This certificate consists of a five-course introduction to the essentials of Islamic belief, practice, and spirituality. It provides solid grounding for participants of all backgrounds to gain a firm foundation for further study. This graduate certificate emphasizes personal reflection, spirituality, and socio-ethical development, which is at the heart of all true Islamic learning.


  • Improving the performance of Muslim religious leadership in American society.
  • Developing the next generation of leaders who are well-grounded in Islamic knowledge and character.
  • Ensuring mastery of the personally obligatory knowledge of belief, practice, and spirituality.
  • Encouraging spiritual routines and interpretive principles that impact how participants engage with their surroundings and communities.
  • Preparing students who are interested in pursuing the full-time religious leadership program.

Who should apply?

  • Required for:
    •  All students applying to the three-year Full-Time Program in Islamic Leadership program, except those who pass the placement test or demonstrate previous training.
    • All Muslims who have not formally studied the personally obligatory knowledge of belief, practice, and spirituality.
  • Recommended for: parents, teachers, imams, chaplains, or anyone responsible for teaching fundamental Islamic knowledge to others.


A successful application will include a meeting with an academic advisor.

Course Work


  • FOUN 101: Qurʾanic Immersion: Recitation, Reflection, and Application
  • FOUN 102: Introduction to the Sciences of the Qurʾan and Hadith
  • FOUN 103: Introduction to the Sciences of ʿAqīda, Fiqh, and Tazkiya
  • FOUN 104: Introduction to Islamic Systems
  • FOUN 105: The Vocabulary of Islamic studies

Qurʾanic Immersion

Recitation, Reflection, and Application – FOUN 101 (A Graduate Certificate Course)


Participants who plan to serve in the capacity of religious leader will identify and learn the most effective methods of interacting with the book of Allah in order to gain its living companionship and God-given directions. This course will cover most of the rules of reciting the Qurʾan (tajwīd) and familiarize students with various techniques of Qurʾan memorization. It also teaches students how to reflect upon the Qurʾan’s timeless teachings and practically apply these reflections to their day-to-day lives and social context. By the end of this course, participants will be able to recite the Qurʾan properly, will have an established foundational practice of Qurʾanic memorization, reflection, and application, and will have gained the tools to continue a life-long personal relationship with Allah through His final revelation.

Introduction To The Sciences Of Quran And Hadith

FOUN 102 (A Graduate Certificate Course)


This course familiarizes participants with Islam’s primary sources; the Quran and Hadith. Participants will study the Quran’s preservation, contextualization, and abrogation, as well as the collection, authentication, and content of the Hadith. Also, participants will be able to understand the historical canonization of Islam’s primary sources and appreciate the tools developed by our righteous predecessors to maintain the authenticity and integrity of our sacred texts. Participants will also develop the practice of reflective engagement with the Quran and Hadith, enlivening their relationship with Allah (SWT) and His Prophet ﷺ.

Introduction To The Sciences Of ʿAqīda, Fiqh, And Tazkiya

FOUN 103 (A Graduate Certificate Course)


Students in this course begin their study of the foundational sciences of ʿaqida, fiqh, and tazkiya, tracing their development, key figures, and central texts. Participants will learn the obligatory knowledge and key concepts related to these sciences, such as Allah’s names and attributes, rulings for ablution and prayer, and basic matters relating to the refinement of character. Participants will gain a holistic understanding of the essential sciences of Islam.

Introduction To Islamic Systems

FOUN 104 (A Graduate Certificate Course)


In this course, participants will delve into the foundations of Islamic systems and their basic principles, historical origins, and contexts as implemented by the Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) and his righteous followers throughout history. The course will further include fundamental guidance and case studies that will help students utilize the Islamic systems in every affair of their lives with full conviction and appreciation. Participants will have a solid understanding of how Islam systematically organizes and tackles different domains of human activities and relationships.

The Vocabulary Of Islamic Studies

FOUN 105 (A Graduate Certificate Course)


This course provides students with a firm grasp of the principal Arabic terms and concepts needed for a sound and profound reading of the Islamic primary sources and engagement with Muslim and interfaith communities. Students will study the nomenclature and linguistic subtleties that comprise the Islamic lingua franca. By the end of the course, they will have gained the ability to engage the primary sources of various Islamic disciplines and will be able to effectively convey the meanings of key Islamic terms and concepts to an English-speaking audience.

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Qur’anic Immersion:
Recitation, Reflection,
and Application

Offered Fall, 2018

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Introduction to the Sciences
of Fiqh, ‘Aqida,
and Tazkiya

Offered Fall, 2018

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Introduction to the Sciences
of the Qur’an
and Hadith

Offered Spring, 2019

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Introduction to
Islamic Systems

Offered Spring, 2019

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Registering for the Certificate Program helps us keep you informed about new Certificate Classes.  You still need to register separately for the Certificate class(es) you would like to take.



The Vocabulary
of Islam

Offered Summer, 2019