#Recommended: Islamic Classes
Assalamu’alaikum everyone! So if you’re anything like me, you might be feeling what I’d like to call the post-Ramadan slump now. It’s been a while since Ramadan has passed and all that eagerness to work on your Deen, to make steadfast efforts to perform your ibadah and more is starting to fizzle out. If any of this sounds familiar to you, I hope you know that you are not alone. I’m guilty of that too unfortunately. But inshaAllah this year, I’ve made the intention to join more recurring Islamic classes to help me with this.
Personally, one of the things I’ve loved about being in Nanyang Technological University’s Muslim Society (NTUMS) was the seemingly unending source of spiritual learning and community. And as I enter this new stage of my life, I recognise that I must seek new avenues to sustain such a quest for knowledge, or ilm. (That being said, do come and attend NTUMS events! They really are the best!)
So whether you want to join a class because of the post-Ramadan slump or because you want more than just the NTUMS experience, here’s a list of some of the places you can look into (in no particular order):
This was one of the first few places recommended to me by a friend! From what I understand, Al-Misbah Academy provides a couple of programmes that are supposed to cater to students seeking to further their Islamic knowledge. I’m personally particularly interested in their Certificate of Islamic Studies as it sounds like a comprehensive course that covers fiqh, tajweed, seerah, ulumul Quran, hadith, tafsir, ahlak and the study of the Arabic language. This certificate is very apt for those who may want to “cover all their bases” per se. What was particularly compelling was that their prerequisites are relatively flexible, with a minimum age limit of 16 years old, fluency in English and basic Arabic knowledge (in that they are able to recognise the Arabic alphabets). Unfortunately, the class seems closed for applications now but perhaps we can stay tuned to see when it reopens? In the meantime, you could check Al-Misbah Academy out for other programmes you may be interested in.
Some of us might be all too familiar with the Kids aLIVE programmes that we were once enrolled into. In fact, even though I’ve never been part of the programme, I’ve heard a lot about it from my friends. I remember thinking to myself what a shame that it was limited only to kids, tweens and the likes. So I was truly pleasantly surprised when a friend introduced me to ADIL in 2019, otherwise known as Adult Islamic Learning. ADIL’s course structure, much like Al-Misbah’s, is relatively comprehensive. I’m referring specifically to their “Baseline” classes for Islamic knowledge which include:
Living Sources: A module which covers an understanding of the Quran and Sunnah
A Muslim’s Manual: A module which explore the 5 pillars of faith
Light Of Faith: A module on the 6 articles of faith and;
The Chosen One: A module which looks into the values and character of our Prophet Muhammad SAW
From what I understand about ADIL, these programmes are commonly found in a number of mosques all around Singapore and we can sign up for them according to which mosque offers the classes we need and is convenient for us to go to. I think the only catch I seem to see is that it might be a little tricky figuring out which mosque offers what courses at the moment. Nonetheless, I hope this outline of ADIL’s structure will help you as you find the modules relevant for you.
Once again, yet another institution introduced to me by my friend, prior to which I’ve always only heard of Andalus as a madrasah for younger kids. Their Islam for Adult classes are relatively equivalent to both Al-Misbah’s Certificate of Islamic Studies and ADIL’s baseline course structure. Much like the above mentioned courses, Andalus’ also has a comprehensive structure covering aqidah, thoharoh, prayers, fasting, zakat, sirah, tafsir and daily supplications. Personally, their Adult Programme seems to be geared more towards a practical application of Islamic knowledge into our daily lives. Andalus also follows a specific semesterly and termly structure which may be reassuring to those of us who prefer a fixed schedule for our classes. What is worth noting, though, is that their classes are held in Malay, so it may not be suitable for all of us.
Al-Zuhri offers an Introduction to Islam (ITI) course in which there are 3 levels: introductory classes, a Certificate (equivalent to the aforementioned Certificate of Islamic Studies) and a Diploma for those of us interested in further pursuing knowledge in Islam. I think what I find compelling about Al-Zuhri is how they cater to the various learning needs and provide an opportunity for all to take on, either the certificate or diploma, through the introductory classes. Needless to say, like the other institutions I’ve mentioned, I believe Al-Zuhri also has a comprehensive syllabus and like Andalus, follows a clear and fixed schedule. However, like Andalus, their programmes are also conducted in Malay.
5. Darul Arqam (Muslim Converts’ Association of Singapore)
And last but not least on this list is Darul Arqam, perhaps more well-known as the Muslim Converts’ Association of Singapore (MCAS). As the name suggests, Darul Arqam is in fact an institution catered for our fellow brothers and sisters who have just embraced Islam. But what we may not know is that they offer classes not only for our reverts, but for our born-Muslims too!
Darul Arqam has 3 learning pathways and, depending on our proficiency in Islamic knowledge, we can choose either the Foundation, Intermediate or Advanced paths. I believe if we are looking for a course that matches those I’ve already mentioned, we can look into either the Intermediate or Advanced paths, or both. Darul Arqam has various classes organized into each of these paths but some modules which I’m most interested in are: Code of a Muslim, Journey of Faith and Sacred Guidance. I believe they fulfill the basic understanding of Islam, covering prayer, the pillars of faith, Quran and Hadith. Their system works similar to that of ADIL in that we can sign ourselves up for the classes that are most conveniently available to us. I think what was really convincing about Darul Arqam’s classes were how accessible they were, with a low cost and easy to attend online classes (although this may be subject to change due to the changes in the COVID-19 situation I think). Their classes also feel more reassuring to me as a Singaporean Muslim who is more comfortable learning in English.
I hope this list has been of some benefit to you and I would like to take this chance to remind both you and me that the list here is not exhaustive. There are many more institutions out there that I did not get a chance to list and you should do your research before settling on a course you’d like! My one advice more than anything else is to talk to your friends or anyone you know who may be more well-versed in the Islamic knowledge scene in Singapore. Ask them for their opinions and for suggestions. I pray He may ease in your journey to seek knowledge and that you may find the best class for you, InshaAllah.