institute for regenerative livelihoods

Reading Circle

Reading circles help us to understand timeless wisdom.

Reading Circle

The GRADE (Guided Reading & Discourse Educational) course is designed to enhance reading discipline and critical thinking and includes both traditional texts as well as contemporary works.
This book is essentially about the phenomenology of crises in both the personal and collective and how to respond to them. Islam desires us to enter the contemplative space. When the Qur’an says God shows us His signs “in the horizons” and “in ourselves”, it is positing two modes of contemplation: outer and inner. In short, God’s revealing of Himself is not static. He is constantly revealing Himself through every single thing, through the civilisational trajectories of history and in both our individual and collective experiences. The enquiry “where are you headed?” thus serves as an ever ready constant therein, for there are only ever two directions: either to God or away from Him [Qur'ān: 90:10].

That which is away from the Divine is ultimately the path to falsehood, a denial of the call of our collective human birthright (fiṭrah). According to Islam, man has been created to behold the ultimate unicity (tawḥīd) of God within the context of this world’s apparent multiplicity, the manifest-ness of His Names and Attributes [Qur'ān: 2:31-33]. Within this framework of God’s constant theophany, crisis does not arise out of a vacuum, but rather it is God telling us where we have strayed from a lived embodiment of truth. In this regard, and whilst the focus of this book and course is primarily economic and ecological, its essential discussion can be applied to a broader set of phenomena.

Join us in this course, for a contemplative dive into exploring the deep-set patterns and separation from the Divine embedded in many of our dominant socio-economic institutions, without gaining such an understanding any attempt at reform of such institutions would be destined to fail. After such an exploration, the course then discusses some of the factors in the socio-economic space that could help facilitate a holistic return to lost connection with the Divine. The culmination of the course is to explore how such an understanding could be translated to a real life issue such as the lack of affordable housing. The most significant point of the course is to demonstrate how both economic and ecological injustices thrive on separation, whether from God or the cosmos. The Qur'ān lists this as being one of the primal transgressions of man, namely, “That he thinks himself independent!” [Qur'ān: 96:7].

The Way of Return thus beckons us all to leave aside the delusion of independence and sufficiency from God, and to embrace a sufficiency and freedom through connection to Him. This would mark true independence from the transiency of impermanence, and freedom from all besides. For, “If they should be truly needy (of God), God will enrich them from His bounty” [Qur'ān: 24:32]. May God increase us in our neediness of Him, for through realisation of this innate poverty lies all success. May He accept the efforts of all those behind this course, those who participate in it and bless us all with the best of Returns, for “Indeed we belong to God, and indeed to Him we will return” [Qur'ān: 2:156].
Our course consists of 6 weekly online sessions, taking place on Saturdays and lasting 90 minutes each. These sessions will include 45 to 60 minutes of exploration of the text by the teacher, followed by in-depth, guided discussions and Q&A. To maximise the value of the sessions, students should read the assigned pages beforehand and submit any questions they have prior to or during the session.
We provide the students two types of certificates.

Certificate of Guided Study

Granted to students who have attended all live sessions

Certificate of Participation

Granted to students who have 3 or more absences.

Program Details

Key dates
Start Date: 1 June 2024
Registration Deadline: 30 May 2024
Limited seats available
current read

The Way Of Return: Responding To Economic And Environmental Injustice Through The Wisdom Teachings Of Islam

Author: Yusuf Jha


USD 100

ARLECT 2 Alumni

USD 80

Other Students

USD 150