We are proud to announce the soft launch of our 2019 fall semester academic courses as part of the latest and most honorable project between the Prayer Center of Orland Park and Universal School; Universal Islamic College of Chicago or UICC.

UICC is a college offering three majors; Education, Arabic language and Islamic Studies, with both Liberal Arts and Seminary degrees. UICC is now registered in the State of Illinois, and our application to the Higher Board of Education is in progress.

In these few words, I will be talking about the Islamic Studies track since the Prayer Center is taking the lead on that field of study.

For a long time, most of the Imams, Quran teachers and Islamic Studies educators were dedicated individuals who immigrated to the USA from other countries and worked hard to educate the community in faith and religion. Great work has been done, Hamdillah, but as our American Muslim population is growing and changing, we must consider the Islamic relativity within the American context and provide quality Islamic education right here in our children’s and grandchildren’s home. So, for these and many other reasons, we felt the need to establish such an institution. It will produce needed Imams, Quran and Islamic teachers from within our community, born and raised here in the US to maintain Islam and its practices within our community, and present a clear and true picture of Islam in America.

We are not just targeting individuals who may be looking at Islamic Studies as a career to be Imams or educators; our ten basic Islamic Studies classes are also for any adults who are interested in becoming more knowledgeable in their faith. The ten basic courses, totaling 30 credit hours, are: Islamic Theology; History of Islamic Legislation; Quranic Sciences; Hadith Sciences; Principles of Jurisprudence; Quranic Recitation Studies; Acts of Worship 1; Acts of Worship 2; Biography of the Prophet; and Arabic language.  All courses will be offered in both Arabic and English languages and at times that fit people’s busy schedules, weekdays and weekends.

Our soft launch this fall of 2019 includes an introductory three courses, but we are hoping to proceed with all basic courses by fall of 2020, insha Allah.  Our Islamic Studies program will be on two tracks; Liberal Arts and Seminary. For the Liberal Arts major, students will have half of the 120 credit hours in Islamic Studies courses and the other half in general education and humanities courses. For the Seminary major, all 120 courses will be in the Islamic Studies courses. We are also working with accreditation in both majors with national and international institutions.

At the Prayer Center, we continually strive to bring needed services to our community, and for this project particularly, we are aiming to produce quality Islamic education that can serve the community in America, by the Will of Allah, well beyond our lifetimes.

We hope that you become a part of this blessed effort by registering in our courses to have the honor of learning more about Islam. The prophet (S) said: “Seeking knowledge is an obligation for every Muslim.”

By Sh Kifah Mustapha