Master Degree Curriculum
A strong foundation in Arabic grammar (al-naĥw) is fundamental to correctly and precisely understanding all Islamic sciences, as well as the primary sources of the Qur’an and Hadith. Iżhār al-asrār fī al-naĥw, by Zayn al-Dīn Muĥammad b. Bīr al-Birgivī, is a classical intermediate-level text on Arabic grammar. The text’s highly organized structure distinguishes it from other grammar texts and provides students with a framework for the grammatical concepts of the Arabic language. The Iżhār comprises three sections: the syntactic agent (al-¢āmil), theaffected word in a sentence (al-ma¢mūl), and the syntactic effect (al-¢amal). Upon completion of the text, students have a working knowledge of all the major issues (masā’il)of Arabic grammar. They are able to navigate classical Arabic texts and have the skills to derive the meanings of the core texts (mutūn) and commentaries (shurūĥ) studied in the MA program. Additionally, the Iżhār serves as a useful reference, providing students clear and precise definitions and examples. Oral exams confirm that students can correctly infer meaning (istinbāţ) from the text, while preparation, in-class participation, and group review ensure a thorough understanding and retention of key definitions and grammatical concepts.
Arabic Rhetoric Semantics, Eloquence, and Rhetorical Figures
This intermediate-level course in Arabic Rhetoric is the last requirement of the skills component of the MA program. It plays a necessary role in understanding and analyzing the Qur’an and its commentaries, as well as jurisprudential, theological, and literary texts. The main textbook used in this course is Talkhīś al-miftāĥ, by al-Khaţīb al-Qazwīnī, a book that became the standard for those looking to deepen and sharpen
analytical rhetorical skills. It is supplemented by Jawāhir al-balāghah, by Aĥmad al-Hāshimī, and Al-Minhāj al-wāđiĥ, by Ĥāmid ¢Awnī. The course provides students with a framework for the rhetorical concepts of the Arabic language. Sixteen primary rhetorical concepts and a dozen sub-concepts are investigated: eight of these concepts relate to word order (¢ilm al-ma¢ānī), which is concerned with semantic syntax; three relate to figurative speech (¢ilm al-bayān), which discusses allegorical and non-allegorical significations, linguistic allusion, and linguistic signaling; and two relate to rhetorical figures (¢ilm al-badī¢), which focus on how to bestow decorative lexical and semantic features upon speech. Through journal compositions, presentations, and exams, students are assessed on their ability to memorize, recall, and apply key concepts when analyzing prose, poetry, and Qur’anic verses.
Arabic Formal Logic
Scholarly texts in both the rational and transmitted sciences (¢aqliyyah and naqliyyah, respectively) are written adhering to the rules of formal logic, making knowledge of logic a key tool for accessing those books. This course introduces students to the Arabic logic tradition (manţiq) through a close reading of Al-Mirqāt of Fađl, by Fađl-i Imām al-Khayrābādī. Khayrābādī was a leading scholar of the rational sciences (al-¢ulūm al-¢aqliyyah) and his Mirqāt represents the culmination of logic primers in the Avicennian tradition. Students learn the main problems of the Arabic tradition of formal logic, divided broadly into the acts of the mind, conceptions (taśawwurāt), propositions, and reasoning (taśdīqāt). To this end, they study signification (dalālāt), terms (alfāż), definitions (ĥudūd), propositions (qađāyā), syllogisms (qiyās), modals (muwajjahāt), formal and material fallacies (mughālaţāt), and the five arts of logic (al-śinā¢āt al-khams). The course draws on supplementary material from the greater Arabic logic tradition as well as material from the
Western tradition to further discussion. Through three exams, students are assessed on their ability to accurately recall and correctly deploy the nomenclature of Arabic logic, as well as apply the rules for definitions and syllogistic reasoning.
Dialectics and Disputation
This third skills course of the program consists of two parts. The first part is dedicated to dialectics and disputation (ādāb al-baĥth wa al-munāżarah), while the second part is dedicated to the science of lexical semantics and word-coinage. The first part introduces students to the method of reasoning and argumentation employed by Muslim theologians and jurists to reveal the truth. Although originating from debates in kalam theology and legal methodology (uśūl al-fiqh), dialectics and disputation later developed into an independent science. Its usage now permeates textual discourses across the major scholastic disciplines of Islam, making learning it a critical undertaking for students and researchers alike. In this course, Muĥammad b. Abī Bakr Sājaqlīzādah’s Al-Risālah al-waladiyyah fī ādāb al-baĥth wa al-munāżarah is studied in depth. This text is one of the most thorough presentations of the science of munāżarah and gives students the requisite knowledge of terminology and patterns of debate (taqrīrāt) needed to analyze the Islamic texts read in the MA program. Students learn the technical terms of disputation, the various ways of analyzing arguments and of objecting to premises and conclusions, and the ethics of disputation. A cumulative translation project gives students a strong working knowledge of and familiarity with the science of munāżarah, while preparation, in-class participation, and group review ensure a thorough understanding and retention of course material.
The Science of Lexical Semantics and Word-Coinage
This second part of the third course is on the science of lexical semantics and word coinage (¢ilm al-wađ¢), an Islamic science that details theories about the conventional relation of words to their meanings. Along with grammar, logic, and rhetoric, it is one of the ancillary subjects that give students the tools needed to master the core Islamic sciences. According to theories of wađ¢, language has three indispensable components: vocables (alfāż; vocal combinations), meanings (ma¢ānī), and a positor (wāđi¢). The springboard theory upon which the science of wađ¢ is built is that meanings are ideas in the mind, human beings produce vocables, and a positor decides which vocable corresponds to every meaning. Thus, all of language consists of a fixed mental relationship between two sets of independent entities: vocables and meanings. The texts studied in this course are Matn fī al-wađ¢, by al-Akīnī, and Riśālat al-wađ¢ al-¢ađudiyyah, by ¢Ađud al-Dīn al-Ījī. The former is noted for its comprehensive presentation of ¢ilm al-wađ¢, while the latter was the first formalized text on the subject. Additionally, Ījī is credited with introducing a robust theory that explains the distinction between how categorematic and syncategorematic words relate to their meanings.
A cumulative translation project gives students a strong working knowledge and familiarity with the science of wađ¢, while preparation, in-class participation, and group review ensure a thorough understanding and retention of course material.
As a foundation for their graduate work, this course introduces students to research tools and resources for the academic study of Islam. It engages both traditional Muslim and critical/historical approaches to primary Islamic sources. To this end, it introduces students to the major reference works in the Islamic tradition related to the two streams of study at Zaytuna College: Islamic law, and theology and philosophy. Additionally, it introduces students to the key European reference works in those areas and to the problems studied in the European tradition(s) of Islamic studies. The course is designed to help students formulate a thesis problem, generate an annotated bibliography related to their thesis, and write a thesis proposal.
Theology 1: Foundations of Kalam Theology
In the Sunni tradition, kalam theology represents the highest science as it is concerned with matters divine and thus serves as the foundation of all religious sciences. This course covers the central problems of kalam theology as summarized in Al-Iqtiśād fī al-i¢tiqād, by Abū Ĥāmid al-Ghazālī. As a survey of the problems covered by kalam works, Al-Iqtiśād provides a basis for readings in intermediate and advanced Islamic theology as well as comparative theology. Organized around four poles (aqţāb), this book articulates Sunni philosophical theology on the entity, attributes, and acts of God and prophetology. The latter includes beliefs known solely through transmission (sam¢iyyāt), imāmah, and the definition of a believer. The purpose of the course is to study al-Ghazālī’s argumentation and employment of dialectic in arguing the key points of Ash¢arī doctrine. Supplementary readings in Arabic from al-Ghazālī’s other writings are given throughout the course, as well as studies on al-Ghazālī and Ash¢arism. Students are expected to present summaries of readings, lead class discussions, and write papers.
Theology 2: Intermediate Kalam Theology: History, Epistemology, and Divine Attributes
Building on the Foundations of Kalam Theology course, this course covers the first half of Sharĥ al-¢aqā’id al-Nasafiyyah, Sa¢d al-Dīn al-Taftāzānī’s commentary on Najm al-Dīn al-Nasafī’s manual on Islamic creed. Sharĥ al-¢aqā’id is arguably one of the most significant textbooks for Sunni kalam, receiving numerous commentaries from throughout the Muslim world. Nasafī’s matn is a Māturīdī text, while Taftāzānī’s commentary follows the Māturīdī school, occasionally favoring the Ash¢arī school, and often providing his own verifications. As one of the most important textbooks in the postclassical Islamic world, and in the Ottoman and Mughal empires in particular, it has garnered substantial attention through numerous super-commentaries (ĥawāshī). Where relevant, students read from Al-Nibrās: Sharĥ sharĥ al-¢aqā’id, by Muĥammad ¢Abd al-¢Azīz al-Farhārī, as well as the super-commentaries of Khayālī, Ramađān Efendi, and al-Qisţilī. After situating al-Taftāzānī’s text in the Islamic theological tradition, the key problems students examine are discussions of the historical development of kalam, epistemology, arguments for the existence of God, and God’s attributes. Students write a research paper as well as lead a seminar session.
Theology 3: Intermediate Kalam Theology: Divine Attributes, Prophetology, and Transmitted Beliefs
This course covers the second half of Sharĥ al-¢aqā’id al-Nasafiyyah, Sa¢d al-Dīn al-Taftāzānī’s commentary on Najm al-Dīn al-Nasafī’s matn on Islamic creed. Continuing from the previous semester, the key problems students examine relate to beliefs known from transmission (al-sam¢iyyāt). In particular, they look at discussions related to governance (imāmah), end times (ashrāţ al-sā¢ah) and messianic doctrines (al-mahdī), and eschatology (al-mawt wa mā ba¢dahā). In addition to a paper, students lead seminar sessions on selected passages from the text.
Theology 4: Advanced Kalam Theology: Ontological Principles and Divine Attributes
The objective of this course is to take a deeper and critical look at the conclusions and methods of the theologians and compare them with those of the philosophers. The main textbook for this course is Al-Mawāqif fī ¢ilm al-kalām, a widely acclaimed kalam manual by al-Ījī. Additional texts drawn on as aids to students’ studies include Nashr al-ţawāli¢, by Sājiqlīzādah, and Sharĥ al-mawāqif, by al-Jurjānī. The focus for the latter is on three of the six stations (mawāqif) and covers the first ten principles (muqaddimāt); the second station, which is on umūr ¢āmmah; and the fifth station, which is on ilāhiyyāt. The chosen texts are well-positioned to enable students to navigate some of the pinnacle texts of Islamic theology. Hence, after examining the author’s introduction concerned with epistemology and logical reasoning, the methodology adopted by the theologians (mutakallimūn) will be used to systematically investigate what is known as general ontology or universal knowledge (al-umūr al-¢āmmah), such as the classification of things known, existence, quiddity, necessity and possibility, eternity and temporality, singularity/multiplicity, and causality. Next, principles gained from general ontology are applied to topics related to theology. Through a journal, review, presentations, and essays, students are assessed on their ability and skills to interpret, analyze, debate, synthesize, and critique theological positions and methods.
Philosophy 1: Avicennian Physics and Metaphysics
The study of Islamic philosophy (falsafah) is an integral component of properly engaging with mid-to-high-level texts in kalam because of the amalgamation of philosophical concepts with Islamic theology. Hidāyat al-ĥikmah, by Athīr al-Dīn al-Abharī, is one of the most prominent philosophy texts of the Islamic scholastic tradition, owing to its brevity and accuracy. Imam al-Abharī was a direct student of Imam Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī and a master of the rational sciences in his own right. He composed this text to aid philosophy students in comprehending the ideas of Avicenna, who was a major figure in the development and growth of Arabic philosophy, but left behind lengthy, difficult works. Thus, before beginning Bidāyat al-ĥikmah in Philosophy II–IV, students learn the technical vocabulary and major doctrines of the Peripatetic school, as represented by Avicenna, by studying Hidāyat al-ĥikmah. The text is broadly divided into three sciences: logic (al-manţiq), physics (al-ţabī¢iyyāt), and metaphysics (al-ilāhiyyāt). While logic is studied independently in the first semester of the MA program, this course focuses on the subjects of physics and metaphysics. The sections on physics cover abstract physical ideas, mechanics, and organic matters. Metaphysics covers issues related to existence (e.g., universals and particulars, substances and accidents, and potentiality and actuality) and concludes with a detailed exposition of Peripatetic theology. Term papers provide students with an opportunity to delve deeply into topics covered in class, while preparation, in-class participation, and group review ensure a thorough understanding and retention of course material.
Islamic legal theory, aiming to deepen the skills and abilities needed to read, interpret, and contextualize classical jurisprudential works. The main text of study is Jam¢ al-jawāmi¢, by Tāj al-Dīn al-Subkī, along with Al-Sharĥ al-jadīd, a commentary by ¢Abd al-Karīm al-Dabbān, where the approaches of both the theologians and the jurists are comprehensively covered. Additionally, Al-Ghayth al-hāmi¢,by Walī al-Dīn al-¢Irāqī, along with various marginal-glosses, are used as study aids. The exploration of the text extends over two semesters. In the first semester, the focus is on the postulates along with two of the primary sources of the law: the Qur’an (al-kitāb) and the prophetic utterances and acts (al-sunnah). Special attention is given to declaratory and stipulative rulings, and to relevant topics, such as rules of interpretation (dalālāt), explicit and implicit textual significations (manţūq and mafhūm), commands and prohibitions (amr and nahy), general and specific ¢āmm and khāśś), absolute and restricted (muţlaq and muqayyad), and abrogation(naskh). Through a journal, reviews, presentations, and essays, students are assessed on their ability and skills to analyze classical jurisprudential positions and methodologies.
Philosophy 2: The General Principles of Existence
Sayyid Muĥammad Ĥusayn Ţabāţabā’ī wrote Bidāyat al-ĥikmah in 1970, intending to provide students with a comprehensive, succinct text as an alternative to the much longer Manżūmah, by Mullā Hādī al-Sabzawārī. Bidāyat al-ĥikmah has since been recognized for several noteworthy qualities that aid in the mastery and retention of the major discussions in Islamic metaphysics. One of these is that the chapters(marāĥil)adhere to the rules of logic (manţiq), such that each forthcoming issue relies and builds upon the comprehension of the last. Each chapter is further divided into sections (fuśūl), which facilitates students’ learning. Furthermore, the text relies exclusively on demonstration(burhān) to prove the truth of each opinion, supporting it only with the strongest, most reliable proofs. Finally, unlike other texts, Bidāyat al-ĥikmah gives students exposure to the positions held by various Peripatetic and transcendentalist philosophers, thus enriching their understanding of Islamic metaphysics as a whole. Over the course of three semesters, students cover all twelve chapters on the major topics of Islamic metaphysics. In this course (Philosophy II), they complete chapters 1 through 5 on issues related to existence (wujūd), quiddity (māhiyyah), and the three modes (al-mawādd al-thalāth). Term papers provide students with an opportunity to delve deeply into topics covered in class, while preparation, in-class participation, and group review ensure a thorough understanding and retention of course material.
Philosophy 3: The Categories of Existence and Causality
See the description of Philosophy 2. Over the course of three semesters, students cover all twelve chapters on the major topics of Islamic metaphysics. In this course (Philosophy III), they complete chapters 6 through 9 on the categories (ma¢qūlāt), cause and effect (¢illah wa ma¢lūl), existence as one and many (wāĥid wa kathīr), and priority and posteriority (sabq wa luĥūq/qidam wa hudūth). Term papers provide students with an opportunity to delve deeply into topics covered in class, while preparation, in-class participation, and group review ensure a thorough understanding and retention of course material.
Philosophy 4: The Nature of Knowledge and Divinity
See the description of Philosophy 2. Over the course of three semesters, students cover all twelve chapters on the major topics of Islamic metaphysics. In this course (Philosophy IV), they complete chapters 10 through 12 on actuality and potentiality ( i¢l wa quwwah), knowledge, knower and the known (¢ilm, ¢ālim, ma ¢lūm), and the Necessary Being (al-wājib al-wujūd). Term papers provide students with an opportunity to delve deeply into topics covered in class, while preparation, in-class participation, and group review ensure a thorough understanding and retention of course material.
Positive Law 1: Trade, Exchange, and Collateral
This is the first part of a two-semester course focusing on Islamic laws of business transactions according to the Hanafi school of law. It covers the positive law of business transactions, based on the text Al-Lubāb fī sharĥ al-kitāb (The Quintessence: An Exegesis of the Book), by ¢Abd al-Ghanī al-Ghunaymī al-Maydānī. Students learn the definition, the conditions, and the integrals for twenty-six types of transactions. The types of transactions covered are sales (buyū¢), contract revocation (iqālah), cost-plus sale (murābaĥah), usury/interest (ribā), pre-paid forward sale (al-salam), money exchange (al-śarf), collateral (rahn), freezing someone’s business transactions (al-ĥajr), confessions (al-iqrār), renting/hiring contracts (ijārah), preemption (shuf¢ah), partnership (sharikah), and trust financing contract (muđārabah). Students examine each type of transaction and distinguish between them through examples and applications. They learn contract requirements as well as the reasons certain topics are ordered a specific way in the book.
Positive Law 2: Partnership, Charitable Transaction, and Insurance
Continuing their study of the Islamic laws of business transactions according to the Hanafi school of law, students explore all the positive laws of business transactions, again based on the text Al-Lubāb fī sharĥ al-kitāb, by ¢Abd al-Ghanī al-Ghunaymī al-Maydānī. Students learn the definition, the conditions, and the pillars for each of the following types of transactions: commissioning (wikālah), contract of guarantee (kafālah), resolutions (śulĥ), gift giving (hibah), endowment (waqf), extortion (ghaśb), deposit for safekeeping (al-wadī¢ah), lending items for use (al-¢āriyah), abandoned items (luqaţah), missing persons (mafqūd), reviving dead land (iĥyā’ al-mawāt), the slave who is authorized to do business (al-ma’dhūn), and sharecropping and watering for a share of the crop (al-muzāra¢ah wa al-musāqāh). As in the first course, the content includes examples and applications of each type. Students examine each type of transaction as well as compare and contrast them. They learn contract requirements as well as the reasons certain topics are ordered in a specific way in the book.
Legal Theory 1: Linguistic and Textual Implications
This two-semester course is an introduction to the science of Islamic legal theory (uśūl al-fiqh), according to the school of the jurists (i.e., the Hanafi school). Students focus on the foundational sources of law as well as the key principles by which legal reasoning may be conducted, based on the text Ifāđat al-anwār ¢alā uśūl al-manār, by Muĥammad ¢Alā’ al-Dīn al-Ĥaśkafī. Legal Theory 1 focuses on the fundamental definitions and categories that constitute the science of legal theory, and on the linguistic and logical interpretive method, as applied to the Qur’an as a primary source of law. The course covers topics such as general and specific terms and propositions (al-¢āmm wa al-khāśś), absolute and restricted propositions (al-muţlaq wa al-muqayyad), homonyms (al-mushtarak), interpreted texts (al-mu¢awwal), explicit and implicit terms (al-śarīĥ wa al-kināyah), literal and figurative expression (al-ĥaqīqah wa al-majāz), commands and prohibitions (al-amr wa al-nahy), meanings of prepositions (ma¢ānī al-ĥurūf), prompt performance and belated performance (al-adā’ wa al-qađā’), and textual implications (muta¢allaqāt al-nusūs).
Legal Theory 2: Scholarly Consensus and Legal Reasoning
This second course on the principles of Hanafi legal theory focuses on the foundational sources of law as well as the key principles by which legal reasoning is conducted. The course continues its study of Ifāđat al-anwār ¢alā uśūl al-manār, by Muĥammad ¢Alā’ al-Dīn al-Ĥaśkafī. Legal Theory 2 focuses on the fundamental definitions and categories that constitute the science of legal theory, and on the linguistic and logical interpretive method, as applied to Prophetic traditions. It covers the role of scholarly consensus (ijmā¢) and legal analogical reasoning (qiyās) in the derivation of legal rulings. It examines secondary sources, including the use of inductive reasoning (istiqrā’) and the considerations of juristic equity (istiĥsān), custom (¢urf), and the presumption of continuity (istiśĥāb). The course also covers types of rulings, such as injunctive rulings (al-ĥukm al-tashrī¢ī) and stipulative rulings (al-ĥukm al-wađ¢ī).
Legal Theory 3: Fundamental Principles of Textual Interpretation
The study of legal theory (uśūl al-fiqh) is considered essential for a jurist’s training. This course is the first in advanced studies in Islamic legal theory, aiming to deepen the skills and abilities needed to read, interpret, and contextualize classical jurisprudential works. The main text of study is Jam¢al-jawāmi¢, by Tāj al-Dīn al-Subkī, along with Al-Sharĥ al-jadīd, a commentary by ¢Abd al-Karīm al-Dabbān, where the approaches of both the theologians and the jurists are comprehensively covered. Additionally, Al-Ghayth al-hāmi¢, by Walī al-Dīn al-¢Irāqī, along withv arious marginal-glosses, are used as study aids. The exploration of the text extends over two semesters. In the first semester, the focus is on the postulates along with two of the primary sources of the law: the Qur’an (al-kitāb) and the prophetic utterances and acts (al-sunnah). Special attention is given to declaratory and stipulative rulings, and to relevant topics, such as rules of interpretation (dalālāt), explicit and implicit textual significations (manţūqand mafhūm), commands and prohibitions (amr and nahy), general and specific (¢āmm and khāśś), absolute and restricted (muţlaq and muqayyad), and abrogation (naskh). Through a journal, reviews, presentations, and essays, students are assessed on their ability and skills to analyze classical jurisprudential positions and methodologies
Legal Theory 4: Consensus and Analogical Reasoning
This is the second course in advanced studies in Islamic legal theory. The aim is to continue deepening the skills and ability needed to read, interpret, and contextualize classical jurisprudential works. Toward this end, we continue to study Jam¢ al-jawāmi¢, by Tāj al-Dīn al-Subkī, with the main commentary Al-Sharĥ al-jadīd, by al-Dabbān, along with Al-Ghayth al-hāmi¢, by al-¢Irāqī, as a supplementary commentary. In the second semester, we focus on the third and fourth agreed-upon sources of law—namely, consensus (ijmā¢) and analogical reasoning (qiyās), covered in sections four and five of the book. Attention is given to subsidiary topics, such as khilāf, qawl al-śaĥābī, ¢illah, istiĥsān, maślaĥah, and maqāśid. At the end, a brief overview of other indicators of the law (istidlāl), weighing of conflicting legal indicators (ta¢āruđand tarjīĥ), and independent legal judgment (ijtihād) are investigated. Through a journal, reviews, presentations, and essays, students are assessed on their ability and skills to analyze and contextualize classical jurisprudential positions and methodologies.
This course is an in-depth exploration of the science of legal maxims within Islamic legal sciences. It covers the role of legal maxims and how this science is both distinguished from and related to other legal sciences. The course begins with the definition of this science, its importance and principles, and its historical development. The main focus of this course is on the five leading maxims: matters are determined according to intentions (al-umūr bi maqāśidihā), certainty is not overruled by doubt (al-yaqīn la yazūl bi al-shakk), hardship brings facilitation (al-mashaqqah tajlib al-taysīr), harm must be eliminated (al-đarar yuzāl), and custom is a basis for judgment (al-¢ādah muĥakkamah). Each major maxim is examined according to the establishment of its validity as a principle in Islamic law, its various articulations within the legal schools, its application in both classical and modern Islamic jurisprudence, and the exceptional cases relating to the maxim. The course also investigates the relationship between the legal maxims and independent legal judgment (ijtihād). The primary text for the course is Sharĥ al-qawā¢id al-fiqhiyyah, by Aĥmad al-Zarqā’.
Aims of the Law
The study of the aims of the shariah (maqāśid al-sharī¢ah) constitutes the pinnacle and perfection of a jurist’s training, providing him or her with a deep understanding of shariah countenanced goods and the principles of their ordering. Hence, mastery of the maqāśid has been considered requisite for a jurist to attain the rank of ijtihād. The aims of the shariah serve many roles in the derivation and application of God’s rulings (aĥkām). We study this subject’s problems by reading the seminal texts in the field, leading us to writings of contemporary legal theorists on the subject. This course takes as its starting point the early and late loci classici of legal and theological scholarship on the maqāśid.To that end, the treatment of the maqāśid and its related problems and concepts is studied mainly using the well-acclaimed book Al-Muwāfaqāt, by al-Shāţibī. Two additional texts are drawn on as aids to our studies: summaries or variations of Muwāfaqāt, including Al-Marāfiq ¢alā al-muwāfiq, by Muśţafā b. Muĥammad Māmayn, and Mashāhid min al-maqāśid, by Abdullah bin Bayyah. Throughout the course, we resort to the writings of al-Juwaynī and al-Ghazālī on various topics. These close readings provide students with the fundamental concepts and topics in the area of law focusing on the nebulous topic of the unstated good (al-maślaĥah al-mursalah). This prepare students to study contemporary jurists’ discourse on the maqāśid, allowing them to engage with contemporary issues, such as the order of the higher goods of the shariah, the relationship of the unstated good with the scriptural sources of law, and the application of the maqāśid to contemporary legal issues. For this part of the course, we also take a brief look at the works of Muĥammad al-Ţāhir b. ¢Āshūr, Abdallah bin Bayyah, Ali Jumu‘ah, and others. This course synthesizes the contents and skills of the positive law and legal theory courses in the Islamic law track. Through a journal, reviews, presentations, and essays, students are assessed on their ability to interpret, analyze, debate, and critique theological positions and methods.