Time & Location
Thursdays 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm
20 January – 24 March 2022
Delivered online via Zoom.
Recordings of each lesson will be posted within a day. All recordings will remain accessible for the academic year.
What does it mean for a Muslim to be a believer? And how do we know what to believe?
This year-long course, delivered over 30 lessons, will answer to these two important questions. Students will learn how scholarly Islam uses both rational arguments as well as spiritual insight to understand God's existence, our existence, and creation intelligibly.
The particulars of Aqīdah will be studied by drawing on both the theological and spiritual traditions of Islam, for each complements the other. The discipline of 'Aqīdah provides theological frameworks on how to think about God, His attributes and related issues. The spiritual dimension gives the context in which those frames become relevant. The purpose is to bring together these two cognitive disciplines in a synthesized way, which leads to a realized connection with God and His creation. This is how a believer comes to fully understand the statement of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), when he was asked, 'What is excellence (ihsān)?', and he replied, ‘That you worship Allah as though you see Him and if you do not see Him know that He sees you’.
In Winter Term 2022, we will begin by learning about the affirming attributes of God. These attributes establish God as the primary cause behind all phenomena, understood from our experience of the sensory world and from within our own selves. This will be followed by a study of our beliefs regarding prophets, and the moral and other requirements of prophethood.
About the Instructor
Sheikh Thaqib Mahmood is a traditionally-trained Muslim scholar and instructor in Arabic. He has studied the traditional Islamic disciplines in Yemen, Syria, the UK, Mauritania, and Turkey. He currently teaches Arabic at the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Oxford. He holds a PGDIP in Arabic teaching from the School of Oriental and African Studies, and is completing a Master's degree in linguistics at the same institution.