Q. I mean no offence in the following question but it is a concern as I had a conversation with a senior brother, who stated to me that he knew Mufti Shabeel. I was concerned as a respected Alim and active member of the Darul Uloom Trinidad’s son is attending the Darul Uloom of another country and not the one in Trinidad. I found this odd as I was told by the senior brother that the Darul Uloom Trinidad does not use all the prescribed books for teaching. It was also stated that a graduate of the Darul Uloom Trinidad would not be able to further study in one of the international affiliates and would have to start at a lower year or two from which he/she is currently at in Trinidad. This had me very concerned as my wife and I have both agreed that we would want our children to study islamic studies and possibly at the Darul Uloom Trinidad. Can you please advise?
A. With respect to Islamic Education at the Darul Uloom, it is very good and to a high standard. Alhamdulillah, the Darul Uloom is accredited by Darul Uloom Sabeelur Rashaad, the high ranking Islamic Institute in Bangalore, India.
Our teachers, Alhamdulillah, Allah be praised, are highly educated, competent and well-qualified Islamic Scholars, who have graduated from renowned Islamic Institutes of Madina, India, Pakistan and England.
With respect to Mufti Shabil’s son studying abroad, this was done in consultation with me, he went for a few years and then came back to the Darul Uloom. Alhamdulillah, he graduated this year as an Alim. His brother also graduated a few years ago.
When I studied abroad, I also saw that certain Principals would send their children to other Institutes for Islamic Studies. The reason for doing so, was that their kids could be more focused and serious in another environment. Being in an Institute which is governed by their father, tends to make them playful, less focused and less serious. As such, this is a trend all over the world.
With respect to the books used for teaching, we do not use some of the books that are used in other Institutes. However, this is nothing strange. If you look at the syllabus of the Islamic studies at Madina Islamic University, you will find that they do not use books which are studied in India or Pakistan. The same will be the case if you look at Islamic Institutes in Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan or any other place.
As such, the exclusion of certain books or subjects from any particular Islamic Institute, does not make it inferior to another Institute.
Almost all Institutes use certain standard texts which cover that which is needed to be taught to students. As such, although many Institutes would leave out certain books which they do not view as important, they include the authentic books of Ahadith, Fiqh, Tafseer and Aqeedah in their Syllabus. This is the same trend of many Islamic Institutes worldwide.
At the Darul Uloom, we do not include books on Mantiq (logics), philosophy, Urdu or Persian books written on Arabic Grammar etc. The reason for doing so, is that our students who enter into the Alim program do so after having completed a solid 5 year course in Academic and Science subjects. These students have already completed their studies in Mathematics, Algebra, Geometry, Integrated Science, Biology etc. Hence, there is no need to ask our students to study the books of Mantiq (logics).
At the Darul Uloom, we have already translated many books and have compiled a few on learning the Arabic Language. This Includes both grammar and conversation. Our students therefore learn Arabic through the English media, and prepare themselves for the ‘O’ level and ‘A’ level Arabic (London) exams.
In other Institutes, books on Arabic Poetry are used for Adab (Arabic conversation). At the Darul Uloom, we have replaced those with other updated Arabic books which prepare our students for the London ‘O’ level exams.
We have translated and compiled extensive materials in the area of Islamic Jurisprudence and law. We have also done the same in the field of Quranic and Hadith Studies along with the laws of Islamic Inheritance. With these, our students are able to grasp the knowledge faster and retain it properly seeing that it is in their own English Language. These translated works absolve the students from formally studying the small kitabs (books) which are normally studied in Institutes of other countries. In fact, the translated and compiled works are more extensive and more comprehensive than that which is in the books that are taught in some of these Institutes.
Nothwistanding this, we continue to maintain full time teaching of all the authentic and reliable Arabic books in the field of Hadith, Tafseer, Fiqh, Aqeedah and Usools (principles) of Hadith, Tafseer and Fiqh. You can view our syllabus on our webpage.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan