Cordoba Academy Readers Society (CARS)
Cordoba Academy for Classical Islamic Sciences is honoured to announce its new society to increase Islamic literacy in the Muslim Ummah.
Cordoba Academy Readers Society has been set up to provide a platform for Muslims worldwide to appreciate the richness, breadth, and depth of the corpus of Islamic literature. It also serves to inculcate in students reading habits and critical thinking skills that will serve enhance their literary and language skills as well as affording them access to the field of riwayah where they can obtain asaneed[i] connecting them to the greatest scholars in Islam and their monumental works.
What are the objectives of this society?
The main objective of this society is the revival of the blessed and distinct tradition of Isnaad which is not present in any other religion and remains unique to Islamic literature. It also seeks to instill a genuine desire and deep-seated love in all Muslims to read Islamic literature.
Who can benefit from this society?
Everyone may benefit from this society including those that already teach these texts or those for whom the desire to revive the tradition of Isnaad in their communities exists.
What is the cost to join this society?
Joining the society is complimentary to all genuine and dedicated students at Cordoba Academy who have studied at least five paying courses before the start of the reading of any text. Those that have not done so may join for a meager monthly fee of $29 with an automatic exemption from this fee once they have studied on five paying courses at CA.
Who chooses the texts that are to be read together?
The following four texts have been chosen for numerous reasons including their universality, importance to the nurturing Islamic personality and status amongst the classical scholars. Students will be offered the chance to make a first and second option and the text that is most popular will be read first until completed then the second choice will be read.
1) al-Hisnul al-Haseen of Imam al-Jazari (RA)
2) al-Shifa of Qadi Iyadh al-Yahsubi (RA)
3) Riyadh al-Saliheen of Imam al-Nawawi (RA)[ii]
4) Kitab al-Zuhd of Imam Ibn al-Mubarak (RA)
When will the readings of the text occur?
Readings of the text will occur once a week on Sunday evenings and will start at 9PM (Makkah time) lasting a minimum of 60 minutes with at least 15 minutes left for discussion at the end of the reading.
Will the texts be read in English as I do not understand Arabic?
No, the texts must be read in Arabic as this is the tradition that has been passed down to us and that we must continue for the Isnaad to remain intact. If you do not understand Arabic, then we advise you to make use of a translation that you should follow simultaneously during the recitation so that you are able to comprehend the reading and contribute to the discussion.
How do I sign up to the society?
Admissions are now open to join the society and you should email cordobaacademy(at)gmail. com
if you would like to sign up. As soon as we have a minimum of 20 students signed up to the society the readings will start. We kindly request you to circulate news about this unique society so that we are able to start.
Who will grant the Ijazaa and do they have Ijazaa in these texts?
The main tutor for the readings will be Shaykh Mohammed Daniel (HA) as he is the most qualified of CA faculty in this field and one of the leading musnideen[iii] worldwide having travelled extensively to over 40 countries and read and received the highest asaneed from a multitude of scholars in scores of classical Islamic texts including those that are being read. There will also be guest tutors including some of the remaining teachers of Shaykh Mohammed who will be invited to supervise the readings too.
Shouldn't we travel to scholars if we want to obtain the asaneed in these books?
There is no doubt that the tradition amongst scholars past and present has always been to travel to the Ulama, sit at their feet and read with them to obtain their asaneed (chains of narration). We at CA strongly encourage this tradition by teaching texts such as al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi's "The Journey for Seeking Hadith", however, we understand that for many in today's world one is required to obtain visas to enter countries, take extensive leave from work, and pay large amounts of money in order to visit these scholars. Consequently, we have decided to proffer this unique opportunity so that no one is deprived from the blessing of this connection and so that the Isnaad may spread through the four corners of the world.
If I complete a text, will CA provide me with an Ijazaa to teach?
The Ijazaa, with a full Isnaad back to the author of the text that you will receive will allow you to pass this text onto other people who read the text with you, but in no way represents a credential entitling you to teach the text. The teaching of the text can only be done if you have studied the text in-depth and are able to pass on your understanding to students.
Can I listen to the recordings of the reading and still obtain the Ijazaa?
Due to the requirements of earning Ijazaa, you are required to study in real time.
What are the benefits of joining this society?
There are many benefits that have been mentioned before that include the following:
The preservation of a unique system of transmission (Isnaad) that extends back over 1400 years and up until the advent of modern academia was widespread in the Ummah. Some Islamic texts have altogether lost the oral transmission that they had boasted for several hundred years before the recent neglect of scholars and students of knowledge.
Improve the speed and proficiency of reading Arabic for both the readers and those that are following the recitation which is an essential skill for any student of knowledge.
The spread and revival of the Isnaad of classical Islamic texts throughout the world. Those who receive the Isnaad will serve as ambassadors of the Sunnah in their countries passing on to others what they have received.
The inclusion of your name in a chain of narration that ends with you and goes back through Islam’s greatest scholars establishing a bond between you and the author of the text so that when you quote something from Imam Nawawi, Imam Suyuti or Ibn Hajr (RA) you are quoting from your own shoyoukh as opposed to simply quoting from a book like other academics do.
Get used to listening to Arabic while it is spoken or read fast therefore improving your overall listening skill which is yet another of the four primary skills required in language acquisition.
What if I have other questions that have not been answered here?
Your question may have already been answered on our website so we request you visit our wesbite. If it is not there, you may post the related question here and we will try our best to answer it as soon as possible.
[i] Unbroken Chains of narration connect texts to their authors.
[ii]English translation is available for the first three books and can be purchased or downloaded online.
[iii]A Musnid is someone that has gathered many asaneed from around the world.