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.
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