It’s been almost a month since I started classes and things have been going rather smoothly. There are about 14-17 courses that one has to complete in Tamhidiyya and they generally try to get a batch completed within 7-9 months. The time one takes to complete the Tamhidiyyah course also depends on the person; some can test out of courses faster if they want while some may have to repeat certain courses again.
I’m currently taking Tajweed, Nahw, Mafaheem and Ahkaam. Though there are 5 courses in a day, I was exempted from taking Aqaed and Sarf as I had given the oral tests for them soon after I finished Farsi. I don’t mind the light course load at the moment because most of it is material that a lot of students are familiar with, which subsequently opens up time for you to read and study other material on the side during the day. Perhaps the only classes I have to focus a bit on are Nahw and Mafaheem. Though Mafaheem is not difficult, it is a great course. The course is designed to enable one to be able to translate up to 80% of the Qur’anic verses (into Farsi). The course has 3 books, each with hundreds of words and their meanings, and supplementary homework questions. This class also helps facilitates the learning of Nahw and Sarf as the meaning of nouns and verbs are better understood when placed in a sentence.
Nahw (Arabic Syntax) is another course which I find very interesting. It is essentially Arabic grammar, but it is indeed very technical. The purpose of this study is to understand why the last letter of any Arabic word in a sentence gets the ending that it does. For example, why would the word Ali be said as Aliyyun, Aliyyin or Aliyyan in different contexts. The rationale behind this is basically the study of Nahw. It sounds very simple, but it can definitely get very complicated. But once you get the hang of it, you really start to see things like Qur’anic verses and Prophetic narrations very differently. The course teaches you to do tarkeeb (determining the composition of a sentence).
A good example would be something like this:
إِنَّا أَعْطَيْنَاكَ الْكَوْثَرَ
When you do the tarkeeb, you will be able to determine that the كَ after أَعْطَيْنَا is the object, and الْكَوْثَرَ is the second object upon which an act was done. Actually there is a great website that does detailed syntax analysis for any verse; you can check it out here.
The tajweed course is also great. Although a lot of us can more or less recite the Qur’an, there are a lot of rules that we are not usually familiar with or the reason for why we recite certain words the way we do. Once these course are done, the batch starts doing the new set of courses (such as Tareekh, Akhlaq, Mafaheem II and others).
The only advice I would have for someone who has studied in University in the West is that you must exhibit a lot of patience in these classes (especially if you have decent background knowledge in these subjects). Even though the classes are 6 days a week, they still go very slow (at least for my liking) in order to cater for all the students in the class. Sometimes a course that should really be done in a month, can end up taking 2 months etc. You do have the option to study ahead of the class and test out in that case, but there are certain criteria for that as well (as in you need to get a 85% or higher on the test if you are testing out etc. although exceptions may be made).