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- I can barely read the alphabet. Do you recommend this course for absolute beginners?
The course is designed for students who can at least read Arabic script. So, if you’re still learning the alphabet, now is not the best time for you to jump right into the beginning of Semester 1.
Never fear, though. We have a course that will quickly make you ready to jump into the two year online program. With about 3 weeks of study, the Premium Alphabet Course will enable you to catch up to (and probably surpass) others who learned the alphabet decades ago.
You might notice that it is currently being offered as a free bonus if you sign up for the two year program. So, that’s one way you can get it.
You can also purchase it separately from the Premium Alphabet Course page.
Many of our students, even if they know the alphabet and have been reading the Qur’an for years, go through this course just to perfect their pronunciation and learn the finer points of reading and writing Arabic letters.
- Do you build conversational skills?
Conversational skills come as a welcome by-product of our studies. In fact, half of our second year classes are conducted in Arabic medium, where the teacher will teach in Arabic and you will ask your questions in Arabic.
That said, the main objective in this course is still to enable you to understand the Qur’an. The Arabic of the Qur’an is significantly different from the Arabic spoken in the streets of the Arab world. So, if you are looking to learn Arabic so that you can travel and converse with people in an Arab country, this is not the best course for you.
- Will the course materials be shipped to me, or will I need to acquire them on my own?
If you sign up for the course today (or at least while this bonus is available), you will have your course materials shipped to you anywhere in the world, at no extra charge (we don’t even charge you for shipping).
The first year book package includes:
1. Fundamentals of Classical Arabic, by Shaikh Husain Sattar
2. Syed Abul Hasan Ali al-Nadawi’s Stories of the Prophets Part 1
3. Syed Abul Hasan Ali al-Nadawi’s Stories of the Prophets Part 2
4. Syed Abul Hasan Ali al-Nadawi’s Stories of the Prophets Part 3
5. Syed Abul Hasan Ali al-Nadawi’s Stories of the Prophets Part 4
6. Original Arabic text of Imam al-Zarnuji’s Instruction of the Student (Talim al-Muta’allim)
7. Original text of Hidayatun Nahw
The one-time cost for this first year book package is US $60 USD + shipping and handling (approx. $23 for North America, $35 International).
Again, if you sign up today, you will receive all of these as a free bonus.
- What sort of time commitment is required?
For the Self-Paced Program, the time commitment is completely up to you. Because your access doesn’t expire, you can stretch it out and take breaks however you’d like. It’s not a race. And every little bit that you put in counts.
If you wanted to complete the course in two years, though, you would need to put in between 3-4 hours a week (an average of half an hour a day). This is the time you would need to watch the videos and also review and read on your own every week.
For the Premium Program, the time commitment is 5-7 hours a week. This includes time to watch the recorded videos, attend the 2 hours of live class per week and review materials on your own.
- What is the capacity of the live classes?
In the live classes, the limit is 250 students.
Now, why do we limit the registration for this online class at all?
The reason for the limit is because there are only so many hours every day that my assistants and I have to answer students’ questions and queries. When you look under each video, you’ll see dozens of questions, personally answered by me. And when you become a student, you’ll see the extraordinary service that we provide through the helpdesk. The limit is in place to protect us from spreading ourselves too thinly compromising our commitment to excellent service.
With 250 students, is it still possible for students to have opportunities to interact in the live class?
Absolutely. We’ve come up with this number through experience.
You see, the 80/20 principle doesn’t just apply to clothes, and carpets and happiness. It also applies to human behavior. Through over a decade of teaching, we’ve found that there is always a small minority of the class who attends class most consistently and asks most of the questions. We know from experience that if you’re one of these students, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to raise your hand and ask questions in class (despite the seemingly large class size).
There are a few reasons for this. One, because all our live classes are recorded and our students live in different time zones, you’ll see that many will choose to listen to the recordings instead of attending class. Two, of those who attend, many prefer to listen rather than participate themselves. Three, the Wednesday evening session where we practice verb tables is offered twice to cater to different time zones so this further distributes the students.
You’ve probably seen it in any and every classroom you’ve attended. Most people are content to listen and learn (which is absolutely fine). If you want to ask a question and speak up, you are absolutely encouraged and welcome to do that too. We love answering your questions and helping you learn Arabic!
- Will there be any breaks for the live classes throughout the year?
Breaks are built into the schedule of live classes. These will give you a chance to relax and consolidate your learning or catch up on anything you might have missed.
There is a break once every 5 weeks (we’re on a 4-weeks-on-1-week-off schedule). There is also a long break in Ramadan and an extra week off in December.
- What time are the classes?
The October 2015 students will have one class on Saturday mornings at 8:15 am – 9:15 am EST and one class on Wednesday evenings at either 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm or 9:00 pm – 10:00 pm EST. The two timings on Wednesday evening are there to accommodate students in different time zones. The same material is repeated in the 5:00 pm and 9:00 pm classes, so you’d only need to attend one of them (although you are more than welcome to come to both).
In the Saturday class, we’ll be reviewing the passages of the Qasas An-Nabiyeen text and I will check your understanding of the grammar in those passages. In the Wednesday class, we’ll be practicing your verb tables so that you can know your sarf (morphology) inside and out.
In semester 2, your classes will move to the weekends. Our Hidayah an-Nahw class is 9:30 am-10:30 am EST on Saturday and Sunday.
In year 2, your class is 11:00 am – 12:00 pm EST on Saturday and Sunday.
Again, all classes are recorded, so if you can’t make it to class, you can listen to the recordings afterwards. You’ll also be getting weekly emails from us about your classes to help you stay on top of your studies.
- What software do I need?
All our resources are either .PDF, .MP4 or .MP3 files. So, if you’ve ever read an e-book, or a report on your computer, if you’ve ever watched a video or listened to a lecture or song on your computer, you’ve already got what you need to take the course.
All the files are also downloadable and iPad friendly so that you can take your studies with you wherever you go.
Our live classes are held on Adobe Connect. Again, this is also iPad / iPod friendly.
- Why is there a price tag at all? Why don’t you just teach for free?
To tell you the truth, the thought crossed my mind too and I actually tried waiving tuition fees a few years back.
And you know what happened?
Some students started to not take the classes so seriously anymore (I guess if something is free, people start not to value it so much). And others felt awkward and uncomfortable that they were taking so much of my time and effort and not giving anything in return.
So, I brought back the tuition fees and students actually thanked me for it.
You see, the pursuit of knowledge requires some level of commitment and sacrifice. Whether it’s scholars of the past leaving their families and traveling great distances to seek knowledge or students of today submitting tuition – some level of commitment and sacrifice is necessary to keep you focused throughout this journey.
(Of course, your tuition also makes it possible for me, my team to commit ourselves full time to bringing you the best possible Arabic education you can get. And it gives us the resources to improve the program month after month, year after year, alhamdulillah)
- Do you offer any family discount?
Yes we do! We offer a 50% discount for the second family member.
So, if you’re taking the Self-Paced Program at 6 payments of $197, your family member can sign up for the Self-Paced Program with 6 payments of $98.50.
If you’re taking the Premium Program with a single payment of $1494, your family member can sign up for the Premium Program with a single payment of $747.
And so on.
- How do I submit payment?
As long as you have a credit card or bank debit card with the Visa or Mastercard logo, you can use any of our secure order pages to submit payment. Those students who don’t have one of these cards are encouraged to borrow one from a friend or relative, as this is the easiest method of payment. We do have the option of PayPal, Western Union or Bank Transfer for those students who need an alternative method of registration.
- I live in a country for which PayPal does not act as a credit card processor. Do you have any alternate method?
Yes. Please contact us, and we will provide you with a payment link which does not involve Paypal.
- Can I pay by cheque or money order?
Yes. That is also possible. Please contact us for further details.
- Once I've submitted payment, how long will it take before I receive access to the material?
You’ll get access immediately! You will receive an email with your login and password to enter the members’ portal and you’ll be added to our class mailing list. So you’ll be receiving weekly emails with links to enter your classes.
The books, however, are not so immediate. That’s going to take a few weeks (and unfortunately, we’ve found it can take even longer than that in certain parts of the world). No worries, though. Because the physical hard copies of the books are not necessary at all for your study. We’ve got book scans on the portal and you’ll actually find them to be more useful than the real books because you can write on them and mark them up without ruining your books.