CIT curriculum consists of core courses, Arabic language courses, and electives. Each student needs to complete all seven core courses, two Arabic language courses (unless exempted), and three electives. Each course is 10 contact hours. The entire CIT includes twelve courses, for the total of 120 hours of instruction.
CIT 101 - The Qur’anic Methodology and Integration of Knowledge
This course will introduce students to methodologies in the study of Islam and the integration of knowledge (IOK). Students will learn about integrating between revealed knowledge and human/social/natural sciences, i.e., “the two readings.” The course also examines Islamic epistemological theories and the formation of knowledge by incorporating the Qur’anic worldview and tawḥīdī episteme. It further elaborates on notions of epistemological integration, the time-space factor (geo-historicity), the unity of knowledge, and higher Islamic values (tawḥīd, tazkiyah, and ‘umrān). The course provides a survey and critique of methods in the study of Islam.
CIT 102 - Approaches to the Study of the Qur’an
This course examines the phenomenon of Revelation (waḥy) and its relationship to the Prophet’s (SAW) life and message. It elaborates on basic Qur’anic sciences (‘ulūm al-Qur’ān), history and schools of tafsīr, the Qur’anic inimitability (i‘jāz al-Qur’an), and major themes of the Qur’an. The course also covers contemporary issues in interpreting the Qur’an, the worldview of the Qur’an, methodology of understanding the Qur’anic message, thematic tafsīr, the Qur’an as the source of knowledge for Muslim civilizational and cultural renewal, and contemporary debates in Qur’anic studies.
CIT 103 - Approaches to the Study of the Sunnah
This course investigates the Prophet’s (SAW) life and example in relation to the history of the Sunnah/Hadith studies, authority of the Sunnah, major scholars of the Hadith and their works, as well as issues in interpreting the Prophet’s (SAW) legacy. A methodology of interpreting the Sunnah, within the light of time-space factors, is also discussed. The role of the Sunnah in contemporary Islamic thought and in establishing cultural/civilizational renewal is examined. Finally, the course provides evaluation and critique of contemporary approaches to studying the Sunnah.
CIT 104 - Foundations of Islamic Belief, Knowledge, and Ethics
The course examines Muslim belief in light of traditional theological and philosophical schools in Islam (kalām and ‘aqīdah), and modern knowledge and science. It centers on the relationship between reason and revelation by addressing some of the major philosophical issues of our times and providing an Islamic answer to them. It also features an examination of Muslim ethics and spirituality (akhlāq and taṣawwuf). Contemporary issues discussed in this course are: the problem of evil in contemporary thought (theodicy), the rise of New Atheism and its challenge to Muslim belief, theory of evolution, and understanding of modern science in light of Islam, among others.
CIT 105 - Introduction to Fiqh and Maqasid al-Shari’ah
This course consists of two parts. The first part covers emergence and development of fiqh and examines the lives and thought of major scholars and their contributions. It further elaborates on the historical emergence of fiqhī schools (madhāhib), their geo-historical distribution, achievements and limitations of madhāhib-based fiqh, and ethics of disagreement. Special attention is given to methodologies of Islamic jurisprudence (uṣūl al-fiqh). The second part examines contemporary developments in fiqh, by giving special attention to the discourses in maqāṣid al-Shari‘ah (higher objectives of Islamic law/morality) and their application in contemporary contexts.
CIT 106 - Survey of Muslim History and Civilization
This course presents the formation of the Ummah within the time-space factor and under the umbrella of tawhid – or, in al-Faruqi’s words, “Muslims’ efforts at understanding and realizing the religious and moral commandments of God.” It explores the origins of Islamic civilization in the Arabian peninsula, the spread of the message of tawhid throughout the world, and various manifestations of the Islamic faith – i.e., the different modes of “Muslimness” in history, law, arts, architecture, music, philosophy, theology, and mysticism. It also addresses modern and contemporary challenges, continuities and ruptures, and recent developments under the aegis of Muslim contacts with Western modernity – colonialism, nation-state, democracy, human rights, and various political and economic ideologies of our time.
CIT 107 - Contemporary Islamic Thought
This course introduces students to major concepts, trends, and issues in contemporary Islamic thought: tawḥīd (oneness of God), tajdīd (renewal), iṣlāḥ (reform), ijtihād (intellectual effort; reasoning), khilāfah (vicegerency), shūrā (consultation), and Ummah (global Muslim community), among others. Special attention will be given to Islamic revival and reform, Islamization and integration of knowledge, and their impact on Islamic thought. Finally, the course will introduce major intellectual, political, and religious trends in contemporary Islamic thought.
ARABIC LANGUAGE COURSES
CIT 111 - Elementary Arabic
This course aims to provide students with the basic knowledge of Arabic grammar and morphology to enable their ability to recognize basic sentence structures when reading classical Arabic texts.
CIT 112 - Intermediate Arabic
This course aims to provide students with an ability to utilize awzān al-Af‘āl (verbs patterns) and al-Mushtaqqāt (noun derivatives) to determine the meaning of unknown words. Students will also build upon their knowledge of the types of sentences to analyze more complex sentence structures.
CIT 113 - High Intermediate Arabic
This course aims to provide students with a review of all the foundational grammar topics required for accessing classical Arabic texts. This course will utilize the classic text Matn al-Ājurrūmiyyah by al-Sanhaji as a means of comprehensive review.
CIT 121 - Islam in America
This course examines history of Islam in America, its roots, historical developments, and current prospects. It highlights the contribution of African-American and immigrant Muslims to the fabric of the United States. The courses addresses issues of racism, Islamophobia, Muslims' cultural contribution to America, and the emergence of Islamic thought within the American context.
CIT 122 - Advanced Topics in Islamic Thought
The course includes advanced readings in selected topics in Islamic thought, which may include primary texts in English and/or Arabic.
CIT 123 - Reform of Education in Muslim Societies
This course focuses on issues pertinent to reform of education in Muslim societies. It looks at challenges facing education in a global context, Islamic sources in educational thought and practice, as well as the recent history of educational reform in majority Muslim societies.
CIT 124 - Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution in Islam
The course covers intellectual sources, strategies, and techniques for peacemaking and conflict-resolution in Islam. It also includes a practical mini-workshop for acquiring the skills needed for peacemaking and conflict resolution.
CIT 125 - Gender and the Qur'an
The course examines gender and its roles as constituted in the Qur'an. It further provides a historical overview of gender roles in Muslim societies against the Qur'anic backdrop. Finally, it covers contemporary debates in the study of the Qur'an and gender.
CIT 126 - Islamophobia
This course studies the phenomenon of Islamophobia and its various manifestations, in historical and contemporary contexts. Special attention is given to Islamophobia in the West and its role in constituting Muslims as the perennial "other" of the West.
CIT 127 - Islamic Arts and Architecture
The course examines philosophy, theories, and manifestations of Islamic arts and architecture, across various historical periods and geographical locations.
CIT 128 - Islamic Spirituality
The course examines sources, principles, and techniques of Islamic spirituality. It includes a history of scholars, Sufi orders, and practices related to spirituality in Islam.
CIT 129 - Islam and Secularism
This course includes an examination of philosophy and history of secularism, and its development, features, and manifestations in Muslim societies. It also provides a critique of secularism from a perspective of Islamic philosophy and sources.
The Fairfax Institute is a religious institution exempt from state regulation and oversight in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Pursuant to 8 VAC 40-21-50 of the Virginia Administrative Code, The Fairfax Institute is exempt from regulations of the State Council for Higher Education for Virginia for a period of five years, beginning June 8, 2016, and ending June 8, 2021, as long as the institution's primary purpose remains to provide religious training or theological education.