Wednesday, September 08, 2004

An Introduction to the Renowned Dars-e-Nizami Course


For many people out there, the ‘Dars-e-Nizami’ course may sound alien. However, the educated masses from the subcontinent are quite familiar with the course in question. Mullah Nizam al-Din Muhammad Sihalwi (1677-1748), being the founder of this course, primarily aimed this course to compromise the study of religious sciences from step one to the highest levels of intellectual spheres. As well as the study of classical doctrine in Islamic theology, Hadith, Qura’n and their Principles, Jurisprudence and its principles, the students of this discipline pursued in the liberal arts which offered a canonical method of depicting the realms of higher education.

Evidently, the course is based on the founder’s name ‘Nizam al-Din’. His grandfather Mulla Jalal al-Din settled in Dehli, from which his children moved to ‘Sihali’; the area where Mulla Nizam al-Din was born. His father, Mulla Qutb al-Din bin Abd al-Haleem, was a great theologian, jurisprudent and Philosopher. Mullah Qutb al-Din was martyred on the 19th Rajab 1103 h or 27th March 1692 ce whilst his house was set fire. His notes on the commentary of Aqa’id Dawani were also found burnt in the very same incident.

From his works are:

1- Hashiyah Sharh Aqa’id al-Dawani (Commentary in Islamic theology)
2- Hashiyah al-Aqidah al-Nasafiyah (Commentary in Islamic theology)
3- Hashiyah al-Talweeh (Commentary in Principles of Jurisprudence)
4- Hashiyah Mutawwal (Commentary in Rhetoric)
5- Hashiyah Tafree’at al-Bazdawi (Commentary in Hanafi jurisprudence)
6- Risalah fi Tahqeeq Dar al-Harb (an epistle on the issue of Dar al-Harb)

Moreover, his four sons, Mulla Muhammad As’ad, Mulla Muhammad Sa’eed, Mulla Nizam al-Din Muhammad and Mulla Muhammad Radha on request to the king Awrang Zeyb moved to Lakhnauw.

The following course was designed by Mulla Nizam al-Din which is taught, until today, in the schools of the subcontinent.

The Study of Liberal Arts

Grammer: 1- Morphology (Books in Sarf): Mizan, Munsha'ib, Sarf Meer, Panj Ganj, Zubdah, Fusul-e-Akbari, Shafiyah.

Grammer: 2- Syntax (Books in Nahw): Nahw Meer, Sharh Mi'ata Amil, Hidayat al-Nahw, Kafiyah, Sharh Mulla Jami

Rhetoric (Books in Balaghah): Mukhtasar al-Ma'ani, Mutawwal, Ana Qultu

Logic (Books in Mantiq): Sughra, Kubra, Isa Guwji, Tahzeeb, Sharh Tahzeeb, Qutbi, Meer Qutbi, Sullam al-Ulum.

These three are known as the 'Trivium' amongst the Liberal arts.

Arithmetics and Geometry (Books in Riyadiyat):1- Khulasat al-Hisab, Tahreer Uqledas, Tashreeh al-Aflak, Risalah Qauwshijiyah, Sharh Chaghmeni.

Hikmat: Maibzi, Sadra, Shams-e-Bazighah

The prevous are the 3 types of 'quadrivium' amongst the liberal arts.

Relegious studies:

Jurisprudence (Books in Fiqh Hanafi): Sharh al-Wiqayah, Hidayah

Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence (Books in Usul al-Fiqh): Nur al-Anwar, al-Tawdheeh, al-Talweeh, Musallam al-Thubut

Islamic Theology (Books in Ilm al-Kalam): Sharh al-Aqeedah al-Nasafiyah, Sharh Aqa'id al-Jalali, Meer Zahid, Sharh al-Mawaqif.

Qura'nic exegesis (Books in Tafseer al-Qur'an): Jalalaiyn, Baidhawi

Hadith studies: Mishkat al-Masabeeh


Munawwar Ateeq Rizvi