Traditional Disciplines Project (TDP): Aims

The Traditional Disciplines Project is a project within the Living Insights Foundation for Education. It is a 4-6 year project to produce facing-page translations of the classical Islamic seminary manuals needed as a basis for classical Islamic education in English. These manuals will be accompanied with two manuals which place these texts in a framework and explain issues of context such that the traditional ethos may come alive in contemporary institutions. These manuals will inform such areas as English instruction (more properly termed the liberal arts and include such sciences as the trivium), natural science, ethics, psychology, etc.

  • Clarify classical principles of education and pedagogy to address modern problems with tradition solutions.

  • The texts produced will provide the tools to deliver the training and curriculum.

  • Facilitate teacher training, home-schooling, and the establishing of institutions.

  • An authentic, balanced, and analytical understanding of the modern world.

  • Inform the structure of emerging institutions and raise the level of current educational debate.


TDP and the model of the Well-Trained Mind

The single most successful model for contemporary classical education are the Well-Trained Mind and the related Great Books movement. The Well-Trained Mind was able to draw on classical subject disciplines which had been translated into English and to organise them in a practical and accessible manner which covered or replaced many elements of the modern curriculum. It explains how modern and classical education relate to each other, and paving a path for those who wish to go on to further stages of education and examinations. However, no such equivalent is possible for Muslim education until their classical texts are also translated into English.


TDP will address this problem through a number of stages reflecting the natural process which the Well-Trained Mind could take for granted. As stated in (Slide X) ‘TDP Aims’, this project will produce carefully selected and translated facing-page English-Arabic texts and a manual explaining the implicit framework of classical education. The texts will be prefaced with accessible but scholarly introductions explaining the relation between the traditional and modern equivalent subjects and how the given subject discipline fits onto the map of reality and links to other disciplines. The texts will include annotated glossaries including all technical terms, producing subjects which work in English and are firmly pegged on the natural authority of classical tradition.

After the manuals and framework are produced, Living Insights Foundation for Education will turn fully to Phase 2 which is the ‘Outreach and Training Phase’. In this phase, an online academy of courses teaching the books will be produced. A subscription-based website will support the sharing of curriculum materials implementing the manuals in various institutions such that sufficient levels and variety are produced and institutions and homeschooler can find the curriculum and models they need to implement the classical vision.


TDP Deliverables

Key deliverables


Laying the Foundations

  • Promises and challenges of classical Islamic education workshop

  • Trivium overview course and text

  • Sullam course

  • New Atheism course


  • Practical manual

  • Translations of introductory classical texts on ethics and natural science.

  • Intermediate and advanced manuals in the Trivium and related

  • Advanced practical manual on usage of

  • Guidance on how to integrate curriculum into various educational
    settings will conclude this phase.


  • Training workshops –
    online and in person

  • Courses for both students and teachers

  • Workbooks

  • Lesson plans

  • Training videos

  • Podcasts

  • Online subscription


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