Programs of Study

Islamic Studies Essentials

Fall 2020, Islamic Essentials 101

ISE101: The Universality of Islam

Instructor: Dr. Mohammed Pervaiz
Tuesdays, 8pm to 9pm EST
Starting 9/15/2020 via Webcast


“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?

Young Muslims residing within the context of modernity are in a precarious situation. They are nestled between tradition and modern narratives of reality and morality. Among the challenges many Muslims face is a fragile understanding of the foundational principles of Islam, the reality of Allah’s existence and the truth of the Prophet (s).

Darul Qasim has developed this unique Islamic Essentials Program to tackle the intellectual issues of today, how does the modern Muslim discern between false and true narratives of our deen today? This program will cover these issues while clarifying the principles of Islam in an engaging way. The Islamic Essentials Online Program is ideal for high school students, young professional, or college students.

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“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.”



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.

Ustadh Mohammed Pervaiz

Mohammed Pervaiz was born and raised in Southern West Virginia. He completed his undergraduate education at Haverford College studying Sociology and Chemistry. After traveling to study Arabic in Jordan and participating in a Fulbright in Southern Thailand and Malaysia, he moved to Chicago to study with Shaykh Amin at Darul Qasim. While continuing his studies at Darul Qasim, he completed a Masters in Middle East Studies at The University of Chicago. He then returned to Jordan completing the Qasid Institutes Arabic program while simultaneously studying Tajwīd, Tafsīr, Grammar, Hanafi Law, biography and contemporary Arab literature with a number of scholars. He currently teaches and is completing an interdisciplinary PhD in Social, Political, Ethical and Cultural Thought at Virginia Tech.

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.


“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

“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
College Freshman 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
High School Senior 2014, ISE101 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