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Arabic Course Reviews — Shariah Program Testimonials

Intense Arabic in small classes - Private tutoring in learning Arabic

I was a student of the Full-Time Intensive Shariah Program for four months starting from mid-February to mid-June of 2004. I would like to briefly highlight a few things about the program based on my personal experiences.

If the greatest amount of beneficial learning attained in the shortest period of time is the scale or standard by which to judge all Arabic institutions, then according to this yardstick I would definitely have to say that the Shariah Program ranks among the foremost in all of North America. And based on what I’ve heard from others the Shariah Program rivals and in many cases supplants other well-known Arabic institutions in the Middle East. Due to the small number of students in each class and the pleasant and interactive personality of the head instructor, the student can feel the benefits of private tutoring and yet at the same time enjoy the benefits of being in the company of other students.

As for the curriculum itself, it revolves around the standard 1st year curriculum of the renowned Dars Nizami syllabus widely used in madrasahs across the world. So the obvious benefit here is that the ambitious ‘talib al-din’ can use this program as a vital stepping-stone in directly placing himself/herself into the 2nd year of the Dars Nizami program at a recognized madrasah if he/she chooses to do.

The course moves at an extremely fast-pace so I would highly recommend that the diligent student is prepared to put in his/her due effort in order to truly reap the fruits of this program, which at times can be difficult depending on one’s motivation and circumstance. Another added benefit of the program is the setting and environment. Anyone who has been to Toronto will tell you that the Muslim community there is extremely dedicated and devoted to the Din. Such an atmosphere will evidently nurture and bolster one’s studies in the program, which is something that cannot be said about taking Arabic courses taught by non-muslim instructors on college campuses primarily in the West. Not to mention the significant cost difference between the Shariah Program and the ridiculous tuition rates in many private universities where Arabic is taught. If one is financially able and has the means and the motivation to learn Arabic in the land of the Arabs, then this would obviously be ideal. As one can learn Arabic grammar (Nahw), verb morphology (Sarf), along with balagha (eloquence), and conversational Arabic more easier in an Arabic speaking environment. But if one does not have the means to do this, then as mentioned above, the Shariah Program does an excellent job and is a foremost leader in teaching Nahw and Sarf to students in a relatively short period of time, provided the student is dedicated to his studies.

The only thing I would urge is that potential student secures/confirms his/her accommodations (apt., food, roommate, etc.) before arriving to the venue in order to prevent any distractions and wasting of time once the program gets started.

All in all, I personally would highly recommend this program to any student who has a desire to learn Nahw/Sarf from a talented staff in a relatively short period of time. One can easily learn the essentials of Arabic grammar along with the Adab (etiquette) of how sacred knowledge has traditionally been learned through this program.

Wa as-Salam `ala man ittaba`a al-Huda,

T.N. Khan

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