Wonderful online courses at SunniPath

The good folks at SunniPath have a bunch of exciting new online courses on Islam which will begin on February 25th.

While I occasionally find myself in disagreement with them on some important matters (e.g., their view of Shiah Islam, their approach to gender issues), these are admittedly not simple questions and in any case I have nothing but praise for this innovative and important work.   

They’re offering a wide range of courses by traditionally trained scholars–some of whom are world renowned–on the fundamentals of Islam, Quranic interpretation, Arabic language,  fiqh (both Hanafi and Shafi’i), and even personal finance and money management based on Islamic tradition.

It’s also a refreshing example of the Internet living up to its promise to enlighten and educate rather than just entertain (if not corrupt) as it so often does.

I’m sure I’m not alone in envying people who’ve managed to put the dunya on hold to pursue studies in a traditional Islamic institution.  This is perhaps the next best thing, and you can do it in your freetime.

We Internet-savvy Western Mussies particularly need to support distance learning projects like this.  The more people sign up for these courses, the better the courses will become and the wider the range of offerings will be.  Also, if we don’t support it, how can we expect uncles and aunties to?

So, take a look at the wide range of courses offered and sign up.  It’s money well spent.   (I wonder, though, if there’s a way to sign up for the Islam 101 courses under a pseodonym… ;-) )

  • http://abusinan.blogspot.com Abu Sinan

    It is a good idea. We have a Sudanese guy at work who got his masters in EE and thought “what have I dont for my deen.” So he went back to school and got a degree in Islamic studies. Masha’Allah.

  • abuljude

    This looks great, Svend – but who are these guys? Where are these guys? Clicking on ‘teachers’ gets you a dead link.

  • http://akramsrazor.typepad.com Svend

    That’s a good point, Jihad. My guess is that they’re behind on updating the website.
    A lot of their “business” has probably been word of mouth up and based on personal relationships to now, but if they’re going to promote these courses successfully outside their circle (which is admittedly large–SunniPath is quite influential and its supporters seem to be everywhere, judging by the location of my visitors who arrive via Seeker’s Digest, which has inexplicably linked to little old me), they’ll probably need to produce marketing materials and give more attention to explaining themselves and their activities on the website to people who aren’t in the know.
    SP is more hardline on some things than I’d like, but they’re really rooted in tradition and dedicated to teaching. Where I differ with them generally is on interpretation and application of the facts (i.e., the specifics of Islamic tradition) in our circumstances as opposed to the facts themselves.
    I don’t know a heck of a lot about them, but my understanding is that SP is based in Jordan and is affiliated with Sh. Nuh Ha Mim Keller among others. Faraz at Seeker’s Digest (see my blogroll) could probably answer your questions or tell you where to look.
    Abu Sinan:
    A friend of mine recently completed a web-based law degree program. He got trained as a lawyer (he still needs to take the bar exam) without disrupting his life (other than giving up all his weekends for school work). He kept his job, continued his life (minus a lot of freetime, of course). It’s quite a thing to pull off.
    I really think distance learning is incredibly important, especially for the developing world, so I’m all for anything that promotes these innovative new educational delivery channels.
    There was a time when a scholar would have to travel the world in search of a single book (or even hadith). Now, knowledge can come to us. It’s really mindblowing when you think about it.
    It also makes me ashamed of my ignorance. We have it so easy today, yet do we take advantage of it?