Thursday, 22 February 2018





Advanced Level [Year One] 2014/2015


Advanced level is the third part of ASI's five year Degree in Islamic Scholarship (‘alimiyyah). It is a two year programme, equivalent to the final years of an ‘alimiyyah degree at a traditional madrasah in the Indian subcontinent. However, our syllabus has been revised by Shaykh Akram Nadwi in order to extract the best benefit from the syllabus, and will be exclusively taught by him. It is primarily designed for students who have a good knowledge of Arabic grammar, Islamic law (fiqh), tafsir, and principles of the Islamic sciences at an advanced level.

The aim of this final stage in the ASI programme is to produce an ability in the student to access the sources of Islam at a profound and open-minded level. It will enable the students to develop into leading scholars and thinkers for the coming age, who are characterised by sound knowledge, true piety and are a vehicle for vibrant Muslim unity.

Students who successfully complete all the modules of the first year will be awarded a Diploma in Advanced Hadith, Islamic Law, and Tafsir. Students who enrol on to the second year and pass the end-of-year examination will be awarded a Degree in Islamic Scholarship (shahadah al-‘alimiyyah).  A few competent students can enter the final exams after their first year; however, entry through this route will be at the discretion of the Director of Studies. Successful completion means that the student has followed and satisfactorily completed all assignments and passed the end-of-year written exams.


The syllabus takes certain books that are the best in their respective fields, suitable for students to become empowered by a focused and profound study of them under the tutelage of Shaykh Akram Nadwi. Moreover, all the texts to be studied at this level have not been chosen only for their brilliance, but also from a variety of traditions, so that the student learns different schools of thought, as a means of showing each school’s brilliance. Such diversity will help develop a learned class who are able to appreciate differences of opinion and know the vastness of Islamic scholarship, which in turn should develop a learned class who can navigate through and bring together different strands of the community. This latter task is one that Shaykh Akram Nadwi believes is crucial for a diverse Muslim community like the one in the west. It should be noted that the selected books, which are often voluminous, will not be covered in their entirety; but will have sections selected and studied as a means of training the student to know how to correctly read these works in their entirety (ideally with senior scholarly guidance).

Although it is recommended that students complete all modules of the programmes in one year, it is also possible for students to study modules independently. Students who complete the studying of any text will be given an ijazah in that text when possible by the teacher with a full isnad to the author.


  • Advanced Quranic Exegesis (Two Years)
    • Unit 1: Tafsir al-Tabari
    • Unit 2: Tafsir al-Zamakhshari
    • Unit 3: Tafsir al-Razi
  • Advanced Hadith Analysis and Isnad Criticism (Two Years)
    • Unit 1: Sahih al-Bukhari
    • Unit 2: al-Jami al-Tirmidhi
  • Advanced Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence (Two Years)
    • Unit 1: Hanafi: Usul al-Sarakhsi
    • Unit 2: Shafi’i: al-Risalah of Shafi’i
    • Unit 3: Maqasid al-Shariah: al-Muwaffaqat of Shatibi
  • Advanced Comparative Islamic Law (Two Years)
    • Unit 1: Hanafi: Al-Hujjah fi ikhtilaf ahl al-Kufah wa ahl al-Madinah of Muhammad al-Shaybani
    • Unit 2: Shafi: Kitab al-umm of al-Shafi’i
    • Unit 3: Zahiri: al-Muhalla of Ibn Hazm
  • Advanced Islamic History (first three modules will be taught in the first year)
    • Unit 1: Life of Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)
    • Unit 2: History of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs
    • Unit 3: Modern History
    • Unit 4: Usul al-Din and History of Muslim Sects
    • Unit 5: Umayyad and Abbasid Periods
    • Unit 6: Ottoman and Mughal Periods
  • Dissertation
    • 10,000 words of independent research under the supervision of Shaykh Akram Nadwi or another ASI instructor.



By the end of the course, students will have:

  • Studied some of the most important classical texts in their respective fields, and become empowered by a focused and profound study of them under the tutelage of Shaykh Akram Nadwi.
  • Developed a profound understanding of the sources of Islam and the Islamic sciences and developed dynamic critical thinking.
  • An appreciation of the brilliance of different schools of thought.
  • A good understanding of advanced level comparative Islamic law.
  • Studied some of the most primary Quranic commentaries.
  • Exceptional knowledge of hadith narrators (rijal of hadith).
  • A profound understanding of the maqasid al-shari’ah.
  • An appreciation of advanced-level usul al-fiqh.

Furthermore, students will have a great opportunity to study further texts related to the core subjects with international scholars through our flagship Sacred Sciences Journey. The Scared Sciences Journey is specifically designed to give students the opportunity to study and receive ijazah from various world-renowned international scholars.

The students will also have the opportunity to consolidate their knowledge by attending our one week Islamic Law and Spirituality School residential programme during the summer (August 2015).


Delivery Mode

All lectures will be delivered in English by qualified scholars and will be uploaded on our ‘Virtual Madrasah’, an online student portal. Students will get further study resources and an opportunity to ask questions out of class time via the virtual madrasah.

All term time classes will run on Sundays and each academic year will consist of three terms of 8 weeks, totalling 144 hours of lessons. Students will be expected to produce a number of essays during term time and an end-of-year written exam.

Virtual Madrasah, Distant Learning

This course is also available online through our Virtual Madrasah with full study materials and audio and video recordings of all lectures. Students will have the flexibility to study at their own speed and conveniences; fit study around work and lifestyle commitments. The live online classes can be accessed from anywhere in the world and they are fully interactive; students can fully participate in the class discussion.

Online Live Access

ASI has developed a high-quality online learning experience for those who live in areas that are too remote for travelling to London for the classes.

All classes will be live-streamed for registered students. These classes will be recorded and then uploaded for the access of the students during term time. Exam students will be given extended access to such recordings so that they can adequately prepare for their exams.

ASI emphasises that online learning is only one of necessity; hence, anyone able to attend the classes in person is advised in the strongest terms to do so.

Lecture Delivery and study support

The ASI has developed a dynamic package to facilitate the best learning experience for the student, which is fully supportive of the student’s best needs, so it is flexible and professional.

  1. A student can opt to take only individual classes of interest to them.
  2. The lectures will be 55 minutes long. Moreover, they will all be recorded and made available to the student on the online ASI website, alongside additional notes and videos that are of assistance to the learning experience.
  3. There will be online forums for students to discuss contents of the classes.
  4. Classes will be primarily conducted in English (except the spoken Arabic module), even though the students are being taught how to truly understand Arabic classics. This approach has been adopted by Shaykh Akram Nadwi so that students can engage in high-level academic discussions in their first language.
  5. ASI has developed two levels of students for Advanced Level classes: active students and passive students. Active students are in a level according to merit; hence, they will have successfully passed the relevant exams in order to be in the level they are. Active students have full rights to ask questions during class that are related to the course material, because they are working towards sitting the relevant exam at the end of their academic year. Passive study students can attend all the classes but can be exempt from any form ofPlease note that students opting for this mode of study will not qualify as an Islamic scholar (‘alim), because the scholar’s Degree will only be given to those who successfully complete all in-course assessments and end-of-year examinations.
  6. An online forum will be in operation for every class so that students can engage with one another and the teacher (but it is not binding on the teachers to actively respond to questions). The forum is more for the students to interact and help each other in relation to the course content and related resources. In the process, providing a dynamic online community for the maximum learning experience.


  • All modules of the Advnaced level are compulsory part of Islamic Scholarship Degree
  • 10 day Sacred Sciences Journey (April 2015, Saudi Arabia)
  • One week residential programe in UK
Dates for the 2014 - 2015 session:
  • Autumn term: Sunday 12th October 2014 to Sunday 30th November 2014
  • Winter term: Sunday 11th January 2015 to Sunday 1st March 2015
  • Spring term: Sunday 19th April 2015 to Sunday 7th June 2015
Term 1 (8w)     Term 2 (8w)             Term 3 (8w)      
Time              Module                  Unit                   Unit                           Unit                   
10am-11am Tafsir Tafsir al-Tabari Tafsir al-kashshaf Tafsir al-kabir
of al-Razi
11am-12pm Hadith Bukhari Bukhari Bukhari
12pm-1pm Hadith Tirmidhi Tirmidhi Tirmidhi
2pm-3pm Comparative Fiqh K. al-hujjah
Of Muhammad
K. al-umm
of al-shafi
K. al-muhalla
of Ibn Hazm
3pm-4pm Usul al-fiqh al-Risalah
of Al-shafi
Usul al-sarakhsi al-muwaffaqat
of Shatibi
4pm-5pm History Life of Prophet
History of the rightly
guided Caliphs
Modern History




The syllabus of this course is designed for serious students who want to transcend introductory courses and actually want to study the subjects themselves, in a professional environment with professional teachers. Therefore, the course is ideal for intelligent Muslims who seek a profound, not cursory, familiarity with the Islamic sciences. Whilst the texts are almost entirely classical, the teaching approach is invigorated and wholly appropriate for the modern age.

 Graduates of the programme will have the same, if not more advanced, level to a regular graduate of an ‘alim course of an Indian-style dar al-‘ulum religious school or a graduate in a bachelor’s degree in Islamic Studies from a modern Arab university. Therefore, a graduate will be endowed with the tools to then proceed upon a path towards mastery of any chosen field in Arabic or Islamic Studies. In this regard, one sees graduation from the ASI programme as the true start of Islamic scholarship.


Although the ASI programme is ideal for those aspiring to becoming full-time Islamic scholars, the programme is also greatly appropriate for numerous other people who do not want to become full-time Islamic scholars:

Community activists, who want to have a sound Islamic basis for their activities, empowered by the course to have a genuinely-informed Islamic response to challenges in the community.

Professionals or laypeople, who want to have a deep familiarity with the Islamic sources for personal, spiritual and/or family reasons.

Aspiring academics in Islamic Studies, who want to be able to contribute a genuine reflection of the Islamic intellectual heritage as they pursue fields of research.

Journalists, especially those who have an interest in Islam and Muslims, so that they can produce insightful journalistic articles which can fully grapple with claims about Islam from contemporary figures and movements.

Dar al-‘ulum graduates and other students of sacred knowledge, who seek to join the later years of the programme so as to supplement and advance their past and on-going studies in the field of Islamic Studies.


Active and Passive Study Route


There are two entry routes to the advanced level courses


Active Study route: students will be in a level according to merit; hence, they will have successfully completed the one year Foundation level, and two year Intermediate Level of the Al-Salam Islamic Scholarship Degree (Alimiyyah programme). These students will be working towards sitting the relevant exam at the end of their academic year and eventually graduate with the Islamic Scholarship Degree (Alimiyyah). Thus they will need to complete all relevant assignments including 10,000 word dissertation supervised by Sh Akram Nadwi.

Passive Study Route: an exclusive feature of the Advanced Level is that students can also enter the programme through the ‘passive study route’ where they are exempt from examinations and pre-requisites. Passive study students can attend all the classes. Please note that students opting for this mode of study will not receive the Degree in Islamic Scholarship. The Degree will be awarded to those who successfully complete all in-course assessments and end-of-year examinations.



There will be annual examinations as a means of progressing from one year to the next. 

The exams will take place at the end of term three, before the following academic year.

Those who pass the final year exams will have a certification (shahadah) that is similar in nature and rank to the ‘alimiyya certificate issued to graduates of the final examinations at Nadwat al-‘ulama in India.

The ASI shahadah is a recognition of the student’s specialised achievements in various subjects. This is a more advanced recognition of a student’s ability than a mere ijazah, which may be general in nature and acquired without the thorough instruction and testing that is required for the shahadah.

Fees & Registration

For details on Fees, Discounts, Financial Asisstance and Registration please visit our Registration Page


Classical Exegesis of the Quran

Advanced Module 1

» Click here for course details

Hadith criticism & fiqh
methodology of Bukhari
& Tirmidhi

Advanced Module 2
» Click here for course details

Comparative Fiqh

Advanced Module 3

» Click here for course details

Usul al-fiqh
Maqasid al-Shariah

Advanced Module 4

» Click here for course details

Islamic History

Advanced Module 5

» Click here for course details


Advanced Module 6

» Click here for course details

Sacred Sciences Journey
(Umrah, April 2015)

» Click here for further details

Islamic Law & Spirituality School
(Residential, August 2015)

» Click here for further details

View a list of all our Courses


» Click here to learn more