We welcome prospective students to sit in on a class to experience first-hand our academic life inside the classroom. Please take a look at the course schedule for available classes and consult the academic calendar for campus holidays and exam periods.
Please contact the Recruitment Officer, Kathryn Trnka at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your visit. Indicate in the subject line “Class Visit.” Once the scheduling is finalized, you will receive a confirmation email with pertinent details regarding the class.
Please arrive five minutes early to meet with the professor and introduce yourself to the class. If this is a virtual class, please be punctual in joining; the professor will invite you to introduce yourself.
Unless otherwise communicated or arranged, you are expected to stay for the duration of the class.
You are invited to be an active listener and participate in the class, and so your undivided attention is appreciated!
Wardah is studying Philosophy and Criminal Justice at Loyola University Chicago. She is interested in both intra- and interfaith dialogue. Wardah, with her dedicated and dynamic spirit, will be assisting the College in creating meaningful educational activities for both the students and the wider community. She also has an interest in research, writing, and outreach, and so, will additionally perform projects in this area. We are excited to have Wardah as an intern this term and look forward to working with her.
Wardah Mohammed: Assalama’laikum, my name is Wardah and I am studying Philosophy and Criminal Justice at Loyola University Chicago. I love to read, run, and learn new recipes. I am dearly excited to be an intern with American Islamic College.
August 23, 2020
As-salaamu ‘alaykum and welcome, new and returning students!
May the year ahead be filled with hard work, fruitful endeavors, much personal growth, and many joyful awakenings.
The 2020/2021 academic year brings powerful and positive winds of change to AIC. As we begin to spread our wings, diversify our programs, and take steps toward realizing the decades-long dream of becoming a full-fledged, accredited university that serves as a cornerstone for the American Muslim community and the nation as a whole, we welcome you as active partners in this historic unfolding. With our formal candidacy for accreditation (or pre-accreditation) now achieved, we are well on our way, al-hamdulillah, but without you – our students – we would not be able to write this new and exciting chapter of Islamic history. So welcome! Let’s make history together, by God’s grace and with Divine help and blessings.
There are many unique features to the way we approach education at AIC, but the most important of these is our shared emphasis upon relational, transformative education. In other words, this is not just a place to gather information and get a degree; it is a place to change, to grow, to evolve, and to experience the gradual refinement and ennoblement that traditionally has been associated with a person of learning within Islam and other faith traditions. Reviving this traditional ideal in the contemporary world requires that students be more than a number or a name. It demands that students be known and engaged in a holistic way by their professors, fellow students, and staff, all of whom share this vision just as they share a commitment to excellence. So here we do not, at the undergraduate level, offer vocational training for a particular career (although the professional possibilities are endless with an AIC degree); rather, our Liberal Arts-based BA education prepares you for life—a life of thoughtful, critical engagement, passionate commitment, creative adaptation, benevolent and socially-responsible vision, and positive impact. Standing upon this foundation, our graduate programs (Master of Arts and Master of Divinity in Islamic Studies) open the doors to professional employment as chaplains, spiritual care-givers, religious leaders, and community organizers as well as the doors of doctoral study, scholarship, and teaching.
I am so delighted that you have decided to join us and I look forward to meeting you, getting to know you, engaging you, challenging you, and being challenged by you, in sha’ allah. May God bless your academic year, and may your light be refined and shine brightly at AIC.
With prayers for God’s blessings and peace,
Timothy J Gianotti
Dr. Talaat Pasha was invited to speak with The University of Chicago’s Arabic Circle via zoom on Friday, April 17th. Dr. Pasha spoke on,
كورونا: متى تعود الحياة الى طبيعتها؟!
تأملات في الحداثة والتنوير
COVID-19: When Will Life be Back to Normal?!
Reflections on Modernism and the Enlightenment
Salaam, dear sisters, brothers, colleagues, friends:
These are trying times for us all, with news of infections, quarantines, closures, shortages, and tumbling markets coming to us from every part of the world. As we face the fear, panic and rapidly changing realities with faith, wisdom, and creative adaptation, we must also continue to practice gratitude and celebrate all that is worthy of celebration.
So I reach out to you with the blessed news that American Islamic College has achieved a major milestone in our journey toward realizing the dream of becoming a full-fledged, fully accredited university grounded in Islamic values and in the rich intellectual traditions of Islam. At the end of February, our regional accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Region, granted AIC “Candidacy” Status, which means that AIC is now a formal Candidate for Accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission, al-hamdulillah.
This is a formal step – equivalent to pre-accreditation – signaling the fact that AIC’s academic programs, along with other aspects of the college, have been scrutinized by the Higher Learning Commission (recognized by the US Department of Education as one of the major accrediting agencies in the US) and judged to be eligible for advancing a formal application for initial accreditation.
For our current and prospective students, achieving “Candidacy Status” means that the credits and degrees that AIC students earn will now carry greater legitimacy and will be, in most cases, transferable to other accredited institutions across the United States and the world. Pending the status of full recognition, credit acceptance will still remain at the discretion of each institution, but being affiliated with HLC means that most accredited colleges and universities will now consider AIC to be an institution of higher education whose courses, faculty, and institutional practices have withstood scrutiny and been judged worthy of this new status with HLC. This is, of course, in addition to our long-standing affiliation with the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), which awarded the College Operating Authority and Degree Granting Authority for its undergraduate and graduate programs seven years ago when we reopened and resumed offering classes.
This happy news comes after years of sacrifice and hard work – overhauling our curricula, professionalizing our policies and procedures, working closely with both IBHE and HLC, and guiding the first cohorts of students through our undergraduate and graduate degree programs, culminating in our first commencement for graduates in 2019. Thus, even as we thank God for the miraculous revival of the College, we must thank all of those who have steadfastly held on to the dream and selflessly toiled to help AIC re-emerge as an institution of higher learning that seeks to transform as well as to inform, to celebrate diversity and foster openness to inquiry, thought, and debate while remaining grounded in Islamic faith-based principles and values.
Whether or not you have played an active role in supporting AIC in the past, we welcome you now to celebrate with us and to become an active part of this historic Islamic college.
With gratitude and prayers for God’s peace and blessings to be upon you,
Daoud S. Casewit
Upholding the sacred inviolability (hurma) of each person who enters Muslim spaces from exploitation & abuse by those holding religious power, knowledge and authoirty.
On January 10-11 of 2020, American Islamic College was pleased to host and co-sponsor the first in a series of research conferences on professional ethics in religious leadership under the direction of Dr. Ingrid Mattson in what is known as the Hurma Project. The Hurma Project is a timely community conversation that focuses on the “sacred inviolability” or “hurma” of each individual in religious spaces.
Over a hundred participants, which included members of the local Chicago community, religious leaders and academic researchers from around the United States and Canada came to American Islamic College to hear the plenary lecture on Friday night in the auditorium and the twelve hour conference which took place all of Saturday in the AIC dormitory conference hall. Dr. Mattson’s presentation on Friday night introduced the Hurma Project by highlighting the responsibilities of those in positions of religious leadership and the rights of the vulnerable by explicating key prophetic and judicial statements from the Islamic tradition, as well as confronting barriers that may have formed due to social and/or cultural stigmas of contemporary society.
The Saturday conference was a full day with various panels by scholars, religious leaders, students, and experts on topics such as: “Gendered Dimensions of Abuse and Recovery,” “Community Education and Advocacy,” and “Models and Practices of Accountability.” AIC Professor, Dr. Feryal Salem, who participated in the panel discussing “The Ethical Assessment of Functionally Temporary and Secretive Marriages” from the perspective of Islamic law and ethics stated, “This is an important discussion for us to have in a forum that can address ethical concerns related to religious leadership. It is even more important as part of the training of our Muslim Chaplaincy Program students seeking to become spiritual care practitioners in public institutions. It was encouraging to see so many of our chaplaincy students participating in the Hurma conference.”
Zoya Mirza who is an MDIV student in the Muslim Chaplaincy Program at AIC and currently a campus chaplain intern at Northwestern University expressed enthusiasm about having the opportunity to expand her professional networks through connecting with the many Muslim Chaplains from around the country who came for the program. She said, “There are not many female Muslim chaplains in America, and in order to be one, I met with many chaplains at the Hurma conference that further inspired me to devote myself to this field that many people are unaware of.”
Dilnaz Waraich, representative of the Waraich Family Foundation which supports the Hurma Project said, “As our community grows and becomes educated about spiritual, sexual, and financial abuse from religious leadership, this conference brought practitioners, scholars and community leaders to understand this timely topic. This gathering was the first of many educational opportunities aimed at removing stigma and cultivating greater awareness of these matters.”
The Hurma Project is “committed to upholding the sacred inviolability of each person who is present in our Muslim spaces by elucidating the special responsibilities of those holding power and authority and by educating those who are vulnerable about their God-given dignity and rights”(The Hurma Project, 2019). You can read more about The Hurma Project here.
About this Event
Location: Reception Hall, Dormitory Building
Address: 613 W Bittersweet Pl, Chicago, IL 60613
Parking: Located at 640 W Irving Park Rd
and 613 W Bittersweet Pl (rear of main building)
Dear AIC students, faculty, staff, and wider community:
American Islamic College has kept a careful watch upon unfolding events and remains vigilant in monitoring the Covid-19 pandemic. After much consultation and in cooperation with the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), we are deciding to temporarily shift from face-to-face, “ground” education to online/remote learning for the duration of the spring semester (March 19-May 15, 2020). We are also postponing all campus events and prayer services until further notice. The College (including the library) will remain open so that students can consult the administration, use the collection for their research, and use the College’s computers in the event that they do not possess the necessary technological tools to participate remotely. We are confident that there will be no lapse in the quality of course content or standards during this transition.
Our commitment to your well being remains paramount, and so we urge you to contact us if you experience problems or complications as a result of this transition. Be assured that health, hygiene, and safety guidelines will be strictly observed at the College. More information on this can be found here.
Let us pray for those suffering from the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak: persons who have contracted the illness, families that have been separated due to quarantine measures, people traumatized by the anxiety and panic caused by the pandemic, and all those suffering in silence (including migrants, refugees, and the homeless). Let us hold them all in our supplications for protection, healing, and competent care.
With prayers for God’s peace, protection and blessing to be upon you all,
Daoud S Casewit
Those with questions and concerns about COVID-19 (coronavirus) can call the Illinois Department of Public Health at 800-889-3931.
About This Event
On Sunday, Feb. 23rd, American Islamic College held a Film Screening of the heart-wrenching documentary, The Cave, which follows Dr. Amani Ballour and her team into the subterranean, makeshift Syrian hospital in the heart of besieged Eastern Al Ghouta.
Dr. Nour Akhras, a dedicated physician of Syrian origins, led a robust discussion following the screening. Dr. Akhras has been involved in relief medicine since the Syrian crisis began in 2011; she’s treated Syrian refugees in Turkey and Greece and is calling for the world’s attention on Idlib and the genocide taking place in Syria. Dr. Akhras is a board member of MedGlobal, which serves communities around the world who need humanitarian and medical assistance.
A member of the audience asked what could be done. Dr. Akhras replied:,
- Raise awareness
- Call your representative
Location: Auditorium, Main Building
Date & Time: February 23, 2020 at 2:00pm; discussion to follow
Address: 640 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60613
Parking: Located at 640 W Irving Park Rd
and 613 W Bittersweet Pl (rear of main building)
Speaker: Dr. Nour Akhras
Nour Akhras is a board-certified pediatric infectious diseases physician and mother of four young children. Akhras has been involved in relief medicine since the inception of the Syrian crisis in 2011 and have traveled to Turkey and Greece to treat Syrian refugee children. Her most recent medical mission was to war-torn Yemen in September of 2018.
MedGlobal is a young NGO that started in August of 2018. Since then, they have served over 150,000 patients in 14 countries. They are dedicated to creating a world without healthcare disparity.
Learn more about MedGlobal here.
Over the past eight years, the war in Syria has spread death, destruction and horror across the country, costing hundreds of thousands of lives and displacing millions. In besieged Eastern Al Ghouta, incessant bombardment has turned the landscape into an eerie wasteland dotted with bombed-out buildings and piles of rubble. Going outside is a life-threatening proposition, but residential neighborhoods are targeted as indiscriminately as markets, schools and other places. Hospitals, medical centers and ambulances are also fair game for the Assad government and its Russian allies.
Safety and hope lie underground, where a brave group of doctors and nurses have established a subterranean hospital called the Cave. Under the leadership of a young female pediatrician, Dr. Amani Ballour, the Cave offers hope and healing to the sick and injured children and civilians of Eastern Al Ghouta. In a conservative patriarchal society that devalues women, Dr. Amani is frequently subject to hostility from men who refuse to see her as a capable physician. But Dr. Amani doesn’t back down, and inside the Cave, women have reclaimed their right to work as equals alongside their male counterparts. They risk their lives to save their patients and find ways to persevere in a world of cruelty, injustice and suffering. For Dr. Amani and her colleagues Samaher and Dr. Alaa, their battle is not only to survive but to maintain their dreams and hopes for their country and for women.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “The Artist of the Beautiful,” the watchmaker Owen creates a beautiful mechanical butterfly as a gift for his childhood friend, Annie, now a wife and mother. She is astonished as the creature flutters forth from a carved box, exclaiming, “Beautiful! Beautiful! Is it alive? Is it alive?” When the creature alights on her finger, she turns to Owen and says, “Is it alive? Tell me if it be alive, or whether you created it.” Owen replies, “Wherefore ask who created it, so it be beautiful?” Later on, an imprudent boy cruelly destroys the insect.
While I was filming “Last Men in Aleppo,” we kept focus on the military targeting of hospitals over a few years. Hospitals were demolished. Medics as well as patients were killed. The systematic targeting of hospitals was used as revenge, intimidation and a method to create chaos and force citizens to flee. No international countermeasures were introduced to stop these barbaric and vengeful attacks.
It became impossible for the health sector to exist on the surface, so hospitals were built underground. I was able to visit a number of them, and it was astonishing to witness the human ingenuity at work. These hospitals became the only hope for people to survive and receive treatment. And they provided a place where men and women could work together. In fact, these limited underground spaces might be the only places where women can work.
In the Cave, I witnessed how these female doctors and nurses are fighting to reclaim their rights in these subterranean hospitals. They stand up for themselves, which is something they couldn’t do aboveground in the patriarchal culture surrounding them. These women are truly an inspiration to me, and I believe with this film they will inspire the world as well — contributing to breaking the silence of the outside world. If the silence toward the brutality isn’t broken and if no measures are taken against war crimes, then there is a problem in man’s universal claim to possess the rights of freedom, law and justice.
The current time in history is frightening because people are keener to glorify power. Like Hawthorne’s “The Artist of the Beautiful,” I wanted this film to be poetic — a film that helps us to look into the darkest corners of our souls and to inspire us to search for the light.
— Feras Fayyad