Theology (Aqidah)

Module Overview

Theology (Aqidah) covers all beliefs and belief systems of Muslims, including sectarian differences and points of contention. Though theology is the cornerstone of the Islamic religion, it is often quite misunderstood by Muslims themselves in a modern era where classical works are neglected. Through detailed study and memorization of classical texts and proofs, as well as a study of Scholastic theology (Kalam), students become vested to navigate the landscape of polemics and inter- and intra-religious discussion with sound logic and perspective. This subject will introduce students to the most important political and theological groupings in the formative period of Islam, from the period following the assassination of the third caliph, Uthman, until approximately the middle of the 4th century AH / 10th century CE. By studying these texts in the context of their time, as well as the intersections between them, students will gain a deeper insight into the reasons for the formation of the theological schools of thought. Furthermore students will look at the possibility of applying the scholastic theological paradigm on contemporary issues to arrive at solutions.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:
  • Appreciate the diversity of political and theological opinion in the formative period of Islam and its relationship with historical events
  • Understand the development of different Muslim sects and theological schools from a critical historical perspective
  • Gain critical appreciation of theological labels such as Ahl al-Sunnah, Shia and Mu'tazila in the light of their genesis
  • Demonstrate an understanding of contemporary Muslim groups in the modern era
  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental beliefs of Ahl al-Sunnah
  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of the Ash’ari and Maturidi schools and the differences between them
For overview of all the subjects and courses we teach, please visit our Curriculum page