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Learning about Islam the 'high tech' way

india Updated: May 30, 2008 13:32 IST

Islam is known to be preached by majority of teachers in the conventional manner where the student learns to read the Quran in Arabic but never understands what he reads. But imagine solving a case study to understand the principles of Islamic jurisprudence and discussion on the Shariah after a powerpoint presentation!

An NGO, which is launching its weekend courses in Chennai on May 31 and later in Mumbai, has taken conventional Madrassa education to another level by offering knowledge of Islam in small packages using latest technology for communication, that can be done over a weekend.

"Structured courses will be conducted in a professional learning environment by highly qualified instructors using information technology to communicate with students," said Sheikh Tawfique Chowdhury, director of NGO Alkauthar Institute that is registered in Australia and UK and is in the process of registering in India as well.

The courses they offer include "The Unseen World" that deals with life of the hereafter, "King of the kings" that discusses the importance of knowing God, "Chronicles of the Shariah", which explains how the system of principles and ruling evolved and "The Real Deal" that covers issues on business transactions, halal (legal) investment, etc.

These weekend courses are conducted over a period of 16 hours in two days and have "credit" value in Australian Universities. Students can take the courses and gain credit points in a degree or diploma course of the University, he said. But they have not yet been able to make any arrangement with Indian Universities, Chowdhury added.

"Traditional institutes do not equip students with tools to convey the principles of Islam in the twenty-first century," Chowdhury said adding, "We have identified numerous challenges facing Muslims trying to learn Islam and developed specific and unique solutions for them."

"Our faculty has classical training in Islam as well as a secular Western education background or have lived in the West. In fact, it is a prerequisite," said Chowdhury,

Alkauthar takes a non-controversial approach, abhors terrorism and adopts a moderate approach in teaching Islam, Chowdhury added.