Institute of
Islamic Thought
Reform of Islamic Thought
Structure and Organization - 2013

Summer Students Program 2013

(May 27 – July 3, 2013)

The Summer Students Program is structured to provide the students with intensive instruction in Islamic studies and directed research and training in an area of their interest. The program includes three types of activities: 1) Instruction in core courses in Islamic studies, which include Quran and Sunna, Islamic Jurisprudence, Contemporary Islamic thought, Muslim world affairs, and Islamic History and Civilization; 2) Directed research and hands-on training in an area of their interest. Areas offered include research methods for Islamic studies, civic and political engagement in the American Muslim community, Islamic banking and finance, faith-based entrepreneurship, investment and budgeting, publication, marketing, leadership and organizations and non-profit management; and 3) Seminars, briefings and panel discussions about the American Muslim community and Muslim organizations in the United  States.

1. Core Courses

     (I) Islamic Studies I

           a. Quran and Sunna
This course introduces the student to the history and the methods of approaching Quran and Sunna. It has two components: the first one focuses on understanding the Quran: its history, the major themes of the Quran, the different methods of approaching the Quran, the major issues involving the Quran and the contemporary challenges and how to address them. The second unit or component focuses on the Sunna: its history, its relationship with the Quran, the major scholars of Hadith and their contributions, the major issues involving the Sunna historically and their contemporary manifestations; and the appropriate Islamic responses to those contemporary challenges. Each of these two components will take 6 hours in the course of one week.

                 Instructor: Professor Mahmoud Ayoub, the Hartford Seminary

           b. Fiqh or Islamic Jurisprudence
This course has two components: an introductory part that deals with the basic principles of Islamic jurisprudence, the history of Fiqh as a category of thought and practice with a focus on the major schools of Fiqh, both Sunni and Shia, and a reflection on the biographies of the Imams of the major schools of jurisprudence in relation to the political and social dynamics of their times. The second part introduces the higher principles of Islamic law (Maqasid al Sharia) in general terms and as they apply to contemporary realities. In particular, this unit focuses on the development of an Islamic jurisprudence for minorities (Fiqh al Aqaliyyat). Each of these two parts will take 6 hours in the course of one week.

                 Instructor: Dr. Jasser Auda, Islamic College, Qatar Foundation

          c. Islamic History and Civilization
Part I of this course introduces the student to the context, the essence and manifestations of Islamic Civilization and history. It explores the origins of Islamic civilization in Arabia: its geography, demographics, languages and history, religious traditions and culture. It expounds the concept of Tawhid as the essence of Islam, the core of Islamic civilization. From there it presents the different forms this essence has taken and the different manifestations of it in politics, science, law, literature, arts and architecture as well as philosophy, theology (Kalam) and mysticism (Tasawwuf). Part II of the course addresses the contemporary issues and challenges facing Islamic civilization, particularly in relation to the West, from an Islamic viewpoint. This would include issues such as democracy, human rights, social justice, women’s rights, the environment, etc. Each of these two parts will take 6 hours in the course of one week.

                  Instructor: Dr. Imad ad-Dean Ahmed, Minaret of Freedom Institute

   (II) Islamic Studies II

      d. Contemporary Islamic Thought
This course introduces the student to the core concepts that inform the contemporary reform trends in Islamic thought. Core concepts such as the Muslim worldview of Tawhid and its implications for contemporary Islamic thought and practice at the individual and societal levels will be presented and explained. Ideas such as the Umma, its historical role and current state will be discussed. Other concepts such as Islah, Tajdeed, Ijtihad and shura will be presented and explained historically and within the contemporary context. The course also introduces the students to Islamic principles and perspectives regarding issues of social justice, freedom, ethics, good governance, equality, protection of life, property and the environment, etc, and how they inform contemporary debates on reform of Islamic thought. The course will take a total of twelve hours.

                  Instructor: Professor Ermin Sinanovic, US Naval Academy

          e. Muslim World Affairs
This course is meant to provide students who had little or no background on the Muslim world with a basic understanding of its contemporary history, its geopolitics, its diverse cultures, languages and ethnic groups. Also, the course introduces the key issues and developments that framed the relationship between the world of Islam and the West, such as the colonial encounter, the capitalist expansion of the West, the emergence of the nation-state and its institutions, the discovery of oil in the Middle East and its implications, the communication revolution and contemporary globalization and their impact on cultures, values and life styles; and finally the US foreign policy towards the Muslim world and its implications. This course will be covered in twelve hours.

                 Instructor: Professor Muqtedar Khan, University of Delaware

2. Seminars

These are six hour courses designed to address specific subjects related to one or more of the core courses and allow for more in-depth consideration and analysis by the instructors and more class participation and discussion by the students.  Three seminars are offered this summer:

a. Islamic Reform Movements
      Instructor: Dr. Hisham Altalib, IIIT

b. Islamic Finance
      Instructor: Dr. Yaqub Mirza, Sterling Management Group (SMG)

c. Faith-based Entrepreneurship
      Instructor: Dr. Yaqub Mirza, Sterling Management Group (SMG)

3. Seminars on Islam in America
Students will meet leaders of major Muslim organizations or their representatives in the Washington metropolitan area for briefings and discussions around the theme “Islam in America.” Focus of these seminars will be on history of Muslims in America, issues of identity, integration and assimilation and the challenges of civic and political engagement. The seminars, briefings and panel discussions will be conducted, primarily, by the end of each week. Students are expected to research the organizations  under discussion and  write a brief report on their observations and reflections after each seminar.

4. Directed Research
Each student is expected to declare a specific area of interest for research in an area or topic related to the core courses, the seminar topics or the organizations discussed during each seminar. Accordingly, the student will be assigned a supervisor from the faculty of IIIT or from IIIT associate faculty members. The supervisor will help the student identify a specific topic for research or project work, develop a research/work plan and in the process of conducting the research itself. Each student should pick a topic and submit a research plan no later than the end of the second week (i.e Friday, June 7); and submit their research paper/project no later than Friday, June 28.The last two days of the program (July 1 & July 2) will be dedicated to finalizing research papers and projects and to the presentations and discussion of student research papers and projects. Graduation will be on Wednesday, July 3 at 11:00 AM.

5. Evaluation 
Evaluation of performance for each student will be based on their research paper (content and presentation) 50%, class participation 25%, attendance 25%.
Grading system:  A: 90% and above
   B: 80% - 89%
   C: 60% - 79%
   D: 50% - 69%
   F: Below 50%

An assessment of overall performance for each student will be made accordingly, and the top four students will get one year scholarships to continue as non-resident research fellows at IIIT.
6. Administrative Work
The student is expected to contribute two hours of administrative work each week. The specific area of work will be determined by the Director of the Program and according to need, but the interest of the student will be taken into consideration.
7. Financial Aid
IIIT will provide a scholarship of $1,000 to each student to be paid in two installments as long as they are in good standing during the program.

8. Housing and Transportation
IIIT will provide housing to out of area students who need it. Transportation to and from IIIT is the responsibility of the student. For those who do not have their own means of transportation, IIIT encourages them to carpool with fellow students or – otherwise – live in proximity to a bus route.
9. Health Insurance
Each student must have adequate health insurance coverage. IIIT does not provide health insurance coverage to students and will not be responsible for any medical expenses incurred by the student during the program.

10. Special Needs
The student must declare at the time of application any special needs he/she may have. Regretfully, IIIT may not be in a position to accommodate all special needs. 

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