Respect Graduate School Presents Its


with Imam Fode Drame and Dr. Halim Calis




(Online M,W,F: Sept. 3 – Nov. 2 and On-Campus Nov. 9, 10, 11)

This course is the first part of a two-semester sequence. It focuses on arf (morphology or the study of the word). By accessing the basic structure of the word –the trilateral root– students can then go on to deciphering meanings based upon standard structures associated with the addition of “extra” letters to the trilateral root. Besides the derivative verbs and nouns, the students will also learn about non-derivative nouns and dependent words such as prepositions, pronouns, demonstratives etc. A great deal of examples, assignments, and practices in the course enhances students’ linguistic skills and competency in the classical Arabic. Thus the course provides a unique educational experience by following the traditional style of learning corroborated by modern techniques.


(Online M,W,F: Feb 4 – April 26 and On-Campus May. 3, 4, 5)

This course is the second part of a two-semester sequence and focuses on naw (grammar or the study of the sentence). Through this course, the students will learn functions of words in a sentence and will be able to analyze grammatical structures. The students will also peruse Arabic texts written on various subjects in different Islamic sciences under the tutelage of the instructor. Assigned texts will strengthen their knowledge of morphology that they learned in Arabic I and enrich their vocabulary. The course then will give them the opportunity of putting their theoretical knowledge into practice.

QUR’ANIC EXEGESIS I taught by Imam Fode Drame

(Online Saturdays, Sept. 8 – Oct. 6 from 5:00-7:00 PM and On-Campus Nov. 9, 10, 11 from 9-4:00 PM)

This course aims to introduce the student to the Qur’anic methodology and to serve as an introduction to the Qur’anic themes. These themes concentrate in particular on the ethical teachings of the Qur’an, emphasizing the fact that the Qur’an, above all, is a book of character. Student will then be introduced to the seven beautiful characteristics with emphasis on the first two: Tawbah and Tahara (Repentance, Candor). The third subsection of this course deals with the study of man. It focuses on identifying the distinctive features of human beings, which separates them from non-human beings. It explores the various human faculties, both innate and acquired. It further puts into perspective the tridimensional relationship between God, His word, and man.

QUR’ANIC EXEGESIS II taught by Imam Fode Drame

(Online Saturdays, Feb. 9 – April 27 from 5:00-7:00 PM and On-Campus March 15, 16, 17 from 9-4:00 PM)

This second course recapitulates the topics covered in the previous course level, but with more depth. Qur’anic Exegesis II requires a basic understanding of the Arabic language with bias to Qur’anic Arabic words. Students are required to have their own copy of Mukhtar AI-Sihah, a basic grammar and conjugation book. There will be a brief survey of the five pillars of Islam, and then students will make a more in-depth study of the seven beautiful characteristics in both English and Arabic with particular focus on the first two characteristics: (Tawbah and Tahara).

Students will also study of chapters Al-Mulk and Yasin in both English and Arabic. The choice of these two chapters is based on the information they contain regarding the tridimensional relationship between: God-word-man.

QUR’ANIC EXEGESIS III taught by Imam Fode Drame

(Online Saturdays, Jun. 15 – Aug 3 from 5:00-7:00 PM and On-Campus July 12, 13, 14 from 9-4:00 PM)

By the time students reach Qur’anic Exegesis III, they will be expected to be proficient in the Arabic language. This course further builds on the teachings ascertained from the previous two courses and will examine the concepts of knowledge, wisdom, and the methods of their acquisition. Students will also make an in-depth study of the seven characteristics and their 14 components with references from the Quran, the Sunnah, and the Surah in both Arabic and English, and in Arabic only when there are no English translations available. The study material will be the seven books written on the seven characteristics called AI-Shawahid by Imam Fode, the Surah of lbn Hisham with the commentary of AI-Suhaili’s AI-Rawd al-Unuf, and the abridged version of Sahih al-Bukhari with the commentary of lbn Abi Jamrah (Bahjah). And finally, students will then make an advanced study on the tridimensional relationship: God-word-man, with a focus on chapters IsraaKahf, and Taha using the Lamahat by Imam Fode as a source material on those three chapters.



Our Professors


Imam Fode Drame is a profound Muslim scholar and a descendent of a noble clan that has represented the Islamic scholarly tradition in Senegambia region of West Africa for over 1,100 years. His unique aspect is his original teachings in the field of Qur’anic exegesis. Imam Fode is also an expert in the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the knowledge and practice of spiritual excellence, Arabic grammar, and poetry. He is a prolific writer and only a small portion of his 70,000 page  manuscript has been translated to English.




Dr. Halim Calis holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago, Divinity School, an M.A. in Islamic Theology from Marmara University, and another M.A. in World Religions from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. His research interests include Qur’anic Studies, Islamic Spirituality, Ottoman History and Islamic History.




To Apply to the Qur’an Certificate Program at Respect Graduate School, please

Complete the Application Form Here.

*Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, so you may apply at any time, however, please note that Fall classes begin September 1, so

you must enroll by ***August 30th*** to attend Fall Classes.