Department of Theology

The Department of Theology teaches ‘ilm uṣūl al-­dīn (lit. the knowledge of the roots of the religion), also called al­-Kalām (lit. the discourse), which is a discipline of learning by which one is able to establish religious truths with evidence and remove doubts from these truths.  Its primary subject consists of Allah and His attributes, the relation between the Creator and creation, and the nature of prophethood. Islamic theology differs from philosophy in that it considers revelation as a true source of knowledge and studies epistemology, ontology, and eschatology with the light of revelation Allah revealed to His final Messenger and Prophet Muhammad, may peace and blessings be upon him.

In the Intermediate Islamic Studies program, the Department of Theology teaches Islamic theology in three levels. In the beginning level, the focus is on elucidating the Islamic creed through the foundational creed of the Ḥanafī theologian and jurist Imam Ṭaḥawī (d. 321/933). At the intermediate level, the student is introduced to the differences between theological schools and sects based on the Qurˀān and the Sunnah. At the advanced level, the focus is on integrating arguments based on reason within the framework of revelation through a thorough study of Imam Taftazānī’s (d. 793/1390) Sharḥ al-Aqāʾid.

Within the Advanced Islamic Law and Islamic Theology program, the department focuses on comparative theology. All texts are in Classical Arabic and read in the original with extensive discussions of theological concepts in English.

Dr. Muhammed Volkan Yildiran Stodolsky

Liaison, Department of Theology
muhammed.stodolsky@darulqasim.org

Core Content Curriculum


 

Theology

Course Code

Core or Elective

Course Name

Course Description

THEO101

Core

Introduction to Theology: al-ʿAqīdah al-Ṭaḥāwiyyah

This course consists of an in-depth study of al-ʿAqīdah al-Ṭaḥāwiyyah of Imam al-Ṭaḥāwī (d. 321/933) and introduces students to the tenets of Islamic creed in light of the Qur’ān and the Sunnah. It also highlights the historical emergence of heterodox sects and the flaws within their creeds. Imam al-Ṭaḥāwī’s work has been accepted as one of the main references for understanding the Islamic creed.

THEO102

Core

Intermediate Islamic Theology: Ḍawʾ al-Maʿālī

In this course students will study Mulla ʿAlī al-Qārī's (d.1014/1605) Ḍawʾ al-Maʿālī, a commentary on the well-known creedal text and poem Badʾ al-Amālī of Sirāj al-Dīn al-Ūshī (d. 569/1174). Through this text students will become reacclimated to the core tenets of the Islamic faith. Studying the commentary of al-Qārī will introduce students to more advanced details of Islamic creed and will allow them to explore some of the more diverse orthodox and heterodoc positions on issues of Islamic theology.

THEO198

Elective

Introduction to Dialectic Theology: al-Bidāyah of Nūr al-Dīn al-Ṣābūnī

The course consists of an intensive study of al-Bidāyah fī Uṣūl al-Dīn of Nūr al-Dīn al-Ṣābūnī (d. 580/1184) to introduce students to concepts and methodology of Kalām (dialectic theology). Al-Ṣābūnī’s work is his abridgement of his longer work al-Kifāyah fī l-Hidāyah. Ṣābūnī introduces the student to comparative theology, discussing debates among Muslim theologians and between Muslims and non-Muslims with clarity and conciseness.

THEO401

Core

Introduction to Advanced Dialectic Theology: al-Taftāzānī’s Sharḥ al-ʿAqāʾid I

The course consists of an intensive study of Sharḥ al-ʿAqā'id al-Nasafiyyah of al-Taftāzānī (d.793/1390) to introduce students to concepts and methodology of advanced works of Kalām (dialectic theology). Al-Taftāzānī’s work is a commentary on the influential creed of the Ḥanafī theologian Najm al-Dīn Abū Ḥafṣ ʿUmar al-Nasafī (d. 537/1142) and is distinguished by the impartiality and sophistication of its critique of theological arguments based on reason.

THEO402

Core

Introduction to Advanced Dialectic Theology: al-Taftāzānī’s Sharḥ al-ʿAqāʾid II

The course consists of an intensive study of Sharḥ al-ʿAqāʾid al-Nasafiyyah of al-Taftāzānī (d.793/1390) to introduce students to concepts and methodology of advanced works of Kalām (dialectic theology). Al-Taftāzānī's work is a commentary on the influential creed of the Ḥanafī theologian Najm al-Dīn Abū Ḥafṣ ʿUmar al-Nasafī (d. 537/1142) and is distinguished by the impartiality and sophistication of its critique of theological arguments based on reason.