Welcome to the Shariah Program

Arabic Lessons - Lessons in Arabic Grammar, right here in Toronto

Assalaamu Alaykum,

About Me
I am currently completing a qualifying year for my Masters degree in Islamic History at the University of Toronto. My undergraduate degree is in Political Science, which I completed at the University of Waterloo. I intend to complete my Masters and then pursue a PhD in Islamic Politics. I started the Shariah Program with the first batch of students back in January and I continue to take these Arabic lessons on a part-time basis. I am also a part-time teacher at a local Islamic School.

My interest in the Arabic Language
I had always felt that my attachment to the Qur’an was incomplete due to lack of understanding the language in which it was revealed. I began taking Arabic lessons at local mosques and Islamic centres in my area. These lessons failed to keep my interest due to the method of teaching as well as the slow pace in which they were conducted. I found myself looking to options overseas, especially since I’ve heard people taking the journey to such lands as Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. I thought that this was a journey that I would be destined to take as well, if I was serious about learning Arabic. I had gone as far as registering for a summer intensive in Yemen. During my last year at the University of Waterloo, while I was making preparations for possible post-graduate studies abroad, I received word of Arabic lessons starting up in Toronto. After I received the details of the program, my plans for departure were put on hold and I was to give these local Arabic lessons one more try.

About the Course
After the first day of classes in the new Toronto Shariah Program, I knew that these Arabic lessons were like none I’ve taken before. The intensity that we began with on the first day of classes has continued till present day, which makes this program different from any other offered in Toronto. The methodology of the teachers is tried, tested, and true and has flourished worldwide, especially in such areas as Pakistan, India, the United Kingdom, South Africa, the Caribbean, and North America. These Arabic lessons mix innovative learning with a traditional curriculum. The medium of study is in English, which is unique and definitely relevant in this part of the world.

The length of the program is 5 years but since it is structured by semester, students have the opportunity to take their studies as far as they find suitable. The first couple of years focus mainly on the Arabic language itself. Two main subjects are concentrated on during the first few months, sarf (morphology) and nahw (grammar). These two subjects alone equip the student to understand approximately 60% of the Qur’an within months. Along with these two subjects, important topics, such as, tajweed, conversational Arabic, and fiqh are introduced to give the student a comprehensive understanding of the language and its usage.

An important aspect in any field of study is the teacher of the course. This program is a success not only due to the intensity of the Arabic lessons, but also because of the teachers. Mufti Yusuf Mullan and the other young scholars are able to relate to the students, especially because they are born in the West and do not have the same baggage as some other teachers who come here from abroad. Their knowledge of the Arabic language and of Islam on the whole can only serve to enhance the experience of anyone studying with them.

My Recommendations
For anyone intending to take Arabic lessons, this is the place and the time to do so. The program is designed particularly for young high school, college or university students or those with full-time jobs who may not have the time to study on a full time basis. This is what first attracted me to the program and it has allowed me to carry on my full time university studies, hold down a part-time job, and stay in Toronto with my family all while acquiring the knowledge of the Deen. Insha Allah due to this program I will no longer feel disconnected from the Book of Allah and the sayings of His noble Prophet Muhammad (SAWS).

Please feel free to contact me for further information or for any questions you may have.

Riyad Khan
University of Toronto
riyad_k@hotmail.com
416-451-0382

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