Join us for a new set of texts!

Classical Islamic Texts Seminar

Weekly Islamic Texts Readings

Live via Zoom.

Text readings in Arabic. Commentary in English and Arabic.
Intermediate classical Arabic proficiency recommended.

Fall Term: October - December 2022

This seminary-style program provides an opportunity for seekers of knowledge to gain a deeper appreciation for classical Islamic thought, through regular weekly 50-minute text readings. The program is offered in a trimester format, with three terms per year. During each term several primary source texts addressing theology (‘aqidah), jurisprudence (fiqh), scripture (‘ulum al-Qur’an), prophetic biography and traditions (sirah and hadith), spiritual development (tazkiyah), and related disciplines will be engaged. Lengthier texts will be covered across sequential terms. Participants will access classical sources as well benefit from classical Islamic teaching methods (pedagogy).

Learners who complete a text over several terms will receive a Certificate of Completion indicating the text(s) studied, per the discretion of the instructor. Over several years, learners will be able to cover a range of texts that constitute a classical curriculum, and represent core concepts and principles emanating from the Islamic intellectual heritage. With the instructors' guidance and commentary along the way, learners will be equipped to connect key ideas to contemporary issues and circumstances.

This seminar program is separate from Bayan’s graduate degree programs, and participation does not require admission to Bayan Islamic Graduate School. No academic credit or transcript is provided. This program provides enrichment and inspiration for serious students of knowledge.

Courses Available (Fall 2022)


Instructor: Shaykh Ahmed Saad Al-Maliki Al-Azhari

iʿānat al-Muttawajih al-Miskīn

(Aspirant Wayfarer's Manual to Spiritual Openings and Attainment)

This is a foundational text in spirituality.

Mondays | 12:00-1:00pm PT
Meeting dates: 10/17, 10/24, 10/31, 11/7, 11/14, 11/21, 11/28, 12/5, 12/12, 12/19, 01/09, 01/16


Instructor: Shaykh Jihad Brown

al-Wajīz fī ʾUṣūl al-Fiqh

(The Sources of Juristic Reasoning)

This is an intermediate text in hermeneutics and legal method.

Thursdays | 12:00-1:00pm PT
Meeting dates: 10/6, 10/13, 10/20, 10/27, 11/3, 11/10, 11/17, 11/24, 12/1, 12/8, 12/15, 12/22

Register Today for Fall 2022 Courses

Register to join these courses as a continuing student to make progress in the texts under study, or as a new student joining the courses in progress. Each course includes 12 weekly live class sessions, course materials (readings provided in PDF format), and access to recordings of sessions during the term.

Fall 2022 EnrollmentPer Person
Fee for one course$360 for trimester 1
Fee for two courses$600 for trimester 1

If the second course is added at a later time (separate transaction), the discount will not apply. Inquire about group discounts for three or more participants enrolling together. Email

Registration Deadline: Oct. 1.

Trimester Schedule


  • Spring Term: January - April
  • Summer Term: June - August
  • Fall Term: September - December
Who Should Enroll?

The Seminar program is designed for a range of learners, men and women, including:

  • Seekers of sacred knowledge (tulab al-’ilm) who appreciate the depth and breadth of the Islamic tradition and are willing to be challenged and stimulated
  • Imams, religious leaders and teachers who wish to enhance their understanding of the tradition through further intellectual and scholarly exploration
  • Graduate students in academic Islamic Studies programs who wish to supplement their studies with a complementary learning experience
  • Community members who wish to cultivate knowledge and insights as life-long learners and leaders
Is prior study of Arabic necessary?

During the Spring 2021 trimester, there are two texts offered for study. Each text is taught separately in its own course. For each course, there will be 12 class sessions during the trimester, meeting once per week on the scheduled dates. Each class session will be one hour in duration.

How often does a course have class sessions?

During each trimester, there are two texts offered for study. Each text is taught separately in its own course. For each course, there will be 12 class sessions during the trimester, meeting once per week on the scheduled dates. Each class session will be one hour in duration.

What kind of engagement will there be with Shaykh Jihad?

Students who have studied similar texts previously will have an easier time with the pace. During each session, there will be opportunities for Q & A and discussion at various points, but care will be taken to minimize attention to rudimentary matters. The course structure does not facilitate one-on-one instruction or review.

Will recordings of the weekly sessions be made available?

Yes enrolled participants will have access to the learning management system (LMS) where announcements, materials and recordings will be made available. Recordings will be posted within 48 hours. Viewing the recordings for review can be beneficial, but they are not a substitute for attending the live sessions on a consistent basis. When a trimester ends, access to the recordings will continue for those participants who choose to continue enrollment towards completion of the text.

Will there be any exams or quizzes?

Given that this seminar program is offered in a traditional pedagogical style, and is highly dependent on active presence, listening, and discussion, there are no assignments, quizzes or exams. A record of attendance will inform the decision to issue a certificate of completion. The completion of a single classical text may require enrollment in at least three sequential trimesters (a full year of study, with twelve sessions per trimester).

Is it possible to earn an ijaza by completing this course?

Participants in attendance for the duration of the course (completing the text reading) will be eligible to receive an ijazah ammah (public license), or general permission. This means the person in attendance has heard a particular text from “cover to cover” from someone who heard it from an intact chain of masters. An ijazah issued by Shaykh Jihad to those eligible to receive one will record his chains of transmission. Participants are encouraged to examine their intentions for seeking any ijazah, as such a license should not be trivialized or commodified.

Is there a discounted rate for a group of learners who enroll together?

There is a discount for the initial trimester rates: a group of three or more individuals can register together and receive a discount of $60 per person on their total charges. This is the case whether a person enrolls in one course, or both courses. Thus, for each individual the cost for one course for the first trimester would be $300 instead of $360, and the cost for two courses would be $540 instead of $600. One individual, the primary contact person, would need to pay the total calculated for the entire group, and get reimbursed by the group members. The group registration form can be accessed here

There is no group discount for subsequent trimesters as a discount for each enrollee is built into the fee for continuing the text study.

What is the refund policy for Summer trimester?
  • Full refund if requested by June 18.
  • 50% refund between June 19-25.
  • No refund after June 25, but participants can apply the paid amount towards a future course.
Is there academic credit available?

The Bayan Seminar courses are not part of the graduate degree program, and therefore are not offered for academic credit. No transcript will be issued. Related to this, admission to the graduate school at Chicago Theological Seminary is not required to participate in this program, nor does signing up for a course offered in the Seminar constitute enrollment at Bayan as an official graduate student.

is it possible to “audit” the course?

Since no academic credit is involved, there is no need to provide an “audit” option. Recorded sessions may be made available in the future as part of an on-demand course, rather than a live course, via Bayan On-Demand.