Islamic Essentials Online Program

“I’m a Muslim”. For many, this statement will be challenged time and again, especially through the formative years of high school and beyond. For others, it’s “embarrassing” to admit.

What does it mean to be a Muslim?
Why do I follow a human to worship God?
How do I understand God’s existence?
What is the Sunnah and how does it apply to me?

What is the Islam Essentials Online Program?

Today, young Muslims are leaving Islam on a regular basis. In this day and age, Muslim high school students, college students and young professionals are faced with societal and academic pressures undermining the true understanding of Islam.  We believe the reason for the unfortunate departure is an intellectual issue.

Many myths and misconceptions exist in the minds of people today regarding Islam.  The prevalence of negative media images that misrepresent Islam and Muslims on a continuous 24 hour news cycle, and the political situations where criminals claiming to be ‘true’ Muslims have the loudest voice.  We find ourselves at risk and are questioning everything we have been raised to believe about our faith. These questions need to be addressed in a forum that engages and clarifies foundational principles of Islam.

A decade or more ago, the challenges were different. God’s existence was not necessarily denied, but today, we are challenged with debased theories that God does not exist, and more over, He is irrelevant. These are notions that Sunday schools or informal study circles (halaqas) level of discourse may not be enough to address.

In the era of communications and the information age, everyone has access to posting their ideas, opinions and immoralities on the internet and social media. We, Muslims living in the West, are on the frontier of this barrage. How do you decipher what is factual from what is misleading? It is due to these challenges that Darul Qasim has developed this unique Islamic Studies Essentials Online Program.

The four-semester program will lead you through a logical progression and approaches relevant contemporary questions with the necessary methodological foundation. Creating a forum that equips you to further your Islamic development and academic understanding is prudent, especially if you are in high school, enrolled in college or beginning your career as a young professional.

“From this course, I learned what Islam is and WHY Islam is… the greatest thing I take away from this course is a yearning to learn and understand more.”

Hamzah, 2015 ISE101 Student

Program Information


View the Academic Calendar for key academic and financial date
Fall 2018 Semester Begins

Fall 2018 Semester Ends

Sept 23

Dec 16

Available Class Slots

ISE101 – Fall 2018

Sundays, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EST
Hafiz Noman Zaheer – Week 1-7
Ustadh Firas Alkhateeb – Week 8-13

Tuition & Prerequisite

$300 per student per semester
$75/month, four month installments
No discounts or tuition assistance available
Please email for group viewing rates (10+ students minimum)

Prerequisite: must be in high school or above

Registration Procedure

New Student
  1. Click here to register
  2. Select Branch>Online Academy
  3. Select Course>ISE101
  4. Continue to payment page>select one-time ($300) or monthly ($75/month)
Existing Student
  1. Login to MyQuest
    • Click ‘forgot password’ if logging in for the first time to reset your password (enter your email address as your login)
  2. Click Menu>Course Registration
  3. Select Branch>Online Academy
  4. Select Course>ISE101
  5. Continue to payment page>select one-time ($300) or monthly ($75/month)


Ustadh Firas Alkhateeb

Firas Alkhateeb was born and raised in California’s Bay Area. He received his undergraduate education from the University of Illinois at Chicago, graduating with a degree in History in 2010. Afterwards, he taught Islamic History at Universal School in Bridgeview, Illinois from 2010 to 2015. He has been a student at Darul Qasim since 2014 and is also currently pursuing a PhD in Islamic Thought at the University of Chicago.

Hafiz Noman Zaheer

Noman Zaheer spent his early years in Hong Kong, then pursued memorization of the Qurʿān during his teenage years in Pakistan at the well-known Islamic seminary, Ashraf al-Madaris, under the auspices of Hakim Akhtar (may Allah bestow His mercy upon him).
Noman moved to Houston, Texas in 1995 where he completed his education in aviation maintenance at Westwood College of Aviation and began working in commercial aviation maintenance while serving in the community in various capacities including Imam, youth mentor and Qurʿān recitation/memorization teacher.
In 2001, Noman relocated to Knoxville, Tennessee where he continued working in commercial aviation maintenance, completing his aviation career as a Supervisor in aircraft maintenance work flow management in 2013. During these years, Noman led the Muslim Community of Knoxville in various capacities as a volunteer Imam, khaṭīb, youth coordinator, community board member, Islamic school teacher, retreat and events director, Qurʿān recitation teacher and more.
In 2009, Noman met with Shaykh Amin and found his calling at Darul Qasim to pursue his quest for more knowledge. He volunteered his services for the first few years, and in 2013, he was appointed to the position of Registrar in which he continues to serve. Additionally, Noman has studied Shaykh al-Hind level coursework and is now continuing into intermediate-level courses with various instructors at Darul Qasim.
While maintaining his on-going quest for more knowledge and keeping his full-time position, over the years, Noman has received curriculum orientation and training by Shaykh Amin and Shaykh Musa Sugapong (senior faculty member at Darul Qasim) for the development and teaching methodology of the Islamic Studies Essentials Online Program. He has been teaching this curriculum to high school and college students for the past several years.

What students will learn

The Universality of Islam, Part I


The first semester will examine the Universality Theory of Islam. Students will learn that Islam is not a new religion, rather a religion that has been established since the Prophethood of Adam (upon him be peace). The definition of Islam, Īmān and Iḥsān will be explained in depth and each pillar will be examined through the lens of the Universality Theory. Additionally, students will study ritual purification and ṣalāh beginning a study of the Islamic law of worship, which will continue in ISE102.

The Universality of Islam, Part II


Continuing the discussions related to the universality of Islam through its pillars, students will understand the prerequisites, importance and purpose of learning foundational Islamic Knowledge and how to apply what they learn. The instructor will also shed light on the preservation of knowledge through a cohesive, organized and well-planned system we term as the “System of Following the Qurʾān and Sunnah”.
This semester will continue the study of Islamic rules of worship that began in ISE101, studying ṣawm, zakāh, and Ḥajj.
Concluding the Universality of Islam discourse, the instructor will present the formula of the application of Islam today with examples and detailed explanations.

Introduction to Islamic Theology


After the completion of ISE101 and ISE102, students will gain the required mindset to be introduced to academic Islamic theology.
Muslims believe that the proper understanding of God is the primary revelatory knowledge bestowed upon all Prophets. This semester is designed to equip students with the fundamental knowledge of what it means to ‘be Muslim’ – especially as it pertains to the verbalization of our Declarations of Faith (al-Iman al-Mufaṣṣal and al-Iman al-Mujmal).
The curriculum is divided into three fundamental sections of study:
The Study of God
The Function of Prophethood
Islamic Eschatology

How to Read the Sirah


This course will introduce the student to the science of the prophetic biography, known in Arabic as al-Sīrah. It will first provide a theoretical framework through which a Muslim can view the life and times of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, and put it into the perspective that is needed to glean the spiritual and wisdom-rich lessons that the Sīrah has to offer people of faith for all times.
Thereafter, students will learn about the major events of the Sīrah through the previously established framework, while dealing with some common objections leveled by non-Muslim polemical figures against the Prophet ﷺ.


“I’ve been to numerous halaqas and lectures of the course of my life but for some reason it felt distant. I could never entirely connect with what the speaker explained or spoke about. It was as if I was in that mindset that I had to become a scholar in order to feel the true meaning of what they spoke of. However, from the first day in this class I truly connected to the subject – I am relearning but with an academic approach.”
Sherin, High School Senior 2016, ISE104 Student

“Growing up in America with all sorts of wild philosophies and theories, this course has reminded me of the truth and instilled confidence in it more than ever before.”
Taimur, High School Senior 2014, ISE101 Student

“Having gone through an Islamic school from kindergarten through middle school, I was taught these pillars but was never approached in the lens of the universality theory.”
Yasmeen, College Freshman 2016, ISE104 Student

“From this course, I learned what Islam is and WHY Islam is… the greatest thing I take away from this course is a yearning to learn and understand more.”
Hamzah, High School Junior 2015, ISE101 Student

“One of the most common questions adherents of monotheistic religions ask is: what/who is God? However, I feel as if the essential question is ‘What/Who is God to YOU?’ Through following this course, I have been able to thoroughly answer this question.”
Sammy, High School Junior 2014, ISE101 Student

“In the beginning, I wasn’t sure about this class. My mom had put me in courses before, however, this was different.. I broadened my views on ordinary acts that we do everyday.”
Yameen, High School Junior 2016, ISE101 Student

“I knew Muhammad ﷺ was the last prophet, but I was blind sighted to the massive lineage and family tree it took to get there.”
Hamzah, High School Junior 2014, ISE101 Student

“Coming out of this class, I can say with full confidence that I am on the right path and I am more than pleased, thankful, and humble to say that I am a Muslim.”
Farhat, High School Senior 2015, ISE104 Student

“This class was mostly about logic. All the pillars and the history behind them makes more sense than any other religion. There’s so much to appreciate what Muhammad ﷺ has done for us and what Allah has blessed us with.”
Amira, High School Senior 2015, ISE104 Student


Registration Inquiries: | Call or text: (630) 791-0376
The Office of the Registrar

Program Content Questions:
Program Instructors