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Sulwaan School (Online - 6a)

January 21, 2013

(مدرسةُ السلوان)

Islamic Sciences – An Overview

Instructor: Ahmad ‘Alī al-‘Adanī
Course Format: 12 downloadable sessions; 3 live sessions
Starts On: 4 March 2013
Length: 12 weeks (= 1 term)
Course ID: GS1a-1/2013
Faculty: General Studies


“A portal to an appreciation of the wide compass of Islamic scholarship and some exquisitely tasty bites from it”

In this course, participants will be given a most delightful ride in a fast machine through virgin pastures of scholarly Islamic pursuits.
A Muslim, especially one living in the inter-space of the modern West, cannot be a uni-dimensional, dry person, one stuck in mere religiosity, or given only to churning out disjointed texts of ahādīth or engaging in pedantic legal debates.
He must be, like the Sufis say, a bee drawing nectar from every flower.


This course, unprecedented in the cyber history of the Islamic West, opens the member of this new blossoming tribe to vistas onto hitherto uncharted territory: He makes him dive into the fresh water expanse of a lesser-known Islamic science, its goal, its luminaries, its written milestones, its diverse rivulets and so on.
He cannot but spring out of this journey as a more complete living expression of the Dīn.
Each and every lesson will extensively draw on actual illustrations from our heritage.
“There must be more to a Muslim’s life than do’s and don’ts”.

Lesson 1

•    General introduction on classification of sciences, mini-encyclopedias of sciences etc (It includes on-the-ground reference to Ibn an-Nadīm’s Al-Fihrist)
•    The firmament of Sīrah, Prophetic shamā’il and panegyrics of love – It includes live excerpts, e.g. from ath-Tha`ālibī’s Al-Anwār Āyāt an-Nabī al-Mukhtār, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam  

Lesson 2

•    Biographical treasures – It encompasses extraction of pearls from e.g. ad-Dabbāgh’s Ma`ālim al-Īmān  

Lesson 3

•    Islamic literature: Prose – It encloses a roller-coaster through al-Balawī’s Alif-Bā’  

Lesson 4

•    Travel books, with special focus on Western Muslim authors – It comprises rare excavations by the site of an-Numayri’s Fayd al-‘Ubāb
•    Works centered on women, with novel gems unearthed from the Eastern Ibn al-Mibrad and the Western Abū Ja`far as-Sulamī

Lesson 5

•    History
•    Islamic literature: Fables, allegories and proverbs, with sample-taking from al-‘Āmilī’s At-Tadayyun wa an-Nifāq

Lesson 6

•    Indexes of teachers and curricula of study: The difference between fihrist, mu`jam, barnāmaj, mashyakhah etc – Magical views of at-Tamanārtī’s Al-Fawā’id al-Jammah Isnād ‘Ulūm al-Ummah included in the “fee”

Lesson 7

•    Politics and political science, including a virtual dialogue with Ibn al-Azraq
•    Islamic literature: Poetry / Andalusian literature – It contains witty exchanges of views between Abu’l-‘Atāhiyah and Abū Nuwās before Ibn Bassām’s entranced eyes

Lesson 8

•    Studies on deviant sects and exogenous religious paths, inclusive of refutations thereof – Ibn `id’s Tabaqāt al-Umam as an example
•    Social affairs + miscellanies, including Ibn al-Jawzi’s eulogy of cleverness in Al-Adhkiyā’ and suggestions on where you should build your house from al-Ghazūlī

Lesson 9

•    Education – Sahnūn’s son traces the guidelines of healthy Internet course  
•    Rhetoric and literary criticism, with some pungent aromas of discernment from Ibn Sharaf al-Qayrawānī

Lesson 10

•    Economics – No less than al-‘Azafī enlightens us about the connection between Islam and gold
•    Medicine & Prophetic medicine, physiognomy, zoology and botany – Shaykh ar-Rabwah sketches an impromptu identikit of as-Sanūsī who, between one masterwork on ‘aqīdah and the other, prepares for us some medicinal remedies

Lesson 11

•    Zuhd and heart-softening matters – Al-‘Ayyāshī and company search for real gold by shunning the gold rush  
•    Dictionaries (including reference works on geography) – Come to us on a voyage to the borders between the worldly and the otherworldly in Ibn al-Wardī’s Kharīdah al-‘Ajā’ib
•    Genealogy, and how lineage and sainthood merge in the potion distilled for us by al-Mushrifī

Lesson 12

•    Various kinds of short hadīth-related works, ijāzāt and amālī. A seal about sealing words
•    Culinary science and strange subjects, including magic and reading thoughts: Does everything gilded glitter?

Requirements & Prerequisites

Be zestful and adventurous.


The 2 live sessions are held after the 6th and the 12th lessons respectively.

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