A new course developing proficiency and skills in classical Arabic will give students a unique insight into the Qur'an and other classical Arabic texts when it begins next year at Charles Sturt University's Centre for Islamic Sciences and Civilisation (CISAC).
CISAC director Mr Mehmet Ozalp said the course was open to all lovers of the Arabic language at any level".
"Proficiency in this area is especially significant since the Qur'an and many other important books on Islam are written in classical Arabic, so you need those skills if you're going to get access to the rich religious tradition of Islam through primary texts without relying on translations," he said.
"Indeed, in most cases translations do not even exist."
The new course is designed to enable students to read and recite the Qur'an in its original form using recitation rules, study of Arabic grammar, and textual structures. It will also allow students to access and understand classical primary Islamic texts and develop skills in modern Arabic so non-Arabic speaking students can access classical and contemporary Islamic scholarly discourse.
Subjects will focus on different aspects of Arabic language, including one subject offering the opportunity to study at a respected Arabic university. Students can also choose an elective focussing on Arabic language and Qur'an reading, or Arabic language and Tajweed (Qur'an recitation).
The course is designed to be completed in two-years of part-time study, but students can also complete a one-year Graduate Certificate or an 18 month Graduate Diploma.
CSU student Mr Rashid Goolam has already completed the basic and intermediate Arabic grammar subjects which will be included in the Master level course, and said he found them an engaging way to learn after several unsuccessful attempts at self-study courses.
"The course assumes no prior knowledge of Arabic grammar and builds confidence through a series of simple lectures and homework exercises," he said.
"I already feel comfortable reading the Qur'an and recognizing the grammar rules learnt so far. This course has given me a great introduction to classical Arabic grammar."
The CISAC was established in 2009 by CSU and the Islamic Sciences and Research Academy of Australia (ISRA).