The Arab world is often regarded as the heartland of Islam (the second most widespread of the world’s religions). The majority of Muslims live in in the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region.
Why Study Islam? One of the most important reason is that through studying its faith, one might be better able to understand the Muslim and Arab world. Islam as religion and civilization has become “a subject of strategic importance in our multicultural society,” mentioned, in fact, The Guardian on the importance of understanding Islam.
Islam plays a major role in shaping the society and culture in the UAE. Here, laws, education, routines, rules of conduct and even conversation are influenced by Islam, which is both a religion and a complete way of life. This is significant when doing business or becoming a resident.
Today, Islam has also flourished all over the world as the wide network of mosques that have been built shows. It is becoming more and more important, then, to be able to study and understand better this world.
Those who want to further their knowledge of Islam can do so through several programs with courses that are offered in both English and Arabic. Learners will not only be able to conversate (read and write) Arabic (the language of the Quran) and communicate Muslim phrases but also study about Aqeedah (Islamic creed), the rules of prayer and Taharah (purification) and Ibadat (acts of worship), as well as learn of the five pillars of Islam and the six articles of faith.
Many colleges/universities offer courses and programs within the areas of interest:
- College of Islamic and Arabic Studies
- Imam Malik College for Islamic Sharia and Law
- Islamic Azad University U.A.E. Branch
- Mohammed V University Abu Dhabi
- NYU Abu Dhabi’s Islamic Studies
Therefore, if you are interested in knowing more about Islam, the official religion of the UAE, you can look into these universities’ programs and find the courses that can better suit your aim.
Studying Islam is a great way to engage in intercultural exchanges with Muslims while in the country and understand the religion based on beliefs, practices, and institutions within the cultural and historical context.
The UAE is one of the most liberal countries in the Gulf, because the state promotes religious tolerance and respect for others, especially in Dubai, and expats studying Islam in its cultural context can only enhance and contribute to reciprocal respect.