School of Islamic and Occidental Studies

Undergraduate Program for the Degree of Bachelor of Islamic Studies and Jurisprudence

Program Overview


The Bachelors program in Islamic Studies and Jurisprudence (ISJ or the Program for short) of SIOS is not only a comprehensive foundational course for further Hawza studies, but also a preliminary overview of how such studies are relevant to the critical situation of Islam in the modern world. The Program provides a strong foundation for further study while providing graduates with new insights and tools that will help them understand and respond to the challenges that they face in the modern world, insha Allah.

Goals and Policies:

  • Familiarize students with the general subjects of Islamic studies, with a concentration on Islamic law and jurisprudence, which is the foundation of Hawza studies.
  • Initiate students into the living tradition of the Hawza.
  • Acknowledge students who exhibit exceptional ability and aptitude for Hawza studies and who are fully committed to living and exemplifying the knowledge acquired.
  • Introduce students to the non-academic aspects of the Hawza, such as the ethical decorum of seminary students or ṭullāb al-‘ilm.
  • Help students to analyse and critique different perspectives found within the sub-cultures of Western Muslims in their encounter with the modern world, and guide them to discover the way of traditional Islam through scholarly research and intellectual effort.

Duration and Structure of the Program:

  • The Program will be conducted over five years (or ten terms or semesters). According to the regulations of the accrediting body of SIOS, all persons admitted into SIOS must have finished at least Book Three of the Farsi course, whether through in-class study in Qom, or online through their Open University. The School encourages students to finish the entire Farsi course, up until the end of Book Six, before starting their studies at SIOS. If they choose to not do so, they may opt to start with the Program and continue their Farsi studies after regular school hours until they finish Book Six.
  • The first three terms will be almost exclusively in English. Starting from term 4, Farsi will be phased-in so that by the time that the Program is finished, the teaching will be almost exclusively in Farsi (and Arabic as will be explained below).
  • The modules offered in the Program are based on the curriculum approved by the Ministry of Education. In addition to these modules, others will be offered that will concentrate on the following:
    • The Noble Qurʾān and its tafsīr
    • Intellectual sciences
    • Occidentology
    • Spoken Arabic
  • Special attention will be given to the practical application of those subjects that require practice (such as Arabic grammar, Islamic law [aḥkām – fiqh], principles of jurisprudence [uṣūl al-fiqh], etc.)
  • Term 8 plus two months will be devoted exclusively to spoken Arabic. One or two of the six months of this intensive spoken Arabic course will involve trips to Arabic speaking countries.
  • Starting with term 9, at least one module per term will be taught in Arabic.
  • The last two terms will have a greater research component and the students will be expected to write research papers as a part of their course work.
  • A number of the modules of the Program will be seminar-based. In these modules, the seminar instructor or guide will present the general outlines and texts of the subject-in-hand in a few sessions,and thereupon the students will be required to conduct their own readings and research, and present their findings in the form of written essays, or presentations.
  • The teachers of the major modules will provide regular office-hours during which they may be consulted on academic and practical matters.
  • During the final years of the Program, the students will be required to attend a select number of extra-curricular classes off-campus with some of the prominent ʿulamāʾ of the Hawza of Qom.
  • One seminar every term will be held on important and relevant subjects pertaining to Islam in the modern world.
    • Topics may include: women in Islam, human rights, religious pluralism, freedom of thought/religion, media, technology, progress, humanities (psychology, sociology, anthropology…)
  • Access to a physical and virtual library with Arabic, Farsi, and English texts will be provided to facilitate research.
  • Field trips will be organised for the students, sometimes with their families, to learn via real-life experiences and interactions during their journeys.
  • During the first half of the Program, an optional course in Arabic and Farsi calligraphy will be offered.
  • Towards the end of the Program, special courses or seminars for vocational training will be offered to teach various skills such as:
    • Writing
    • Translating
    • Teaching
      • Education and training of children and youth in Islamic schools
      • Academic teaching
    • Speaking
    • Management (in particular of Islamic schools)
    • Traditional or Alternative Medicine
    • Counselling
    • Chaplaincy and Pastoral Work (Hospitals, Universities, Prisons, …)
    • Organic Farming
  • A gym will be made available with access to a trainer for workouts and physical fitness

List of Program Modules

Introduction to Qur’anic Sciencesآشنایی با علوم قرآن
Introduction to Qur'anic Exegesisتفسیر مقدماتی
Qur'anic Exegesis تفسیر ترتیبی
Topical Exegesis تفسیر موضوعی قرآن
Arabic Morphology صرف
Arabic Syntax نحو
Arabic Rhetoricبلاغت
Grammatical Analysisتجزیه و ترکیب
Textual Readingsمتن خوانی و درک متن
Spoken Arabic مکالمه عربی
Introduction to Textual Sourcesآشنایی با تاریخ و منابع حدیث
Introduction to Fiqhآشنایی با دانش فقه
Jurisprudence (fiqh)فقه
Comparative fiqhفقه مقارن
Principles of Jurisprudence (uṣūl al-fiqh)اصول فقه
Islamic Ethicsاخلاق و تربیت اسلامی
Islamic Theology اندیشه اسلامی
Introduction to Logicمنطق مقدماتی
Logic منطق
Introduction to Islamic Philosophyفلسفه اسلامی مقدماتی
Islamic Philosophy فلسفه‌ اسلامی
Introduction to Mysticismآشنایی با عرفان اسلامی
Islamic Historyتاریخ تحلیلی صدر اسلام
History of Shi'ismتاریخ تشیع
Introduction to Islamic Schools of Thought and Sectsآشنایی با فرق و مذاهب اسلامی
History of World Religions تاریخ عمومی ادیان
Farsi Literatureادبیات فارسی
English Literatureزبان خارجی
Physical Trainingتربیت بدنی
The Islamic Familyتنظیم خانواده
Research Methodology and Final Research Paperروش تحقیق
Final Research Paperتحقيق پاياني (سمينار)