Introduction to the Islamic Sciences: Fiqh, Aqida and Tazkiyya

with Dr. Harun Spevack & Dr. Asif Hirani 

Tuesdays, 6:30pm – 9:00pm; Starting September 10 2019 – December 10 2019

Location: 31 Quint Ave, Allston, MA 02134



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.


  • 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
  • Introducing students to the core of personally obligatory knowledge related to practice, belief, and spiritual purification
  • Contextualizing certain areas of agreement and discord in the intellectual development of the sciences of ʿaqīda, fiqh, and tazkiya.
  • Familiarizing students with the core technical terminology (muṣṭalaḥāt) of the sciences of ʿaqīda, fiqh, and tazkiya
  • Training participants to think clearly about law, ethics, belief, and spirituality via the established cognitive frameworks (uṣūl) of each science
  • Preparing students who are interested in pursuing the full-time religious leadership program

Participant Learning Outcomes:

  • Practice and relay the essential teachings of ʿaqīda, fiqh, and tazkiya
  • Distinguish between questions of law, theology, and spirituality
  • Recognize the role and centrality of trained and qualified scholars (mujtahids, muftīs, faqīhs, muḥaddiths, etc.).
  • Know how to obtain essential knowledge and put it into practice when it becomes obligatory (i.e., as related to marriage, business transactions, inheritance, etc.)

Who should apply?

  • Required for: 
    • All students applying to the three-year Master’s 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, interfaith workers, or anyone interested in deepening their knowledge and ability to teach others


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


Dr. Aaron Spevack is a professor of Islamic Studies. His teaching specialties include topics in Islamic studies—law, theology, Sufism, history, and culture. His research interests include Islamic intellectual history (law, theology, Sufism, logic) especially with regard to the 13th to 19th century legal and theological commentary traditions, as well as contemporary issues in Islam. He has taught at Harvard University’s Summer School (2010-present), Colgate University (2012-present), Loyola University New Orleans (2010-2012), and was a post-doctoral teaching and research fellow in the Humanities at Hamilton College (2008-2010). Prior to that he taught Music Theory at Ai New England Institute of Art, Arabic at Boston University, and private musical instrumental and ensemble lessons at Music Maker Studios (Brighton, MA) and Buckingham, Brown, and Nichols high school (Cambridge, MA.) He is also a founder and director of Boston’s Bukhari Institute, which offers educational programs on the arts and sciences of the Islamic world. He has taught courses in Islamic Theology and Middle Eastern Hand-drumming.

Dr. Asif Hirani completed his Bachelors of Business Administration in Fashion designing before switching gears to the pursuit of Islamic Studies. He has completed his Masters in Islamic Studies (Usul-ud-din) from Karachi University and attained his PhD from Al-Madina International University in Tafsir & Uloom-ul-Quran. He is currently serving as a Resident Scholar of Worcester Islamic Center in Massachusetts.


The Boston Islamic Seminary offers competitive tuition rates when considered against other non-degree academic programs offered by a variety of institutions throughout Greater Boston. Standard tuition is $400 per program, however, until our August 16th deadline, we are offering all programs at a substantial discount.

Fees $400



The Boston Islamic Seminary is committed to providing quality instruction to all, regardless of financial circumstances, through a generous financial aid program.

Please note that the financial aid application deadline is one week before the start-date of any given course. Financial aid is offered on a first-come, first-serve basis until available funds are exhausted.  Please apply as early as possible to increase your chances of being awarded.

Boston Islamic Seminary admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.