Access to Tradition is a course we devised for students looking to develop their skills beyond the study of the Arabic Language. What’s unique about this one year programme is that students get to survey the Islamic sciences allowing them to make a more informed decision about more in-depth study, as well as simultaneously improving their Arabic reading, writing and speaking skills.
Ustadh Sjaad Hussain
Sjaad Hussain was born and raised in England and began his studies in Damascus Syria. After studying the Arabic language in Damascus he began studying the sacred sciences full time under the tutelage of Shaykh Rasul Baksh Sa’eedi. Over a period of 9 years, he studied many of the major sciences and gained teaching licenses (Ijazat) in them. He also studied under numerous scholars including Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, Shaykh Muhammad Jum’ua, Shaykh ‘Ala-Uddin al-Kurdi and Shaykh Yasser Qureshi.
He is the co-founder of the Sacred Texts Syllabus and the Path to Salvation Diploma in Classical Islamic Studies. He is currently pursuing studies in Islamic Theology and Western Philosophy as well as working on several academic works in Arabic and English including a Primer in Arabic grammar and an extensive commentary on the famous “Poem of the cloak” of al-Busiri.
Ustadh Shammas Tubraiz
Shammas Tubraiz began his studies in 2002, studying theology and basic to intermediate level Shafi’i and Hanafi fiqh. In 2004, he began studying sacred knowledge under the tutelage of the esteemed Shaykh Rasul Baksh Sa’eedi, studying many of the Islamic sciences and receiving teaching licences in them.
Ustadh Shammas is a co-founder of ‘Sacred Texts Syllabus’ and ‘Honouring Tradition’, an initiative to address common misconceptions and issues affecting the Muslim community, which has developed an online platform where individuals can ask relevant questions and resolve often complex inter-personal matters.
Ustadh Shammas currently resides in Birmingham with his wife and three children, and alongside community activities, he works full time in the NHS, teaches private advanced Islamic studies classes, and is currently completing a Master’s Degree in Public Health Informatics.
Hazem Abo Helal
Hazem Abo Helal was born in Aleppo, Syria. He began his Arabic and Islamic studies at high school at Al-Madrasa Al-Khusrufiya in Aleppo. At University he studied the English Language and Literature. He studied both Arabic<>English translation at Damascus University and teaching English as a foreign language in the UK. He finished his MA in the field of English language teaching with distinction from Warwick University.
Since his arrival into the UK about ten years ago, Hazem has taught Arabic in a few cities, including Birmingham, London, Coventry and Southampton. Hazem currently resides in Coventry, where he works as a family support worker. He also teaches private Arabic and English classes. He is currently completing a PhD degree in Teacher Education.
Our syllabus is robustly designed to challenge students academically, to help nurture and develop a drive and ambition to strive harder, and to achieve more. To get the best out of our students, we have opted for a ‘competence orientated’ approach. This type of study focuses less on the volume of texts and examinations covered, and more on the competencies achieved at each level.
These competencies are identified with distinct domains in the term ‘sacred’. As an acronym, SACRED reminds us that our objective is to provide transformative educational opportunities by which the Prophetic legacy is brought to life.
Skills: Each academic year will bring new challenging skills for the students to learn including; competency in the Arabic language, public speaking and engagement, critical thinking, time management & organisation, team-working, leadership and teaching.
Attitude: Alongside academic study, personal development and the cultivation of the ethic expected from a student of sacred knowledge, is also emphasised.
Community: Practical training and personal development through community work. Students must build on theoretical knowledge through moral commitment and service to the community and society.
Responsible: Students are expected to attend every class and arrive on time. They are expected to take the initiative and be responsible for their own time, schedule, resources and circumstances to meet objectives.
Education: In this domain we assess students’ competency in the subject areas being studied. In the early stages, particular emphasis is paid to memorisation. As the student progresses, the focus shifts to comprehension (including application and analysis) and synthesis (including the ability to evaluate and critique).
Development: As part of the ongoing commitment to individual development all students are given the opportunity to develop their skills in the community, both structured and informal, which run alongside the programme to help provide students with valuable transferable skills both academic and extracurricular
We introduced Distance Learning in 2015 as an option for students interested in joining the course but do not have the means to attend in person. In 2017, we will be introducing new technologies to further enhance the Distance Learning experience for students.
I do not live anywhere near the venues, can I still apply for Sacred Texts?
Unlike previous years, we now offer distant learning as an alternative to personal attendance. This, however, is only open to students that can satisfactorily demonstrate the following:
a) They cannot attend in person on a continuous basis
b) Having a personal commitment to keep up with the workload
c) Willingness to participate in all classes and keep us informed where they cannot attend (including lateness or early finishes) as per our attendance policy.
What support is in place for me as a distance learner?
As a distance learner, you are as valued to us as any of the attendees. The support we can offer you is as follows:
1. All classes will be streamed live through the adobe connect online learning platform (http://www.adobe.com/products/adobeconnect.html). In addition to this, the whiteboard will be live streamed through e-beam’s edge technology (http://www.e-beam.com/home.html). All previous class recordings will be available for online students.
2. All class materials will be emailed to you and mandatory textbooks sent via post. Both materials and p&p are covered in the course fees so you will not have to worry about any added fees.
3. You will have access to the Online digital library for notes.
4. Pre-recorded tutorial videos are available for some of the modules to assist students.
5. All students are added to watsapp groups consisting of approximately 5-8 students aided by one of our teaching assistants to aid and help the students as much as possible throughout the year.
What additional challenges will I face as a distance learner?
Regardless of whether you are a distance learner or not, Sacred Texts is a challenging syllabus that requires commitment and discipline. As a distance learner, it is all the harder to find dedicated time to self-study and to keep motivated, especially when you may not get the same opportunity as others to bond and interact with fellows students. Classes can also feel a little impersonal, especially when you do not have the opportunity to meet your tutors in real life.
Although these are a few the challenges that you may face, we can help make things easier by:
i) prioritising your correspondence where possible
ii) giving you the chance to ask and answer questions during the live sessions and interact with the tutors.
Although we will try our level best to mitigate these obstacles and keep you as involved as possible, naturally these are challenges you will have to be prepared for.
Do I have to pay the same amount as students that attend in person?
No. Although the amount of teaching time, work, and expectation will be exactly the same, we recognise that distant learning brings with it many challenges, and is not ideal. Also, this option is only open to students that cannot attend in person. so the reduced fee is our way of encouraging students to not let distance become a barrier to learning.
For further details about fees, please visit the ‘Fees and Financial Support’ section of the website.
- To have successfully completed our Arabic Accelerated Programme or an equivalent programme.
- To be dedicated, mature, serious, sincere and passionate about studying.
- Applicants must be 16 or over.
How much is the Sacred Texts Course fee?
Sacred Texts is committed to providing the highest calibre of teaching and learning, and delivering sustained investment in your wider student experience. Therefore, the rate of fees is set at £995 for the academic year 2015/16. Students opting for distant learning have a reduction.
All pricing is based on a single academic year.
In Class Learning
Why do you charge fees?
Your fees allow us to invest in all the best resources out there to create the perfect syllabus package for you. Like any good syllabus, we are constantly looking for new texts and innovative learning tools to improve and this, naturally, has a financial consequence.
What do the course fees cover?
The course fees cover the following:
- All mandatory texts
- Handouts (selected notes)
- Online forum access
Do all students have to pay the annual fee?
All students are required to pay the full fees, with the exception of those who have applied for the bursary and are accepted. For students approved for a bursary, they may only have to pay as little as 25% of the annual fee.
Tell me more about the bursary
For perspective students who may require some financial help, Sacred Texts has set up a bursary scheme to help alleviate any financial strains and allow you to focus on your studies. A bursary is a discretionary payment that covers most or part of your annual fee providing you meet a specified criteria. The amount of bursary, the eligibility and the process, varies from one organisation to another.
The Sacred Text Bursary, like all other bursaries, is a discretionary payment that covers up to 75% of the student fee. Students must reapply each year for the bursary, and successful applications are based on the circumstances at the time of application, with the applicants most in need being given preference. This does not guarantee you a bursary every year.
How can I apply?
Applications are made directly to the Administration office, and will only be considered after you have successfully passed the application stage. At that stage, you will be sent more details about the bursary, along with an interview date.
Please note: Eligibility to apply does not mean you will definitely receive a bursary. The amount of bursary you receive will depend on a number of factors:
- Your current financial situation
- Your family circumstances / multiple incomes
- The number of bursaries requested in the academic year
A student may receive the full bursary amount they have requested, or a part bursary which covers a percentage of the amount requested. To have the best chance of receiving a bursary, you should be as honest as possible on the bursary form, and only request the amount that you actually need.
If you have any specific questions that have not been answered, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our admin team will be in touch.
Course Start Date/Timings
Birmingham: Thursday 12th Sept ’19
London: Sunday 15th Sept ’19
Online: Day and date yet to be confirmed Sept ’19
Thursday Evenings, 18:30-22:30
Sunday Mornings, 11:00-15:00