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Arabic Course Reviews — Shariah Program Testimonials

Arabic lessons - Lessons in Arabic Grammar and Morphology. Learn to read and understand the Quran in months!


As with many Muslims born and raised in the West, the heritage of the Islamic intellectual tradition is one that I was brought up to revere, venerate and consider my own. Surrounded both at home and in the mosque by stories of luminaries like Abu Hanifah and al-Ghazzali, it was impossible to escape without a distinct impression of the vastness and sophistication of Islamic scholarship, as well as its central contribution to the history of both the Eastern and Western worlds.

Yet, despite being an integral part of my identity, the reality of a truly comprehensive Islamic education was always just beyond my reach. The more I thought about this, the more I realized that I, like the vast majority of North American Muslims, was in fact divorced from a true understanding of our own intellectual history. Content with stories and anecdotes, or at most a rudimentary knowledge of basic fiqh, we were, and continue to be, deprived of the deep and profound insights of the scholars of the Islamic world.

Granted, I was able to catch glimpses of our tradition here and there: reading books, frequenting halaqas, attending conferences, and occasionally visiting Muslim lands. Yet, these were isolated rarities, providing no systematic method of tying together the subjects of our study in any intelligibly cohesive manner.

I enrolled into the Shariah Program in late May 2003 and went in the evenings 3 days a week for just 3 hours a session. I noticed sizable improvements in the comprehension of Arabic in a very short time. In fact, just after 3 months, we had covered in profound detail about 60% of all of Arabic Morphology (Sarf) and about 50% of intermediate Arabic grammar (Nahw), and all of this without the loss of detail or comprehension.

For me, then, the Toronto Shariah Program has brought the Islamic tradition, my tradition, to life. Beginning with a study of the Arabic language that is unparalleled by anything else out there, the program has already given me a facility with classical Arabic texts I never thought possible without sustained study in an Arab country. Comprehensive, detailed, and systematic, Mufti Yusuf Mullan draws upon the centuries-old curricula of the madresa system in the Indian-Pakistani Subcontinent and combines it masterfully with modern teaching strategies and a keen understanding of the level of the students he teaches to produce a serious knowledge of the language in a minimal amount of time -- a good year of regular study and attendance will provide you with the essentials of the Arabic language, as well as enough practice to start feeling comfortable with the texts.

The focus on Arabic in the first year is indispensable for advanced study in subsequent years, but is not exclusive to other disciplines. Already, we have had lessons in tajweed, seerah, fiqh, and tafseer, as well as exposure to such masterpieces as the Ihya’ of Imam Ghazzali. Due in large part to the encouragement of Mufti Yusuf and his teaching staff, I now look forward to exploring more and more of the classical texts in the hopes of continuing to bridge the divide that has separated me from a comprehensive understanding of my intellectual heritage thus far. The organization and guidance of the Shariah Program is an essential part of that journey.

The Shariah Program is convenient, rigorous, affordable and of the highest quality. It is an incomparable initiative on the North American Muslim scene; our duty now is to see that it continues to be a success. Those of us in Toronto no longer have an excuse to neglect our tradition of knowledge and scholarship.

Junaid Quadri
Waterloo, Ontario

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Now formally registering for the 2009 Online Arabic Foundations Program

  • Course content, goals and methods can be accessed from the Curriculum page.
  • Click here for first semester syllabus (March 21, 2009-June 21, 2009).
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