The Learned Youth Programme
– 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
– One academic year/40 weeks
– 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.
(The course details below were written by Shaykh Shams, hence the first person voice)
Let me begin with some context.
For some time now, I have been thinking about how I can benefit the children in my family with the knowledge Allah (ta’ala) has blessed me with. I have taught many students who are now scholars and imams in their own right, it would be a major breach of duty if those closest to me didn’t study the deen to a level that is relatively more advanced than the average person.
I contemplated various ideas as I waited for our children to reach a more mature age. Now, with the ages of the eldest children in my family ranging between 14 and 17, I have decided to develop a course with them in mind.
It is notoriously difficult to teach your own children in a systematic way. So I decided to run this as a formal course that would be open to the children of other like-minded parents.
The general idea was for me to mentor the children and teach them the most important Islamic sciences to an intermediate level using my own methods and keeping their learning somewhat open ended. However, by opening it up to others, I feel there is a need for me to structure it so that there is a targeted amount of expected learning over one academic year.
However, this does not change the fact that this is an exclusive course and I will be applying a lot of discretion in who I select for it and why. I will give priority to people I have familiarity with so that I know the extent to which I can expect and receive parental support etc. My objective in selecting candidates will be to create a class of students of a similar profile.
A second youth mentoring programme will be launched soon which will be less exclusive. If you miss out on this programme, please look for that one. It won’t be long before it is launched.
Below are some more details of the course. I will start off with a one year programme which I aim to continue if it proves successful with a good number of the students. Continuity will be a factor and I’ll be expecting parents to help out with this.
Purpose of the course
The purpose of the course 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 will include, Arabic language, Qur’anic sciences, hadith sciences, and tafsir among other things, and I will personally mentor the students with periodic assistance from others who I feel the students will benefit from.
So the programme is multi-disciplinary, and is therefore made up of a number of smaller courses of varying length and depth. I will take a blended approach; so some courses will be entirely on-demand with recorded content and only assessments, some will be a mixture of live and on-demand, and others will live only. This will depend upon the subject and nature of the content. See the content breakdown further down.
Q&A and Contact With The Teacher
Students will always have access to me and there will be regular Q&A and mentoring sessions irrespective of the format of an individual course. In fact, most of teaching hours during most of the year will be live with me. 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, I may try to organise some face to face sessions with the students.
Who is This Course For?
Here are the criteria I am looking for in candidates:
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 s and conduct. I 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. I will simply exclude them (without refund) so please do not waste your time and money. This is a developmental programme not an interventional one.
5. Parental support and engagement is a must. If you are not going to take an active interest in this and if I cannot have your support when I need it, or I’m going to have to constantly chase your child or you to get work done etc, then please do not apply. I will not take applications without parental involvement.
Important Note About Workload
I am 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 significant additional load. I advise parents to please think carefully before committing to this. I will do my 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. I am happy to advise, just reach out using the email address at the bottom as per the instructions.
One of the difficulties with this programme is that there is a lot of content to be covered with very limited contact time with me. 4-6 hours a week is not a lot. Equivalent programmes that I have seen require 9 hours of contact or more per week. Had I been teaching this to my children only, I simply would’ve kept on teaching them with no set limit. I think I would need 2-3 years to get through everything I want to teach. However, opening the course up means I have to have some structure and I must aim to achieve a set of objectives within a set amount of time. You can see the objectives below. However, I expect to achieve more over a limited period of time due to the following strategies.
- I will rely on on-demand courses that I have already developed. Students will study these independently.
- Encouraging the students to read and process what they have read independently.
- I will support their on-demand learning and reading through regular tutorials.
- Here the challenge for the students, the parents and me, is ensuring that the students are completing the reading and on-demand courses. I will therefore expect them to do simple quiz based assessments or submit learning journals to prove they have done their independent learning.
- I will spend some time on learning techniques as part of the personal development aspect.
- I will insist on and expect parental support and involvement. It would be great if parents participated with their children.
- I will conduct regular sessions on personal development, spirituality, and motivation.
- I will conduct developmental and interventional one to one sessions when needed.
|1. Faith in an age of doubt
|Mawarid Lifestyle already has a course covering the foundations of faith with the purpose of demonstrating the proofs and logical foundations of Islam. Students will study this course along with a course on the articles of faith on-demand, with Q&A and tutorial sessions with me to discuss and consolidate what they have learnt.
|2. The Fiqh of Worship
|This course will be made up of a course 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. The Fiqh of Mu’asharaat (relations, marriage, divorce, family etc) and Mu’aamalaat (dealings and transactions).
|This is essential for young people transitioning to adulthood. This will comprise of courses on relationships, marriage, family etc with significant time given to Q&A and discussions. The courses will be a mixture of live and on demand content.
The fiqh of Mu’amalaat will not be be covered in detail, but some of the key issues will be discussed with a view to provide practical contemporary guidance based on the financial and transactional circumstances that we face today.
|4. Qur’an and Tafsir
|This will be taught in the form of a 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 Qur’an will be covered as part of the Arabic language course. The Tafsir course will make students familiar with the core themes of the Qur’an while consolidating their knowledge of Qur’anic Arabic.
|This will comprise of a live or on-demand course on a selection of hadiths 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).
|6. Islamic History
|I 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, I expect to have an on-demand course on the Seerah of our Prophet (saw) while some other important aspects of history will be covered as part of the Arabic course and through live sessions and readings.
|7. Arabic Language
|This 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 too 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 continue their studies as well as 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.
|8. Personal Development
|In my opinion, this is the most important part of the programme, and will therefore continue throughout the year. I intend to spend at least an hour every week 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, my 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 ones’s future in terms of career, family, etc.
This is where I 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 throughout the course of the programme.
Dates and Schedule
Launch: Week beginning Monday 14th September
Scheduled live lessons and tutorials with me will take place on Wednesday evenings between 6 -9pm and Saturday mornings between 10-1pm. Exact timings will be published each term nearer to the start date.
- Submit application form below asap or by 28th August at the latest. I have very limited places and less than a month to process applications. I will not process incomplete forms. Please double check everything before submitting forms.
- 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.
- Places will be offered to successful candidates.
- Fees must be settled upon confirmation of place.
- Weekly class schedule will be confirmed.
- First sessions will take place on Wed 16th Sept.
£1000 per annum (around £5 per hour) payable in 3 installments as follows:
£500 before start date. I cannot confirm any places without payment of fees.
£250 by 1st of Jan
£250 by 1st April
Notes and terms:
- I do not have the resources to chase up fees. You must ensure that fees are payed as agreed.
- The first instalment is completely non-refundable after enrolment is closed. At that stage, I cannot replace students who drop out. Subsequent instalments may be compassionately refunded if a student drops out due to exceptional and extenuating circumstances.
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. I’ll keep everyone updated on plans.
Sibling discount: £100 per sibling
Holidays will be scheduled around school breaks with some adjustments made for Islamic holidays. Students should expect to study through Ramadhan. I will fix the dates soon and post below.
Brief Teacher Bio
Shaykh Shams Adduha Muhammad
Shaykh Shams Adduha Muhammad is co-founder and director of Ebrahim College, an Islamic seminary in East London that trains Muslim faith leaders of the future.
Shaykh Shams has led EC to become a leading contemporary Muslim seminary and one of the largest adult Islamic education providers in the UK with its own research centre, The Centre for Islamic Research and Education (CIRE) which was set up in 2017.
Shaykh Shams is himself an Islamic seminary graduate and has an MA in Islamic studies from the university of London. He has also worked as an Imam, a teacher and deputy head of an independent Islamic school, and a translator of classical Islamic works.
Shaykh Shams is particularly interested in contextualising traditional Islamic studies for British Muslims and faith leaders. He also lectures in Islamic theology, hadith studies, and Islamic jurisprudence at Ebrahim College, and is an active faith leader in the Muslim community.
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If you would like to speak with me, send an email with your query/concern (don’t just write ‘call me please’) leaving your number and I will call you if a call is warranted, inshaAllah.