Note: This course was offered live in Spring 2017, and is now available as an online course of recorded lectures.

A man came to Abū al-Dardāʾ while he was in Damascus. Abū al-Dardāʾ asked him, “What has brought you here, my brother?” He replied, “A hadith which you relate from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.” Abū al-Dardāʾ asked, “Have you come for some worldly need?” He replied, “No.” “Have you come for business?” He replied, “No.” “You have come only to seek this hadith?” He said, “Yes.” Abū al-Dardāʾ then said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say: ‘Whoever travels a path seeking sacred knowledge, Allah will place him on a path leading to Paradise. The angels lower their wings for the student of sacred knowledge, pleased with what he is doing. The creatures in the heavens and earth seek forgiveness for the student of sacred knowledge, even the fish in the water. The superiority of the religious scholar over the devout worshipper is like the superiority of the full moon over the other heavenly bodies. The religious scholars are the heirs of the prophets. The prophets leave no money as a bequest, rather they leave knowledge. Whoever seizes it has taken a bountiful share.’” (Related by Imāms Aḥmad, Abū Dāwūd, Tirmidhī, and Ibn Mājah)

This is the introductory course for the Marifa Program taught by Shaykh Arsalan Haque. In this course students will learn about:

  • the virtues of seeking knowledge;
  • the etiquette of learning the sacred sciences; and
  • the pitfalls of learning.

Students will also receive an overview of the major Islamic sciences and what they entail through what are known as al-mabādī al-ʿashara [the then introductory principles].


Course Objectives

  1. To appreciate the benefits and challenges of learning the sacred sciences
  2. To conceptualize the course of study
  3. To be inspired to pursue a serious study in the sacred sciences

Course Details
    This course is a prerequisite for all the other courses of the Marifa curriculum. Once you register, you will receive an email with instructions for accessing the lecture videos and notes. There are a total of eight videos, each of which is approximately one hour long. You will also have the opportunity to interact with your instructor via email and during office hours. There will be one live session for questions and answers that will be conducted a few days before the final exam. Students may also join an online discussion forum for Marifa here.

Required Texts
  1. al-Ḥanbalī, Ibn Rajab, Heirs of the Prophets. Starlatch.
  2. Ibn Jamāʿa al-Kinānī, Badr al-Dīn, Etiquette of the Learner. Turath Publishing.

   Fee: $50 (non-refundable) 

Lectures (for registered students only)
    Topic Lecture Notes Video
    Introduction & Overview View slides Play video
    Virtues of Seeking Knowledge View slides Play video
    Virtues (contd.) View slides Play video
    Etiquette of the Learner View slides Play video
    Etiquette (contd.) View slides Play video
    Pitfalls of Learning View slides Play video
    Overview of the Islamic Sciences View slides Play video
    Overview (contd.) View slides Play video

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