophecy are; and what revelation says about the end days, the Last Day, the Afterlife, and more. This course will also provide students with a proper understanding of the scholarly understanding of decree (qadr), what renders one inside the fold of Islam, why tragedy and pain exist in the world, and other relevant theological questions.

Prohibitions of the Tongue

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

A famous hadith details several saving virtues and ends with the Prophet (pbuh) summarizing, “Shall I not tell you how to achieve all of this?” He took a hold of his tongue and said, “Restrain this.” Restraint of the tongue has been considered by scholars to be a central prerequisite to character development. This course, based on the famous text “Prohibitions of the Tongue” by Imam Muhammad al-Mawlud, will provide students with a deeper understanding of moral and immoral speech, its effects, and ways to protect one’s self from spiritual harm. Designed to help students to developed restraint of the tongue, this course is timely preparation for Ramadan – a time in which speech has the deepest spiritual implications.

The Most Beautiful Names of Allah

Ustadh Yahya Rhodus

Knowing our Lord is an essential cornerstone of developing an intimate relationship with him – arguably the most important task in a believer’s life. Allah has revealed Himself to us most notably through His Most Beautiful Names (al-‘Asma’ al-Husna). A famous tradition from the Prophet Muhammad s states that whoever memorizes, or alternatively guards, the ninety-nine names of God, will enter paradise. His names are attributes by which servants are able to draw nearer to Him. This course will focus on the meanings of the names, their manifestations, and the lessons to be drawn from them to be implemented by all believers.

The Foundations of the Spiritual Path

Ustadh Walead Mosaad

Based on the famous treatise of the same name by the saint-scholar Sidi Ahmad Zarruq, this course will provide a summary of the requirements for spiritual enhancement. In a dense and concise summary, students will learn the foundations of spiritual development, the pitfalls associated with it, foundational treatments for the soul, and parameters for the student-teacher relationship.

The Spirituality & Ethics of Food

Imam Afroz Ali

Designed by blending scientific knowledge and classical works by Imam al-Ghazali on the spiritual dimensions of food and eating, this work will provide students with a deeper appreciation for the spirituality and ethics of food. Students will be inspired, insha’Allah, to re-examine their own intake to better grow both spiritually and physically.

The Aphorisms (Hikam) of Ibn ‘Ata’Illah

Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah

The “Aphorisms (Hikam)” of Ibn Ata’Illah is considered one of the greatest manuals on spiritual development and cultivation of any spiritual tradition. In short eloquent phrases, the author summarizes the essential guidelines for any spiritual aspirant. Covering the essential challenges and methods of personal religious development, this course will provide students with practical frameworks within which to grow and progress.

Jewels & Pearls of the Qur’an

al-Habib ‘Ali al-Jifri

This course will be based on a famous text “The Jewels of the Qur’an”, by Imam al-Ghazali which covers the content of the revelation by examining both the “jewels”—verses concerned with God, beliefs, and understandings—and “pearls”—verses detailing the implications of such beliefs in the form of practical application in a believer’s life. This course will begin with introductory lectures to the text itself, “Jewels of the Qur’an.” It will cover an introduction to the Qur’an, how one should view the scripture, and what the aims of the Qur’anic discourse are. This course will provide students with a broad understanding of the overall message of the Qur’an by examining the two types of verses and give them the tools needed to continue to regularly read and draw inspiration and guidance from the Qur’an.

Our Master Muhammad ﷺ, The Messenger of Allah —His Sublime Character and Attributes

Imam Zaid Shakir

This class will examine aspects of the character, mercy, morals and worship of the Prophet Muham- mad s, based on the inspiring book of Shaykh Abdullah Sirajuddin, may Allah have mercy on him. In addition to examining these aspects of the Prophet’s mission, message and being, we will extract lessons that are relevant for our lives, days and time. In addition to the text, class will include a workbook, which will include exercise designed to reinforce the lessons from the text, drills that focus on memorizing selections from the Hadith mentioned in the text, as well as deeper examinations of some of the most important themes, personalities and events mentioned in the text.

Special Topic

Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah

While Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah is confirmed and keen on joining us this year at the Rihla Program, his attendance remains contingent upon the state of his health as the time of the program approaches. Please keep Shaykh Abdallah in your prayers.

Special Topic

Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

This course will comprise of a compilation of material from Shaykh Abdal Hakim’s Contentions 11 as well as various readings from the Mathnawi and the Divan-i Shams-i Tabriz.

Devotional Law

Imam Afroz Ali, Ustadh Walead Mosaad, Ustadh Yahya Rhodus

This course, offered in parallel sessions based on multiple schools of law, will cover the legal methods and regulations surrounding the most essential devotions of Islam: the daily prayer (salah) and fasting. It will cover multiple and detailed aspects including the methods of preparation for prayer, the requirements for valid prayer, prayer while travelling, what invalidates the prayer, preparing for prayer when no water is available, exceptional situations regarding the prayer, and more. Equipped with the knowledge provided in this course, students will be able to navigate fulfilling their religious duties in almost any situation, giving them the confidence to worship God properly in the world they live in.