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Ph. D. in Islamic Studies (in 30% English)

Why Islamic Studies Ph.D. at Ibn Haldun University?

The Ph.D. program in Islamic Studies at Ibn Haldun University, which focuses purely on social sciences, aims to educate the next generation of competent academics with a multidisciplinary view of all aspects of Islam.

In our department of Islamic Studies at the University of Ibn Haldun University, we offer courses aligned with the above principles. As a Muslim-social institution, we welcome all the different sectarian, ethnic, and religious backgrounds students of the world because we believe in diversity in a way that the civilizational paradigm can be best represented only in its academic setting where modern and traditional movements can equally be represented. Moreover, the challenges of our differences motivate us to pursue maturation, wisdom, and truth.

The university trains students to become well-qualified academics who are virtuous, respectful of the Islamic heritage, and capable of responding to present and future needs and expectations through quality education in an academic setting.

The students will use the buildings of Süleymaniye Madrasah, one of the most reputable higher education institutions of the Ottoman Empire, located in the center of the historical city of Istanbul, as a venue for education. In addition, students will be professionally prepared for academic life with various domestic and international research scholarships, project support, and institutional collaborations from many countries worldwide.

Students who qualify for the Ibn Haldun University Ph.D. program in Islamic Studies will be able to attend free English or Turkish preparatory classes, receive lectures and private seminars from professors who are some of the best in their respective fields, and attain basic skills to understand the significant texts of classical Arabic and Islamic disciplines of knowledge taught in the extracurricular Honor Program. In addition, they will be well-equipped to comprehend the literature in their fields in Arabic, English, and Turkish.

Within this discipline, the Ph.D. candidates will conduct research and presentations, publish work and take firm steps toward the academic world, look to the future with confidence, and make a name for themselves in the international academic community.

Head of the Department:

Assist. Prof. İhsan Kahveci

Objectives of the Program:

The purpose of the Ph.D. The program in Islamic Studies is to develop Islamic studies both in our country and in the world and to expand the scope of influence by obtaining essential outcomes from these studies on the national and international levels. In addition, the program aims to train academics capable of correctly identifying fundamental problems and producing real solutions in line with our priorities.

  • To equip students with advanced knowledge and research skills in Islamic Studies.
  • To meet the advanced academic and scientific needs of students interested in academic studies following their undergraduate studies and to strengthen their language skills.
  • To meet the needs of qualified researchers and academics in Turkey and abroad.
  • To adopt an interdisciplinary approach in line with these goals
  • To understand Ibn Haldun's scholarly heritage in the field of Islamic Studies in its intellectual integrity and adapt it to present-day context.
  • Follow the qualified literature in Islamic Studies written in Western and Eastern languages.
  • Train students academically to join the faculty staff of prestigious national and international universities.

Scope of the Program:

The scope of the Ph.D. program in Islamic Studies covers the following areas:

  • Tafsīr
  • Ḥadīth
  • Islamic Law
  • Kalām
  • Tasawwuf

Visit the curriculum page.

Course Contents

BIS 600E Seminar

This course covers the basic principles of research methods, developing a thesis proposal, and thesis writing processes. The compulsory course for doctoral students includes presentations of visiting academics from the university and different universities in Turkey and abroad. Within the scope of the course, each student will be required to prepare a seminar on Islamic Studies and make a presentation in the classroom. The seminar is a non-credit course. Students will be evaluated as "Successful" or "Unsuccessful" at the end of the semester. Students must attend 70% of the seminar course. Students who do not make a presentation or fulfill the attendance requirement are considered unsuccessful in this course.

BIS 601E Scientific Research Techniques and Publication Ethics

The course focuses on two main areas in Islamic studies: scientific methodology and publication ethics. It provides the training for doctoral students to handle a research problem from beginning to end, using scientific methods and the ways to publish research results following publication ethics in different publishing platforms. In this way, students will be allowed to apply what they have learned in a theoretical framework to the subject of their choice in Islamic studies while increasing their awareness of various types of resources to be used during their studies.



BIS 631 History of Qurʾān

This course will examine the revelation of the Qur'an, its memorization, writing, mutual reading, compilation, copying, arrangement, punctuation, vocalization, translation, and orientalist claims of alteration.

BIS 632 History of Tafsīr

In this course, the status of Prophet Mohammed during the Qurʾānic revelation period, the Qurʾānic interpretive activities of the first three generations after Ṣahābah; Mecca, Medina, and Iraqi tafsīr schools, transfer character, and codification of tafsīr material will be covered. Furthermore, the formation process of the earliest written works in tafsīr, the transition to the earliest comprehensive texts of tafsīr, the character of the tafsīr works in terms of riwāyah and dirāyah, the effect of commentators' creed on commentary works, classification of commentators according to different criteria, the commentators according to Islamic lands and geography, commentary in the Ottoman period, the nature of comments made at the end of the 19th century and during the 20th century will be examined.

BIS 633 Tafsīr al-Riwāyah

In this course, the following topics are covered: the nature and character of the narrations in terms of Qurʾānic commentary conveyed from the Prophet, Companions, and Successors; the soundness of the narrations; the weakness in the narrations; the way the exegetes use narrations in commentaries and their approach to narrations; concepts of riwāyah and dirāyah in tafsīr; tafsīr narrations works, predominantly narrative tafsīr works, and their characteristics; the use of narration in dirāyah tafsīr; the importance of narrations in understanding the Qurʾān.

BIS 634 Tafsīr al-Dirāyah

In this course, the topics are as follows: the concept of dirāyah in tafsīr; the relation of dirāyah tafsīr to the ra'y and ijtihād; the main elements of dirāyah tafsīr; the dirāyah tafsīr books; the influence of the sectarian and practical views on dirāyah tafsīr; the relation of scientific, social, and mystic interpretation to dirāyah tafsīr.

BIS 635 Problems of Tafsīr

The topics of the course are as follows: the interpretation of selective verses in the Qurʾān and narrations related to the revelation of the Qurʾān; repeated revelation (mukarrar); abrogation; mutashābihāt; the incident of Gharāniq; Mushkil al-Qurʾān; the eternality of hell; verses about women; verses of jihād; verses about miracles; verses about punishments; the scientific commentary; reincarnation in the classical and modern times.

BIS 636 Thematic Tafsīr

Thematic tafsīr course selects a theme that recurs in various verses and surahs of the Qurʾān. The course is focused on systematically assessing the related verses and presents a broad understanding of the Qurʾān on that selected thematic subject. The subject examined may relate to beliefs, social or individual life concerns, or philosophical considerations.

BIS 637 Aḥkām al-Qurʾān

In this course, firstly, the commentators of the judicial verses of the Qurʾān and their works are introduced, then examples from the judicial verses of the Qurʾān are dealt with in terms of language and content. Finally, the interpretations and analyses of the commentators of judicial verses are examined.

BIS 638 Contemporary Approaches to Qurʾān

This course focuses on issues regarding the language-centered, the semantic, the historical, the hermeneutic, the thematic approaches, the feminist discourse, and the Qurʾānite Islam in a critical examination.


BIS 641 Naqd al-Isnad

The course presents the development of the methodology of critiquing ḥadīth narrations throughout the centuries and the conditions for a ḥadīth to be authenticated concerning its chain of narrators. The course also focuses on the efforts of the Companions and the scholars of ḥadīth in setting and applying the standards for establishing a ḥadīth. The course studies the development of the methodology of al-sanad (chain of narrators) critique throughout history and discusses the efforts of Muslim scholars to develop the ability to understand and evaluate chains of narrators. The course addresses the definition of al-sanad and its significance, the conditions for a chain of narrators to be authenticated, and the sciences related to critiquing the chain of narrators. Finally, it introduces the literature of al- Jarḥ wa al-taʿdīl, its history and level of narrators, and the names of narrators and their countries of origin.

BIS 642 Naqd al-Matn

Textual criticism of ḥadīth refers to the assessment of the text by comparing its content to information obtained through other sources of knowledge, which delivers certainty or a high level of doubt, such as reason, human senses or observation, and information derived from verses in the Qurʾān and the accounts in Sunnah. During this course, students will discuss and analyze with the course lecturer the commentaries of the earlier Muhaddithūn (e.g., al-Shāfi'i, al-Khaṭīb al-Baghdādī, and others), rules developed by the Usūliyyūn that involve the critique of the Sunnah, standards set by late scholars in this regard, topics and questions raised by Muslim authors on this issue, and criticisms of orientalists towards the Muhaddithūn in this respect.

BIS 643 ‘Ulūm al-Ḥadīth

The course focuses on critical issues such as the historical development of 'Ulūm al-Ḥadīth, the problems of setting its terminology, disagreements among scholars about its concepts, its influence on Islamic jurisprudence and ḥadīth literature. The course also addresses the essential contributions in the scholarly tradition of the field within the modern period. Additionally, it details the different Islamic schools of thought concerning their relationship with the methodology; means of compilation, and preservation of ḥadīth; as well as the method of assessing the fabricated reports in classical books; the occasion, and the context of ḥadīth (Sabab Wurūd al-ḥadīth) and its influence on textual interpretations. Finally, the classical methodology will be examined comparatively with modern critiques.

BIS 644 Ikhtilāf al-Ḥadīth

Ikhtilāf refers to a textual divergence in ḥadīth literature, such as when an authentic ḥadīth seemingly contradicts another authentic ḥadīth or other Islamic rulings. Furthermore, it is expected to find differences between certain ḥadīths as they address different people and subject matters in various historical, social, and cultural contexts. For instance, some ḥadīths were reported during wartime, famine, and other extraordinary circumstances. In short, this course's objective is to understand "what was said" (ḥadīth) by placing it in its historical, sociological, and realistic context and to stand against the criticism due to a literal interpretation of the ḥadīth based on a sole literal understanding.

BIS 645 Schools of Ulum al-Hadith

This course examines Islamic schools' contributions to the sciences of ḥadīth, such as Mu'tazilah, Khawārij, and particularly Shi'a. The Shi'a branch has nearly 200 million followers today. This branch has developed its methodology concerning ḥadīth sciences based on a deep-seated madrasa tradition. The course studies the system of ḥadīth evaluation of the sects mentioned above via comparative study, in which the outcome will reveal similarities and differences and their impact on the ḥadīth literature. Inductive, analytic, critical, and comparative methods are applied during the course.

BIS 646 Ḥadīth Commentaries

This course examines the historical motives behind the unique commentaries of ḥadīth interpretation activities before the systematic commentaries period. The course also focuses on the geography of the comments and the changes in the proceeding periods as well as the effects in their content caused by these changes, the impact of sectarian tendencies, and in what way the commentaries interacted with each other, analyzing the role of ḥadīth interpretation played by this interaction. The course also provides information about outstanding works and authors. Finally, it also offers an in-class reading activity of selected texts from significant results to achieve a general picture of their profile.

BIS 647 Contemporary Discussions in Hadith

This course examines the nature of contemporary debates about ḥadīth in the modern world, its epistemological basis and relations to the proposed allegations in the classical times of Islamic history, as well as its dimensions related to the nature of the modern age. The course focuses on the fact that an accurate perception of Islam cannot be realized without the sound perception of ḥadīth. The consistency of the ḥadīth critique of the modern era critique is investigated by analyzing its positive and negative aspects and discussing solutions to its related problems. In this regard, the course covers several controversial concepts such as the absolute and the relative, the trustworthiness of the Companions, recited and unrecited revelation, the religious value of the Prophet's behaviors, and objections of Shi'a, etc.

BIS 648 Contemporary Hadith Works

Western scholars of Islam have developed their genres. Their studies in major Western languages have influenced the West and the ḥadīth studies in the Muslim world. This course deals with issues such as Orientalism, its origin, various stages of its development, objectives, methods, approach, text criticism, and the most prominent orientalists in the field,  and their main arguments against the authenticity of ḥadīth.

BIS 650 Ilal al-Hadith

This course covers essential books written in Ilal al-Hadith and examines disputed issues. It also focuses on the contributions of the scholars in this field and aims to ground issues and solve some related problems.


BIS 651 Fuqaha Legal Thought

Usūl al-fiqh is a judicial field established to determine the methods that scholars use as the basis for reaching jurisprudential conclusions, formed through two primary ways: Fuqahā (jurists) and Mutakallimūn (theologians). Therefore, the central axis of this course is the elaborate presentation of the characteristics, historical development, boundaries, and methodology of jurists' thoughts of usūl. In addition, to establish a substantial knowledge of the literature, the essential texts of jurists' study of usūl, such as al-Fusūl fi al-usūl, Taqwīm al-Adillah, Kanz al-Wuṣūl ilā Maʿrifah al-Uṣūl, Kashf al-Asrār, Mirqāt al-Wusūl, and Majāmi' al- Ḥaqāiq will be covered and analyzed linguistically and contextually. This course will allow the students to grasp the particulars of jurists' literature and a holistic perspective of the fabric of ideas of their contemporary times through these texts.

BIS 652 Mutakallimūn Legal Thought

Mutakallimūn's legal thought constitutes one of the main components of Usūl al-fiqh. This course covers the characteristics of the usūl of Mutakallimūn and its historical process. Advanced texts of usūl of Mutakallimūn from different periods, such as al-Lumʿa, al-Burhān, al-Mustaṣfā, Jamʿ al-Jawāmiʿ will be analyzed. Thus, after this course, the researchers will be familiar with the primary sources of Usūl of Mutakallimūn and have a holistic perspective regarding the linguistic and contextual features of the related texts.

BIS 653 Islamic Family Law

As the smallest building unit of Islamic society, the family involves significant legal and ethical rules. This course covers the provisions of family law as structured in two primary sections. The marriage contract and its legal consequences will be examined in the first section. The elements and conditions of the marriage contract, the obstructions in marriage, the issue of equivalence, mahr, and alimony in the context of women's economic rights, muwaqqāt, and muṭʿah marriages and their consequences within the scope of void marriages will be discussed in details. In the second section, the termination of the marriage contract; the types of divorce; situations where there is no internal will; the legal consequences of divorce, such as 'iddah waiting; alimony, and ruling of inheritance, will be covered in general. In addition, while these issues are examined, how these topics are taken up and processed in the relevant sections of the furū' al-fiqh literature will be analyzed by considering the historical process.

BIS 654 Islamic Theory of Contract

The basis of a transaction, either unilateral or bilateral, is the expression of intention involving a legal result. In this course, it is pursued how meaning evolves to be a contract, so the theoretical structure of the contract will be analyzed. The formation process of the agreement, its elements, and requirements will be elaborated as a coherent theory. The course will give the researchers a sound understanding of the Islamic contract theory based on the Qurʾān, Sunnah, and Islamic legal scholarship.

BIS 655 Al-Ahkam Al-Sultaniyyah

Aḥkām al-Sultaniyyah refers to literature in classical Islamic law in the sense of "provisions concerning state administration." In this course, the subjects related to public law will be covered in the context of Islamic law, considering the historical process in which the related issues took place. The course will also focus on the theories that Abul Hasan al- Māwardī, Abū Yaʿlā al-Farrā, and Ibn Khāldun put forward in their well-known works al-Aḥkām al-Sultaniyyah and al-Muqaddimah. Thus, the provisions of state administration in Islamic law will be analyzed and discussed in detail.

BIS 656 Maqasid Al-Shari’ah

This course will cover the foundations of the Maqasid idea, its conceptualization, and its place in the literature, in addition to analyzing the importance and function of maqāṣid by focusing on the basic concepts and issues. A critical evaluation of Maqāṣid al-Shari̅’ah, which has become one of the fundamental concepts of Islamic law in the reform and reforming efforts, will be made, and the relevance of the concepts used in these discourses will be tested.

BIS 657 Ottoman Legal System

The Ottoman state's strategic position, together with its diverse subjects from different nations and a strong representation of Islamic geography, had made it possible for its legal system to develop. This course will cover the structure and function of the state in the Ottoman period and the application of various branches of law, such as punishment, debts, family, waqf, and inheritance, by distinguishing religious and customary law. In addition, the breakdown and the changes after the Tanzimāt (Ottoman reform movement) period will be covered with the history of the Majallah and Decree of Family Law.

BIS 658 Contemporary Fiqh Issues

The rapid progress of technological developments in the modern age brings many problems. However, science and technology are a matter of empirical knowledge and a part of our world of values. This course will analyze the jurisprudential issues that Muslims have confronted in the last few centuries and the proposed solutions comparatively. The course provides a critical perspective by analyzing modern problems that arose, especially in health, economics, and food.


BIS 661 Concept of Knowledge in Kalām

In this course, the theory of knowledge, which is one of the epistemological problems of 'Ilm al-Kalām, will be discussed, and after searching for an answer to the question of "what is knowledge?" topics like the problem of defining knowledge, contingency, sources, and types of knowledge, ways of learning (asbāb al 'ilm), power of the mind and its limits, kashf, value of ilhām (divine inspiration) and dream as a source of knowledge, knowledge of senses and their matter, evidence and its types will be covered.

BIS 662 God's Divinity in Kalam

In this course, the main theological problems of 'ilm al-kalām concerning God's divinity, such as ithbāt al-wājib ('proof of the Necessary Being'), and oneness (tawhīd), God's essential (ḏātī)  and positive (thubūtī) attributes as well as action (fiʿlī), informative (kẖabarī) relationship between the ism (name) and the musammā (named), kalāmullah and the creativeness of the Qurʾān will be addressed.

BIS 663 Concept of Cosmos in Kalām

This course deals with topics of the classical period of theologically natural philosophy as the formation of the universe, universe designs, creation theories, attributes, substances, matter, aql, and nafs that are among the cosmological problems of 'Ilm al-Kalām and the relationship between atomic universe model in kalām and related modern scientific cosmological models will be discussed.

BIS 664 Prophethood and Afterlife in Kalām

The following topics are discussed in this course: the prophethood and the eschatological questions of 'ilm al-kalām such as the possibility of prophethood and its necessity; revelation; attributes of prophets; miracles; karāmāt, supernaturality; the creed of al-mahdī and al-masīh; angels; satan; jinns; holy books; the signs of the day of judgment' punishment of the grave; al-ba'th (resurrection); al-ḥashr (gathering), al-maḥshar, al-ḥasāb, al-suāl, al-mīzān (the scale), al-ṣirāt, al-a'rāf, salvation, heaven, hell, repentance.

BIS 665 Mutazilite Kalam

In this course, topics that both form the main principles of the Mu'tazilī school and the al-usūl al-khamsa, which refers to the five principles of faith: Tawḥīd, al-ʿadl, al-wa'd, and al-wa'id, al-manzila bayn al-manzilatayn, al-amr bi al-maʿrūf wa al-nahy ʿan al-munkar (the urging of right and prohibition of wrong) will be addressed within the scope of Sharḥ al-Uṣūl al-Khamsa, the magnum opus of Qādī ʿAbd al-Jabbār, a prominent Muʿtazilī theologian of Basra Muʿtazilism.

BIS 666 Faith Problems in Our Age

In this course, the focus is given on the possible solutions by the Muslim world that are offered with the perspective of 'ilm al-kalām against the criticisms arising from Physics, Biology, as well as epistemology driven movements such as Agnosticism, Atheism, Deism, Darwinism, Freudism, Materialism, Positivism, Spiritualism, Nihilism, Polytheism, Reincarnation, Satanism and their corresponding criticisms, including the modern problems such as the Problem of Evil, Women's Rights, Human rights and Democracy, the relation between Religion and Science, Religion and link to the mind.

BIS 667 Criticisms Directed to Kalam

The criticisms directed against kalām from inside and outside in terms of their methodology and underlying motives will be dealt with in this course and within this context. Criticisms of the scholars, Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, (d. 241/855), ʻAbd Allāh ibn Muḥammad Anṣārī al-Harawī, Ibn Ḥׅazm (d. 450/1064), al-Ghazzālī (d. 505/1111), Ibn Rushd (d. 595/1198), Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728/1328), Ibn Khaldun (d. 808/1406), Muhammad Iqbal (d. 1938) and Fazlur Rahman (d. 1988) directed to 'ilm al-kalām, and the ideas that are propounded in the reconstruction of kalām will be discussed.

BIS 668 Kalām Studies in West

In this course, the studies in the West on Islamic theology and a selection of works of Western philosophers such as W. Montgomery Watt, A. Stanley Tritton, De Lacy O'Leary, H. Austryn Wolfson, Louis Gardet, and Georges Anawati will be discussed.


BIS 681 Methodology of the History of Ṣūfism

History of Ṣūfism is a field of study using history and Islamic studies methodologies. This course's primary goal is to achieve a field survey formation that involves primary sources, archives, manuscripts, and current studies.

BIS 682 Ṣūfism in Non-Anatolian Geographies

This course concentrates on mystic orders and Ṣūfism in non-Anatolian regions such as the Middle East, Khorasān, the Far East, the Maghreb, and Africa and offers an opportunity to recognize the lesser-studied orders in Turkey.

BIS 683 Ṣūfism and Ṣūfī Orders in Anatolia

Anatolia's Ṣūfī orders differ from those in other parts of the Islamic world in certain aspects. In particular, the period of Islamization of Anatolia is unique. This course examines the Ṣūfism of these orders and their backgrounds.

BIS 684 Persian Ṣūfī Texts

This course examines the texts produced in Persian, one of the main languages of Ṣūfī literature. It offers an opportunity to become acquainted with the Ṣūfī thought of Iran, Anatolia and Khorasān regions.

BIS 685 Readings from Fusus al-Hikam

This course is an introduction to Ibn Arabi's thought through his groundbreaking work, offering an opportunity for young researchers to recognize Ibn Arabi's terminology, his followers, and Fusūs commentators.

BIS 686 Contemporary Ṣūfī Movements

The course will cover the Ṣūfī movements in the contemporary world, especially the new formations in the West. The researcher will find opportunities to recognize the religious trends, their leading figures, and their works originating from the Islamic world, including the mainstream and mystical movements synthesized in various religions.

BIS 687 Ottoman Ṣūfī Thought

Since the establishment of the Ottoman Empire, Ṣūfism has expanded overtime via new formations and Ṣūfī thinkers. The course introduces the leading names, and founding works of Ottoman Ṣūfī thought.

BIS 688 Critiques of Sufism

Critics have been directed against Ṣūfism, which has been disputed since its early days. The subject of this course is these criticisms that are in part doctrinal, practical, and based on modern science and philosophy.


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