Enrolment options

This course covers a practical manual on living the sunna, avoiding the sins of the limbs and heart, and upholding good character, written by the 12th-century reviver of the Islamic sciences Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali. This knowledge is essential for every believer seeking to practice Islam fully, particularly as knowledge of sinful thoughts and actions is often sorely lacking.

This course gives you practical knowledge and presents practical opportunities for you to better your state with God Most High. Take this course to learn how to be sincere in your quest for sacred knowledge through living the sunna in how you structure your day, avoiding the sins of the outward limbs and heart, and having a good character with other people.

This is a Level One course in the Islamic Studies Curriculum. We recommend taking the Absolute Essentials of Islam before you take this course.

Display on Both categories: Yes
Short Intro: This course covers the essentials of Islamic spirituality and provides guidance on living the sunna, avoiding the sins of the limbs and heart, and upholding good character. It is based on Imam Ghazali's text Beginning of Guidance (Bidaya al-Hidaya).
Category Featured: No
Show in catalog: Yes
Total Lesson: 24
Number of hours: 21
Weightage: 7
Skill Level: Beginner
Monday: No
Tuesday: No
Wednesday: No
Thursday: No
Friday: No
Saturday: No
Sunday: No
About the text:

The textbook for this course, Bidaya al-Hidaya (The Beginning of Guidance), one of Imam Ghazali’s last works, is written for students who are beginning their religious studies to warn them against the dangers of insincerity and to teach them how to use their religious knowledge towards their own benefit for eternity. 

The work is divided into three sections, exploring how to structure one’s day according to the sunna, avoid the sins of the outward limbs and heart, and uphold a good character in one’s dealings with others. 

This text is significant not only because of the stature of its author - Imam Ghazali but also because of the practical manner in which it summarizes the first steps on the path to guidance, making it a crucial resource for both students of knowledge and the common believer.

About the Author:

This work was written by the greatest scholar of his time and arguably the most famous scholar of the Islamic tradition, Imam Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali. Imam Ghazali is unanimously regarded as the renewer (mujaddid) of Islam of his century, first for his intellectual defense of traditional Islamic beliefs against Avicennan philosophy, and then for his powerful spiritual reinvigoration of the Islamic sciences through his magnum opus, the 40-part lhya’ ‘Ulum aI-Din (Revival of the Religious Sciences).

Imam Ghazali was born in the year 450 AH (1058 CE) in Tabiran, near Tus (just north of present-day Mashhad, Iran). He first studied Islamic law at Tus and then travelled across the Islamic world taking Sacred Knowledge from its masters. One of his main teachers was Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni, at whose hands he became a scholar in Shafi'i law, logic, tenets of faith, debate, and the rationalistic doctrines of the philosophical schools of his time (which he was later called upon to refute). After Juwayni’s death, Ghazali was appointed to a teaching post at the Nizamiyya Academy in Baghdad, where word of his brilliance spread, and scholars journeyed to hear him.

In mid-career, after considerable reflection, he was gripped by an intense fear for his soul and his fate in the Afterlife and resigned from his post, travelling first to Jerusalem and then Damascus to engage in spiritual struggle. In Damascus, he lived in seclusion for some ten years, at the end of which he emerged to produce his masterpiece Revival of the Religious Sciences. He died in Tabiran in 505/1111.

Who is this course for:

  • This course is beneficial for learners of all ages.
  • This course is aimed at anyone seeking to further his or her practice of Islam, particularly students of knowledge.
  • This is a Level One course. We recommend taking the Absolute Essentials of Islam before you take this course.
  • Anyone interested in time management, practical spirituality, and upholding good character with others can also take this course.

Learning outcomes:

  • Distinguish between true religious knowledge that is beneficial and ostensibly religious knowledge that is not
  • Identify instances of the sins of the limbs
  • Identify instances of the sins of the heart
  • Identify instances of the sins of the tongue
  • Improve your character with your teachers, relatives, friends, and strangers

Self enrolment AUTO (Student)