Theology for Muslim Educators

Current Status
Not Enrolled
Get Started

These sessions took place between October 22nd, 2022 to February 25th, 2023. This course offers a brief overview of discussions about Islamic theology and identity that concern Muslim educators teaching in Islamic schools. Lessons will focus on merely introducing and outlining both theoretical principles related to Islamic epistemology and modes of reasoning, key theological concepts, as well as ethical and practical implications of these beliefs in a classroom setting. 


This has been a phenomenal series so far and thank you for putting it together. The slides have also been very helpful during the presentation.


Great job to everyone who organized this module. it has been a great course & we should definitely have more of these courses for those working in the field of education

I have gone through first four lectures. I must acknowledge that these lectures are some of the most spiritually and intellectually impactful content I have come across. These lectures give a glimpse into the mindset that goes into the Islamic way of learning/teaching and the guiding principles of teachers and students of Hawza. You have made this course as such that its understandable to laymen and also relevant to how these principles can be applied to improve our standing as teachers/parents and human beings.

As a teacher, overall I really appreciated this course as it provided great insight into areas I had never really known about. The presentation covers relevant details in sufficient detail with a great flow and in an easy to understand way.

1. Knowledge Transmission & Modern Schools

The role of an educator is to impart knowledge and nurture students. They are vessels by which knowledge is transmitted from one generation to another. What do we know about the phenomenon of knowledge transmission, how was knowledge transmitted in the past in Muslim societies, and how can knowledge be effectively transmitted in the modern schooling system?

0:00 Welcome and why this course was created
7:20 Introduction
9:20 What is theology?
15:15 Outline of the course
21:30 Knowledge transmission
26:10 How were children learning in Muslim societies in the past?
32:34 The mu’addib
34:00 Education and traveling (Rihla)
40:00 When did specialization begin?
45:00 Three layers of society
49:00 Storytellers in Islamic civilization
59:40 Reformation era in the Western civilization
1:03:15 Colonization of the Muslim world
1:12:40 Our current state
1:15:20 Q & A

2. The Muslim Teacher & Lifelong Learning

What does it entail to be a teacher and educator at an Islamic school? What differentiates a Muslim teacher from a secular or non-Muslim teacher? What are some pertinent qualifications required to be an effective Muslim teacher?

0:00 Recap
4:18 Introduction to Lesson 2
5:28 What is the difference between an Islamic School and a Muslim School?
16:40 What is a Muslim teacher?
27:40 Philosophical principle: One who lacks something cannot give it to another
32:40 Three responsibilities of a Muslim teacher
33:00 i) Tarbiya
34:30 ii) Ta’lim
35:38 iii) Ta’dib
41:25 Famous Hadith: Seeking knowledge is an obligation on every Muslim
46:15 Two components a Muslim teacher needs
49:45 i) Ethical character
1:05:55 ii) Knowledge of Islamic tradition
1:19:30 Q & A

3. Renewal of our Mind – Reviving our Intellectual & Spiritual Tradition

What is our role as Muslim educators in the 21st century in particular? An analysis of how civilizations are built upon a culture of intellectuality and spirituality and how Muslim educators must be equipped in both dimensions to better confront the challenges of modernity.

0:00 Recap
2:10 Where do teachers fit?
13:08 Renewal of our Mind
15:08 Eras of Islamic Civilization
27:00 Difference between civilization and culture
31:05 Intellectuality
32:34 What is the criterion for a belief being reasonable?
46:30 Spirituality
55:00 Story of Muhaddith Nuri
59:40 Q & A

4. Sources of Knowledge & Prioritizing Sources of Knowledge

What are the sources of knowledge for Muslims? An overview of Revelation, the Intellect (‘Aql), transmitted knowledge (Ḥadīth), intuition, referring to specialists, induction etc. How do we maneuver through the different sources of knowledge and how do we reconcile conflicts and contradictions between the knowledge output of these sources?

0:00 Introduction to theory of knowledge
10:15 What is knowledge?
13:30 What is the degree of knowledge?
19:20 Senses
32:40 Theory of Knowledge by Sh. Mutahhari
35:40 Intellect (‘Aql)
41:30 Transmitted Knowledge (Naql)
45:30 Revelation (Wahi)
46:42 Reference (Marja’iyyah)
48:20 Knowledge by Presence
56:40 Prioritizing Sources of Knowledge
58:32 Revelation
1:03:20 Intellect
1:06:40 Senses
1:11:00 Conflict of Intellect vs. Sensory and Transmitted Knowledge
1:16:48 Reference
1:19:50 Summary and Conclusion

5. The Message of Islam & Tawhid

The most important creedal doctrine in Islam is Tawḥīd. In this lesson we will discuss the different aspects of Tawḥīd as expounded on by Muslim scholars: Tawḥ Dhātī, Ṣifātī, Khāliqī, Rubūbī, and ‘Ibādī. What do these theological beliefs mean practically in our day-to-day life? What kind of culture does Islam promote and encourages us to build? What is the overall message of Islam, and what purpose and meaning does it give to human life? Why is this message ever so important to actualize in the modern era?

0:00 Recap
2:15 Intro
3:25 Importance of learning theology as an educator
8:30 The era of ignorance
10:15 Superstitions in Arabia
11:45 Rational, Irrational and Arational
15:40 The message of Islam
19:30 Tawheed – A mere mental concept or an action?
31:25 Types of Tawhid
33:50 Tawhid Dhaati (in Essence)
38:45 Implications in the classroom
43:25 Tawhid Sifati (in Attributes)
52:30 Tawhid Khaliqi (in Creation)
55:55 Implications in the classroom
1:05:00 Tawhid Rububi (in Lordship)
1:06:40 Implications in the classroom
1:10:05 Tawhid in Ibadah (in Worship)
1:14:20 Main takeaway from lesson

6. Divine Attributes

What comes into our minds when we think of God is the most important thing about us. Who you believe God to be and what He is like is the single most important factor in the life of a Muslim. God in the Islamic worldview possesses numerous Divine Attributes and Names and becoming familiar with these Attributes leads to a more meaningful life. A mediocre understanding of these Attributes leads to a low and base living. Why was the discussion on Divine Attributes important for Muslim scholars? What practical impact does the knowledge of these attributes have on our lives?

7. Prophethood & Imamate

If Muslim educators are to impart the teachings of the Prophets (p) and the Imams (a), then it is imperative to know the role and purpose of Prophets in Islam. What are some basic proofs establishing his Prophethood? How did the Prophets go about fulfilling their objectives and what makes the final messenger, Prophet Muhammad (p), unique from the rest of the Prophets (p)? Why is Imamate – Divine Leadership – seen as an extension of Prophethood? What is the difference between Prophets and Imams? What is the role of the Imams (a) and what are the greater implications of the concept of Wilayah?

8. Afterlife

The Quran puts great emphasis on the afterlife and ensures people hold on to this belief of the unseen. What is the relationship between this world and the hereafter, and how does this relationship impact the daily social behavior of Muslims? How should Muslim educators bring up and discuss the concept of the afterlife in school settings, particularly with younger children?

0:00 Intro
1:30 Afterlife in the modern era
5:40 The Afterlife in the Quran
7:15 The stages of afterlife
15:00 Will my nice non-Muslim friend go to hell?
31:30 Impact of the belief in afterlife in this world
32:00 Change in lens
33:45 How our unethical deeds are sometimes the result of our lack of belief in afterlife
40:49 Mental well-being
42:45 Helping those in need
44:45 Societal accountability and better governance
48:10 Should we introduce the afterlife to young students at school?
55:40 Can we judge anyone’s fate in the afterlife?
56:40 Q & A

9. Muslim Identity & Religiosity

Over the last century, one of the most pressing discussions has been around Muslim identity and its links to religiosity. Many Islamic schools were opened for the mere purpose of “preserving an Islamic identity”, but what exact factors led to the emergence of this discussion? Why have Muslim communities struggled to address issues of identity? Is Islamic identity a static concept or an ever-changing variable? What exactly is it to begin with?

10. Role of Ethics in Religion & Teaching Morality

One of the core aspects of any Muslim’s identity is ethics and good morals. What is the role of ethics in Islam, and how is it different from sacred law? What is the relationship between law and ethics, and what steps can be taken to ensure ethics remain integrated within the law? What are some of the key ethical virtues Islam expects every Muslim to have as part of their identity? One of the most challenging, yet crucial responsibilities of a Muslim educator is the teaching of morality and ethics to students. What are some principles and methods educators can employ to teach morality to students? How does Islam see the role and relationship between the teacher and the student vis-à-vis teaching morality?