Could you suggest a good second-level Islamic Studies program for us to establish for our youth – a group of children between the age of 14 and 17? We will be giving classes for a few hours on a daily basis. These children already know the basics of how to pray and fast. We already use the English translations of Fiqh al-Sunnah for Islamic Law, Riyâd al-Sâlihîn for hadith, and they have a good grounding in `Aqîdah. What else do they need to get a strong grounding in sound Islamic methodology?
I suggest that an Islamic Studies program for these teenagers should include the following:
1. 1. Qur’an Study: This should employ a standard, reliable commentary like Tafsîr Ibn Kathîr.
2. Islamic Legal Theory (Usûl al-Fiqh): They should be taught a basic primer on this subject. The teacher could use al-Juwaynî’s Waraqât for instance. It is brief enough to be easily translated by the teacher if need be.
3. Hadith methodology: They should be taught a brief, basic primer on this subject. A good example would be Nukhbah al-Fikr by Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalânî.
4. Ethics: There should be a class in the etiquettes and manners of seeking knowledge, and the ethics of scholarship.
5. Case studies: The students should be given classes to develop their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.
6. Bigraphy: They should study the lives of the scholars, past and present, especially the four imams – Abû Hanîfah, Mâlik, al-Shâfi`î, and Ahmad.
7. Debate: They should have debate classes where they learn to discuss matters in an academic manner. It is important that they learn the manners and etiquettes of how to disagree.
8. Islamic preaching: They should learn, for instance, public speaking, how to deliver sermons, offer speeches, and how to improve their writing skills.
Source: Islam Today
-- Al Arabiya Digital