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Diploma in Arabic & Islamic Studies


Cambridge Islamic College is offering a two-year foundational/intermediate level course in Arabic and Islamic studies. It is designed to qualify participants for admission into the College’s ‘Alimiyyah Degree programme, as well as for those who wish to achieve general competency 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, fiqh and general Islamic studies.

The course is not available in this format from October 2023. You can now access the course through our 'Learn Arabic' modular courses on DeepDeen:

Click Here to Learn More!

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 important hadiths on which legal rulings are based – i.e. not the hadiths that are concerned with worship, moral virtues, events in the life of the Prophet and his companions, explanations of the Qur’an, etc. The principal text will be 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 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 a mukhtasar (concise or compact) compendium of laws, such as the Hanafi Mukhtasar al-Quduri.

This course is too short to discuss the sources, evidences and arguments adduced in the reasoning of jurists. In general Islamic studies students will learn the lives of the major Prophets, sirah of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon them all, and some elementary aspects of the history of Islam and Islamic society.

Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi   NOW INCLUDES DeepDeen access! - During the two years of the course we will be providing COMPLIMENTARY full access to our DeepDeen platform. This includes all of Sheikh Akram's courses and goes well beyond DAIS.  


Our hope is for this course to meet the basic needs of Muslims living in the West. 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.


         Become part of a historic journey

The course is not available in this format from October 2023. You can now access the course through our 'Learn Arabic' modular courses on DeepDeen:

Click Here to Learn More!



There are many Arabic and Islamic Studies courses on offer, what makes this course different?

  • This course is designed and taught by a scholar of the highest reputation and recognition: an authority and expert of Arabic Language and Islamic Sciences. He has over 30 years of experience in teaching, both at Islamic colleges and secular universities. He has authored and translated over 25 titles relating to Arabic and Islamic sciences. His introductory books on Arabic Grammar (Al-Nahw), Morphology (Al-Sarf) and Principles (Usul) of Tafsir, Hadith and Fiqh are used all over the world in madrasahs, Islamic institutes and ‘Alimiyyah (Islamic scholarship degree) colleges.
  • This course combines both Arabic and Islamic studies in one Diploma. This gives students the opportunity to apply the language in various disciplines, such as Qur’an, Hadith, Fiqh and History, thereby gaining a thorough grasp of the language whilst also benefiting from learning essential Islamic knowledge from Arabic sources.
  • This course is structured for part time studies - 3 hours a week with the teacher, 1 hour a week of live tutorials with a tutor and another 3 hours a week for self study. Students will have the flexibility to follow the course from anywhere in the world and to catch up or revise each class for one whole week.
  • This course takes the student from the beginner level (only able to read and write Arabic without understanding) to a level where they can comprehend the Qur’an as well as classical and contemporary Islamic texts and Arabic literature fluently. They will also be able to understand the pre-Islamic poetry that defines the usage of the language.
  • This course offers a diploma that is highly valued in itself. However, successful completion of the two years will also provide a solid foundation and stepping stone for further Islamic studies.
  • This course is a prerequisite for the full time 2-year degree-level ‘Alimiyyah programme at Cambridge Islamic College. This programme is ideal for those who wish to complement their professional qualifications with Islamic studies in just two years with the best teachers in the UK.
  • This course is designed in such a way that the main teaching is supplemented by online tutorial assistance and student support to help with difficult concepts and exercise questions.
  • This course is priced in the most affordable way although it is far superior to equivalent courses at prestigious universities around the world (priced around £6,000 - £11,000).



Term 1

  1. Al ‘Arabiyyah lil-nash’een (Vol I) - 2 hrs 
  2. Stories of the Prophets byAbul Hasan ‘Ali Nadwi (Vol I) - 1 hr
  3. Weekly Tutorial - 1 hr 


Term 1

  1. Al ‘Arabiyyah lil-nash’een (Vol IV) - 1 hr
  2. Kalila wa-Dimna (Part I) – 1hr
  3. Al-Ihkam (Part I) – 1hr
  4. Mukhtasar Al-Quduri (part I) – 1 hr
  5. Weekly Tutorial - 1 hr      

Term 2

  1. Al ‘Arabiyyah lil-nash’een (Vol II)  - 2 hrs
  2. Stories of the Prophets by Abul Hasan ‘Ali Nadwi (Vol II) - ½ hr
  3. Principles of Arabic Morphology by Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi - ½ hr
  4. Weekly Tutorial - 1 hr

Term 2

  1. Al ‘Arabiyyah lil-nash’een (Vol V) - 1 hr
  2. Kalila wa-Dimna (Part II) – 1hr
  3. Al-Ihkam (Part II) – 1hr
  4. Mukhtasar Al-Quduri (part II) – 1 hr
  5. Weekly Tutorial - 1 hr

Term 3 

  1. Al ‘Arabiyyah lil-nash’een (Vol III) - 2 hrs
  2. Stories of the Prophets by Abul Hasan ‘Ali Nadwi (Vol III) - ½ hr
  3. Principles of Arabic Grammar by Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi - ½ hr
  4. Weekly Tutorial - 1 hr

Term 3 

  1. Al ‘Arabiyyah lil-nash’een (Vol VI) - 1 hr
  2. Hamasah - the Book of Manners by Abu Tammam – 1hr
  3. Al-Ihkam (Part III) – 1hr
  4. Mukhtasar Al-Quduri (part III) – 1 hr
  5. Weekly Tutorial - 1hr  

Term 4

  1. Usul al Fiqh - 3hrs Weeks 1-2 
  2. Usul al Hadith - 3hrs Weeks 3-4
  3. Usul al Tafsir & Ulum al Quran - 3hrs Weeks 5-6
  4. Tafsir of Surah Ar-Rahman - 3hrs Weeks 7-10

Term 4        

  1. Mukhtasar Al Quduri
  2. Qatr ul Nada
  3. Shada Al Arf
  4. Tafsir of Surah Yusuf

Self Study [Mandatory]

  1. Tajweed
  2. Memorizarion of Juz'Ammah
  3. Forty Hadith of Imam Nawawi and
  4. Fiqh Al Islami by Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi (Vol I).

Self Study [Recommendation] 

  1. Stories of the Prophets (Vol IV & V)
  2. Suwar Min Hayaati As-Sahaba (Inspirational biographies of eminent Companions) by Dr. ‘Abd al-Rahman Ra’fat Pasha.
  3. Tafsir Surah Yusuf [Mandatory]


Year 1 Term 1 Summary  

  • Lays down the foundations for acquiring Arabic language.  
  • Most people, even those who work full-time, find that they can work through one lesson and its drills per day.  
  • At the end of this term students will understand the basic elements of an Arabic sentence.  
  • Students will fully understand the case endings, plurals, idaafas, noun-adjective phrases, demonstratives, most of the rules of agreement in Arabic, and much more.  
  • Students will have mastered the equational sentence and will have dealt with simple verbal sentences.

Year 1 Term 2 Summary 

  • Concentrates on the verb (الفعل) and its forms.  
  • This section also deals with other patterns such as derivative nouns ( المشتقات ) and how this system works in Arabic language.  
  • Students  will cover the book (مبادئ التصريف).  
  • By the end of this term students will understand how forms of verbs work; sound verbs, hollow verbs, defective verbs, doubled verbs, and assimilated verbs.  
  • Students will be able to handle these verbs in the past tense, present tense, and the jussive (a form of negation with a past-tense meaning). 

Year 1 Term 3 Summary 

  • Contains detailed explanations of Arabic grammatical rules that are crucial to your overall understanding of the language.  
  • You will be given the chance to master the rules through tasks set by the tutor.  
  • By the end of this Term Students will be grammatically equipped.  
  • This will be of great benefit to Students no matter which direction your study of the language may take.

Year 1 Term 4 Summary 

  • Usul al Fiqh - This part of the course introduces students to the fascinating and important fields of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) and principles of Islamic jurisprudence (uṣūl al-fiqh), their origins, development and historical context, key classical texts, as well as their reception and recontextualisation in modern societies.  
  • It includes a discussion on the lives and seminal works of early legal pragmatists (fuqahāʾ), their legal theories and methods, schools of Islamic law (madhāhib), and their contexts. 
  • Usul al Hadith - This section aims to introduce students to the important and fascinating field of ḥadīth methodological principles and ḥadīth criticism (the evaluation and authentication of ḥadīth).  
  • It includes a critical examination of classical and modern scholarly debates on the authority and authenticity of the ḥadīth corpus, and practical exercises in isnād and matan criticism. 
  • Usul al Tafsir & Ulum al Quran - This part of the course introduces students to the important and fascinating disciplines of Qurʾānic hermeneutics, Qurʾānic studies, exegesis and textual analysis.  
  • It includes practical exercises in the analysis of selected sūrahs (chapters) from the Qurʾān. 
  • Tafsir of Surah Ar-Rahman – A detailed analysis of one of the most prominent surah’s in the Quran 
  • Tutorials this term are reserved for comprehensive revision of Arabic grammar and morphology 
  • To write well, students will have to develop writing skills through self-study and tutor support 
  • Tutor support will be available to ensure you receive the support you need in, reading, writing, and speaking.

Year 2 Term 1 Summary 

  • Introduction to Standard Modern Arabic is an intensive grammar-based module open to undergraduate students.  
  • In addition to training students in reading comprehension, writing and the use of the dictionary, the module mainly aims to cover all the basics of Arabic grammar  
  • By the end of the modules, students who need to use Arabic texts in their research can read and understand these texts independently, with the help of the dictionary.  
  • The lecture component of the modules aims to provide basic conversation skills which will help conduct research in various field of knowledge. 

Year 2 Term 2 Summary 

  • This term acts as a framework that guides students to effectively study the language outside of the classroom and develop their self-study skills.  
  • Students will improve their skills to differentiate between key and ancillary contents of a text.  
  • It also aims to encourage student’s inclination to read Arabic texts, and in turn, adopting eloquent styles of the Arabic language and enriching one’s syntax abilities.  
  • Students will confidently use the acquired vocabulary in their relevant contexts and write a wide range of texts for different purposes using a variety of skills, strategies, and structures to generate a variety of effects. 

Year 2 Term 3 Summary 

  • This term aims to build a strong foundation of language proficiency and supports a range of different fields, including literature, linguistics, history, and religion.  
  • It aims to facilitate the language acquisition process for students using, independent writing and reading comprehension exercises. 
  • Students will be exposed to authentic texts of various topics with detailed in-class discussions which aim at teaching, strategies and skills that are necessary for fluent reading comprehension.  
  • By the end of the term, students will have gained basic knowledge about various rhetorical aspects and grammatical devices in which the classical Arabic texts are written.

Year 2 Term 4 Summary 

  • This term aims to consolidate students’ knowledge of the Arabic language and ensure students are able confidently and coherently write using the various literary techniques acquired. Students will also identify grammatical rules and use them for independent writing.  
  • Students at this stage will be equipped to read a variety of Arabic literature.  
  • In addition, students will also be able to hold a conversation in Arabic using a wide range of vocabulary in the correct context. 



A brief introduction to the individual texts that will be used as course reference for the Diploma is given below.

Al ‘Arabiyyah lil-nash’een

This text constitutes the primary content for the course. This covers basic understanding of how sentences are structured in Arabic and the components that constitute the sentences. The book covers the building blocks of the language in detail while making good use of examples. Each volume of this text builds the foundation in a gradual manner making it an easy and interactive module.

Stories of the Prophets by Abul Hasan ‘Ali Nadwi

This is Part of a series developed by Shaykh Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi written especially for children to help them learn the Arabic language using prophetic stories written in a simple but clear Arabic style which become progressively more elaborate. Used as a primer for those learning the Arabic language, it is taught in Islamic seminaries around the world.

Principles of Arabic Morphology by Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi

This text constitutes a concise introduction to the science of Arabic Morphology (As-Sarf).

Principles of Arabic Grammar by Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi

This text constitutes a concise introduction to the science of Arabic Grammar (Al-Nahw).

Shadha Al ‘Arf(Advanced Arabic Morphology)by Hamalawy

This concise text constitutes a detailed study ofthe sciences of Arabic Morphology (Al-Sarf).

Kalila wa-Dimna (Arabic Prose) 

Kalila and Dimna, named after the two jackals who are the main characters, is a book of fables originally written in Sanskrit sometime in the fourth century A.D. Three hundred years later Ibn al-Mukaffa’ translated it into Arabic in a style so lucid it is still considered a model of Arabic prose. 

Al-Ihkam (Hadith Collection)

This is a collection of Hadith pertaining specificallyto the juristic rulings as taken from the major Hadith Collections (Bukhari/Muslim). Compiled by Dr Akram Nadwi.

Mukhtasar al-Quduri (Fiqh Treatise)

Mukhtasar al-Quduri is one of the most celebrated and influential treatises in any Muslim school of thought and is one of the important works in the Hanafi school. It comprises of approximately 12,500 issues spanning the entire spectrum of fiqh.

Hamasah - The Book of Manners (Poetry)by Abu Tammam 

The Hamasah (Arabic for “exhortation”) is one of the greatest anthologies of Arabic literature ever written. There are ten books of poems in the Hamasah, all classified by subject. Some of them are selections from long poems. This is one of the treasuries of early Arabic poetry and the poems are of exceptional beauty. The book of Manners is one of the ten books.

Sharh of Qatrul-Nada (Advanced Arabic Grammar) by Ibn Hisham

This is an advanced book in the science of Arabic Grammar, written by one of the experts of this field. This work was originally written as a basic work for students that needed a direct approach to Arabic Grammar. However after a short while, the author compiled an explanation for it so as to further ease the understanding of the student.


Alhumdulillah I have been exposed to a goodshare of Islamic Academic Institutions and scholars who have dedicated their life to teaching. Cambridge Islamic Collage is by far the most fruitful Islamic learning experience that I have had; the most authentic and rigorous scholarship with ease and convenience.

Syed Hassan, The Taqwa Institute & AlManarat Private School


Akram’s zeal for knowledge reminds you of the Prophetic saying: ‘Allah’s Apostle sallallahu alaihi wasallam said: There are two avaricious people who are never content: one greedy of knowledge who is never content & the other greedy of the world (worldly riches & that of power) who is never content.

Shaykh Yunus JaunpuriTeacher of Sahih al-Bukhari for over 20 years at Maza’ir al-‘Ulum, Sahranpur, India


It is a great honour and privilege to be taught by a scholar of such great rank, knowledge and humility.  I am finding the course immensely rewarding in so many ways. Furthermore, the organisers – Cambridge Islamic College – are extremely professional and have provided a very structured and high-quality course,  both with the online facilities and on location in Oxford.

Muhammad Meki, PhD Student, Oxford, United Kingdom


I found the rigorous curriculum both engaging and exciting. Alongside study of grammar – sarf and nahw both – we were reading modern Arabic prose and the acclaimed work on the lives of the Prophets, Qisasal-Nabiyyin. This last text is used in madaris worldwide; its inclusionin the curriculum made me realise that I was receiving an experiencesimilar to that of the typical madrasah student I’d dreamed of becoming even without leaving these shores.

Harun Mahmud, History Student, Cambridge University


Over the past year, I have had the honour and pleasure to study the Arabic & Islamic Studies Diploma under Shaykh Akram Nadwi. As the course has progressed from the basics of Arabic to more advanced topics, what really struck me was the emphasis that Shaykh Akram placed on reasoning and creativity over thoughtless memorization of facts.

Imran Naved, Engineering Student, Oxford


Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi

Shaykh Dr. Mohammad Akram Nadwi is from the Indian city of Lucknow and a graduate of the world renowned Nadwatul Ulama (India) where he studied and taught Shariah.

Dr Zoulaikha Toufik

Dr Zoulaikha Taoufik holds a Ph.D. in Islamic studies from Mohammed V University (Rabat, Morocco). She has more than 20 years’ experience teaching Arabic language to native and non-native speakers.