Foundation Sources of Islamic Knowledge – DE

Entry Requirements No Academic Degree is required to apply for this course. The applicant should have English language proficiency.
Duration 4 months
Fees 2018/19 £570
Financial Assistance Partial scholarships are available subject to meeting specific conditions. For further information contact
Validating Institution The Islamic College
Application Procedure Application for this course is online, please click here for enrolment.
Contact Distance Education (DE) Department
0044 (0) 2084519993 (Ext. 224)

Taking as a starting point, the concept of “Islamic knowledge”, this course presents an in-depth study to the two fundamental sources of Islam. It aims to analyse the overall structure, content and style of the Qur’an and hadith according to classical and modern approaches and the differentia that sets these two approaches apart. It provides the theoretical framework to critically analyse Islamic exegetical traditions, tracing their unfolding and demonstrating the variety of ways in which Muslims have approached and understood the Qur’an and hadith.


  • The concept and reality of knowledge from the Islamic perspective— critical understanding of difference between “Islamic knowledge” and “knowledge in Islam”
  • The integral unity and hierarchal nature of knowledge—revelation, inspiration, intuition, intellection, ratiocination and information.
  • The nature of the Logos and the Word of God—eternal/temporal (qadim/hadith) in Islam and other Abrahamic faiths.
  • An in depth study of methodological skills in textual criticism
  • The Qur’an and its historical and substantial integrity—incidences of revelation, memorization, recitation, compilation, and proliferation; different types and levels of understanding and their corresponding exegetical schools critically analyzed.
  • The Hadith and its traditional and authoritative content—sources of immaculate inspiration, memorization, transcription, canonization, and perpetuation; categorizations of ahadith and the major compilers/compilations critically analyzed.
  • The discussion regarding the relation between the Qur’an and the Hadith—Revealed scripture and the living magisterium.
  • Tradition: Hadith, khabar, athar, and sunnah—oral, written, and practical transmission.
  • The Oral Tradition—textual authority, and its complement, the Intellect—rational demonstration.
  • Examine selected texts from the canonical collection of traditions together with commentaries, which scrutinize traditions from theological, legal and linguistic perspectives.

Learning, Teaching, and Assessment Strategy

All learning materials are developed according to the SCATE format. Students are advised to study units available online followed by timetabled activities which are of crucial importance and require a serious attention. Students need to consult suggested reading materials which are not necessarily available online. At the same time, students are expected to contribute to Discussion Group as an integral part of their study. They would receive feedback regarding their activities and contribution by the module tutor. Extra reading and activities are provided for students who are interested to have a deeper and broader understanding of the issues of concern.

Formative Assessment
Formative assessment for this module will consist of written feedback from the lecturer, questioning and discussion through the online forums. One draft of the students’ final essay (coursework) may be handed in to the lecturer at the 12th learning week for formative assessment, in which the lecturer will give the student feedback on how to improve their research and quality of writing.

Summative Assessment
Students are required to submit 3 out of 5 Review Questions (RQ) and 3 out of 5 Activities (Act) as the weekly assignments for each module during the semester. All of these assignments as well as students’ final essays at the end of the semester will be commented and marked by tutors. Students can see those comments and marks in their drop box which are available in their D2L accounts. Finally, students are required to submit an Individual coursework -final essay (4000 words) on a relevant topic approved in advance by the module tutor.

Assessment Weighting
Activities: 30%
Review Questions & Discussion Group: 10%
Final Essay (Coursework): 60%
Students should get at least a pass mark for all three above components.

Core readings:

  1. Abdul-Raof, H. (2010) Schools of Qur’anic Exegesis: Genesis and Development. London: Routledge.
  2. Abdul-Raof, H. (2012) Theological Approaches to Qur’anic Exegesis: A Practical Comparative-Contrastive Analysis. Abingdon: Routledge.
  3. Adel, G.H. and Elmi, M.J. eds. (2012). Qur’anic Commentaries; An Entry from Encyclopaedia of the World of Islam. London: EWI Press.
  4. Adel, G.H. and Elmi, M.J. eds. (2011). Tafsir – Qur’anic Exegesis; An Entry from Encyclopaedia of the World of Islam. London: EWI Press.
  5. Al-Khu’i, A.A. (1998). The Prolegomena to the Qur’an. Translated from Arabic by A. Sachedina. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  6. Al-Suyuti, J. (2011). The Perfect Guide to the Sciences of the Quran. Reading: Garnet Publishing.
  7. Berg, H. (2000). The Development of Exegesis in Early Islam: The Authenticity of Muslim Literature from the Formative Period. London: Curzon Press.
  8. Burton, J. (1977) The Collection of the Qur’an, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  9. Burton, J. (2000) Introduction to the tradition, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
  10. Jaffer, A. and M. (2009). Quranic Sciences. London: ICAS Press
  11. Kamali, M. H. (2005), A Textbook of Hadith Studies, Leicester: The Islamic Foundation
  12. Ma’rifat, Mohammad Hadi (2014) Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur’an (al-Tamhid fi ‘Ulum al-Qur’an). Tehran: SAMT Publications
  13. Motzki, H. (2004), Hadith: Origins and Developments, Ashgate, Variorum
  14. Nasir, A. (2013) An Introduction to Hadith: History and Sources, London: MIU Press
  15. Qadi, Y. (1999). An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur’an. Birmingham: Al Hidaayah Publishing.Reynolds,G.S (2008) The Qurʼān in Its Historical Context, Routledge
  16. Rippin, A. (1988) Approaches to the history of the interpretation of the Qur’an. Oxford: Oxford University Press
  17. Siddiqi, M .Z. (1993) Hadith literature: its origin, development, special features and criticism, Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society
  18. Subḥān, J. (2006) Introduction to the Science of Tafsir of the Qur’an, World Federation of the KSIMC
  19. Wansbrough, John & Rippin, Andrew. (2004) Quranic Studies: Sources and Methods of Scriptural Interpretation. Prometheus Books