PhD in Islamic Studies (in 30% English)

PhD in Islamic Studies (in %30 English)

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Program Coordinator:

Assistant Professor Ahmet SÜRURİ

The scope of PhD in Islamic Studies covers the following areas:

  • Tafsir
  • Hadith
  • Islamic Law
  • Kalam
  • Tasawwuf

PhD Program in Islamic Studies (30% English) consists of two semesters of classes and six semesters of dissertation. There are one compulsory course and three elective courses in each semester of first year. In the first semester, Scientific Research Techniques and Publication Ethics, and in the second semester, Seminar will be compulsory. Students who successfully complete all courses and pass the proficiency exams will be eligible to move on to the dissertation stage.

The names, codes and total credits of compulsory and elective courses in the BIS Program are given below:

1st Year
1st Semester
Code Course Name Theory Practice Credit ECTS
BIS 601 Scientific Research Techniques and Publication Ethics 3 0 3 15
BIS XXX Elective 3 0 3 15
BIS XXX Elective 3 0 3 15
BIS XXX Elective 3 0 3 15
Total 60
2nd Semester
Code Course Name Theory Practice Credit ECTS
BIS 600 Seminar 3 0 0 15
BIS XXX Elective 3 0 3 15
BIS XXX Elective 3 0 3 15
BIS XXX Elective 3 0 3 15
Total 60
2nd Year
Code Course Name Theory Practice Credit ECTS
BIS 697 Proficiency exam 35
BIS 698 Thesis statement 25
Total 60
3rd and 4th Year
Code Course Name Theory Practice Credit ECTS
BIS 699 Thesis 0 0 0 120
Total 120
G.Total 300


Code Course Name Theory Practice Credit ECTS
BIS 631 History of Tafsir 3 0 3 15
BIS 633 Riwaya Tafsir 3 0 3 15
BIS 635 Tafsir Problems 3 0 3 15
BIS 637 Ahkâm al-Qur’an 3 0 3 15
BIS 641 Criticism of the Chain of Narrators 3 0 3 15
BIS 643 Ulûm al-Hadith 3 0 3 15
BIS 645 Islamic School of Ulûm al-Hadith 3 0 3 15
BIS 647 Contemporary Hadith Discussions 3 0 3 15
BIS 651 Fuqaha Legal Thought 3 0 3 15
BIS 653 Islamic Family Law 3 0 3 15
BIS 655 Ahkam al-Sultaniyyah 3 0 3 15
BIS 657 Ottoman Law System 3 0 3 15
BIS 661 Concept of Knowledge in Kalam 3 0 3 15
BIS 663 Concept of Cosmos in Kalam 3 0 3 15
BIS 665 Mutazilite Kalam 3 0 3 15
BIS 667 Criticisms Directed to Kalam 3 0 3 15
BIS 681 The Methodology of History of Sufism 3 0 3 15
BIS 683 Sufism and Sufi Orders in Anatolia 3 0 3 15
BIS 685 Reading Fusus al-Hikam 3 0 3 15
BIS 687 Ottoman Sufi Thought 3 0 3 15


Code Course Name Theory Practice Credit ECTS
BIS 632 History of Qur’an 3 0 3 15
BIS 634 Dirâya Tafsir 3 0 3 15
BIS 636 Thematic Tafsir 3 0 3 15
BIS 638 Contemporary Approaches to Tafsir 3 0 3 15
BIS 642 Textual Criticism of Hadith 3 0 3 15
BIS 644 Ikhtilâf al-Hadith 3 0 3 15
BIS 646 Hadith Commentaries 3 0 3 15
BIS 648 Contemporary Hadith Works 3 0 3 15
BIS 652 Mutakallimūn Legal Thought 3 0 3 15
BIS 654 Islamic Theory of Contract (‘Aqd) 3 0 3 15
BIS 656 Maqasid al-Shari’ah 3 0 3 15
BIS 658 Contemporary Fiqh Issues 3 0 3 15
BIS 662 God’s Divinity in Kalam 3 0 3 15
BIS 664 Prophethood and Afterlife in Kalam 3 0 3 15
BIS 666 Faith Problems in Our Age 3 0 3 15
BIS 668 Kalam Studies in West 3 0 3 15
BIS 682 Sufism in Non-Anatolian Geographies 3 0 3 15
BIS 684 Persian Sufi Texts 3 0 3 15
BIS 686 Contemporary Sufi Movements 3 0 3 15
BIS 688 Criticism for Sufism 3 0 3 15


BIS 601 Scientific Research Techniques and Publication Ethics

The objective of this course is to explain the principles of thesis preparation, interpretation and writing techniques, preparation of research report, bibliography forming techniques, the scientific article writing principles, data collection methods and analysis techniques which is (are) necessary for scientific research. In addition to this, it takes (deals with?) the ethical rules that must be followed in scientific publications, citation procedures, plagiarism and other issues should be avoided. Further, students gain an understanding of the importance of research in the development of communication strategies.

BIS 600 Seminar

This course provides a forum for students to discuss and generate ideas on issues related to a variety of applied social research. Students conduct an in-depth study of a research topic of their choice, discuss issues with experts in the field of research, work in discussion groups, debate and solve problems on selected issues. In the research seminar, the students are given an opportunity to integrate their knowledge, skills and practical experience gained in the program.

BIS 699 Dissertation

The program culminates in an individual piece of research in which learning on the program is applied to an appropriate topic of interest/specialization, under the guidance of a supervisor.


BIS 631 History of Tafsir

In this course the position of Prophet Mohammed against the Qur’anic revelation revealed to him, the Qur’anic exegetical activities of the first three-generation starting from Sahabe; Makka, Medina and Iraq tafsir schools, transfer character and codification of tafsir material, formation process of the first written works about tafsir, transition to the first comprehensive texts of tafsir, the character of the tafsir works in terms of riwâya and dirâya, the effect of commentators’ faith and thought world to 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 commentaries made at the end of 19th century and during the 20th century are examined.

BIS 633 Riwaya Tafsir

In this course the nature and character of the narrations in terms of Qur’anic commentary that conveyed from the Prophet, Sahabah, and Tabi’ûn; the well-being (authenticity?) of the narrations, the weak points in the narrations; the way the exegetes use narrations in commentaries and their approach to narrations; concepts of “riwaya” and “diraya” in tafsir; purely narrated tafsir, narrative predominant tafsir woks and its characteristics; the use of narration in diraya tafsir; the importance of narrations in understanding the Qur’an are dealt with. 

BIS 635 Tafsir Problems

In this course, the interpretation of some of the verses and narrations related to the revelation of the Qur’an, repeated revelation, abrogation, mutashabihat, the tale of Gharânîk, mushkil al-Qur’ân, eternality of the hell, verses about women, jihad verses, verses about miracles, penalty verses, scientific commentary, reincarnation which are discussed in the classical and modern periods are examined. 

BIS 637 Ahkâm al-Qur’an

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

BIS 641 Criticism of the Chain of Narrators

The course presents the development of the methodology of criticizing hadith narrations throughout the centuries, and the conditions for a hadith to be considered accepted with respect to its chain of narrators. It focuses on the efforts of the Companions and the scholars of hadith in setting and applying the standards for accepting hadith. The course studies the development of the methodology of al-sanad (chain of narrators) criticism 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, conditions for a chain of narrators to be accepted, and the sciences related to the criticism of the chain of narrators. It introduces the literature of al-jarh wa al-taadil, its history and level of narrators, and the names of narrators and their countries of origin.

BIS 643 Ulûm al-Hadith

The course focuses on key issues such as the historical development of this science, the problems of setting its terminology, differences among scholars about its concepts, its impact on Islamic jurisprudence, its impacts on hadith literary. The course also addresses the important contributions to this scientific tradition in the modern period. It details the different Islamic schools of thoughts’ relations with the methodology, means of compilation and preservation of hadith, methodology of dealing with fabricated reports in Islamic classical books, and the occasion and context of hadith (sabab wurud al-hadith) and its impact on hadith interpretations. The classical methodology will be studied comparatively with modern critiques.

BIS 645 Islamic School of Ulûm al-Hadith

This course examines different Islamic Schools of Thought’s contributions to sciences of hadith such as Mu’tazilet, Kharijite and particularly Shia. Shia school has nearly 200 million followers in today’s world. This school developed its own methodology in regard of hadith sciences based on a strong madrasa tradition. The course studies the system of hadith evaluation of the Schools via comparative study, in which the outcome would reveal similarities and differences and its impact on the hadith literature. Inductive, analytic, critical and comparative methods are adopted

 BIS 647 Contemporary Hadith Discussions

This course examines the nature of contemporary debates about hadith in the modern world, the epistemology on which it is based, relations of the allegations proposed with the classical times of Islamic history, its dimensions related to nature of modern period. It focuses on the fact that true perception of Islam cannot be realized without the sound perception of hadith. The consistency of the hadith criticism of the modern era is investigated by analyzing its sources through the subjects which are based on preliminary acceptance and discusses ways of the solution. In this regard, it covers many issues such as the absolute and the relative, trustworthiness of the Companions, recited and unrecited revelation, religious value of the Prophet’s behaviors, objections of Shia School, etc.

BIS 651 Fuqaha Legal Thought

Usūl al-fiqh, which was established to determine the methods that scholars use as the basis for reaching jurisprudential conclusion, has continued its development through two basic methods, Fuqahā ( jurists) and Mutakallimūn (Islamic theologians).  The main axis of this course is the elaborate presentation of the characteristics, historical development, boundaries and methodology of jurists’ thought of usūl. In addition, in order to establish a substantial knowledge about the literature, the important texts of jurists’ thought of usūl such as al-Fusûl fi al-usûl, Kashf al-Asrār, Majami’ and Mirqat al-wusûl will also be covered and analyzed linguistically and contextually. By these means, this course will provide the students the ability to grasp the particulars of jurists’ literature and a panaromic look at the fabric of ideas of those times through these texts.

 BIS 653 Islamic Family Law

The family, as the smallest building unit of the society and in which people are born and raised, includes important legal and ethical rules. This course aiming to reveal the provisions of the family law is structured in two basic sections. In the first section, marriage contract and its legal consequences will be covered. The elements and conditions of marriage contract, the obstructions in marriage, the issue of equivalence, mahr and alimony in the context of women’s financial rights, muwaqqat and mut’a marriages and its 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 inheritance will be covered in general. In addition, while these issues are examined, the ways in which these topics are taken up and processed in the relevant sections of the furū’ fiqh literature will be analyzed by considering the historical process.

 BIS 655 Ahkam al-Sultaniyyah

Al-Ahkam al-Sultaniyyah is used in the classical Islamic law literature 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 these issues took place. It will also focus on the theories that Abu’l Hasen al-Mawerdî, Ebu Ya’la al-Ferra and Ibn Khaldun put forward in their prominent works al-Ahkam al-Sultaniyyah and al-Muqaddimah. Thus, the provisions on state administration in terms of Islamic law will be analyzed and discussed in detail.

 BIS 657 Ottoman Law System

The strategic position of the Ottoman state, together with the fact that it had a diversity of subjects from different nations and the strong representation of Islamic geography, had made it possible for its legal system to develop. A cross-cultural law motif based on customary and religious base having been followed until the beginning of the nineteenth century makes the Ottoman legal system and its detailed analysis even more important. This course will cover the structure and function of state in the Ottoman period, the application of various branches of law such as punishment, debts, family, foundation and inheritance by mentioning the distinction between religious and customary law. In addition, the breakdown and the changes after the Tanzimat (Ottoman reform movement) period will be referred together with the history of the Majalla and Declaration of Family Law.

 BIS 661 Concept of Knowledge in Kalam

In this course, theory of knowledge which is one of the epistemological problems of ilm al-kalam will be included and after searching for an answer to the question of “what is knowledge?”, topics like problem of defining knowledge, possibility, source and types of knowledge, ways of knowledge (asbab al-ilm), power of mind and its limits, kashf, value of ilham (divine inspiration) and dream as knowledge, knowledge of senses and their value, evidence and its types will be dealt with.

BIS 663 Concept of Cosmos in Kalam

This course deals with topics of classical period of theological natural philosophy as formation of the universe, universe designs, creation theories, attributes, substances, matters, aql and nafs that are amongst the cosmological problems of ilm al-kalam and the relationship between atomic universe model in kalam and modern scientific cosmological developments will be revealed.

BIS 665 Mutazilite Kalam

In this course, topics that both form the main principles of Mu’tazili school and among al-uṣūl al-khamsa which expresses the five principles of faith such as “tawhid”, “al-adl”, “al-wa’d and al-wa’id”, “al-manzilah bayna al-manzilatayn”, “the enjoining of right and prohibition of wrong” will be addressed within the scope of Sharḥ al-Uṣūl al-Khamsa, work of Qadi Abd al-Jabbar who is a prominent Mutazili theologian of Basra Mu’tazilism.

BIS 667 Criticisms Directed to Kalam

The criticisms that are directed to kalam from inside and outside in terms of their methodology and aims will be dealt in this course and within this context criticisms of the scholars as Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (d. 855), Abdullah al-Ansari al-Herawi, Ibn Khazm (d. 1064), al-Ghazzali (d. 1111), Ibn Rushd (1198), Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 1328), Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406), Muhammad Iqbal (d. 1938) and Fazlur Rahman (d. 1988) directed to ilm al-kalam and the ideas that are propounded in the reconstruction of kalam will be discussed.

BIS 681 The Methodology of History of Sufism

Studies of the history of Sufism are studies that need to use the methodologies of history and Islamic studies together. It is the main goal of this course to acquire a field scanning formation that includes primary sources, archives, manuscripts and current studies.

BIS 683 Sufism and Sufi Orders in Anatolia

The sufi orders in Anatolia differ from the orders in the other parts of the Islamic world in some aspects. In particular, the period of Islamization of Anatolia is completely unique. This course aims to examine the Sufism of these orders and their backgrounds.

BIS 685 Reading Fusus al-Hikam

This lesson (course?) is an introduction to Ibn Arabi’s thought through his groundbreaking work, offering an opportunity for young researchers to recognize Ibn Arabi terminology, his followers, and Fusus commentators.

BIS 687 Ottoman Sufi Thought

The Sufi thought, which we have seen since the establishment of the Ottoman Empire, has deepened and enlarged over time by bringing new formations and thinkers to the Sufi area. The course aims to introduce the main names and founding works of Ottoman Sufi thought.  


BIS 632 History of Qur’an

In this course revelation of Qur’an, its memorizing (memorization?), writing, mutual reading, compilation, reproducing, arranging, punctuation and vowelizing, translation, orientalists’ allegation of falsification are examined.

BIS 634 Dirâya Tafsir

In this course, the concept of ‘dirâya’ in tafsir, the relation of dirâya tafsir to the ra’y and ictihâd, the main elements of dirâya tafsir, the dirâya tafsir books, the effect of sectarian and practical views on dirâya tafsir, the relation of scientific, social, mystic interpretation to the dirâya tafsir are dealt with.

BIS 636 Thematic Tafsir

Thematic tafsir chooses one of the topics which are mentioned in various verses and surahs of the Qur’an, evaluates the related verses in a certain systematic way and tries to reveal the opinion of the Qur’an in that subject. The subject examined may relate to belief, social or individual life or philosophical field.

BIS 638 Contemporary Approaches to Tafsir

In this course, issues such as language-centered approach, the semantic approach, the historical approach, the hermeneutic approach, the thematic approach, the approach of those who adopt feminist discourse, and the approach of those who emphasize the discourse of Qur’anic Islam are criticized.

BIS 642 Textual Criticism of Hadith

Text critique of hadith means to evaluate it 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 other Quranic verses or other prophetic narratives. During this course, students will discuss and analyze with the course instructor the sayings of the earlier Muhaddithiyn (e.g. al-Shafei, al-Khatib al-Baghdadi and others), rules developed by Usuliyyiyn which deals with the criticism of the Sunnah, standards developed by late scholars in this regard, topics and questions raised by Muslim writers on this issue, and critiques of orientalists towards the Muhaddithiyn on this aspect.

BIS 644 Ikhtilâf al-Hadith

Ihtilaf in hadith literature occurs when a Prophetic hadith seems to conflict or real(ly?/ actually) conflict with another authentic hadith and sometimes with other Islamic rulings. It is natural to have differences between certain hadiths as they address different people and subject matters in divergent historical, social and cultural contexts. For instance, some hadiths were said during war, famine, and various other extraordinary circumstances. In short, this discipline aims to understand what was said (hadith) by placing it in its historical, sociological and real context and it prevents hadiths from being rejected by pure literal criticism. away from purely literal understanding.

BIS 646 Hadith Commentaries

This course examines the historical factors behind writing self-contained commentaries of the hadith, and hadith interpretation activities in the earlier days of Islam. It addresses the role played by geographical, historical, methodological, and sectarian factors in shaping the methodologies of these systematic commentaries on hadith. The course also highlights the role of such commentaries in understanding hadith, provides information about outstanding works and authors, and aims reading studies (who studies?) texts selected from major works.

BIS 648 Contemporary Hadith Works

Western scholars who study Islam have developed their own genres. Their studies in major Western languages have not only affected the West, but have also influenced hadith studies in the Muslim world. This subject deals with issues such as Orientalism, its origin, various stages of its development, its objectives, its means (methods?), its approach, most prominent orientalists in the field, and their main arguments against the authenticity of hadith and its critiques.

BIS 652 Mutakallimūn Legal Thought

Mutakallimūn legal thought constitutes one of the main veins of the usūl al-fiqh. This course covers the characteristics of the usūl thought of mutakallimūn and its historical process. High-level texts of usūl thought of mutakallimūn from different periods such as al-Lum’a, al-Burhan, al-Mustasfâ, ve al-Jam al-Jawami’ will be analyzed. Thus, the young researchers following this course will be familiar with the primary sources of usūl thought of mutakallimūn and have a holistic perspective regarding the linguistic and contextual features of these texts.

BIS 654 Islamic Theory of Contract (‘Aqd)

The basic element of the legal process is the declaration of will directed to the legal outcome. In this course, the theoretical structure and practical results of the contracts which require multiple statements of will rather than unilateral ones will be analyzed. The theories of contract in Islam will be examined as a whole and various stages of contract such as in’iqad will be covered. This course will provide the young researchers a sound understanding of the nature of the theory of contract which the Qur’an, sunnah and Islamic law rely on.

BIS 656 Maqasid al-Shari’ah

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

BIS 658 Contemporary Fiqh Issues

The rapid progress of technological developments in the modern era brings with it many problems. Science and technology are not only related to epistemologically objective knowledge, but also closely related to our world of values. This course will analyze the jurisprudential issues that the Muslims have met in the last centuries and the proposed solutions comparatively. It aims at providing a critical perspective by analyzing modern problems that arise especially in fields of health, economics and food.

BIS 662 God’s Divinity in Kalam

In this course main problems related to God’s divinity as God’s existence (ithbat al-wacip) and oneness (tawhid), God’s attributes (self-affirmative, effective-khabari), the problem of name and the thing named, kalamullah and Qur’anic createdness problem, that are among the theological problems of ilm al-kalam will be addressed.

BIS 664 Prophethood and Afterlife in Kalam

In this course problems that are related to prophethood and topics which are among the eschatologic problems of ilm al-kalam as possibility of prophethood and its necessity, revelation, attributes of prophets, miracle, karamat and supernatural wonders, mahdi- masih faith, angel, satan, gin, divine books, signs of the day of judgment, punishment of the grave, al-ba’s (resurrection), hashr (gathering), mahshar, hasab, sual, al-mizan (the scale), al-sirat, a’raf, salvation, heaven, hell, repentance will be addressed.

BIS 666 Faith Problems in Our Age

In this course possible solutions that Islam offers to the physics, biology, spirit, epistemology based criticisms and anti-criticisms as Agnosticism, Atheism, Deism, Darwinism, Freudism, Materialism, Positivism, Spiritualism, Nihilism, Polytheism, Reincarnation, Satanism and to the modern problems as Problem of evil, Women’s rights, Human rights and Democracy, Religion-Science Relation, Religion-Mind Relation will be dwelled on the purpose of evaluating modern thought problems in Islamic world with the perspective of ilm al-kalam.

BIS 668 Kalam Studies in the West

In this course, the studies that have been done in the West on Islamic theology will be examined and the works of western philosophers as W. Montgomery Watt, A. Stanley Tritton, De Lacy O’Leary, H. Austryn Wolfson, Louis Gardet and Georges Anawati will be evaluated and discussed.

BIS 682 Sufism in Non-Anatolian Geographies

This course, which deals with mystic orders and Sufism in non-Anatolian geographies such as Middle East, Khorasan, Far East, Maghrib, Africa, will offer an opportunity to recognize less studied orders in our country. 

BIS 684 Persian Sufi Texts

This course aims to examine the texts produced in Persian, one of the main languages of Sufi literature, and offers an opportunity to get acquainted with the Sufi thought of Iran, Anatolia and Khorasan regions.

BIS 686 Contemporary Sufi Movements

The course will deal with Sufi movements in the contemporary world, especially the new formations in the West. The young researcher will find opportunities to recognize these trends, their main figures and their works, some of them originating from the Islamic world and the mainstream and some of them formed by the synthesis of various religions and mystical movements.

BIS 688 Criticism for Sufism

There have been some criticisms of Sufism and responses of these criticism since the early days of Sufi history. These criticisms, which are sometimes based on doctrinal, sometimes practical, and sometimes modern science (scientific) and philosophy (philosophical), will be the subject of this course.


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