The Purpose of Islamic Studies
"If Allah helps you, no one can overcome you. If He forsakes you, who can help you? In Allah the believers should trust." (3:160)
"Is the person who follows the good pleasure of Allah like the one who brings on himself the wrath of Allah, and who will be in Hell, the terrible place?" (3:162)
The purpose of Islamic Studies is to mold a thinking, believing and practicing Muslim. It is not about rushing to do a Khatm-e-Qur'an ceremony or to learn how to speak Arabic or love contemporary Arab culture. If a student leaves his or her formative years without developing the Eman and Taqwa needed for a healthy and happy life, then he or she will be stuck living solely for the life of the world. Every whim and fancy will tug their heart to and fro, and every success and achievement will ring hollow because they will have the nagging fear of dying someday. What good is money if you can't buy immortality!
We have to look upon each and every student as a potential pillar of Islam. Even a bad, unruly child may grow up to be an 'Umar or a Sumaiyah! The seeds we plant in their hearts today may not germinate until years or decades later. Maybe the child will never believe in Allah and in their life's real purpose, but we don't know who those children are. If we have a strong program and desire to instill Islam in our students, perhaps none of our children will ever go astray. Insha'llah. But only Allah knows, so we have to work as if we know every child needs us and the knowledge we can impart.
By the time a child graduates from high school, he or she should be a fully-functional Muslim. He or she should be aware of Allah's presence in their life, how to practice Islam, why they are alive, what will happen to them after they die, what Islamic beliefs and teachings are and how to explain them to others, how to read the Qur'an in Arabic with understanding, what world religions teach and how Islamic teachings are superior and can overcome them, how to interact with others Islamically, the basic history of the Blessed Prophet, how to understand halal and haram, how to be the best husband or wife, what the general flow of Muslim history has been and finally, how to implement the Shari'ah in their public and private lives.
This is the purpose of Islamic studies and anything short of these objectives means that the teacher or parent doesn't know why they, themselves, are alive! It's that much more we will have to work towards to establish the Deen of Allah in this life. To facilitate an understanding of how to reach these goals, the appropriate section will outline what a student should know by each grade.