Address: Rylands Estate,
Johnston Rd, Gatesville,
Cape Town, 7766,
South Africa

IPSA students have a choice between three programs currently offered by the institution at undergrad and postgrad level; the BAIS, the HCIS and the BAHIS programs (please view the BAHIS handbook for further information herein). The College comprises of three departments; Arabic Department, Islamic Studies Department (which includes the Divisions of Sharī`ah and Humanities), and the IPSA’s Research Department which operates as the “Institute for the Study of Current Islām” (ISCI). All departments aim to provide IPSA students with the best academic support and help to facilitate success in their studies. Additional academic support programs are offered to those students who may require extra help to manage the IPSA program. 

IPSA students have a choice between three programs currently offered by the institution at undergrad and postgrad level; the BAIS, the HCIS and the BAHIS programs (please view the BAHIS handbook for further information herein). The College comprises of three departments; Arabic Department, Islamic Studies Department (which includes the Divisions of Sharī`ah and Humanities), and the IPSA’s Research Department which operates as the “Institute for the Study of Current Islām” (ISCI). All departments aim to provide IPSA students with the best academic support and help to facilitate success in their studies. Additional academic support programs are offered to those students who may require extra help to manage the IPSA program. 


Arabic Department

IPSA offers Arabic Language studies in both the HCIS and BAIS programs. Arabic in the HCIS program is structured at an introductory level. This level also helps to prepare a requisite foundation for the BAIS program, and is based on Qur’anic Arabic. The BAIS offers an intensive, demanding, yet exciting three year Arabic program, which upon successful completion will enable students to navigate; read and understand classical Arabic texts and other key works upon which much of the Islamic heritage is built. Students are introduced to 1400 years of Islamic scholarship and an opportunity to explore the canons of Classical Islamic Texts.

At each level students will study various disciplines in the Arabic language, this will assist them step-by-step in gaining competence in the Arabic Language, given regular study and practice outside the classroom. At the HCIS level lectures are conducted in English, while the BAIS lectures are mostly conducted in Arabic, and is supported with English to assist students with understanding the content and lessons at the optimal level. The lessons are further aided by tutorial classes for some modules.

While the HCIS program includes 8 compulsory Arabic modules accumulating 50 credits, the BAIS Arabic Program consists of 12 compulsory Modules which over the three years accumulates 120 credits. Students must fulfil all Arabic modules requirements in order to successfully complete their respective programs.

A state of the art and an innovative Arabic computer laboratory contributes to further enhancing the student’s Arabic language skills.

  • To enable the student to gain an appreciation for the Arabic Language.
  • To enable the student to read and understand Classical texts in Islām.
  • To perfect the student’s recitation of the Qur’ān by understanding and applying the laws of recitation.
  • To develop the four major skills of learning Arabic i.e. speaking, reading, writing and understanding.
  • To enable students to read scripted and unscripted texts by applying the rules of grammar.
  • To open students minds and enhance their intellectual experiences within a rich heritage of Arab and Islamic culture and tradition.

Students must possess an acceptable and reasonable command in reading of the Qur’ān text, as well as an English Language competency with a minimum 50% at National Senior Certificate (NSC) level, to be admitted into the Arabic Program. The IPSA Enrolment Officer or Lecturers in the Arabic Department will assess the level of students before admission into the BA Arabic Program. Students who have successfully completed the IPSA HCIS program, having entered into the programme with a NSC Certificate or Diploma pass, are granted direct admission into the BAIS Arabic program, provided they have passed all their Arabic modules in the HCIS and ADP modules, having attained 60% therein.

Learning Arabic through Qur’ān: Will familiarise the student with the Quranic text, help them to acquire a basic classical Arabic vocabulary and an understanding of the language style of the Qur’an, together with an understanding of basic Quranic expressions.

Qur’ān LiteracyQur’ān Literacy: Commences at the introductory level working towards enabling the student to read and articulate the Qur’ān text with proper pronunciation and emphasis, through a step by step supportive method of learning, beginning with the short Quran chapters.

Principles of Quranic Recitation and Memorization: teaches students the ability to read the Qur’ān according to the standard rules of recitation, to gain an awareness of recitation theory, functionality and help gain fluency in Arabic through recitation. Added to this, developing the necessary memorization skills of certain Quranic texts for prayer and study purposes.

Devotional Arabic: Required supplications associated with the daily compulsory prayers is memorized, together with familiarizing the student with the Arabic prayer texts and its understanding. This is all done with the aim of enhancing the student’s Arabic fluency.

(It must be noted that the BAIS Arabic modules consist of units; all units must be passed to complete the module and succeed to the next one)

Nah̟w: often translated as ‘grammar’, however the literal translation of the word nah̟w means “way” or “manner,” referring to the “way” that language is used by its native speakers. Naḥw is one of the earliest sciences developed by Muslims, and is a study of the language and the various rules governing the words as they appear in a sentence. As a subject, Naḥw is taught throughout the BAIS Arabic program and the content taught intensifies progressively at each level.

Ṣarf: translated as ‘morphology’, the term ṣarf refers to “the metamorphosing or changing of the ‘aṣl (base/root word) to many different forms so as to achieve meanings that could not otherwise be achieved.”” The science of ṣarf is mostly in reference to verbs and its derivatives within the Arabic language. Thus morphology here refers to verbal changes made to stretch the meaning and also to make pronunciation easier on the tongue. As a subject, Ṣarf is taught throughout the BAIS Arabic program, with progression at each level.

Muḥādathah: It is commonly known as conversation or address. Muḥādathah, technically, is an address from Allāh to one of His knowers. This address occurs in the visible world, as with the Prophet Mūsā (Peace be upon him) and the Burning Bush. Muḥādathah, as a module at IPSA therefore teaches students the skill of speaking and conversing in Arabic by applying the laws of grammar and morphology. It gives students a feel and appreciation for Arabic. This module develops both the reading and writing skills of students.

Qirā’ah: introduces the student to a wide range of Arabic Texts. Students are able to improve their reading skills and confidence in reading scripted and unscripted Arabic Texts. This subject also assists students to memorize new Arabic words‎ and to construct Arabic sentences.

Inshā’: teaches students how to construct sentences in Arabic and trains students to competently express themselves in different situations. This enables students to develop their communication skills and enhance their love and appreciation for the language.

Qur’ān Recitation: The Qur’ān recitation module serves as a very important component of the IPSA programs. Student will undergo rigorous and intense training in the first term of the academic year, in preparation for the years of Arabic study ahead. This subject teaches students how to recite the Holy Qur’ān fluently by implementing the laws of Qur’anic recitation. In addition, students will be required to memorise selected chapters of the Holy Qur’ān which will assist them in the leading of congregational prayers.

Arabic Text Reading: Students are introduced to a wide range of classical texts to gain insights into traditional Islāmic scholarship. This subject enhances and develops the reading skills of students which espouses the love for the Arabic Language. The Arabic Text Reading modules cover various disciplines of both Arabic and Sharī’ah subjects.


Islamic Studies Department

Islamic Studies is offered in both the HCIS & BAIS programs. The Islamic Studies program is made up of the Sharī’ah and Humanities modules. These modules provide students with quality Islamic studies that is grounded in the classical disciplines of Islām but also enables them to deal effectively with contemporary realities. To this end the department has selected key modules that are presented over the span of a minimum of one year in the HCIS program and over all three years of the BAIS program.

The primary goals and projected outcomes, after a student completes a minimum three year fulltime study within the BA program at IPSA are:

  • To teach Islamic Studies at a post- Matric level.
  • To equip students with the ability to conduct research on the different aspects of Islamic Studies, including Islamic tradition and civilization.
  • To help preserve and continue the Islamic heritage of scholarship with the help of modern research tools and techniques.
  • To play a leading role in the interpretation of Islamic teachings according to the needs of contemporary South African society.
  • To prepare scholars of Islamic Studies with a good command over the different areas of the Islamic disciplines such as Qurʼān, Tafsīr, Ḥadīth, Sharīʽah law, contemporary and traditional Islamic thought, history, culture, and Islamic civilization in general .
  • To develop linkages between IPSA and other reputed institutions of Islamic learning in other parts of the Muslim world.
  • To promote the concept of Wasaṭīyyah (moderation) by contributing towards an environment of dialogue between Muslim societies and other civil society groupings and develop multi-faith relations.
  • To think critically with regard to the application of Shar`ī laws and injunctions and be appreciative of the nuance contained in the legacy of the Sharīʽah.
  • To be able to effectively engage in debates and discussion fora, be able to articulate standpoints that are consonant with, and informed by Islamic (Shar`i) values on various issues regarding politics, economic, and social issues

Students must possess an acceptable and reasonable command in the recitation of the Qur’ān, since memorization of legislative proofs is required for examination purposes, and self-development as scholars of Dīn. A background in Islamic Studies (e.g. minimal Grade 12) is not a pre-requisite, but will be beneficial. The IPSA Enrolment Officer or Lecturers in the Islamic Studies Department will assess the level of students before admission into the BA Arabic Program. Students who have successfully completed the IPSA HCIS program, having entered into the programme with a NSC Certificate or Diploma pass, are granted direct admission into the BAIS Islamic Studies program, provided they have passed all their Islamic Studies modules in the HCIS modules, having attained 60% therein.

  • ILabs Global Leadership and Life Orientation : Affords the student numerous opportunities to adopt the life roles of a discerning believer, effective communicator, reflective and creative thinker, self-directed responsible life-long learner, collaborative contributor, caring family member, and socially responsible citizen. Through various service learning activities, assignments and reflections students will gain a deeper understanding of who they are and how they have been blessed by Allah with talents and skills necessary to be capable Muslim youth leaders. As the student acquires further understanding of the abilities and qualities necessary to be an effective leader, the student will gain better insights into his/her relationship with self, others, and Allah.”
  • Islamic Laws of Worship : This module will equip students with the various Islamic concepts and laws related to ritual purity and acts of worship in Islam.
  • >Meanings of the Qurʼān : Aims to provide students with a basic understanding of the nature of the Qur’an, providing basic information on the Science of the Qur’an (`Ulum al- Qurʼān). Furthermore it aims to develop an in-depth understanding of the concepts of brotherhood and social relationships in Islam, morality and ethics, the concept of justice in the Qur’an, the decline and disappearance of former nations who opposed the Divine Will and the Creator’s moral code, that is presented through the lense of selected chapters of the Qur’an, such as Juz `Ammah (30th part of the Qur’an) and Surah Yasin (Chapter 36).
  • Sīrah– Prophetic Biography : Will familiarise the student with the noble and human character of the Prophet Muh̟ammad (pbuh). The study of the life history of the Prophet is not only premised on its historical narrative value, but is essentially presented and taught as a mandate that provides a practical model for all students to emulate and follow.
  • Islamic Interpersonal Relationships : Is structured towards developing an understanding of the Islamic social structures together with an understanding of Sharī`ah texts that deal with familial relationships. This module is intended to empower students to act upon the dictates of Sharī`ah in variable social and relational situations. It also familiarises and offers the student insights into the Islamic duties of marital relationships, family stability, the rights of spouses and children, and the rights and duties toward persons of other faiths and general social interactions.
  • `Aqīdah (Islamic Belief) : The student will acquire an in-depth view of theological matters in Islam, and become familiar with the belief system of the Ahl Sunnah wa- Al-Jamaa’ah (majority of Muslims) in the world, focussing on the two main Sunnī theological sects, namely, the Ash`arīyyah and Matūrudīyyah.
  • Academic Skills : Aims to develop basic academic skills, proper language, grammar and word usage and writing skills, while developing study skills such as note taking, essay writing. It further aims at familiarising the student with research methodology and practice.
  • Islamic Laws of Ritual purity & Worship : This module will equip students with the various Islamic concepts and laws related to ritual purity and acts of worship in Islam.
  • Family Law : Students who successfully complete this module will acquire the ability to analyze Islamic family laws in contemporary contexts. Students are required to investigate classical sources, as well as learn to apply this knowledge in various aspects of Muslim life especially within the South African context. It must be noted that a pass in Family Law 1 is a prerequisite for Family Law 2.
  • Laws of Succession, Bequests & Endowments : The module provides students with a comprehensive textual and legal understanding of the Islamic Law of succession, bequests, legacies, and endowments. Students are required to investigate classical sources, as well as learn to apply this knowledge in various aspects of Muslim life especially in the South African context. It must be noted that this is an extended presented over the full year.
  • Classical Islamic Commercial Law : This module introduces the student to various Islamic concepts, theories and laws with regard to commercial transactions, economics and finance. The student will acquire an in-depth knowledge of the classical Islamic law of commerce from various juristic schools of thought and their rulings with proofs. It must be noted that a pass in Commercial Law is a prerequisite for Islamic Banking and Finance.
  • Islamic Banking and Finance : This module aims to develop the ability to recognise the adaptation to classical commercial contracts for contemporary Muslim financial processes, to develop a critical knowledge of usury and interest, and to be conversant with the permissible processes in Islamic finance and banking and recognising improper and unlawful processes.
  • Qur’ān Studies Qur’ān Studies: In this modules students will gain a familiarity with the principal sciences relating to the Qur’ān, while gaining exposure to the various types of Qur’anic commentary and further gaining a first-hand acquaintance with actual commentary of the Qur’ān.
  • H̟adīth Studies (Prophetic Precepts) : H̟adīth is offered throughout the BAIS program with its application progresses as the student succeeds from one level to the next. The main objective of the module is to introduce the student to the sciences of H̟adīth and to build on the student’s knowledge of Arabic through the medium of H̟adīth text reading and memorization. To introduce students to expanded features of Prophetic practice and guidance, primarily relating to ethics but including law and belief is to induct the student to what many scholars regard as among the most important texts in Islām and develop his/her ability to use and reference these texts. Furthermore, it is to enable students to derive ah̟kām (legal rulings) from the Aḥādīth studied, especially on the basis of comprehending the underlying spirit and meaning of the Aḥādīth, transcending the immediate literal implications where applicable. Students will be mentored to develop a sense of realizing the contemporary relevance of the Aḥādīth, while appreciating their original context.
  • Islamic Legislative History : Students develop a systematic and holistic knowledge of the development of Islamic legal theories. It must be noted that this is an extended presented over the full year.
  • Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence : The module provides students with the requisite knowledge regarding the foundational basis of Islamic law, and enables students to identify the fundamental and subsidiary sources of the law. It must be noted that this is an extended presented over the full year.
  • History :The history courses cover a chronological study, from pre-Islamic Arabia, and the early period of Islām, according to the recognized sources. It also covers a biography of the Prophet, as well as Islamic culture through both the Makkī and Madanī periods.
  • The second phase focuses on three eras in Islamic history, the period of the first four Caliphs, the Umayyad and the ‘Abbāsid Caliphates.

    The third tier covers Islamic history on the African continent, as well as Islamic history in South Africa. It introduces students to the impact of Islām on African civilization, the slave trade, economic and political advances, and the consequences of colonialism. The section on early Muslims in South Africa, explores Muslims’ collective responses to colonialism, slavery and apartheid. It also provides a framework for analyzing the current position of Muslims in South Africa.

  • Religious Studies : This course introduces students to the variable approaches to defining religion: phenomenological/ anthropological/sociological/psychological. It also provides a broad overview of animism/ritualism/ pantheism, etc. It examines African Traditional Religions, Eastern, and Semitic Religions as well as New Age Spirituality; the three Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islām, some differences and similarities; inter-faith inclusivity particularly within pluralistic societies such as South Africa.
  • Contemporary Islamic Thought : Aims to acquaint students with factors that led to the development of Islamic thought as it is played out currently. To orientate students to the different ideological currents within contemporary Islamic thought. To enable students to explore contemporary issues in light of the analysis provided by trends within Islamic thought. Further aims at providing students with a contextual introduction to the following phenomena: colonialism, modernity, post-colonialism, industrialization and capitalism, and the relationship between Islam/religion and science/technology, politics and gender ethics.
  • Academic Development Program (ADP) : The primary significance of this course is the development of critical reading, writing and research skills – a requisite for; students who will be attending other tertiary institutions for post-grad studies after completing their BAIS degree program, and students who will have to utilise these skills along with knowledge accrued within the rest of their study program.