3 Years Halaqah Programme in Arabic & Islamic Studies
This course will be conducted EVERY SUNDAY, commencing every JANUARY for a period of 3 Years. Monthly payment of $50 is applicable prior to the start of class for each month. [REQUIREMENTS: Completed Masjid Khalid’s 5 Years Programme in Islamic Studies or Local Madrasah at Tsanawi Level]
Abridgement from the 5 year programme, Masjid Khalid will be conducting a three-year course in Arabic and Islamic studies. It is intended for those who can only devote part of their time to these subjects. The course has four components: Arabic Language, Hadith, Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh) and General Islamic Studies.
We have decided to give more focus on the Arabic language. They will be ready to learn subjects in the degree course with Arabic components.
One of the main reasons that Muslim students travel overseas is that they want to equip themselves with understanding the Arabic language. To provide this, we felt the importance to introduce comprehensive Arabic studies as a substitute to that.
This studies will also be based on the Halaqah Methodology.
In Arabic language, the course will develop skills in reading, speaking and writing Standard Arabic. It will include a wide range of literary and non-literary reading matter to improve essential comprehension skills. Students will be trained to write good prose in Standard Arabic, i.e. prose that is clear and correct in its expression of thought and argument. The course will cover the rules of grammar and syntax (nahw and sarf). By the end of the course, students should be able to understand how sentences are constructed in Arabic, how the different elements relate to each other, and how their relations affect meaning. They should be able, also, to apply this understanding to analyse passages of classical Arabic prose.
In the hadith, the students will mainly study The principal text of Bulugh al-maram. They will learn the meanings of those hadiths and the detailed discussions in the interpretation of them for law. Time will be set aside for studying those hadiths which explain the fundamentals of iman and islam and how they help Muslims to develop piety, humility and good manners.
In the field of Islamic Jurisprudence (fiqh), students will learn how to do the acts of worship (prayer, fasting, zakah, hajj, etc.) properly and with understanding. They will study the main rules of family law, contract law, and lawful and unlawful in Islam. The principal text used will be Fathul Qareeb.
In general, these students will learn the lives of the major Prophets, sirah of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon them all.
Our hope is for this course to meet the basic needs of Muslims living in Singapore. By doing this course, alongside doing the national curriculum, they will get a secure foundation on which they can build intelligent, informed practice of their religion, and from which they can proceed to further and deeper study of Arabic and of the Islamic sciences.
1. OVERVIEW OF MASJID KHALID WEEKEND CLASSES (PENGAJIAN HUJUNG MINGGU)
At the beginning of 2014, Masjid Khalid started the weekend religious classes as we observed many young Muslims going overseas to further their Islamic studies. We recognize that upon returning from their studies overseas they have a different understanding of the religion which may cause discomfort among fellow Muslims here.
To date there has been an overwhelming response from the public. Nearly 200 Singaporeans registered. They range from a variety of ages, mostly youths. At the beginning of 2015, MKWC had registered 174 students mostly youth ages 18 to 30. However, there are about 50 applicants yearly who are in the waiting list as space in our mosque is very limited. If there were more resources to include more intakes, Masjid Khalid is confident that the number will certainly and steadily grow over the years. Currently we are in our fifth year. Yearly, we are taking in intakes for our education programme.
To inspire Singaporean Muslims to be God Conscious & Civic Minded by:
- Providing an alternative learning platform rooted in traditional Islamic values localised for the Singaporean context for young Muslims aspiring to further their religious studies overseas
- Adopting an Islamic methodology and curriculum of authentic Islamic education as formulated by our local home-grown scholars
- Engaging the students to undertake community related initiatives to contribute towards the well-being and development of the Singaporean Muslim community and the nation
Masjid Khalid envisions to be a dynamic center of learning that upholds the traditional teachings of Islam in Singapore by taking a holistic approach to Islamic education rooted in prophetic values of peace, tolerance and giving back to the larger Singaporean community.
- To impart Islamic religious knowledge to Singaporeans, especially focusing on youth, to increase their understanding and to encourage them to implement the teaching and values as a way of life in an appropriate context of the religion
- To cultivate love for Allah and Prophet Muhammad by nurturing values and character building (Akhlaq) in emulation of Prophet Muhammad
- To inculcate filial piety to their parents and mutual respect for mankind and other creations of God
- To increase awareness of the Islamic etiquettes (Adab) in daily living and in interaction with people of other faiths traditions
- To introduce the Arabic language to benefit from the vast Islamic heritage (Turath)
“Wa Qul Rabbi Zidni ilma”
Which means, “And say ‘Oh Muhammad: O My Lord, Increase in me Knowledge”
Taken from Holy Quran Chapter 20, Verse 114.
1.6 THE HALAQAH PEDAGOGY
In this endeavor, the need to construct or discover knowledge becomes intertwined with reflecting (tafakkur) on how to live Islam in a globalized and plural world.
As such, there is a real need in the Singapore community to to embark on a traditional Islamic pedagogy known as Halaqah as a potentially useful authentic teaching methodology which have been used since the beginning of Islam. It aims at establishing the five pillars of knowledge which are:
- Teacher- The teacher must be well-qualified to teach the subjects given.
- Student- The student must possess perseverance and dedication to learn
- Books- The books must be suited to build the students’ knowledge building.
- Syllabus- The syllabus must ensure a fair and impartial understanding between the teacher and students and maximize efficient learning by clarifying student understanding.
- Revision- We implement the exams and assessments to make sure students revise their studies.
This is done through a small qualitative study group. These study groups are led and taught by our Singaporean Islamic religious scholars participating in Halaqah to collaboratively reflect on their work as holistic Islamic educators to meet the needs of the Muslim community in a challenging world in contemporary Singapore.
Therefore, the formation of the Masjid Khalid weekend classes aims to serve as a substitute for Muslims who wish to travel to the Middle East to study the Islamic sciences by teaching subjects such as Arabic language, Islamic jurisprudence and Islamic Spirituality amongst others. In addition to the classes, students will also embark on research and undertake efforts in translating the traditional Islamic books from Arabic to English and Malay. This is to impart the exact knowledge to our community locally.
2.0 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Masjid Khalid’s programs are aimed at producing good Muslims not only in his/her relation to God but also to fellow humans. The idea is to cultivate a Muslim who has a vision towards his/her community with ethics shared among fellow Singaporeans. We believe that a good Muslim will in turn be a good citizen. A good citizen will be a role model for a peaceful and progressive nation blessed with religious tolerance towards all.
Our initiatives include two major components. Firstly, one has to attend religious classes conducted by our certified religious scholars (Asatizahs) to further understand the Islamic fundamentals and values. Secondly, it is to reach out to the Muslim community through digital/online platforms, and bridge them with our local Asatizahs and Islamic Scholars in order to help them with Islamic practices and values.
We successfully launched two educational programs namely ‘Khalid Mosque Weekend Religious Class’ and ‘Ask Ustaz Mobile App’. Both programs were launched on a small scale and has drawn great public interest without much promotion. These are proven to be very effective and relevant platforms in the Singapore context of Islamic education. However, we have not been able to keep up with the demand due to the overwhelming response and our lack of resources. We are working progressively to find alternatives to bring both programs on a national level and achieve our vision in being “A Good Muslim, A Good Citizen”.
3.0 BACKGROUND – MASJID KHALID OUTREACH PROGRAMS
Masjid Khalid has launched “AskUstaz” mobile application to extend its outreach to the Muslim community digitally for users to submit their questions through a mobile application on both iOS and Android platforms. The application has since received overwhelming response from the public. (refer to part 2).
One of the motives of enhancing the AskUstaz application is to motivate others to seek proper knowledge with structured syllabus and from authentic religious scholars.
Due to the overwhelming response, the Masjid Khalid management is always looking forward to take in more intakes for the upcoming years and hopefully cope with them. There have been inquiries now and then about people interested to join these classes but we have to reject them due to lack of manpower in the administration and teaching. One of the reasons for the overwhelming response is because today, our Singaporean Muslim community is looking for traditional Islamic classes that focus on learning recognized books which are written by traditional scholars and adopting a proper teaching methodology where students have close interaction with the teachers.
From the response and feedback, it is evident that many Muslims in Singapore are thirsty for a proper traditional style of structured religious learning.
Increasingly, Muslims are concerned about learning Islam through a proper education. They are worried about the happenings in the society where many deviant ideologies are prevalent. Thus they are in search of a genuine source of true Islamic teachings that have been inherited by our pious predecessors.
Due to a lot of confusion and false ideologies that are threatening the thoughts of the Muslims locally and globally in understanding the religion of Islam, we would like to offer these studies to the Muslim community in Singapore, primarily focusing on the concepts of true knowledge, and righteous values in our hope for the betterment of all.
3.1 THE ISLAMIC EDUCATION: OUR VIEW
We view education in the context of Islam that it is regarded as a process that involves the complete person, including the rational, spiritual, and social dimensions. The comprehensive and integrated approach to education in Islam is directed towards the balanced growth of the total personality through training a person’s spirit, intellect, rational self, feelings and physicality. In Islamic educational theory, knowledge is gained in order to make betterment of all dimensions of the human being
In our weekend school, the syllabus that we are adopting consists of subjects which are designed to nurture the students to become a devoted Muslim citizen.
MKWC strongly believes that Islamic spirituality is very essential in the development of a good Muslim character. The lack of spirituality can easily trigger someone to become aggressive and full of hatred as he/she is not properly guided and is inclined to his/her emotions.
The studies that we are putting forth focus on understanding Islam and inculcating good prophetic character in a Muslim, showing kindness towards all and contributing to the community no matter where we may be.
3.2 CIVIC AND MORAL EDUCATION LESSONS
We are introducing Civics and moral education in addition to religious knowledge lessons in Khalid mosque weekend classes. This will be a supplement to instil moral values in students.
We are engaging with religious scholars (Asatizahs) from the Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG), Office of Mufti and Pergas in our effort to have a holistic approach in our system of learning. We had invited asatizahs from RRG to give talks to the students occasionally to enlighten on National concerns involving IRCC.
Ustaz Dr Mohamed Bin Ali from RRG gives talks on radicalisation occasionally to our students. He is currently our Ad-Hoc advisor for civic classes. Below is an example events that we had.
VISIT BY USTAZ HASBI, THE PRESIDENT OF PERGAS
The talk witnessed some engagements with our students and Q n A session was done to explain some misconceptions.
On top of that, Pergas has gave accreditation to our programme. Our students who have completed the 5 years programme in Masjid Khalid can enroll into their Diploma programmes.
This Civics and moral education that we intend to implement is also aimed to cultivate individuals who look into benefitting the society that he/she lives in. This is in line with the prophetic teaching which states “the best amongst you is the one who benefits others”. It is also aimed at living harmoniously with one another and contributing effectively to Singapore’s multicultural society. One of the efforts that we are undertaking is designing the Islamic education syllabus which not only benefits students spiritually but also strengthens inter-ethnic and inter-religious tolerances, instil a deeper sense of civic and social responsibility, and foster stronger commitment towards benefitting the nation.
It will also focus on upholding the family as the basic building block of society, respecting the rights of individuals, offering community support, resolving issues amicably through mutual consensus, not conflict and racial and religious harmony.
Students will be encouraged to reflect on their own experiences and apply their learning’s from religious and civic and moral education classes to real-life situations.
The civic education in Khalid mosque will focus on six core values, namely, Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Care, Resilience and Harmony, which form the foundation upon which good character is built. These values complement and reinforce Our Shared Values, the Singapore Family Values, the Singapore 21 Vision and the National Education messages. It will instil in students the ability to discern between right and wrong, and will help them to not only make responsible choices, but also become more aware of their role in society. Other values, concepts and attitudes related to these core values e.g. adaptability and creativity will also be advised to further reinforce and substantiate students’ understanding of the six core values.
Looking into the six core values of the Singaporean values:
- Respect: A person demonstrates respect when he/she believes in his/her own self-worth and the intrinsic worth of all people.
- Responsibility: A person who is responsible recognizes that he/she has a duty to himself, his family, community, nation and the world, and fulfills his responsibilities with love and commitment.
- Integrity: A person of integrity upholds ethical principles and has the moral courage to stand up for what is right.
- Care: A person who is caring acts with kindness and compassion. He/she contributes to the betterment of the community and the world.
- Resilience: A person who is resilient has emotional strength and perseveres in the face of challenges. He/she manifests courage, optimism, adaptability and resourcefulness.
- Harmony: A person who values harmony seeks inner happiness and promotes social cohesion. He/she appreciates the unity and diversity of a multicultural society.
Students will also be motivated and taught the acquisition of skills to recognize and manage emotions, develop care and concern for others, make responsible decisions, establish positive relationships, and handle challenging situations effectively. These includes the following 8 principles:
- Being aware of the beliefs and traditions of others: Different cultures and religions show the rich diversity in our society. We enjoy the benefits of this diversity because our people value racial and religious harmony.
- Respect for others’ property: We demonstrate respect by treating the property of others, as well as public property, with due regards e.g. books and other resources in a public or school library and intellectual property such as ideas or designs created by others. We need to seek the owners’ permission when we want to use their ideas, designs or products, and not pass them off as our own.
- Respecting the country: As Singapore citizens, we respect our country. We have fond memories of growing up, shared experiences of living here, and the familiar places and people, all of which provide emotional comfort for us. We also take pride in Singapore’s success in being able to manage its vulnerabilities and constraints to become what it is today.
- Respecting ourselves: Developing a positive sense of self-awareness contributes towards enhancing our self-respect. Our life experiences provide us with opportunities to reflect on and discover more about ourselves. Through self-reflection, we can in turn cultivate greater self-respect by appreciating our strengths, managing our weaknesses, focusing on our successes, and setting realistic goals and achieving them.
- Being sensitive to the needs of others: We should be sensitive in our interaction with people from other cultural and religious backgrounds as their beliefs and customs are important to them. Being sensitive in our interactions with others reinforces the value of showing respect for others, and fosters good relations among people of various racial or religious backgrounds. We must make effort to create more common space.
- Strengthening family ties and enhance family unity: To strengthen family ties and enhance family unity, we uphold responsibility in the following ways:
- Being committed to the family by showing respect and love for family members e.g. being filial to parents
- Fulfilling duties such as helping in household chores
- Being responsible for the safety of the home and well-being of the family
- Helping to take care of younger siblings and/or relatives who are invalid and unable to make one’s own living
- Practice effective communication skills
- Filial responsibility: Filial responsibility is essential because parents support and provide for their children as they grow up. Children, on their part, should do the same for their parents and grandparents in their old age. They should not consider this merely as a duty or obligation, but as the natural outcome of close bonds between family members.
- Being an active citizen: Active citizenship involves playing one’s part in ensuring the well-being of the nation. Active citizens are aware that rights come with responsibilities, and as citizens, they bear both legal and moral responsibilities. They are also committed to the ideals of the nation.
3.3 THE ROLE OF MASJID KHALID IN SHAPING GOOD INDIVIDUALS
Khalid mosque will be actively reviewing its programs and curriculum offering truly the best, back to the essence of Islamic teachings while relating closely to contemporary changes. We will consistently be upgrading teaching strategies to ensure only trained and qualified religious teachers at the mosque and actively engaging various stakeholders including parents, religious agencies, staff and others. These areas of improvements are pivotal to shape the Islamic education landscape in Singapore in line with the ever changing national education progress.
The curriculum for the weekend classes offered by Khalid mosque is actively reviewed by qualified and experienced scholars locally and abroad.
The programs are offered to students’ ranging from primary stage to post advanced levels. The curriculum comprises Fiqh, Tauhid, ethics, the prophetic tradition, Arabic language, memorization of selected chapters of the holy Quran, supplications and prayers practical. Quranic literacy program is also offered independently for absolute beginners.
Value added programs will be offered during school holidays to supplement and complement the core programs.
Among them are Prayer (Solat) Workshop, Ibadah Camp, Islam and national racial/religious harmony talks.
4.0 OUR TEACHING METHODOLOGY
The teaching methodology is considered one of the most important pillars in the educational process. With that in mind, MKWC’s teaching methods are guided activities which are organized by teachers not only in relation to the subject taught but also the nurturing of students’ characters, the learning environment and the process accumulating information, knowledge, interest attitude and values. Students have a close interaction with the teachers in a closely seating arrangement. This is to boost the relationship of the student and teacher and also a way to propagate good etiquettes of learning and respecting knowledge. The aims and objectives of education, and in this case Islamic education, could not be achieved successfully without effective teaching strategies.
The teaching methodology employed by Masjid Khalid ensures that the lessons are well planned by the teachers before the start of every lesson and to make sure that the students attending understands the lesson taught to them.
4.1 THE HALAQAH LEARNING METHOD
The learning system that we are implementing in our weekend classes in Khalid mosque is the Halaqah learning method.
The Arabic word ‘Halaqah’ means a ring and it is used to refer to a circle of Islamic knowledge. Historically, the transmission of knowledge usually took place in the mosques, a practice that can be traced back to the Prophet. This tradition was preserved by the Companions of Prophet and their successors and scholars throughout the history of Islam up until the present day.
This system is very appealing to the Muslims nowadays. As they reflect on the method of teaching during the prophet’s time, the eagerness to embark in this type of method is highly sought after.
As they began to understand that Prophet Muhammad was sent to a society where literacy (reading and writing) were not the norm, rather the oral tradition and memorization were the tools of learning and passing on knowledge. The advent of Islam took this to a whole new level via the memorization of Qur’an and transmission of Ahadith. And the emphasis remained on oral teaching.
He also instituted the ‘Halaqah’ as a mode of tarbiyah (spiritual nurturing) in Dar al Arqam. Those study circles produced the best generation known to mankind. Although many of the Sahaba (companions) were literate the transmission of learning was still oral. Further all discussion related to life and was not merely ‘academic’. This tradition was maintained in the traditional Islamic schools and other educational institutions in the Islamic world.
4.2 WHY HALAQAHS
Humility and Spirituality: The Halaqah teaches humility and generates a spiritual atmosphere where the students and their teacher sit in a circle on the floor and begin and end with a supplication or recitation of the Qur’an. Sitting on the floor or a carpet as an action in itself teaches humility and whilst this may be normal in Early Years, it is not often used by older students at a time when they are just beginning to learn ‘pride’.
The halaqah is often the tool used to address any false pride in the students. This does not mean to say that it does not instill confidence, rather quite the opposite. It also generates an atmosphere of spirituality and developing a relationship with Allah as students are reminded of the hadith that angels encircle any gathering of remembrance of Allah.
Developing good character sense: The halaqah develops good character. In the halaqah the teaching is purely oral. This leads to a constant focus on the thinking (intellect) of the students as well as their behaviour. Also in consideration is their spiritual being. The teachers and students are all aware of this and engaging not only in learning but also development of these aspects of their personality.
Thinking Skills: The halaqah develops thinking skills. When it is delivered effectively, as an oral session, it develops student’s ability to think laterally, make links, relate ideas and concepts to real life, and express their thoughts.
The halaqah gives students the tools to know their place in the universe, what is required of them and how to live up to the challenge. Discussion of the elemental concepts of the purpose of life and the role of man are therefore a vital part of the halaqah. At the same time it fulfills the day to day role of a reminder and an opportunity to ask and answer questions.
Adaab (ettiquette) and Expression: The halaqah develops adaab (manners and etiquette) and expression. In engaging in the halaqah students learn how to listen to each other, not to interrupt and to value each other’s opinion, skills sadly inadequate in many in the Muslim community. They also learn how to make a point, give an example, demonstrate their reasoning and express their emotions; skills essential to the future ‘ambassadors’ of Islam.
By making the training of the spiritual self a part of the halaqah curriculum, the students’ emotional and spiritual needs are catered for. The Islamic heritage is that spirituality and the relationship with Allah swt goes far beyond the daily prayers, and this is often overlooked. The halaqah, when delivered effectively, caters for this aspect of the student’s development. This hopefully will instill a foundation for the student’s future life and ongoing relationship with Allah swt. It should enable the students to deal with the all-too-present problems of modern life through their religious teachings.
4.3 THE HALAQAH CURRICULUM
The Halaqah model is seen as the ‘backbone’ of the curriculum, it serves as a framework for bringing Islamic culture into the entire school day. As the core of the curriculum it becomes the focus of teaching and is easily integrated into other subjects. Further ‘subjects’ like civic and moral education are integrated through our thematic approach. The Halaqah therefore is the foremost tool in implementing the principles of Islamic Education.
We are also aware that the teaching methodologies of Islamic education require comprehensive innovation, because the current advancement in educational sciences should not be separated from the subject of Islamic education. Therefore, continuous improvement in the Islamic education field especially in thereof teaching methodology will provide a positive contribution in the development of good religious education in both spiritual and physical aspects, and also worldly and hereafter aspects. It will also repel false ideologies, religious extremism and terrorism.
- 09:00AM - 09:30AM
- Morning Recital
- Recital of Wird Al Latiff & Aqidatul Awam
- 09:30AM - 10:15AM
- 1st Period
- 10:15AM - 11:00AM
- 2nd Period
- 11:00AM - 11:30AM
- Light refreshments are provided
- 11:30AM - 12:15PM
- 3rd Period
- 12:15PM - 01:00PM
- 4th Period