Every human action has a divine command associated with it, making it obligatory, recommended, permissible, offensive, or unlawful. We cannot infer these commands with our minds–the only way to learn about them is by learning them from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). The goal of the science of sacred law (fiqh) is to summarize what the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) taught us about all human actions, whether related to worship, trade, investment, food, hunting, oaths, entertainment, marriage, divorce, inheritance, legal procedures, or public policy.  This four-part series of courses will introduce you to the science of sacred law as it relates to all aspects of life, focussing in this second part on the rules of fasting, zakat, and Hajj.

Curricular Context

  • This is a second-level course in Step Two
  • Complete Step One before taking this course
  • Complete Part 1 of this series before taking this course

Course Outline

Lesson 1Zakat on Wealth
Zakatable wealth
Conditions for obligation of Zakat
Lesson 2Zakat on livestock
Lesson 3Zakat on gold and silver
Zakat on agriculture
Lesson 4Zakat on trade
Zakat on mines
Zakat on buried treasure
Lesson 5Zakat al Fitr
Deserving Recipients
Distributing Zakat
Lesson 6Fasting
Lesson 7Sunnan of fasting
Disliked acts during Fasting
Sunna Fasts
Lesson 8Unlawful Days of Fasting
Excuses for not Fasting
Lesson 9Itikaf (spiritual retreat)
Lesson 10Hajj
Conditions for obligation
Necessary acts
Lesson 11Sunnas of Hajj and Umrah
Prohibitions in Ihram
Lesson 12Omission of Pilgrim rites


What You Will Learn:

  • Describe the historical development of the Shafi‘i school
  • Learn the rules of fasting, zakat, and Hajj
  • Memorize the definitions of key terms related to the rules of fasting, zakat,, and Hajj
  • Appreciate the depth of the Muslim scholarly tradition

Course Format: 12 downloadable lessons, 3 live sessions.

About the Course Text

This course is an explanation of Matn Abi Shuja’ , written by the learned and pious Shafi‘i scholar from Basra, Ahmad ibn al Hussein al-Asfahani (d. 500’s AH / 1100’s CE), more famously known as, Abu Shuja‘. Abu Shuja‘ taught the Shafi‘i school for 40 years in Basra, working as a scholar and judge, before retiring at the end of his life to Medina, where he worked as a servant at the mosque of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). His Matn Abi Shuja‘, a short introduction to the Shafi‘i school of sacred law, is one of the most blessed textbooks of the school–although it was written almost a millennium ago, it remains an integral part of Shafi‘i fiqh curricula all over the world, and has been the subject of dozens of commentaries and super-commentaries ever since it was written all the way down to the present age.

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“Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a similar reward”– The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)