Programs of Study

Islamic Studies Essentials

ISE101: Introduction to Islamic Theology

January 23, 2024 to April 30, 2024 (no classes during Ramadan and Eid)
Online, Tuesdays 6PM-7PM CST
with Mawlana Samir Ali
Course Tuition: $380
This 10-week course is designed to give students an introductory understanding of Islamic belief. The course covers the pillars of Islamic theology, while also touching on the history and development of the academic disciplines of ‘aqidah and kalam. Special attention is paid to the implementation of the content of Islamic belief in various historical and modern contexts. This will leave students with a more thorough understanding of what a mature and academically rigorous understanding of theology looks like in the modern world.
Course objective:
Students will understand the basics of Islamic belief and how they relate to their everyday lives.
Prerequisites: None
Required Course Materials: 
Al-Fiqh al-Akbar English

ISE102: Introduction to Islamic Law

January 24, 2024 to May 1, 2024 (no classes during Ramadan and Eid)
Online, Wednesdays 7PM-8PM CST
with Ustadh Firas Alkhateeb
Course Tuition: $380

During this 10-week course, 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 Qur’an and Sunnah”. The semester will end with a discussion on how we can ascend the levels of Ihsan in worship.

Course objective:
Students will understand the basics of Islamic belief and how they relate to their everyday lives.

Prerequisites: None
Required Course Materials: None 

ISE104: Muslims and the Modern Condition

January 22, 2024 to April 29, 2024 (no classes during Ramadan and Eid)
Online, Mondays, 6PM – 7PM CST
with Dr Mohammed Pervaiz
Course Tuition: $380
This course functions as an introduction to various academic discourses in modern life. It is designed to prepare high school students for problems encountered in college, or for undergraduates and professionals as they negotiate modern life. 
Each week covers a modern problem, where the problem came from, and how the Islamic tradition has historically dealt with it. Topics include racism, orientalism, gender, global warming. secularism, scientism, statism, liberalism, nature vs nurture, enlightenment and postmodern philosophy. Each topic begins with a lecture (30 min), followed by posing a question where students discuss in break-out rooms (10 min). The instructor will then present a basic Sunni response with additional discussion (20 min). 
While no text is required for the class, the instructor will provide many texts for further exploration. 
Class attendance and participation is stressed in order to enable a productive learning experience.
Completion of the Shaykh al-Hind program OR one ISE course (i.e., ISE101 or ISE102)
Required Course Materials: None


“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.”



Dr. Mohammed Pervaiz

Mohammed Pervaiz was born and raised in Southern West Virginia. He holds an undergraduate degree from Haverford College where he studied Sociology and Chemistry, a Masters degree in Middle East Studies from The University of Chicago and a Ph.D in Social, Political, Ethical and Cultural Thought from Virginia Tech. He taught various courses for five years in the departments of Religion & Culture, Political Science and History at Virginia Tech before joining Darul Qasim. Dr. Pervaiz’s training in the liberal arts and humanities focuses on secular and religious power and embodiment in modern times (especially the early Turkish Republic), utilizing concepts developed out of the anthropology of the secular and critical theory.

In addition to his studies in the Western academy, he has studied with Muslim scholars in Amman, Istanbul, Chicago. His initial training in the basic Islamic sciences began with Shaykh Amin at Darul Qasim. He later completed the classical Arabic program at the Qasid Institute, and continued studying the basic Islamic sciences in Tajwid, Tafsir, ‘ilm al-akhlāq, Grammar, Hanafi Law, and biography with a number of scholars.

Ustadh Firas Alkhateeb

Firas Alkhateeb holds a B.A. in History from the University of Illinois – Chicago and an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago, with a focus on Ottoman intellectual history and Islamic legal theory. He is the author of Lost Islamic History: Reclaiming Muslim Civilization from the Past. He previously taught Islamic History at Universal School in Bridgeview, IL from 2010 to 2015. He has been teaching at Darul Qasim since 2014.

Mawlana Samir Syed Ali

Mawlana Samir Syed Ali was born in New York, USA. Since the tender age of five, he has been a native of the Bay Area, Northern California (minus the years spent studying overseas). Mawlana Samir attained his high school diploma and finished a year of college, after which he went on to pursue the higher calling of sacred Islamic knowledge. Over the greater part of the next decade, Mawlana Samir engaged in a rigorous study of religious knowledge, studying under many esteemed scholars in South Africa. During this time, Mawlana Samir was granted numerous Ijāzāt (formal authorizations) in the Islamic sciences such as: Fiqh, Ḥadīth, ʿAqīdah, Tafsīr, Uṣūl, Arabic Grammar, Rhetoric, and Etymology, Spirituality, and more. In addition he was granted ijāzāt (certification) with isnād (a linked chain of the prophetic traditions from himself to the Prophet) in numerous books of hadith. He is currently involved in post-graduate specialization (iftā) work in Ḥanafi law. During a year of research in Islamic law, he also procured a Bachelors Honors degree from the University of South Africa in Islamic studies. Mawlana Samir is currently teaching at Darul Qasim while also doing research under the supervision of Shaykh Amin Kholwadia, amongst other responsibilities he fulfills on behalf of the Muslims in his community and at large. He currently resides in Fremont, California.

What Students Will Learn

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“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