Respect Graduate School

Certificate Program in Islamic Studies

Program Description

The Certificate in Islamic Studies (CIS) is a fully online program offered at RGS. The CIS program has been designed for those who want to gain deep knowledge in Islamic Studies. There are no prerequisites.

In order to complete the CIS, students need to complete 6 online courses, all of which are on various fields of Islamic Studies. The four courses of the program are required. Afterwards, students will select 2 more courses among the 4 elective courses. Upon successful completion of these 6 courses, students will be awarded a Certificate.

Each course has weekly class sessions during a semester of twelve weeks. Each class session takes 2-3 hours. Online quizzes and reading and writing assignments will allow students to fully grasp the content of courses.

Required Courses

Faith Essentials of Islam

This course provides a detailed coverage of Islamic fundamental beliefs, creed, theology and worldview with particular reference to the Qur’an and hadith as primary sources. The Islamic concept of God and the understanding of human nature will be addressed, together with the creation story according to the Qur’an. The unseen world, revelation, prophethood, the Prophet Muhammad and the question of theodicy and suffering are also addressed. The approach is a balance between textual basis of theology and rational argumentation.

Tafsir: Exegesis of the Qur’an

This course introduces students to the methodology of Qur’anic exegesis. The concept of revelation, the importance of occasions of revelation for exegesis, the concept of abrogation, and a set of tools used in textual analysis will be discussed. The history of the development of Qur’anic exegetical method and its evolution over time to produce a rich literature of exegetical works will also be addressed. In addition, modern exegetical issues concerning the Qur’an will be investigated together with a critical evaluation of how the modern history of the Muslim world influenced contemporary exegetical works.

Hadith: Prophetic Tradition

This course addresses the place of hadith in Islamic scholarship and the methodology of evaluating critically the authenticity of hadith narrations, as well as their classification in canonical texts. Prophet Muhammad’s sayings, actions and his approvals as reported by his companions have been collected separately as multi-volume hadith books. Collection of hadith books, their classification and authentication has been an integral part of Islamic scholarship. This subject will also cover the history of development of the science of hadith critique from the time of Prophet Muhammad (7th century) to the 10th century.

Modern Issues and Islam

This course addresses contemporary issues facing Islam and Muslims in the modern life from personal to public and local to international spheres. It sheds light on controversial topics like jihad, extremism, fundamentalism and Sharia; examines the significant debates around Islam and Muslims such as women rights, Islamism as a political ideology and bioethical discussions; and explores Muslims’ experience in living Islam under current local and global circumstances. The subject approaches these topics by delineating and clarifying colloquial and terminological meanings of key concepts and provides the Islamic bases of the issues in reference to the Quran and Sunnah. Giving historical, cultural and socio-political circumstances and perspectives of modern scholarship, issues are weighed in the contemporary local and global contexts.

Elective Courses (Select two)

Methodology of Islamic Law (Usul al-Fiqh)

This course addresses the methodology related to the principles of Islamic jurisprudence (Usul al-fiqh). The development of Islamic law in the early history of Islam, the emergence of ijtihad (Islamic legal interpretation) together with the revealed and non-revealed sources of law and methodology of Usul al-fiqh will also be addressed. In addition, the four primary sources of law as well as other supplementary sources of law used in the practice of ijtihad will be discussed.

Introduction to Arabic

This course introduces the Arabic language adopting the methodology of the classical grammarians. Students will learn the different types of words and move onto forming phrases and eventually sentences. Various examples will be derived from different sources such as the Qur’an, Prophetic traditions and everyday scenarios. Reading and writing skills acquired in the previous unit will be further developed.
Prerequisite: Ability to recognize Arabic letters and read the Qur’anic text.

Islamic History Until Pre-modern Era

This course discusses critically the history of Muslim societies and civilizations from the time of the death of Prophet Muhammad to the end of the Caliphate era. The periods of Rightly Guided Caliphs, the Umayyad Empire, the Abbasid Empire, the Ottoman Caliphate and other major sultanates will be studied. There will be particular focus on the major historic events as well as the intellectual, economic, social and cultural aspects of the Islamic civilizations. The Muslim contribution to science and civilization will be evaluated critically. The decline of the Muslim world will also be covered.

Islam and Gender Issues

This course addresses critically the modern paradigms concerning women and gender roles in primary and classical texts; through the Islamic history and civilization; as well as in contemporary Muslim cultures and societies. Developing arguments from within a critical framework of an Islamic set of paradigms and values, it takes a fresh approach at women in Islam. It examines the status and role of women in scripture; explores significant women figures in mysticism, scholarship, social and political life. Muslim women are positioned in their historical and contemporary reality with patriarchal, orientalist and feminist approaches highlighted. The subject covers chronologically the conditions and status of women in both contemporary Islamic and non-Islamic cultures. Classical, modern and feminist approaches, viewpoints and arguments are considered throughout the subject.

Do you have career goals in Islamic studies?

Explore Respect's high quality master program.

The Master of Arts in Islamic Studies (MAIS) is a fully online degree program. Program requirements include the completion of 12 online courses. The first 8 courses of the program are offered by the Respect Graduate School. Other four advanced courses are offered by the ISRA. Upon successful completion of these 12 courses, students will be awarded an accredited and internationally recognized Master of Arts in Islamic Studies degree through CSU.

Course Schedule

Fall 2021 (August 30 – December 19, 2021)

Faith Essentials of Islam 12 weeks / Every Sunday 1-4 PM (EST)
Tafsir: Exegesis of the Qur’an 12 weeks / Every Thursday 6-9 PM (EST)
Modern Issues and Islam 12 weeks / Every Saturday 1-4 PM (EST)
Islamic History Until Pre-modern Era 12 weeks / Every Tuesday 6-9 PM (EST)

Spring 2022 (January 17 – May 1, 2022)

Hadith: Prophetic Tradition 12 weeks / Every Thursday 6-9 PM (EST)
Islam and Gender Issues 12 weeks / Every Saturday 1-4 PM (EST)
Methodology of Islamic Law (Usul al-Fiqh) 12 weeks / Every Sunday 1-4 PM (EST)
Introduction to Arabic 12 weeks / Every Tuesday 6-8 PM (EST)

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You may make the payment in instalments with a credit card.

Certificate Program in Islamic Studies


Per course

If you register for 6 courses, you will get $300 discount.

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