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BA (Hon) in Religion Studies, (Specializing in Islam) at the University of Johannesburg

WHAT IS A BA (HONS.)? In South Africa the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) is a degree that follows after the BA and precedes the MA (Masters of Arts.) Passing the BA though does not give one automatic access to the BA Honours program. Typically, a student would have had to achieve an average of at least 65 % in a BA program to be eligible for an honours program.. WHAT IS THE BA (HONS.) IN THE STUDY OF ISLAM AND ARABIC ABOUT? Our Honours Program in the Study of Islam combines critical and creative scholarship with the best that traditional learning programs have had to offer. UJ offers a five module program which can be completed in one year if done full time or over two years part-time. All classes are offered in the evenings or over weekends. WHAT IS THE BASIC UJ APPROACH TO THE STUDY OF ISLAM? The Study of Islam was earlier located in the Department of Semitic Languages and Cultures and is now a part of the Department of Religion Studies. Earlier, the Department of Biblical Studies had an arrangement with the Apostolic Faith Mission to accept students from their seminaries. That agreement has now ended and Biblical Studies is also now a part of the new Department of Religion Studies. This means that, Biblical Studies, Christianity and Islam are now studied as a part of the study of the discipline of Religion. This is different from religious studies or Islamic Studies. We strive for objectivity in the study of the faith (Islam) and the community/communities which claims adherence to that faith rather than pass judgment on the correctness or incorrectness of those communities’ beliefs or practices. (This also means that we do not appoint teaching staff on the basis of their faith, religious or sectarian commitments or lack thereof.) The following are some of our primary questions: Can students and faculty argue rationally based on available knowledge? Can they make a coherent case for their own opinions in relation to the course work? Can they critically look at things from many different angles? How deep can they see? Can they look at things broadly enough to see the impact of other communities or ideas in Islam? The critical study of Islam simply means that we look at Islam and Muslim religious life carefully, as objectively as possible and that we push our questions as far as possible. This faith is expressed by real people, or communities and we try to express our academic insights balancing the need to be sensitive towards the community whose faith we study and/or that many of us come from – but always true also to the new insights and knowledge that we acquire. The Study of Islam inside the Study of Religion also implies that the focus is on Islam as part of a larger historical or contemporary development. Each course will, for example have a small introductory component that deals with the subject in at least one other tradition. A course on the Shariah will, for example, also have a small component of Jewish Law. WHAT ARE THESE MODULES? Two modules are compulsory:   “Method, Theory and Critical Terms in the Study of Religion Research Essay

Please note that modules are described differently in the 2013 year book and that the official numbers in brackets are as they are named in the Year book. This will be correctly named and numbered in 2014 Year Book Also note that while we do our best to offer a selection of modules, our ability to do so may be limited when there are too few students to make up a class. In these cases students will have no choice but to take the one course on offer.    Islamic Spiritual Tradition Islam and Gender Justice Selected Arabic Texts based on a specific Qur’anic theme’

Subjects for 2014     Introduction to the Qur’an and its Major Themes. Critical Issues in Contemporary Islam. Method, Theory and Critical Terms in the Study of Religion (compulsory) Islamic Law and its Application in a Liberal Democracy

Democracy and Human Rights. (8) Modernity and Conflict. Islam and AIDS. The research essay is an independent study where students will choose their subjects in consultation with. Poverty and Economic Justice. Race and Racism. The course will deal with a number of specific themes in conversation with a) the textual tradition of Islam (the Qur’an and Hadith) and b) some of the leading Muslim intellectuals and activists in different parts of the world contributing to this discussion. (10) Transformation and Transgression. (7) Territory and Time. The contested ‘history’/history of the text . and some of the key genres of traditional Qur’anic Studies such as abrogation. the course will deal with the major themes of the Qur’an. There are sadly a number of students over the years who have finished all their other modules but could not clear this one. The transmission and collection of Prophetic traditions and the methods and history of hadith criticism will be analyzed.  Method. 2ND SEMESTER 2013  Critical Issues in Contemporary Islam. Religions. Theory and Critical Terms in the Study of Religion (compulsory) Course description: The Critical Terms course focuses on the basic theoretical frameworks. time. Sufism and current debates over Prophetic traditions will form an integral part of the module.000 words which in my estimation would be will be ready to be submitted in a peer-reviewed journal. Religious.1ST SEMESTER 2013 Studies in Hadith (Muhammad’s Narrations) This module focuses on the importance of hadith within the Islamic intellectual tradition. Class. This course is intended to provide students with knowledge of and insights into Muslim responses to some contemporary critical issues. In addition. notions of revelation. theology. 2014 1ST SEMESTER. The course develops an analytical vocabulary that will be useful for students in any specialised field supported by the postgraduate programme in Religious Studies. etc. (4) Experience and Gender. Tafsir in Arabic Research Essay (ARS 3007) This Comparative Research work will focus on specific two or three mufassirun and examine and contrast their views in relation to their own historical and theological milieu and then in relation to a specific qur’anic theme. how these are appropriated by various claimants to religious authority in the contemporary Muslim world and the role that the text plays in the social and religious lives of Muslims. In the addition. We will deal with the following themes: Environmental Justice. and consistent with the capacity (expertise. and its Major Themes (known in the 2010 year book as ISK 22071: ‘Qur’an and Tafsir’. and (11) Liberation and Value. The end product should be an academic article of 12-14. Sessions are devoted to exploring exploring (1) Religion.. and Relic. will also be looked at. . I will be coordinating the work around this and will be assisted by Nadeem Mohamed. and keywords in the academic study of religion. (2) Belief and Rationality. (9) Culture and Writing. the one deals with concepts internal to Sufi discourse such as irfan. (gnosis) fana (selfannihilation) and zuhd.  Introduction to the Qur’an as a Text. (5) Body. the function of Prophetic traditions in Islamic law. (6) Performance and Sacrifice. occasions of revelation. methodological approaches. Image. Jihad and the War on Terror. 2nd year and full time students must make an appointment with the Head of Department sometime in March to finalize your topic and the deadline for your initial 200 word proposal is the end of April 2012. Islamic Spiritual Tradition: This module comprises of two parts. The theme selected for this ye ar is AlYahud fi’l-Qur’an. and the other with Sufism and Sufi orders as social phenomenon and institutions  Compulsory Research Essay (ISK 3307) This is undoubtedly the hardest part of Honours Program.) of academic staff. variant readings etc.) Course description: The course will examine various approaches to the Qur’an and its exegesis as an historical document and as the foundational text of Muslim believers. (3) God and Person.

Making comment and asking questions in class is also encouraged to gain confidence and help in clarifying your thoughts as mentioned earlier. This is also the standard form of communication in the department. and Contemporary Muslim feminist discourse. This approach has led to a new genre of Islamic Law referred to as al-Fiqh al-Aqalliyat (The Fiqh of Minorities). These require careful thought and planning and a high standard has been set in terms of argument. There are 12. often called ‘journals’. Selected areas of substantive Islamic Law are examined to negotiate the complexities between theory and praxis.2ND SEMESTER. NF From my experience the course requires that you attend every lecture. the department secretary. To do additional reading you probably need to double that. in/and the Hadith.13 classes of 2 hours each and sometimes classes may be offered on weekend in the form of a Block Seminar. HOW MUCH WORK IS ACTUALLY REQUIRED FROM EACH STUDENT? While most of you will be taking it at a part time level. Written pieces of work are due at least every 2 weeks. In order to cover the prescribed reading I reckon you need to do around 5 . Classes are held once a week on a Friday from 6-8 pm and there are regular face to consultations with the lecturer and students HOW DO WE COMMUNICATE WITH INSTRUCTORS AND THE DEPARTMENT? The most efficient manner of communication is via email. The following comments we made by students in response to the question of how much time is required from each student ZK I am currently doing the course part time meaning that I only do one subject per semester. We will provide feedback on your work well before the next journal is due. sometimes presentations have to be prepared and writing exercises. As such. the work load is going to be serious. With regard to registration queries. There is no chance of one enjoying or adequately participating in a lecture without going through the readings thoroughly. A student is also expected to have read all the relevant required material for the lecture. or the relevant personnel at the university who attend to such matters. HOW DOES IT WORK WHEN THE STUDENTS ARE IN CAPE TOWN? Just about the same as it does with students in Johannesburg. I think this requires around 12 hours to complete. The course also includes an investigation of paradigm shifts within the broader juristic discourses of Islamic Jurisprudence particularly that of classical Usul al-Fiqh-based applications to more “universalist” Maqasid-based approaches in recent times. tuition fee payments and campus access.  Islam and Gender Justice This module focuses on Gender in/and the Qur’an. follow after each class. Given that each person works differently I cannot put time frames to these tasks. please liaise directly with Ms Charlene Louw. attendance at all lectures is required. In this regard. If a student has a legitimate reason for absenteeism this needs to be discussed with the instructor prior to the lecture if possible. the history and development of Islamic Legal Theory and the diversity of classical legal systems on the other. 2014  The Shari’ah (Islamic Law) and its Application within South African Liberal Constitutional Democracy Course Description: (Described in the 2011 year book as ISK 3107: ‘Shariah and Formalized Islamic Through’) This course deals with different approaches to Islamic Law. This will obviously depend on one ’s own ability to complete the subject matter at hand. IS ATTENDANCE AT ALL LECTURES COMPULSORY? The University of Johannesburg is not a correspondence university. Telephonic calls may be made in an emergency or where an issue requires immediate attention. . If a meeting is required with any of the instructors or departmental staff. make sure the details of such a meeting are confirmed with the relevant person prior to coming in to the university. The module also analyses how contemporary ideas and notions on gender and human rights are impacting on Muslim readings of authoritative texts and its contents and the context of the texts. Readings have to be done for each class. a student will be at a disadvantage should he/she not attend a lecture since an important component of courses is class discussions and the insights of the instructors.6 hours per week. There are regular papers required to be submitted by students. The lectures also offer an opportunity of interaction and different perspectives that assist in clarifying your thoughts and ideas around a specific topic. written style and referencing. Doing the readings before class is also a must. It is not the type of course where you would gain value by simply doing the readings and handing in assignments. In order to do well at this course you need to read extensively and gauge the insights offered by the lecturer and fellow students. The course requires dedication.

za).ac. It is essential that students maintain a satisfactory level of academic writing with regard to assignments. in addition to demonstrating capability in the RPL exam. For a guide to academic writing in Religious Studies please refer to Scott G. HOW DO I APPLY FOR CONSIDERATION? a) Fill in the application form below and send it by e-mail to Professor Farid Esack (fesack@uj. term papers and research papers. HOW ARE THESE PAPERS GRADED? They are first graded internally by a UJ staff person in the Study of Islam & Arabic and then sent to an external examiner. There are three components to the RPL exams: a) Religion Studies. WHO MAY APPLY? For the BA Honours Program. Continuum: London. Please attach curriculum vitae (CV) to your application form. contribute to a favourable consideration of a particular person’s eligibility for the Honours Program . Qualifications obtained at or time spent in such a program may however. WHAT QUALIFICATIONS ARE NEEDED FOR THE HONS PROGRAM? There are basically two ways of entering the Honours Program: a) b) A grade of 65% or more. The average of the grade awarded by the two examiners is taken as the grade earned by the applicant. or have graduated but not in Islamic Studies or related disciplines may also be eligible if they can demonstrate (by means of a written and oral test) that they comply with the university’s prescribed Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) requirements. religious studies or a related field wherein the study of Islam was a significant component.application fee – R350 Registration fee – R490 ICT Levy – R590 Course Fees – R 3 500 per module . These sessions are primarily for your academic work. WHAT IS THE RPL EXAM? The Recognition of Prior Learning Exam is an exam to determine if an applicant has sufficient prior knowledge in the Study of Islam. majoring in Islamic Studies in a BA program at a recognized University Securing 65% or more in a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) exam in addition to having a Matriculation Exemption Certificate or its equivalent. For Religion Studies and Islam. This grade. A Guide to Writing Academic Essays in Religious Studies. ARE DARUL `ULUM GRADUATES ELIGIBLE FOR THE HONS PROGRAM? UJ does not routinely recognize the qualification of Darul `Ulums (traditional Islamic studies seminaries) or similar institutions for entry into its Honours Program. You will be informed of the results of the RPL within ten days. appropriate candidates are normally graduates in Islamic Studies. For the RPL Exam your must please bring along hard copies of the necessary books. is then presented to the University’s RPL Committee along with notes about the candidates for approval. 2008. Brown. It is utilised to test knowledge of Islam and Religion studies as well as the ability to argue critically. texts on which the exams are based are made known well in advance of the exams. Your instructor should however also be available for one-on-one conversations which are scheduled via e-mail. The library has a good resource of books relating to Islam which is at the disposal of students for research purposes. He will inform you of the date of the RPL Exam if you do not qualify automatically for entry into the Honours Program by virtue of a previous degree in Islamic Studies or in Religion Studies. b) c) WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS COST? The question of fees only applies once you have been successful in the RPL and you want to register for the course.HOW DO I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ACADEMIC WRITING AND RESEARCH RESOURCES? The University of Johannesburg has a writing centre which could assist students in this regard. Islamic Studies and/or Arabic and will be able to reasonably cope with the academic standards of an Honours Program. b) Islam and c) Arabic. In 2011 the following fees were applicable:     Only new students. The first two sections are compulsory and the third required for those who will also enroll for Arabic. if it is a passing one. You will then be informed of the date and venue of the RPL exam. Applicants have to achieve 65% on average and a minimum of 60% in each separate section of the exam. Others in possession of a senior school certificate (grade 12) who have not had a formal university education but have completed significant work in Islamic Studies.

Complete personal information as asked and click ‘Save’       Please note that these were 2011’s fees and a increase will be applicable for 2012. Tshepang Marumo Madibeng Building Student Enrollment Centre Tel: +27 11 559-4517 E-mail: tshepangm@uj. we do.aspx Click on ‘Apply On-line’: https://registration. The Registration date is ONLINE REGISTRATION PROCESS. Go to the UJ home Page: DOES UJ OFFER ANY SCHOLARSHIPS? * Note: International fees should be verified by the international office. WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT STEPS IN THE REGISTRATION PROCESS AFTER ONE HAS RECEIVED CONFIRMATION OF ACCEPTANCE The university encourages prospective students to register online. cover all of the students tuition fees. APK: Click on New Application and follow all UJ offers to assist with the student’s registration fee and in some cases. You can also do it in person.

before you can continue with process. the Head of the Program Return to Gift Antonio with all the signed documentation for proof of Registration . R3500 (these are the fees applicable for 2011. 3. Pay your application fee at the Cashier (D block by Atriums) Get an Application form at Student Bureau (the glass building at the main entrance near the library) and complete this. Get a receipt with student number and please retain it You may also pay directly into the UJ account (give at least 5 working days for it to reflect on UJ system. next to auditorium) Please allow 5 working days for clearance of your deposit. Attach all previous qualification documentation and include the following:     4.) 1. C ring 242 or 011 559-2691) who will capture all your data Get the Registration form and subject Coding forms from Gift Antonio (Ensure that the subjects you intend to register for is listed on the blue registration form) and sign it Come to the A Ring 605 to have the have the modules codes filled in and to get a signature from Professor Esack. (All Admin matters take place at the Auckland Park Campus which is also where our department is located.add ID nr or student nr as reference) UJ Banking details: ABSA university of Johannesburg Branch code: 335105 Acc nr: 2840189565 Reference: Your Student Number Or pay at cashiers on UJ campus (E block. 10. ground floor. Please phone for new fees). 8. Grade 12 Certificate ID (These documents normally need to be attested by a Commissioner of Oaths Proof of payment (keep a copy) Application fee with reference ID number Hand in application form at Biography – wait until detail has been processed and get a student number Pay at the cashier minimum course fee. 9. 7. 2. 6.In Person Contact Charlene Louw at 011 559-3259 if you need assistance with finding your way around campus. 5. Go to Mr Gift Antonio (Dean’s office.

Return to Biography (The new glass building at the Main entrance) with proof of registration to get a photo taken and student card printed.11. .