The Three Stages
The eleven year duration of studies at Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah is divided into three stages known as marāhil (sing. marhala). Aljamea’s four degrees are conferred at different points throughout these three stages. Although the comprehensive curriculum spans eleven years, students who wish to specialise outside of Islamic studies are granted leave from the Academy generally at the culmination of the fourth or seventh year. Quranic studies, jurisprudence, history, literature, philosophy, modern languages and literature, as well as empirical and social sciences are taught at all the stages. The table below illustrates the three stages and describes the key elements of each stage.
Many students appear for local and international examinations concurrently with their studies at Aljamea. Despite the demands and requirements of the Academy, Aljamea encourages students to obtain secular academic credentials and often provides full grants for students to pursue further studies once they have graduated from the Academy. The Surat and Karachi branches of Aljamea were one of the first educational institutes in South Asia to offer the International Baccalaureate Organization’s (IBO) curriculum and exams with students having appeared for them as early as 1982.
|Stage||Name||Duration (Years)||Key Elements and Objectives||Degree Conferred upon Completion|
|1||Thaqāfat ʿĀmmah (General Culture)||Years 1-4||
||Mubtaghi al-ʿIlm (Seeker of Knowledge)
Comparable to: Associate Degree in Islamic and Arabic Studies
|2a||al-Jāmiʿīyya al-Ūlā (Collegiate I)||3 (Years 5-7)||
||Al-Faqīh (The Jurist)
Comparable to: Licentiate/License in Islamic and Arabic studies
|2b||al-Jāmiʿīyya al-Thāniya (Collegiate II)||2 (Years 8-9)||
||Al-Faqīh al-Mutqin (The Competent Jurist)
Comparable to: Bachelors in Arabic and Islamic Studies
|3||Al-Dirāsāt al-ʿUlyā wa al-Takhassus (Higher Studies and Specialization)||2 (Years 10-11)||
||Al-Faqih al-Jayyid (The Distinguished Jurist)
Comparable to: Masters in Islamic and/or Arabic Studies
Each of the four degrees mentioned above has seven tabaqa (classes or ranks), with Rank One being the highest. The class of a student’s degree is determined by his/her examination results as well as the quality of various extended written works, specifically the dissertation submitted at Stage 4.