Table of Contents: Islamic Studies Levels 11-12

Chapter Topic Description
1 Islam This introductory lesson provides a basic understanding of Islam from a Muslim standpoint. The lesson demonstrates why Islam is the only chosen religion of Allāh, and that it is not a new religion founded with the advent of Muhammad (S). It was the first religion from the dawn of civilization, and it reached its perfection at the time of Muhammad (S).
2 Muslim This short chapter discusses what minimum criteria for a person to be identified as a Muslim. Because Islam was the first religion from the dawn of civilization, the question is: are the past followers of the religion Muslim? This lesson raises several such questions and provides analytical answers for young readers.
3 Shahādah Belief in Allāh as the one and only deity is a stringent requirement to be a Muslim. A person can become Muslim by simply declaring the Shahādah—the testimony of the oneness of Allāh. This lesson discusses several dynamics of the declaration and explains the significance of the Shahādah.
4 Belief in Allāh Belief in Allāh, particularly in His unity and Oneness, is central to Islam. This belief is so important that there is no room for anything or anyone ever becoming equal to Him. He is not One among many and He is not One among others. He is One in total uniqueness. This lesson discusses the first article of faith—belief in Allāh and the significance of this belief.
5 Belief in the Angels Angels are creations of Allāh. They obey Allāh and perform duties assigned to them. All Muslims are required to believe in the angels. However, this belief does not attribute to the angels any partnership in any form with Allāh. They are not divine. This lesson discusses the article of Islam that requires Muslims to believe in the angels and explains the significance of believing in the angels.
6 Belief in the Revealed Books Belief in the revealed books is important to establish the fact that Islam is not a new pagan religion invented by an Arab man. Islam is a continuation of the same divine message sent to past messengers who received divine revelations. This belief also demonstrates that Islam is not a regional religion, but a universal one. This lesson discusses the significance of belief in the revealed books.
7 Belief in the Messengers Belief in the messengers of Allāh is an important article of faith. Muslims are instructed not to make any distinction among any of them. This lesson analyzes the article of faith about the messengers and explains the significance of upholding the faith.
8 Belief in the Hereafter Belief in the Hereafter is an important article of faith. The main reason the Hereafter was established is to hold people accountable for their deeds and reward or punish them in accordance with the merits of their deeds. This lesson explains why the Creator wants to hold people accountable and what the divine wisdom is in this process.
9 Life’s Ultimate Purpose People often define their life’s purpose based on short-term goals. Sometimes people redefine their purpose in life. Other times they misapply the purpose, causing moral and spiritual loss. This lesson discusses life’s ultimate purpose and shows all earthly, short-term purposes are acceptable as long as the ultimate purpose is not overlooked.
10 Wealth Is The “Driver” The personalities and lives of human beings are defined by their inner drives. This lesson points out that wealth is one of the dominant drivers in most people’s lives. Islam has never discouraged wealth. But obsessive attachment to wealth can ruin a true believer’s life. The lesson discusses many of the ways wealth overpowers us and how we can bring about balance in our lives.
11 The “Driver” Within Us Other than wealth as a major driver in people, there are several other drivers as well. They may define who we are, they may even control our lives. This lesson discusses some of these drivers and explains that these drivers can derail us from the path of Allāh. We must make an effort to recognize these drivers, and then minimize their effect on our lives.
12 When Allāh Seems Distant Sometimes life’s changing and challenging situations cause believers to think that Allāh has distanced Himself from them. Other times, believers sway from their faith and wander away from Allāh. Using examples from the lives of the messengers, this lesson urges believers to never move away from Allāh and to never become disillusioned when Allāh’s presence is not felt in their lives.
13 Tawakkul: Trust in Allāh The meaning and significance of having tawakkul in Allāh can be misunderstood. Can mere trust in Allāh solve all our problems? Where is the cut-off limit of human effort and absolute trust in Allāh? This lesson discusses the issue by illustrating many examples from the lives of the messengers.
14 Du‘ā: How Does Allāh Respond? Du‘ā is a personal form of communication to connect with the Creator. Du‘ā is also a personal form of worship of the Creator. Allāh commands us to make du‘ā, and He promises that He will respond to our du‘ā. This lesson explains that all du‘ā are accepted even if we do not understand how it is accepted. The lesson also cites examples from the lives of the messengers to show how their du‘ā were accepted.
15 A Heart for Allāh The heart is mentioned in the Qur’ān as an important center for reasoning and faith. Although the brain receives information and processes it, the heart will ultimately make a person accept or reject truth. This lesson analyzes the many different ways the Qur’ān describes the role of the heart. The lesson also provides techniques and methodologies to purify a spiritually diseased heart.
16 Controlling Your Thoughts The human mind can have thousands of thoughts each day. Some are good and some are bad. If the bad thoughts are turned into actions, then we may put ourselves to shame and incur divine anger. There are ways to control our thoughts so that they do not cause moral and spiritual loss for us. This lesson discusses the many dimensions of our thoughts and provides ways to control them.
17 Maintaining a Relationship The Qur’ān and Hadīth writings strongly encourage us to maintain ties of kinship. However, people often sever the ties of kinship due to a conflict or misunderstanding with family members. This lesson discusses why people sever their ties of kinship and how can they restore them.
18 The Power of Forgiveness By nature, human beings are unforgiving, but they want forgiveness from the Almighty for their own sins and shortcomings. The ability to forgive others is a virtue, practiced by all the messengers of Allāh. The inability to forgive others actually stops us from moving forward in our lives. This lesson discusses the power of forgiveness and provides a few guidelines for practicing forgiveness.
19 Reading the Qur’ān A large number of Muslims find satisfaction from reciting and memorizing the Qur’ān. Fewer people actually attempt to read the book. Many people do not touch the Qur’ān for days or months. People either assume they know the entire Qur’ān or they are afraid of misreading the Qur’ān. This lesson discusses how to read the Qur’ān and some of the issues people face when they attempt to read the Qur’ān.
20 Afraid to Think, Forbidden to Ask The Qur’ān frequently appeals to its readers to think, reflect and ponder its message. However, due to fear of thinking about the Qur’ānic teachings in the wrong way, many Muslims stopped pondering on the divine message. Many have been forbidden to even ask a question or think about the Qur’ān. The result of this tendency has had devastating effects on Muslim society. This lesson takes a critical look at this tendency.
21 Lower Your Gaze The Qur’ān and Hadīth writings provide several guidelines about the right conduct for a believer, one of which is to lower the gaze in the presence of the opposite sex. The interpretation of lowering the gaze varies among different scholars. This lesson discusses two views—one that requires actually lowering our view and the one that encourages us to restrain or control our sight so that interpersonal decorum is maintained.
22 ‘Ā’ishah (ra): The Child Bride How old was ‘Ā’ishah (ra) when she was engaged or married to Rasūlullāh (S)? Was she six years old, nine years old or in her teens? Many Islamic writings conclude the age she was married without cross-examining what was possible and what was not. This lesson provides a critical analysis of the entire debate to shed light on the age six and nine theory prevalent among Muslims.
23 “Strike” in Sūrah An-Nisā’ One of the most controversial and misinterpreted āyāt in the Qur’ān is found in sūrah an-Nisā’, where husbands are apparently permitted to beat their wives. This complex ayāh has several layers and several key words that require careful analysis to understand the true message of the command. This lesson analyzes the ayāh and sheds light on the divine message.
24 The Myth About the Satanic Verse The sūrah an-Najm criticized three idol goddess of the Arabs. Undaunted, the Quraish invented a verse and said that Rasūlullāh (S) mentioned a verse to praise the idols and to offer his endorsement. This Satanic verse was quoted by many early scholars and many hostile critics of Islam fondly used it to undermine Islam and Muhammad (S). This chapter explains misconceptions about the Satanic verse.
25 How Jesus Became Christ This lesson takes a cursory look at the formative years of Christianity. The formative years were not easy for the disciples, as they struggled to justify Jesus of Nazareth dying as a state criminal. They believed something must have happened after the crucifixion. The passion about Jesus increased to such an extent that the human Jesus was transformed into Christ—a divine being—within 40 years of crucifixion.
26 Rūh and Nafs All human bodies are similar in the sense that they are made of clay. They are also similar in the sense that they contain divine rūh in them. They become dissimilar in the way they handle their nafs. So what are rūh and nafs? These are probably two of the least understood terms in the Qur’ān. This lesson examines the concepts of rūh and nafs from an Islamic standpoint.