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The Learned Youth Programme Year 1 2021

Course Information

PROGRAMME FEATURES
– Introduction to the key Islamic sciences and their teachings
– Tafsir, Hadith, Aqeedah, fiqh, and history courses
– Qur’anic Arabic to access the Qur’an directly
– Introductory level modern standard Arabic
– Blended online learning (live and on-demand)
– Mentoring and personal development planning
– Two year programme, 40 weeks in each academic year
– 4-6 hours per week
– Only £5 per hour

If you have already read through the information below, and are ready to apply, click here to jump to the application form.

Programme Introduction

In the summer of 2020, shaykh Shams launched the Learned Youth Programme (LYP) to benefit the children in his family with the knowledge Allah (ta’ala) has blessed him with. Having taught many students who are now scholars and imams in their own right, he felt he needed to take direct responsibility for ensuring the youth in his own family were educated to a standard that is higher than that of the average Muslim.

To overcome the well known difficulties of teaching young people from one’s own family, shaykh Shams decided to design and run a formal course that would be open to the children of other like-minded parents. Hence, the LYP was born.

The general idea was to mentor the children and teach them the most important Islamic sciences to an intermediate level using his own methods and keeping their learning somewhat open ended. However, there was some formal structure with a targeted amount of expected learning over one academic year in various subjects. See further course details below.

One year on, the course has been a success so far. InshaAllah, in 2021-22, the current students will be continuing their studies into Year 2 of the programme. And after much thought, shaykh Shams has decided to continue personally teaching the LYP with a new cohort of year 1 students. This course page is for anyone who wants to join the first year of the Learned Youth Programme which is due to start in Sept 2021.

Purpose of the course

The purpose of the course over the two years is to give the students a firm understanding of Islam, a strong Islamic moral and spiritual outlook, and an appreciation for the Islamic sciences to serve as a foundation for further advanced learning. So it includes, Arabic language, Qur’anic sciences, hadith sciences, and some tafsir among other things, and Shaykh Shams will personally mentor the students with periodic assistance from others who the students will benefit from.

In year one, the focus is on building an Islamic foundation for the students by studying the foundations of iman, and the pillars of Islam in detail with a special emphasis on spirituality and character development.

So the programme is multi-disciplinary, and is therefore made up of a number of smaller courses of varying length and depth. Shaykh Shams takes a blended approach: so some courses will be entirely on-demand with pre-recorded content and online assessments, some are a mixture of live and on-demand, and others are live only. This will depend upon the subject and nature of the content. See the content breakdown below.

Q&A and Contact With The Teacher

Students will always have access to Shaykh Shams and there will be regular Q&A and mentoring sessions irrespective of the format of an individual course. In fact, most of the teaching hours during most of the year will be live. Some hours will be offset by on-demand courses to ensure the students don’t get overloaded.

We will use chat and live sessions for this and the students will be able to keep in touch by telephone.

If Covid restrictions allow it, we may try to organise some face to face sessions with the students. The programme is designed as an online programme so it can attract students from everywhere, so any direct meeting will be very limited.

Who is This Course For?

1. Young men and women, 14-18 years of age
2. Good academic performance in school: aiming towards or already achieved A (or the equivalent in the new system) in most GCSEs.
3. Good Islamic upbringing and education. They must recite Qur’an fluently, know the basics of religion, and be from an environment of 5 times prayer at home.
4. Candidates must be of good behaviour and conduct. We cannot have disruptive members in the group. You know your own children. Please do not seek admission if your child might be disruptive or uncooperative. We will simply exclude them (without refund) so please do not waste your time and money.
5. This programme is an excellent introduction for young people whose parents want to explore the option of their children studying Islam full time by seeking knowledge and pursing Islamic scholarship without sending them to full time institutes during their school and college years. Indeed, shaykh Shams’s own objectives was that this programme might become the spark that triggers an interest in advanced Islamic studies for the youth in his family. After all, who doesn’t want their children to become ulama.
6. This programme is for young people whose parents will be engaged. This is essential. If you are not going to take an active interest in this and if we cannot have your support when we need it, then please do not apply. we will not take applications without parental involvement. Normally, we would ask to meet parents during interviews.

Important Note About Workload

We are aware that most children and youth between 14 and 18 also have the pressures of GCSEs and AS/A levels upon them and appreciate that 4-6 hours of learning is a significant additional load. We advise parents to please think carefully before committing to this. We will do our best to not overburden the students and to help them in ways that will benefit their school work too, but some children may struggle with the extra load. Others will thrive on it. Please make a judgement call together. We are happy to advise, just reach out using the email address at the bottom as per the instructions. If you feel, this programme is too much work and commitment, you may find that ‘The Youth Mentoring Programme’ is the perfect alternative as it covers the needs of young people without being too content and contact heavy.

Teaching Strategies

One of the difficulties with this programme is that there is a lot of content to be covered with very limited contact time. 4-6 hours a week is not a lot. Equivalent programmes require 9 hours of contact or more per week. You can see the objectives below. However, I expect to achieve more over a limited period of time due to the following strategies.

  1. We will rely on on-demand courses that have already been developed. Students will study these independently.
  2. Encouraging the students to read and process what they have read independently.
  3. We will support their on-demand learning and reading through regular tutorials.
  4. Here the challenge for the students, the parents and us, is ensuring that the students are completing the reading and on-demand courses. We will therefore expect them to do simple quiz based assessments or submit learning journals to prove they have done their independent learning.
  5. We will spend some time on learning techniques as part of the personal development aspect.
  6. We will insist on and expect parental support and involvement. It would be perfect if parents participated in lessons with their children.
  7. We will conduct regular sessions on personal development, spirituality, and motivation.
  8. We will conduct developmental and interventional one to one sessions when needed.

Programme Breakdown

CoursesDescription
1. Faith in an age of doubtMawarid Lifestyle already has a course covering the foundations of faith with the purpose of demonstrating the proofs and logical foundations of Islam. We will take our time to go through this course with LYP students to ensure they understand the foundations of Islam and can deal with modern challenges and doubts against Islam.
2. The Fiqh of WorshipThis is based on courses that we already have at Mawarid Lifestyle. Students will study a set of on-demand courses, complete the assessments for each one as proof of learning, and then consolidate with Q&A and tutorials with me. Salah, sawm, and zakah will be covered.
3. Qur’an and TafsirThis will be taught in the form of a brief live course covering an introduction to the Qur’an and its sciences (ulum al-Qur’an), and selected Tafsir of selected surahs and verses towards the end of the year. Prior to that, a lot of Arabic will be covered as part of the Arabic language course. The Tafsir course will make students familiar with Qur’anic Arabic while introducing them to some themes of the Qur’an’s message.
4. HadithThis will comprise of some hadiths incorporated in to Arabic language towards the end of the year. The focus will be hadiths that cover key spiritual and moral teachings of our beloved Prophet (saw) as well as a basic overview of the sciences of hadith (uloom al-hadith).
5. Islamic HistoryI expect it to be quite difficult to cover a lot of Islamic history in this programme; there just isn’t enough time. However, during the course of the year, we expect to have an on-demand course on the Seerah of our Prophet (saw) which we will encourage the students to take (at no extra cost) while some aspects of Islamic history will be covered as part of the Arabic course and through live sessions and readings.
6. Arabic LanguageThis will continue throughout the year in different formats. The initial emphasis will be grammar and vocabulary while, towards the end, it will be studying the language of the Qur’an in Arabic and studying classical literature at beginners level. It is important that parents do not get too ambitious about their expectations from this course despite the amount of time spent. I cannot make students fluent in Arabic in 40 weeks. So it is important to keep in mind what my objectives are as stated below:
1. Familiarise students with the essentials of Arabic grammar.
2. Make them familiar with the language of the Qur’an by extensively using Qur’anic vocabulary in the course.
3. Develop familiarity with classical Arabic so that they can continue their studies to eventually access religious texts directly.
There will be some exposure to modern standard Arabic, but that is not my objective at all.
Finally, the attainment levels of the students in the group will vary substantially based upon how personally motivated they are to learn Arabic properly and how they respond to my methods.
7. Personal DevelopmentThis is the most important part of the programme, and will therefore continue throughout the year. At least an hour every week will be spent tutoring and mentoring. This will be both subject related as well as personal development related.
There is no magic wand in personal development, the objective is to try to encourage students to take responsibility for their own development by thinking about it and planning for it. Along with encouraging them and guiding, the teacher’s job is to help them understand what personal development objectives to pursue throughout their lives. The most important ones are spirituality and worship, and character development (akhlaq). This will naturally overlap with other aspects such as leadership development, life skills, philosophical orientation, and planning one’s future in terms of studies, career, family, etc.
This is where we hope the programme will also benefit the students in their school and college education, inshaAllah.

The above lessons and topics may go through amendments before the course starts and throughout the course of the programme.

Dates and Schedule

Scheduled live lessons and tutorials will take place on Tuesday and Friday evenings 5.30pm-8.30pm. Starting from Tuesday 21st of September 2021. Exact timings will be published each term nearer to the start date.

Holidays

Holidays will be scheduled around school breaks with some adjustments made for Islamic holidays. Students should expect to study through Ramadhan. We will fix the dates closer to the start and publish them on this course page.

Admissions Procedure

  1. Complete and submit the online application form below asap.
  2. We will close applications on 20th August. Places will fill up fast and we will process applications, conduct interviews and make decisions on a batch by batch basis with the final round of decisions taking place after 20th August. If we get a sufficient number of applications before then, you will miss out.
  3. We will interview most candidates. If shortlisted for an interview, you will be sent details by email. interviews will be conducted via Zoom and must involve the student and one parent/guardian at least.
  4. We will not process incomplete forms. Please follow instructions and double check everything before submitting forms.
  5. Places will be offered to successful candidates batch by batch.
  6. Fees must be settled upon confirmation of place by the deadline given. Places will not be confirmed without payment and if one’s payment deadlines are missed, the applicant will be moved to the next batch of decisions.
  7. Weekly class schedule and term dates will be confirmed.
  8. First sessions will take place in week beginning Mon 6th September 2021.

Fees

£1000 per annum (around £5 per hour) payable in 3 instalments as follows:

First instalment:
£500 before start date. I cannot confirm any places without payment of fees. The first 15 applicants to complete the first instalment will get an early bird discount of £100 pounds.

Second instalment:
£250 by 1st of January 2022

Third instalment:
£250 by 1st of April 2022

Notes and terms:

  1. You must ensure that fees are paid as agreed.
  2. The first instalment is completely non-refundable after enrolment is closed. At that stage, we cannot replace students who drop out. Subsequent instalments may be compassionately refunded if a student drops out due to exceptional and extenuating circumstances.

Other expenses:

Books and resources must be paid for by students/guardians.
If circumstances permit some activities such as trips or retreats, parents would have to pay for them additionally. We’ll keep everyone updated on plans.

Discounts

£100 early bird discount for first 15 applications to pay the first instalment.

Sibling discount: £100 per sibling

Application Form

Please complete the form below. Study the form first, have all necessary documents ready, then complete it. Documents can be supplied as attachments by taking a clear picture with your mobile phone.

Contact

If you have any questions, please email info@mawaridlifestyle.com

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