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CAMBRIDGE MUSLIM COLLEGE Diploma in Contextual Islamic Studies & Leadership

2011 - 2012

Faith in Scholarship


Welcome from the Dean As CMC enters its third year of operation, it’s with a sense of immense pride that we present our latest Prospectus. It is our privilege to offer our assistance to young scholars, and to equip them with the tools they need to face the many challenges ahead. We are grateful to our supporters and sponsors around the world, who with their prayers and their contributions have helped to reinforce CMC’s mission, and to make it the world-leading institution that it has now become. We have been proud to host some of the world’s major scholars in our public lecture series, and to have supported our graduates in their search for the most interesting opportunities. Nothing can be achieved, however, without the energy and sincerity of our students and staff. We hope and pray that we will continue to be blessed with the best of the Dar al-Ulum graduates in coming years, in the hope of earning the reward of those who ‘serve the servants of Sacred Knowledge.’ Abdal Hakim Murad


Welcome from the Principal As-salaam-u alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh! Cambridge Muslim College is one of a kind. It was founded to train the best of Britain’s alim/alima darul’loom graduates, and teach them as future leaders of Britain’s Muslims how to better represent Islam in the larger British community. Field trips supplement practical skills and academic lectures taught in class, and leading Muslim and non-Muslim scholars from around the UK and abroad teach the students. At year’s end, we have a class trip. Last year, we went to Rome, where for four days we toured its ancient ruins and renaissance splendour, met important Church officials, academics, and interfaith leaders, and ended with an audience with the Pope. Our programme is especially designed to give students a better understanding and broader view of British society in particular and the world in general. It provides the skills and training to show them how to more effectively apply their traditional Islamic training. As a result, with their traditional training as a base, our graduates are more confident as imams, teachers in mosques and schools, and well-prepared for interfaith dialogue and da’wah. Moving to a new and expanded facility in mid2011, CMC looks forward to more than doubling the number of students admitted to the College in 2011-2012. Masalaama. Dr. Michael Muhammad As’ad Berdine


Contents What is the Cambridge Muslim College?............ 7 What is the Diploma?.................... 9 What is Taught and How?............... 11 Course Modules............................ 13 College News & Developments........... 17 Research at the College................... 19 Meet Some of Our Students............. 20 Cambridge Muslim College 12 Grange Road Cambridge CB3 9DU T: 01223 742 019 F: 01223 741 054 info@cambridgemuslimcollege.org cambridgemuslimcollege.org

Student Support........................... 23 What is it Like to Live & Study in Cambridge?............................. 25 Who can Apply?........................... 27 What are you Waiting for?............... 28


What is the Cambridge Muslim College? “And say: My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.” Sura Ta Ha : 114

The Cambridge Muslim College is a nondenominational institution for education, training and research in subjects relevant to the British Muslim community. It welcomes Muslims of all backgrounds who wish to deepen their pastoral skills and their awareness of contemporary developments in Britain and the world. It is independent of governments and is not affiliated to any Islamic movement, providing a prayerful context for strengthening da’wa skills, and scholarly resources to support all who care about the continuing health and dynamism of Britain’s Muslim community. The college is under the direction of Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad (T. J. Winter), Shaykh Zayed Lecturer in Islamic Studies in the Faculty of Divinity at the University of Cambridge.

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What is the Diploma? The Diploma course has three inter-related aims: * To enable students to understand and engage with contemporary debates about the role of religion in general, and Islam in particular, in modern society; * To encourage the students to be compassionate and reliable spiritual and pastoral advisors to Muslims and others;

The Diploma in Contextual Islamic Studies & Leadership is a one-year course designed to help those who already possess a significant training in the Islamic sciences to develop, articulate and implement their knowledge effectively in Britain today. It is also aimed at helping students with a background in traditional Islamic studies go on to join the mainstream of British further education. The course draws on Islamic sources for inspiration and guidance in all these aims, as well as providing the relevant skills and knowledge necessary in modern British society. It is taught by leading scholars and practitioners, from the University of Cambridge and elsewhere.

* To equip students with practical skills to make them more effective leaders of Muslim institutions and to enhance their career prospects in all fields.

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What is taught and how? The academic year has included thus far: Teaching trips Royal Courts of Justice London Muslim Centre Highpoint Prison Addenbrookes Hospital Shah Jahan Mosque, Woking The Vatican (Rome) CMC Lectures Yunus Dudhwala Head of Chaplaincy and Bereavement Services, Newham Hospital Julian Huppert, Cambridge MP Shaykh Jihad Brown Tabah Foundation Charles Burnet Professor of the History of Islamic Influences in Europe,Warburg Institute Shaykh Mohammad Akram Nadwi Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies

The Diploma course combines academic, practical and pastoral skills through classroom teaching, teaching trips, and seminar discussions. Assessment is through a mixture of essays, other written work, oral presentations, practical projects and examinations. Students will have the opportunity to maintain and improve their knowledge of Islam through continued traditional learning in, for example, hifz al-Qur’an and memorisation of hadith. As well as learning in the classroom, students benefit from a programme of teaching trips designed both to broaden their learning and to relate their study directly to its application in their communities. The trips present examples of excellence and innovation already at work in community development, religious leadership, inter-faith dialogue, and other relevant areas. Students are also expected to participate in the CMC Seminars, a series of public events presenting the best in traditional and modern scholarship. Each term the college invites leading scholars and practitioners to give, for example, tafsir of part of the Qur’an, teach specific texts of great Muslim scholars, or to share the latest research and experience.

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Course Modules Science in the World Today: Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Science Introduces students to understanding the nature of scientific knowledge and its development through the contributions of different civilisations. Introduction to Western Intellectual History Covers the main trends of ‘Western’ thought from Ancient Greece to postmodernity. The aim is to help students gain a critical understanding of the intellectual climate of the 21st century. Particular reference will be made to the points of convergence and divergence with the intellectual history of Islamic civilisations. British Islam Today Covers the history of Muslims in Britain and helps students understand the sociological factors shaping the community today, from its socioeconomic situation to the impact of the media and government policy, exploring how British Muslim identity has been and continues to be formed. Effective Communication Skills Develops the students’ skills in oral and written communication, allowing them the chance to study these separately

from assessment in other subjects. This course provides important transferable skills beneficial to faith leadership and other areas of employment.

Islamic Counselling and Dispute Resolution Introduces the theory and practice of counselling and dispute resolution with reference to Islamic models of addressing mental illness, distress and conflict. Students learn how to apply these methods and also when and how to seek further support to help those in need of advice or treatment. Islam and Religious Pluralism: Theological & Historical Perspectives Introduces and analyses normative Islamic understandings of religious pluralism. Beginning with a survey of how Muslim scholars have interpreted the canonical sources relating to nonMuslims, it also presents examples of how Muslims have historically organised themselves in multi-religious and multi-cultural societies. Sacred Art and Architecture of the World Introduces students to the history of sacred art and its influence. Within a comparative framework, particular attention is paid to Islamic art and

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Islamic theories of aesthetics.

Introduction to Astronomy Covers the history, theory and practice of astronomy, particularly its development in Muslim civilisations and the modern West. Students will relate this to contemporary debates about the fiqh of moon-sighting, calendars etc., and how they can help to address the perennial issues faced by our communities. Introduction to World Religions & Inter-Faith Dialogue Presents a general understanding of the major faiths and methods of religious dialogue appropriate to respectful, constructive and honest dialogue between faiths. This course focuses partly on the religious history of Britain as a means to address these questions. Understanding UK Law and Government Introduces the history and operation of the British legal and governmental system. This will be related to influencing decision-making, accessing services, and giving constructive advice to others, focusing on areas particularly relevant to community leadership such as immigration, employment, family law, police powers, planning, and others. Islam & Gender Analyses approaches to gender within 14

traditional Muslim scholarship, referring to historical examples and contemporary questions about gender roles. The course encourages students to relate these theoretical considerations to social problems affecting the Muslim community today, such as domestic violence, forced marriage, increasing rates of divorce etc.

Effective Community Leadership and Development Introduces methods of designing and implementing successful community outreach and development projects. Showcasing and visiting flagship projects around the UK, the module aims to help provide students with practical skills from initial design to execution. Moreover, attention is given to the mosque as a central point for the Muslim community and emphasising the social and regulatory demands on mosques to be more accountable, transparent and inclusive. Contemporary Global Problems and Modern Ethics Analysing contemporary questions of scientific innovation, climate change and ethics, this module aims to view these issues through an engagement with Islamic thought and jurisprudence. Students will relate the concepts of ijtihad and fatwa, together with Islamic legal experts, to examine these contemporary discussions.


Introduction to the Social Sciences Introduces some major aspects of the social sciences and enables students to apply them critically both to the situation of the Muslim community and wider debates about religion and society. The course includes economics, sociology and psychology, and addresses their strengths and weaknesses in helping to understand social problems. Introduction to World History Introduces the development of major world civilisations and the main trends of world history. Although this module naturally does not cover the details of events, it provides an overall appreciation of the chronology of human history as well as addressing theories of the development and interaction of civilisations over time. History of the 19th and 20th Century Muslim World Presents the major events and trends of the last two centuries with a focus on understanding contemporary debates surrounding religion, state and political participation in the Muslim world. Students will analyse the shaping of the Muslim world during the colonial period and afterwards, including the impact of reformist thinkers and relating these to contemporary issues and situations in the Muslim world, and the rise of the modern Islamic movements.

Modern British Political History Covers the history of the three major British political parties in the 19th and 20th centuries. This includes the 19th century rise of the Conservative and Liberal parties out of the Whigs and Tories, the early 20th century arrival of the Labour Party simultaneous with the decline of the Liberal party. The post-WWI era, the depression and appeasement bring WWII and Churchill’s “finest hour,� after which is the emergence of Labour as a major party, to the recent coalition Government; all background to understanding British politics into the 21st century. British Cultural and Intellectual History Covers the key intellectual movements of the 19th and 20th centuries. It includes an examination of 19th century Romanticism, the rise of Victorian atheism, Anglican intellectuals of the early twentieth century and the emergence of the public intellectual in general. The module aims to give students an understanding of the major intellectual currents that have shaped modern Britain.

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College News & Developments “Acquire knowledge and impart it to the people.” Hadith, Al-Tirmidhi

The College is pleased to announce the purchase of a complex of buildings at 11-14 St Paul’s Road, in central Cambridge. The buildings currently include thirteen teaching rooms in addition to IT and library facilities. Spread over almost half an acre, the complex includes parking facilities and offers excellent access to the University and colleges. Presently it is being refurbished to make it suitable for CMC’s teaching and research purposes. It will include, amongst other things a prayer room, a dedicated research area, a fully furnished kitchen, a dining room and a library. The site incorporates an area which the College intends to transform into an Islamic garden, together with a space to allow students and staff to grow their own vegetables. The move will mark an important step forward for the College. Students arriving in Autumn 2011 will have the benefit of the magnificent facilities that the new building has to offer. The College is also pleased to welcome its first Academic Director, Dr Atif Imtiaz, who joins us after working on Equality & Diversity in the NHS. Dr Imtiaz holds a doctorate in Social Psychology from the LSE and is the author of a new book published by Kube, Wandering Lonely in a Crowd: Reflections on the Muslim Condition in the West (2010). 17


Research at the College “It’s a great privilege for me to be part of the Cambridge Muslim College and I am very much looking forward to working here, for what is an exciting time for the College” Dr. Daniel Birnstiel

Dr Daniel Birnstiel, the College’s first fully-funded Research Fellow, recently completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge with a dissertation on selected grammatical phenomena in the Qur’an. While at CMC he has begun a major research project which challenges controversial views on the history of the Qur’anic text. Another area of research focuses on the semantics of Qur’anic key terms. This area partially overlaps with his critical examination of the revisionist approach, which places much emphasis on the occurrence of such terms. In addition, Daniel has published during the last year several reviews with the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies.

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Meet Some of Our Students

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Nafeesa Amanat (High Wycombe, UK) Queen Mary University, UK; Dar al’Tawfiq, Jordan

Haseeb Akhtar (Banbury, UK) Jamia Al-Karam, Retford and Al Azhar, Egypt

“The college fosters a spirit of hard work and learning and there is plenty of scope to pursue one’s research interests. The subjects studied allow students to better understand the world. Its unique Cambridge setting means that students are absorbed in a culture of scholarship and debate. This is important for students leaving traditional forms of education. The course is challenging and diverse in the disciplines it teaches and modules are well thought out. The teachers work to provide an integrated approach to subjects, such as Islamic Counselling and British Islam. Weekly seminars with Shaykh Abdul Hakim are very rewarding and give access to contemporary debates and points of contention faced by the community.”

“I have found my experience at the Cambridge Muslim College to be of great intellectual and spiritual benefit. Through lectures, workshops and field trips the college teaches and encourages creative thinking and independent thought in a way that does not contradict my experience of Islamic study. Some of our course modules aim at giving us a greater understanding of world history with particular focus on Europe and the history of British Islam. I have found that the CMC provides an invigorating learning environment and delightfully compliments my experience of traditional Islamic study.”


Mohammad Aman Haque (Toronto, Canada) The Institute of Islamic Education, Dewsbury “Cambridge Muslim College is an exemplary institution, allowing students to pursue academic education in a comfortable environment. The course is rigorous yet digestible, providing the right preparation for work in the community. The staff are supportive and fully nurture the potential of the students, and are committed to seeing them succeed. One can beneft greatly from the resources and environment of Cambridge, including the opportunity to meet world-renowned scholars and attend their lectures. The course is very unique and has a wide variety of modules giving the student an excellent understanding of the different issues and challenges of working in the community more broadly.”

Madiha Ashraf (Manchester, UK) Jamea Al Kauthar, Lancaster “The modules at the Cambridge Muslim College are outstanding in the way that they act as a bridge between traditional Islamic sciences and contemporary subjects providing us with key life skills. The lecturers are inspirational in that they have profound knowledge of their subject areas and each delivers lessons to an extremely high standard. Esteemed guest speakers regularly visit providing an insight into their lives and the roles they have in society which in turn increases our future career opportunities. The college staff are dedicated and most helpful with the students’ best interests at heart. Studying at the CMC has been one of the best academic experiences of my life so far and I am truly fortunate to have been accepted on the course, all praise belongs to Allah.” 21


Student Support “And dispute not with the People of the Book, except with means better [than mere disputation]” Sura

al-Ankabut

: 46

The college aims to ensure that students are able to make the most of the experience of studying and living in Cambridge. As part of the ongoing commitment to individual development all students take part in the ‘Personal Development Programme’. Its activities, which are both structured and informal, run alongside the Diploma to help provide students with valuable transferable skills both academic and extra-curricular. These include: Life Skills In order to help facilitate a broad range of skills the programme includes St John’s Ambulance First Aid training and Fire Marshalling courses as well as instruction in public speaking and time management. Supervisions Throughout the academic year there is a programme of regular supervisions whereby students are given individual support to hone and strengthen their academic writing and analytical skills. Other forms of regular supervisions include one-to-one informal meetings with the Principal and group discussions with Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad. Allotment Project As part of a Quranic imperative to contemplate nature, the college has its own allotment where students and staff learn about sustainability and grow their own vegetables/flowers throughout the year. 23


What is it like to live & study in Cambridge? Cambridge has a growing and lively Muslim community, both local residents and students from all over the UK and the world. More than 700 people regularly pray jum’ah at the mosque, and there are student Islamic societies at both the city’s universities. There is more information about the community in Cambridge and its activities on the college website.

Cambridge is famous as the site of one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Along with alQarawiyyin, al-Azhar, Bologna, Paris and Oxford, the University of Cambridge is one of the world’s oldest centres of learning. Among its many distinguished alumni have been notable Muslim scholars and leaders such as Abdullah Yusuf Ali and Muhammad Iqbal. Cambridge continues to be a vibrant intellectual centre, home now to both the University of Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin University. The Cambridge Muslim College is well-placed to benefit from this rich heritage and current resources, and to add to them. Through public lectures and events, its students participate in the intellectual and social life of one of the great university towns of the world. The college is willing to arrange appropriate accommodation for students in a central Cambridge location. In the case of single students, this will be in a single-sex shared house; for married students, a flat.

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Who can apply? Applicants are expected to be intellectually curious, hard-working, and committed to the aims of the college. Like those of the University of Cambridge, the standards of the college are high and the work is challenging. But what students put in they get back by being part of a rigorous, innovative and dynamic new programme.

The college welcomes applications from men and women who want to apply their knowledge effectively in the service of the Muslim community and others. The courses are suited to those who want to work directly in mosques and Muslim organisations, or those who wish to work towards qualification and employment in other careers. The main requirements for entry are the completion of an 窶連lim course at a recognised institution of Islamic scholarship, and fluency in written and spoken English. The college recognises that many students who would benefit from the Diploma course may not have mainstream academic qualifications. Applicants will therefore have the opportunity to provide a variety of evidence in support of their applications for a place and for financial support. Those selected will be asked to sit a written test when they come for their interview.

What will it cost? The cost of the Diploma course is ツ」2,500. The college is offering a variety of scholarships to the most able candidates. Scholarships typically meet the cost of all the course fees and provide a monthly allowance for accommodation and living costs

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The Cambridge Muslim College is a registered company No.7031673 and a registered charity No.1137219 Registered Office 12 Grange Road Cambridge, CB3 9DU Trustees Shaikh Abdul Mabud Jonathan Birt Tijani Gahbiche Sophie Gilliat-Ray Christian Hoffmann David Ford T.J.Winter 28

What are you waiting for? Applications for the Diploma course are now open. Application forms and more information about the college are available on its website. Please contact us if you have any questions or need more information before applying. Applicants are encouraged to apply early in order to ensure a quicker response from the college. The deadlines for applications are: Spring: 5:00pm, Friday 1st April, 2011 Summer: 5:00pm, Friday 3rd June, 2011

www.cambridgemuslimcollege.org



Cambridge Muslim College :: Prospectus 2011-12