Traditional Education in a Modern Context.
The Qalam Seminary strives to develop Islamic thought and community leaders by means of education, practical training, and mentorship. Qalam aims to bridge the gap between text and context and living the tradition in a modern context.
Since 2013, the Qalam Foundation has been able to provide a one-year Islamic Studies program in Dallas, Texas known as the Qalam Seminary. Over these last few years, we have begun the first step in the journey that Muslims for nearly a millennia and a half have dedicated themselves to: finding practical solutions to humanity’s problems within the sources of our religion.
With our three-pronged approach of taʿlim, tarbiyah, and suhbah – education, training, and mentorship – we have meticulously developed a five-year ʿAlimiyah curriculum keeping in mind both the longstanding scholarly tradition of our ummah and the pressing needs of our society today. This catered curriculum is taught by seasoned faculty who serve not only as instructors to the students, but also as mentors. We are eagerly looking forward to continuing the noble tradition of sacred knowledge with the amazing men and women who have decided to dedicate their lives to serving the deen of Allah ﷻ.
The Paths to Knowledge
Year 1 — Arabic Studies
To intensely study the Islamic sciences, one must dedicate time to learning classical Arabic. In 2018, we made the decision to establish our own program for classical Arabic studies. Our curriculum focuses on translating, understanding, and approaching grammar and morphology.
Year 2 — Foundational Islamic Studies Diploma
After completing one’s Arabic study or by passing our reading comprehension test, our students dedicate themselves to upper-level studies that will, insha’Allah, provide them with a foundation for them to build on when they return to their communities:
Hadith (the words of the Prophet ﷺ)
Seerah (the life of the Prophet ﷺ)
Fiqh (legal jurisprudence)
Tafsir and Uloom al Qur’an (Interpretation of the Qur’an)
Years 3-5 — ‘Alimiyyah
Building on the previous foundation of studies, students who wish to dedicate themselves as scholars, community leaders, or academics now begin to focus on three subjects: Aqeedah, Hadith, and Fiqh. The goal of the ‘Alimiyyah program is to develop academic and practical thought processes — where a student must ask themselves:
How we got to a certain understanding of XYZ issue?
How this ruling can be applied to community work?
In Year 3, Students will learn to critically think deeper about how to reply to an aqeedah argument, or reflect on the thought process behind a fiqh ruling. The primary Hadith Textbook used is Mishkaat al Masabih, an extensive collection of Hadith that students are expected to read, translate, and perform additional research.
Year 4 focuses on the 6 major books of Hadith (Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Nasa’i, Ibn Majah). Students should expect to read footnotes and extra commentary. Discussions will involve the interpretation of each Hadith and what one may learn from it. In addition, chains of narrators, wording of the Hadith, strong and weak narrators, as well as where the narrations appear are also examined. The Fiqh curriculum will rigorously involve inheritance law.
Lastly, in Year 5, students will have to write a research paper on a topic of interest. Frequent assignments will involve Fiqh questions to examine, research, and write.
Education. We believe in a traditional classroom setting with students that read and translate classical texts, discuss with qualified scholars, and research for their own publications.
Training. Students then implement what they learn in class to surrounding communities. Many serve in imam or youth director capacities, leading halaqas and khatirahs, developing weekend school curriculas, tutoring, researching, and more.
Mentorship. Good company produces more good company. Students find a home here on campus. Older students will tutor and mentor younger students, and students work closely with their instructors to produce resources for the community for years to come.