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Summer Sacred Learning Intensive 2013

Living the Prophetic Model, Exploring Sunnah


Session 1: Tuesday, July 9
 TOPIC: Why Prophets?

-The philosophical understanding of why God sent prophets to humanity.
-The nature, character, and stories of prophets in the Qur’an and other scriptures.
-Praise of the Prophet Muhammad and his way in the Qur’an.
-Introducing the Daily Sunnah Journal reflection.


Session 2: Wednesday, July 10
 TOPIC: Approaching the Sunnah

-What does Sunnah mean linguistically and historically?
-A broad view of the sources we look to know the Sunnah.
-Differences between Hadith, Seerah, Shama’il, Hilye, Qasidah, etc.
-Visiting Princeton’s rare manuscript library to see literary works on the Sunnah.  


Session 3: Thursday, July 11
 TOPIC: Hadith Sciences

-The story of how hadith were collected and transmitted through the generations.
-Are all hadith equal? The methodology behind grading hadith.
-Modern controversies around hadith collection and authentication, and responses to it.
-What’s the difference between hadith and sunnah? 


Session 4: Tuesday, July 16
 TOPIC: Sunnah and Seerah, Part I

-Survey of well-known Seerah books in English.
-Highlights from the Prophet’s life before revelation.
-Highlights from the Prophet’s life in Mecca.
-What can we learn about the Sunnah from these two early periods?


Session 5: Wednesday, July 17
 TOPIC: Sunnah and Seerah, Part II

-Highlights from the epic migration.
-Highlights from the Prophet’s life in Medina.
-What we can learn about the Sunnah from these periods? 


Session 6: Thursday, July 18
 TOPIC: Intimate Insights into the Sunnah

-Explore Shama’il and Hilye literature to discover aspects of Sunnah.
-Lessons from Shama’il and Hilye.
-Sunnah learned through poetry, song, and art.


Session 7: Tuesday, July 23
 TOPIC: Sunnah of Worship & Journeying to God

-The Prophet’s life of worship and devotion to God. 
-Advice from the Prophet to his devotees on the spiritual path.
-What does it mean for us to follow the Prophetic path in worship and spirituality today?
-Does following the Prophet in worship leave room for creativity? Debating “innovation” (bida’).


Session 8: Wednesday, July 24
 TOPIC: Sunnah of Human Relationships

-How the Prophet was with family, friends, and foes.
-Advice from the Prophet on how we should treat our human relationships.
-What does it mean for us to follow the prophetic path in human relations? 


Session 9: Thursday, July 25
 TOPIC: Sunnah of Community Organizing & Leadership

-How the Prophet organized affairs in his community.
-Prophetic model of leadership.
-The Prophet’s relations with other faith communities and tribes.
-What can we learn from the Prophetic model today?


Session 10: Tuesday, July 30

 TOPIC: Sunnah and Shari’ah

-What aspects of the Sunnah are we bound to emulate and follow rather than admire?
-How different scholars of Shari’ah interpreted hadith and determined Sunnah?
-Halal & Haram. Case studies of debating what is sunnah?


Session 11: Wednesday, July 31
 TOPIC: Sunnah & Contemporary Issues

-A survey of approaches to the sunnah in determining contemporary issues.|
-Case studies of debates on contemporary issues with both groups invoking the Sunnah.  



Session 12: Thursday, August 1
 TOPIC: What We’ve Learned? Part 1

-Student group presentations.
-Conclusion/ Wrap-up.


Session 13: Tuesday, August 6
 TOPIC: What We’ve Learned? Part 2

-Student group presentations.
-Conclusion/ Wrap-up.