Darul Qasim founder and President, Shaykh Mohammed Amin Kholwadia, named this program in honor of Mawlānā Maḥmūd Ḥasan: the first and arguably the most preeminent student of Dār al-ʿUlūm Deoband.
Under his tutelage, many students became distinguished leaders and pioneers in a variety of Islamic disciplines. Mawlānā Maḥmūd Ḥasan was given the title of Shaykh al-Hind (Shaykh of India) by his peers, both Muslim and non-Muslim alike, in recognition of his leadership and impact on the political landscape.
Seeking knowledge that is necessary for salvation is farḍ ʿayn, an obligation for every Muslim, male and female. To facilitate the acquisition of Islamic knowledge in the West, Darul Qasim is offering the Shaykh al-Hind program that allows students to learn their farḍ ʿayn in the Arabic language.
The Shaykh al-Hind program is an immersion level program through which a student will become eligible to enroll in the Intermediate Islamic Studies Program at Darul Qasim.
Darul Qasim has had over 100 students learning their farḍ ʿayn through the Shaykh al-Hind program since 2011.
This survey course, offered to the honors track students, is an introduction to the major intellectual trends that have shaped Western civilization. The course takes a chronological approach, beginning with the origins of Greek civilization and a look at its most notable philosophers: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Through the first semester, we analyze how ancient Greek philosophical thought influenced early Christianity, and how Christian beliefs influenced European society and vice versa.
In the second semester, this course analyzes the evolution of medieval Europe into the modern world. The Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, and the Enlightenment are all studied as part of a trend leading towards modernism. Notable thinkers such as Thomas Aquinas, Niccolò Machiavelli, Martin Luther, Rene Descartes, and Karl Marx will be explored as part of this trend.
As intellectual history cannot be studied in isolation, the development of European thought will be studied in conjunction with geography, and political, economic, and social history. As such, this course aims to provide a wide overview of European history in general, with a focus on thought and literature. In addition, examples of Muslim influence on Western thought will be explored.
The overall goal of the Shaykh al-Hind Program is to teach students their farḍ ʿayn in Arabic. As such, they will learn the basics of Arabic grammar and morphology, Islamic law of worship (fiqh), and belief (ʿaqīdah). Through intensive study of these subjects with qualified teachers, students gain a deep understanding of the minimum required actions and beliefs of all Muslims.
But Shaykh al-Hind goes beyond only teaching a Muslim’s farḍ ʿayn. It uses it to expose students to the vast, rich intellectual tradition of Islam. Through a recognition that the written tradition is the most comprehensive and authentic way to access the oral tradition of the early generations of Islam, the program introduces students to key texts from the written tradition. Books such as al-ʿAqīdah al-Ṭaḥāwiyyah are studied in order to open a window into the intellectual thought and life of the early Muslims, as well as appreciate how that oral tradition was understood and consolidated by later Muslim thinkers. Through such a methodology, this program teaches students how to work backwards from the present-day within the intellectual tradition in order to have a complete understanding of the Qurʾān and the example of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.
In addition to understanding the Islamic intellectual tradition, the program teaches students how to apply that tradition to the modern day. Instructors emphasize how the Islamic tradition shapes our understanding of the modern world and the thought movements that have shaped it. In doing so, it imparts an understanding of Islam’s role in the world that is true to the example of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and early generations while avoiding reactionary approaches that are a new development in Muslim thought. The result is an approach that is at once based in traditional Islamic thought and yet able to engage in the challenges of modern society.
Students enrolled in the honors track will be taught an introduction to Tajwīd. In this course, students will learn the development of the science, the codification of major and minor mistakes (al-Laḥn), articulation of the letters, permanent and temporary qualities of letters with examples and application of the theoretical rules learned in class.
The Shaykh al-Hind Honors one year track is designed for full-time students. Five instructional periods are assigned Mondays to Thursdays between 8:30 a.m. 1:30 p.m. with one extra hour each week (to 3 p.m. for an Introduction to Humanities class) and three periods on Fridays. Each week, students will receive 24 hours of instruction in Arabic and Islamic Studies.
Additionally, all Shaykh al-Hind Honors full-time students are eligible to attend weekend and evening Arabic and Islamic studies classes as electives.
The Shaykh al-Hind two year track is designed for working adults and college students who are enthusiastic and committed to gaining Islamic knowledge around their school/work schedule. Each week, students will receive up to six hours of Arabic and Islamic Studies instructions. Humanities and Tajwīd classes are only offered for the honors full-time track.
Students will be able to enroll in both required Arabic sections (naḥw and ṣarf) on Monday & Tuesday respectively or Islamic Studies section (Wednesdays) or the combination of both. Likewise for the weekend as well.
“Enrolling in the Shaykh al-Hind Plus program is undoubtedly one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Without exaggeration, I have learned something new every single day. The teachers are masters in their respective fields and have taught me truly how vast and deep the ocean of knowledge is. In just one year, I have been given a solid foundation in the Islamic sciences and the Arabic language which I hope to build upon for the rest of my life. I am truly thankful to Darul Qasim for facilitating my search for knowledge and I ask Allah to accept the services it is carrying out for His Deen.”
“The facts can be obtained anywhere, but to understand the context and how it manifested provides the student insight on how they should inculcate the information in their lives. The classes are catalyst for change and a student cannot help but to be transformed with the level of education one receives.”
“The Shaykh al-Hind program and its teachers were challenging, yet understanding of the beginner’s level that I had when I began the coursework. While I understand that I have only scratched the surface of Arabic, I am amazed at the level of Arabic that can be reached through this program. Arabic grammar is complex, yet we were able to cover a large amount of material without it feeling overbearing. Small class sizes ensure personal attention, and the professors understand how to assign exercises that develop your skills and improve on your weaknesses. The Islamic studies section was a profound benefit to me and is sure to bring a deeper understanding of the five pillars to all students.”