WAEC Syllabus for Islamic Religious Studies (IRS) 2024/2025

The WAEC syllabus for Islamic Religious Studies (IRS) is the topic you must study to sit for the examination. It contains the aims and objectives, notes and format for the Islamic Religious Studies (IRS) exam.

Studying an Islamic Religious Studies (IRS) subject is necessary for your exam preparation. It will serve as a guide for you to know the topics to read. There are also notes on concepts you should pay attention to learning.

Exam preparations without using the Islamic Religious Studies (IRS) are like going to the farm without your agricultural tools. You will end up not being productive.

Ensure you begin your exam preparations using the syllabus.

This post contains the Islamic Religious Studies (IRS) and recommended textbooks of the West African Examination Council (WAEC).

WAEC Islamic Religious Studies (IRS)

Islamic Studies

(May not be taken with Christian Religious Studies and West African Traditional Religion)

Aims and Objectives

The syllabus is designed to assess the extent to which candidates have acquired knowledge in Islamic Studies with regard to the following:

  1. The historical and contemporary development of Islam as well as the lessons learnt from them;
  • The spiritual, moral, socio-economic and intellectual roles of Islam role of Islam in society;
  • The practical application of Islamic teachings in daily life.

The Syllabus consists of four major parts namely: Tarikh (Historical Development of Islam); Qur’an; Hadith; and Tawhid and Fiqh (Islamic Theology and Jurisprudence).

Scheme of Examination

There will be two papers, Papers 1 and 2, both of which will be put into a composite paper to be taken at one sitting.

PAPER 1: Will comprise fifty multiple choice questions all of which should be answered within 50 minutes for 50 marks.

PAPER 2: Will consist of six essay questions one of which will be compulsory. Candidates will be required to answer the compulsory question and any three of the optional ones in 2 hours for 100 marks.

WAEC IRS Syllabus



1. The Jahiliyyah:                       Arabia before Islam.

Description of Arabia – Location

Social Life                     – Marriage, divorce and inheritance.

            Religious life                   –       Idol worship and names of major gods / idols.

Political Life              System of Government

Economic Life   –  Sources of livelihood

The Reforms introduced by Islam on the Jahiliyyah practices.

2. The life of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.)

  • Birth
  • Marriage
  • Call to prophethood and his mission
  • Hijrah: Causes, Course and Significance
  • Formation of the Ummah and the Madinan Constitution
  • Leadership qualities of the Prophet
  • The Battles: Badr, Uhud and Khandaq.  (causes, courses and effects.)
  • The Treaty of Hudaybiyyah: terms and outcomes.
  • Conquest of Makkah.
  • The Farewell Pilgrimage: description, sermon and its lessons.
  • Death.

3. The Khulafᾱ’ur-Rᾱshidīn (The Rightly – guided Caliphs): Abu- Bakr Ibn Abī Quhhᾱfah, ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattᾱb, ‘Uthmᾱn Ibn ‘Affᾱn and ‘Ali Ibn Abī Tᾱlib.

  • Their biographies
  • Their contributions to Islam
  • Lessons learnt from their lives

4. Islam in West Africa

  • The advent and roles of traders, teachers, murᾱbitun, sufi orders, mujaddidun (reformers) and Hajj in the pread of Islam.
  • The Impact of Islam on the Socio-Political, Economic and Linguistic Lives of the Peoples of ancient West African empires (i.e. Ghana, Mali, Shonghai and Kanem- Borno.



1. (a) Revelation of the Qur’an: visits of the Prophet (S.A.W.) to Cave Hira ; first  revelation and his reaction to it, different modes of revelation, piecemeal- revelation of the Qur’an.

  •     Preservation of the Qur’an:  Complete arrangement including distinction       between Makki and Madani Suwar; Recording; Compilation; Standardization: Roles played by the Companions of the Prophet (S.A.W.) in the Preservation of the Qur’an.

(c) Importance of the Qur’an:

The Qur’an as a source of guidance in social, political, spiritual and moral matters.

(d)       Reading (in either Arabic Text or Transliteration), Memorization, Meaning            of the following suwar and the lessons learnt from them  (Identification,            Explanation, Interpretation and Application);

Suratul  – Fatihah (Q.1)

Suratud  – Duha (Q.93)

Suratut – Tin (Q.95)

Suratul – ‘Alaq (Q.96: 1-5)

Suratul – Qadr   (Q.97)

Suratul – Kafirun (Q.109)

Suratun – Nasr  (Q.110)

Suratu l – Ikhlas   (Q.112)

Suratu l – Falaq    (Q.113)

Suratun – Nas     (Q.114)

3. Moral Lessons from the Qur’an

  • Attitudes to Parents (Q.17 :23 – 24: 31 : 13 – 15
  • Honesty in Words and Deeds Q2: 42; 61: 2-3, 17: 35.
  • Prohibition of Gambling Q. 2:219:5 90-91.



1. (a) Definition of Hadith and Sunnah.

(b)       Differences and similarities between Hadith and Sunnah  

(c) The Importance of Hadith and Sunnah.

(d) Parts of the Hadith: ‘Isnad,  Matn and Rawi.

                        (e)       Criteria for authenticity of Hadith

(f) Classification of Hadith: Sahih, Hasan and Da‘if.

(g)        The Six Sound Collections of Hadith (Sihaus-Sittah) and their              Compilers.

  • Reading (in either the Arabic Text or Transliteration).  Memorization, Meaning of the following Ahadith and lessons learnt from them (Identification, Explanation, Interpretation and Application): an-Nawawi’s Collection. 1, 5, 7, 9, 13, 15,16,18,34 and 41.



  1. Iman (Faith)
  2.  Meaning and Significance of Iman (Faith)
  3.  Articles of Faith:  Belief in Allah with emphasis on Kalimatush-Shahadah(Q2: 163 and 255; 3:18;17:42-43;21: 22 ; 23: 91 Q. 112, Islam  and the concept of Trinity (Q.4:171; 5:75 – 76; 19:92-3; 112).

(ii) His angels – Q 2: 285; 8:50; 16: 2; 66: 6 ; 82: 10 – 12.

  • His books – Q.2: 2; 2:285; 87: 19 – 19; 5:46.
  • His Prophets with special emphasis on the Ulu1-‘Azm: Ibrahim, Nuh, Musa, ‘Isa.(A.S.) Muhammad (S.A.W.) Q. 6: 83-87: 4: 164; 10;47;21:107;46:35 and ahadith relevant to the foregoing.
  • The Day of Resurrection, Judgement: Eternal Life Q 20: 15:32:10-20: 36: 78-70; 75: 3-13.
  • Destiny – Qada’ and Qadar; Distinction between the two Concepts (Q.3: 145:25:2:76:3:87:3).

2. Shirk (Associating Partners with Allah)

(i) Worship of idols (Q.4:48:22:31:31:13:41:37):

  • Ancestor and Hero- worship Q 3:64; 4:116;112:4; Q.2:13,40&41

3. Taharah (Purification)

  • Importance of Taharah
  • al- Istinja’
  • al-Wudu’
  • at-Tayammum
  • al-Ghusl
  • Salat:
  • Meaning of Salat.
  • Importance of Salat.
  • Acts that vitiate Salat
  • Joining a Congregational Salat.
  • Sujudus-Sahwi (Prostration of Forgetfulness.)
  • Kinds of Salat and how they are observed:
  • Obligatory Salat (Subh/Fajr, Zuhr, ‘Asr, Maghrib and ‘Isha’i.)
  • Non-Obligatory Salat ( Nawafil that accompany the obligatory salawat, Duha, witr, etc.)
  • Special prayers (Jum‘ah, ‘Idayn, Janazah, Istisqa’ Tarawih, Kusufayn and Istikhara.)
  • Salatus-Safar (Salat on a journey.)
  • Sawm (Fasting): Detailed study of Sawm with emphasis on the Spiritual, Social and Moral Objectives.
    • Definition
    • Types of Sawm (compulsory and voluntary)
    • Examples of compulsory fast (Ramadan, Kaffarah and Nadr)
    • Examples of voluntary fast (Shitta Shawwal, ‘Ashura’and Tasu‘a, fasting on Mondays, fasting on Thursdays, etc.)
    • Voluntary fast
    • How fasting is observed in Islam
    • Ramadan Fast
    • Those Exempted from Fast
    • Things that vitiate Fast
    • Benefits/Significance of Sawm—spiritual, social and moral.
  • Zakat (Charity):  Detailed Study of Zakat with emphasis on the Spiritual, Socio-Economic and Moral Objectives:

         (i)    Definitions of Zakat and Sadaqah

         (ii)    Difference between Zakat and Sadaqah

        (iii)             Articles on which Zakat is paid

        (iv)    The Nisab of Zakat

        (v)              Zakat on Livestock

        (vi)              Zakat on Money

                    (vii)             Zakat on Agricultural Products

                    (viii)            The Beneficiaries of Zakat (Q.9:60)

                   (ix)           Zakatul-Fitr.

                    (x)                Benefits of Zakat – Spiritual, Socio-economic and Moral.

      8.       Hajj (Pilgrimage): Detailed study of Hajj and ‘Umrah with emphasis

                  on the Spiritual, Socio-Economic and Moral Values.

  • Definition and Origin of Hajj and ‘Umrah.
  • Pre-requisite to the performance of Hajj
  • Performance of ‘Umrah and Hajj
  • Acts that affect the validity of Hajj
  • Types of Hajj (Ifrad, Tamattu‘ and Qiran)
  • Rites of Hajj
  • Significance of Hajj (spiritual, socio-economic and moral objectives    of Hajj.
  • Shari ‘ah:
    • Definition;
    • Sources  (the Qur’an, the Sunnah, the Ijma‘ and the Qiyas.)
    • Significance.

10.      Nikah (Marriage):

     (i)          Concept (Q.16:72:24:32; 30;21: the Hadith “O young                                man……….”.

     (ii)        Prohibited Categories (Q.2221; 4:22-24);

  • Conditions governing validity (Q. 4: 4, 21, 24-25): al-Bukhari 67: 29,     37, 42, 49, 51-52, Abu-Da’ud 12:29-31:
    •   Rights and duties of husband and wife(Q.2.228-  230:20:132;33:33,41:34;65:6)
    •   Law prohibiting the Ill-treatment of Wife (Idrar) Q 65:6

11.   Talaq ( Divorce) :

            (i)        Islam’s Attitude (Q.4: 35): the Hadith “of all things lawful…….most

                        hateful to Allah”  (Abu- Da’ud 13:31);

  • Kinds – Talaq; Khul‘; Faskh; Mubara‘ah, Zihar and Li ‘an. (Q.2:228 – 230: Q.65).
  • ‘Iddatut-Talaq (Waiting Period for a Divorced Woman): Meaning,  Duration and Implication.  
  • The Holy Qur’an (text, translation and commentary). A. Yusuf Ali
  • 2. The meaning  of The Glorious Koran (An explanatory translation by Mohammed Marmaduke Picktall) I.P.B., Lagos Nigeria
  • Islamic Religious knowledge for WASC Book 3 Hadith. M. Bushir Sambo and Mohammed Higab I.P.B., Lagos, Nigeria.
  • Islamic Religious knowledge for WASC Book 2 Figh. M. Bushir Sambo and Mohammed Higab I.P.B., Lagos, Nigeria.
  • Islamic Religious knowledge for WASC Book 1 Qur’an and Tafsir. M. Bushir Sambo and Mohammed Higab I.P.B., Lagos, Nigeria
  • The life of Muhammad by Haykal Printed in Nigeria 1982.
  • Islam in Focus by Hammudah Abdalati I.P.B., Lagos Nigeria.
  • Islamic Studies for Secondary Schools Books 1 & 2 by Lemu I.P.B., Lagos. And Islamic Education Trust, Minna.
  • Selected traditions of an-Nawawi by M.O.A., Abdul I.P.B., Lagos.
  • Studies in Islam series Books 1m – 5 by M.O.A., Abdul I.P.B., Lagos.
  • AL-‘IZZIYYAH for English audience by Quadri Y.A., and Oloyede, I.O. Shebiotimo Publications, Ijebu Ode.
  • Islamic Religious Knowledge for senior secondary School series 1 -3 by Seriki and Badmos – B and B.P. Abeokuta.
  • Yasin wal-Qur’an – by S.H.A., Malik Ilesanmi Press, Ilesha.
  • The Classical Caliphate by M.O.A. Abdul. I.P.B., Lagos.
  • West Africa And Islam, P.B. Clarke, Edward Amold.
  • A. History of Islam in West Africa, J.S. Trimingham, Oxford University Press.
  • Islam in West Africa, J. S. Trmingha, Oxford University Press.
  • Islamic Studies for SSS Books 1 & 2 by B. “Aisha Lemu I.P.B., Lagos.
  • Essentials of Islamic Studies Books 1 & 2 by M.O. Raheemson. M.D. & P.S.            Lagos.
  • 40 Hadith: An Explanation by Dr. Yushau Sodiq Published by J.S. Prinnting, USA in 2011.
  • Sulemana, M. (2004). Islamic Studies. Capital Publishing. Accra, Ghana.
  • Muhammad Jamiu Yunus (2011). Islam: The Religion of Peace. Alanisek Gen.Concept Publications Ijebu-Ode.

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6 thoughts on “WAEC Syllabus for Islamic Religious Studies (IRS) 2024/2025”

  1. Great work Indeed ! Please a complete pack of this comprehensive syllabus for ITS.


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