The Open School of Islamic Studies

The islamic community p.o. box 53398 chicago, il 60653 u.s.a.

in the name of god, most gracious, most merciful

dear reader :


the open school of islamic studies will provide islamic education opportunities to those who cannot attend the school as full-time students. the main objective of the the open school is to enrich individuals interested in pursuing islamic studies intellectually, promote their careers, and also fulfill their commitments and contributions toward society.

this program and syllabus of the the open school of islamic studies has been formulated in such a way that it will meet a person's individual needs as well as allow him the flexibility to pursue the program without disturbing his routine schedule.


all interested students request an application form from the application should be filled out and returned to the the open school. the students will receive the first lesson with a question sheet to be returned after completion.

procedures and regulations

  1. the students must meet the same academic standards and are subject to the same regulations regarding honesty in their work on assignments and examinations.

  2. all subjects in every level consist of 52 units; will be managed as time of student permits. if an hour is scheduled every week for any subject, then the course will finish in one year. if more time is given every week then the course will finish earlier than a year.

  3. every unit has a question sheet to be completed by the student in order to receive the next lesson. when 52 such question sheets are completed then a certificate for that subject will be issued.

grading system

the following grading system will be used by the open school to denote the instructor's assessment of the student's academic achievement

a -superior

b -good

c -fair

d -passing

f -failure

i -incomplete

w -withdrawal

ng -no grades given


  1. each lesson has a question card which should be completed by the student in order to receive the next lesson.

  2. when student completes 52 units of studied subject, a written examination is required. also an essay is required on the topic agreed upon by the advisor. the essay should be atleast 750 words (approximately three pages ) with grade b average.

  3. all assignments must b received in the open school before the students will be eligible to take the final examination.

cost and fees:

registration fees

there is no registration fee. your application is accepted without any obligation.

texts :

students are responsible for the textbooks and special instructional materials. textbooks could be obtained from any bookstore or through the open school. the prices of books are subject to change without notice.

postage :

in the u.s.a., and canada each lesson will be mailed by first class mail; books will be mailed by 4th class. overseas mail will be sent by surface mail unless requested otherwise.

subjects and texts:

the following is the list of the main subjects and texts suggested by the open school. the teacher, however, has to determine the use of any specific text or selection of text in order to fulfill the need of individual students.

i. basic islamic faith

ii. islamic history

iii. arabic language

iv islamic creed

v qur'an

vi hadith

vii ethics

viii islamic law

ix usul al-fiqah

x arabic logic

xi islamic philosophy

details of subjects

  1. basic islamic faith :

fundamentals of faith* (usul al-din)

b 101 - introduction to islamic faith*

b 102 - unity of god ( tawhid)

b 103 - justice of god ('adl)

b 104 - prophethood ( nabbawwat)

b 105 - leadership ( immamat)

b 106 - resurrection ( qiyamat)

b 107 - islamic duties ( furu al-din)

  1. daily prayers (salat)

  2. fasting ( saum )

  3. islamic tax ( zakat )

  4. islamic tax ( khums )

  5. piligrimage ( haj )

  6. holy war ( jihad )

  7. exhortation ( amr bil-ma'roof)

  8. forbidding the evil ( nahiy anal-munkar)

  9. friendship with believers ( tawalla )

  10. rejection of unbelievers ( tabarra )

ii. islamic history :

introduction to islamic history *

h 201- the biography of prophet mohammad (p.)

h 202- divan abu talib ( uncle of the prophet ) ed. sadiq. bahr al-ulum, najaf, 1356- 1937

h 203- massar al-shi'ah by m.m. al-shaikh al-mufid (d.413/1022) (manuscript)

h 204- ahl al-bayt.*

h 205- al-mazarat.*

h 206- al-irshad by shaikh al-mufid

h 207- al-sirah by ibn ishaq ( d.151/768)

( manuscript)

iii. arabic language :

introduction to / arabic language *

a 301- arabic alphabets.*

a 302- pattern of arabic verbs.*

a 303- jamia al-muqaddimat ( four books) tehran,1365-194

a 304- al-bidah by shahid m.t. jalali (d- 1402/1982) najaf, 1392-1972

a 305- al-bahjah al-mardiyyah by jalal al-din al-suyuti (d.910/1504).

a 306- al-mkhtasar, istanbul, turkey, 1307/1889 and al-muttau by sad al-din al-taftazani (d.792/1389)

a 307- mughni al-labib bu ibn hisham al-ansari (d.761/1350) iran, 1292/18754

iv. islamic creed :

introduction to islamic creed *

c 401- wajib al-iitiqad by al-allamah al-hilli (d.726/1228)

c 402- al-itiqad by al-shaikh al-saduq (d.381/1993)

c 403- aqaid al-imamyyah by m. rida mudaffar (d.1384/ 1964) najaf, 1374-1954

c 404- asl al-shaih wa usuliha by m. hussain kashif al-ghita (d.1374/1954) cario

c 405- al-murajjat by s.a.h. sharaf al-din (d.1378/1958) najaf, 1383/1963

c 406- awail al-maqalat by m.m. al-shaikh al-mufid (d.413/1022) tabriz, iran

c 407- kahhf al-murad by h.v. al-allaamah al-hili (d.726/1228) saida, lebanon, 1353/1934

v. qur'an :

introduction to qur'anic studies *

q 501-- ma al-qur'an by shaikh mahmud al-husari. cairo

q 502- awadah al byaan.*

q 503- tafsir shabbur by al-sayyid abd-al-allah. cario, dar al-najah

q 504- tafsir al-bayan by sayyid al-khui ( the preface), najaf, 1386/1966

q 505- al-itqan by al-suyyuti (d. 910/1504)

q 506- al-nashr-fi-al qirat al-ashr by al-jazari, cario.

q 507- al-mizan by al-tabatabbai or al-tibyan, by al-tusi, najaf, 1371/1383.

vi. hadith :

introduction to hadith *

ha 601- al-mutalaf wal mukhtalaf.*

ha 602- al-wajizah by al baha al-din al amali ( d.1-3-/1620)

ha 603- sharh al-arbain al-nabawiyyah, qum, 1395 -1975 *

ha 604- dhiya al-dirayyah ay allama fani

ha 605- mujam rijal al-hadith by sayyid abu al-qassim al-khui ( preface), najaf, 1390/ 1970

ha 606- dirayyat al-shahid al-thani (d. 1351/ 1932)

ha 607- miqbas al-hidayyah by mamaqani ( d. 1351/ 1932) najaf, 1345 - 1926.

vii. ethics :

introduction to islamic ethic *

e 701- adab al-mutallim by m.m. al. tusi ( d. 671 /1274)

e 702- awasaf al-ashraf by al-tusi, najaf, ( 1376 -1956

e 703- nur al haqiqa by h.abd al-samad al-harithi (d.985/ 1577) (manuscript ).

e 704- jami al-sa'adat by m.m. al-naraqi (d. 1209/ 1794), najaf, 1368/ 1977

e 705- al-sahifa al-sajjadiyyah ( sayings of imam zayn al-abidin (a.)),

e 706- najh al-balagha ( saings of imam ali ibn abi talib), beirut, 1382 - 1964

vii. islamic law :

introduction to islamic law ( fiqha)*

f 801- risalah alahkam al shariyyah

f 802- tabsirah al-mutallim by al-allamah hilli (d. 726/1325)

f 803- al-mukhtasar al-nafi by al-muhaqiq al-hilli (d.676/1277)

f 804- shari al islam or sharh al luma

f 805- al-makasib al-muharmah by sayyid al-khumayni, qum, 1381 - 1961

f 806- al-matajir by al-shaikh al-ansari (d. 1281/ 1864)

f 807- al-urwah alwuthqa y tabatabai yazdi (d. 1337/ 1919)

ix. usul al-fiqha ( islamic jurisprudence):

introduction to islamic jurisprudence *

u 901- al-ma'alim by shaikh h. al-amili ( d. 1009/1600)

u 902- usul al fiqha by al-mudaffar ( d. 1364/ 1964)

u 903- al-rasail al-jadidah by mishkini, qum, iran, (1390/1971)

u 904- al-qawanin al-muhkamah by al-qummi (d, 1231/ 1815)

u 905- montha al-usul by al-bunjnirdi ( d. 1395/1975)

u 906- al-rasail by al-ansari ( d. 1281/ 1964)

u 907- al-kifayyah by al-khurasani (d. 1329/ 1911)

x. arabic logic :

introduction to arabic logic

l 1001- al dirka si tarib al kubra by mir sharif (d. 816/1413)*

l 1002- raqrib al-mantiq by shahid jalali, najaf, 1397/1977

l 1003- al-mantiq by m.r. al-mudaffar (d. 1364/1964), baghdad, 11377-1957

l 1004- al-hashiiyyah by abd al-allah yazdi (d. 981/1573)

l 1005- sharh al-mandummah by sabzawari (d. 1289/1872)

l 1006- sharh al-shamsiyyah al-tahrir by qutb al-razi(d. 766/1461), cario, 1323/1905

l 1007- al-shifa by a.h. sina (d. 428/1037)

xi. islamic philosophy :

introduction to islamic philosophy *

ph 1101- durus al-falsafa by a.k. al-zanjani (d. 1388/1968), najaf, 1382-1962

ph 1102- falsafatuna by m,baqr al-shahid al-sadr, beirut, lebanon, 1390/1970

ph 1103- usul al-falsafah by m.h. tabatabai

ph 1104- sharh al-manzumah by sabzaqari (d. 1289/1872)

ph 1105- nihayat al-hikamah by tabatabai

ph 1106- al-asfar al-arbah by mulla sadra (d. 1050/ 1640). tehran, 1378/1958

ph 1107- al-ishrat wil tanby ibn sina (d.428/1037), cario, 1380/1960

* this mark indicates subjects by sayyid muhammad husayn jalali

texts editing

this course requires personal attendance, at least one month ( 20 hours) of workshop. the main text book for this class is :

amali mustafa jawad drasat wa tahqiqat by m. ali al hussaini, beirut, lebanon, 1972.

the main goal of this course is to teach how to use different sources of the literature and edit an islamic text for publishing.

"who are the ahl-ul-bayt according to the holy qur'an and hadith?"

(a. aziz dukuly. monrovia, liberia)

the word "ahl-ul-bayt" refers to the verses of the holy qur'an, "we purify you, the people of the house".(33.33). though commentators differ on the interpretation of this verse, they all agree on hadith interpretation of the holy qur'an, that explicitly mentions the "ahl-ul-bayt", referring to the family of the prophet(a.). according to shi'a and many other scholars, it refers only to family of the prophet(p.). it is probably sufficient to mention the hadith in sahih muslim in vol: 7 p.121. muslim reports from abi vaqas the following, "the prophet(p.) called ali(a.), fatima(a.), hasan(a.), and husayn(a.), then he said, "allahumma ha ula ahly", which means, "o lord! these are my family". this is sufficient to show what is meant by the word "ahl-ul-bayt" in the holy qur'an.

unity of muslim

sayyid muhammad husayn jalali

the main objective of every muslim: "unity of the community". how can it be obtained?. please suggest a way to resolve differences?. (osman baig, chicago, il.)

muslims should be united because they worship one god, believe in the same last prophet(p.), read the same holy qur'an, and pray towards one direction (qibla), even though they have different interpretations, and belong to different nationalities. in fact, muslims follow the prophet(p.) who established a muslim community, in which all muslims were treated equally, the black bilal, the persian salman, the arab ammar, all were preferred by the prophet(p.) over the arab idol worshippers. unfortunately, occasionally enemies of islam try by any means to divide muslims who believe in one book, though they differ in its interpretations. intellectual differences have always existed within other communities as well as the four madhabs in muslim community. different opinions and interpretations would not bring any harm as long as one truly seeks truth. most likely, the first is to attain sound and accurate knowledge of islamic history. secondly, to apply the basic principle of shura(consensus) in our daily life. then, pray to almighty god to guide us to the straight path. shi'a school of thought

provide me with historical information on shi'aism and perhaps some literature on some of the leading jurists and thinkers from shi'a school. (a. keith thompson, angola, la 70712).

since the question requires a detailed answer to several questions, the following shall answer some which are commonly asked such as meaning of the prophet muhammad (p.), qualification of leadership, infallibility, number of leaders and imam mehdi. (a.) these principles are adhered to by shi'a muslims who served islam with their blood and according to the teachings of the holy qur'an since the beginning of the islamic history. we hope the following would answer the question asked on this regard.

shi'a, a school of thought in islam, consists in different regions of the world since the beginning of the islamic history. historians differ in the actual date on which this school appeared. some say it was on 15th shaban 41st a.h. when the grandson of the prophet (p.), imam hasan (a.) had a treaty with mu'awiya, some say it was after the tragedy of karbala 10th muharram 61st a.h. and other say it was on 18th zul hijjah 10 a.h. the day called "ghadir". this opinion, in fact, presents the shi'a point of view. it is most likely that shi'a school, like any other schools, went through different stages from purely intellectual to social and political stages.

therefore, during the time of the prophet (p.), it seemed natural that whoever had relatives killed by imam ali (a.) before accepting islam did not like him because imam ali (a.) killed their ancestors during the time of the prophet (p.). thus, shi'aism was born intellectually during the time of the prophet muhammad(p.) as well as anti-shi'aisms and hypocrites who without a doubt existed as the holy qur'an has a chapter on hypocrites during that time. then, the political stage came when imam ali (a.) stated his opinion on the leadership and the system which should only follow the teaching of the holy qur'an and the traditions of the prophet (p.) and no one else. finally, the political stage reached its climax at the time of imam hasan (a.) who had to agree on treaty and consequently when the treaty was broken, the political stage ended in the martyrdom of imam husayn (a.) at karbala iraq, which is annually commemorated on ashura * as the sign of muslim struggle for the teachings of the holy qur'an.