Request a Demo

Edit Template

WAEC Islamic Religious Studies (IRS) Syllabus

Get straight A’s when you download and study with this Islamic Religious Studies Syllabus for WAEC.

Home » WAEC Syllabus » WAEC Islamic Religious Studies Syllabus

Writing Islamic Religious Studies in WAEC Exams

The syllabus typically covers the fundamental aspects of Islamic religion and culture. It is divided into four parts; historical development of Islam, the Quran, Hadith, Islamic theology and jurisprudence.

To do well in Islam Religious Studies, you should have a good understanding of the core beliefs of Islam, including the belief in one God (Tawhid), prophethood, and the belief in the Day of Judgment. You will also need to be familiar with Islamic rituals and practices such as prayer (Salah), fasting (Sawm), pilgrimage (Hajj), and charity (Zakat).

Marking Guide

There will be two papers, Papers 1 and 2, which will be put into a composite paper to be written in 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.

Islamic Religious Studies Syllabus for WAEC Exams

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.)
(i) Birth

(ii) Marriage

(iii) Call to prophethood and his mission

(iv) Hijrah: Causes, Course and Significance

(v) Formation of the Ummah and the Madinan Constitution

(vi) Leadership qualities of the Prophet

(vii) The Battles: Badr, Uhud and Khandaq. (causes, courses and effects.)

(viii) The Treaty of Hudaybiyyah: terms and outcomes.

(ix) Conquest of Makkah.

(x) The Farewell Pilgrimage: description, sermon and its lessons.

(xi) 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

(i) The advent and roles of traders, teachers, murᾱbitun, sufi orders, mujaddidun (reformers) and Hajj in the pread of Islam.

(ii) 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.
 Part 2 Qu’ran1. (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.

(b) 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)

Moral Lessons from the Qur‘an
(a) Attitudes to Parents (Q.17 :23 – 24: 31 : 13 – 15

(b) Honesty in Words and Deeds Q2: 42; 61: 2-3, 17: 35.

(c) Prohibition of Gambling Q. 2:219:5 90-91.
 Part 3 Hadith1. (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.

2. 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.
(i) Meaning and Significance of Iman (Faith)
(ii) 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.

(iii) His books – Q.2: 2; 2:285; 87: 19 – 19; 5:46.

(iv) 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.

(v) The Day of Resurrection, Judgement: Eternal Life Q 20: 15:32:10-20: 36: 78-70; 75: 3-13.

(vi) 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):

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

3. Taharah (Purification)

(i) Importance of Taharah

(ii) al- Istinja‘

(iii) al-Wudu‘

(iv) at-Tayammum

(v) al-Ghusl

4. 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:

(i) Obligatory Salat (Subh/Fajr, Zuhr, ‗Asr, Maghrib and ‗Isha‘i.)

(ii) Non-Obligatory Salat ( Nawafil that accompany the obligatory salawat, Duha, witr, etc.)

(iii) Special prayers (Jum‗ah, ‗Idayn, Janazah, Istisqa‘ Tarawih, Kusufayn and Istikhara.)

(iv) Salatus-Safar (Salat on a journey
  6. Sawm (Fasting): Detailed study of Sawm with emphasis on the Spiritual, Social and Moral Objectives.
(i) Definition
(ii) Types of Sawm (compulsory and voluntary)
(iii) Examples of compulsory fast (Ramadan, Kaffarah and Nadr)
(iv) Examples of voluntary fast (Shitta Shawwal, ‗Ashura‘and Tasu‗a, fasting on Mondays, fasting on Thursdays, etc.)
(v) Voluntary fast
(vi) How fasting is observed in Islam
(vii) Ramadan Fast
(viii) Those Exempted from Fast
(ix) Things that vitiate Fast
(x) Benefits/Significance of Sawm—spiritual, social and moral.

7. 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.

(i) Definition and Origin of Hajj and ‗Umrah.
(ii) Pre-requisite to the performance of Hajj
(iii) Performance of ‗Umrah and Hajj
(iv) Acts that affect the validity of Hajj
(v) Types of Hajj (Ifrad, Tamattu‗ and Qiran)
(vi) Rites of Hajj
(vii) Significance of Hajj (spiritual, socio-economic and moral objectives of Hajj.

9. Shari ‘ah:
(i) Definition;
(ii) Sources (the Qur‘an, the Sunnah, the Ijma‗ and the Qiyas.)
(iii) 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);
(iv) Conditions governing validity (Q. 4: 4, 21, 24-25): al-Bukhari 67: 29, 37, 42, 49, 51-52, Abu-Da‘ud 12:29-31:
(v) Rights and duties of husband and wife(Q.2.228- 230:20:132;33:33,41:34;65:6)
(vi) 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);

(ii) Kinds – Talaq; Khul‗; Faskh; Mubara‗ah, Zihar and Li ‗an. (Q.2:228 – 230: Q.65).
(iii) ‗Iddatut-Talaq (Waiting Period for a Divorced Woman): Meaning, Duration and Implication.

Recommended WAEC Textbooks for Islamic Religious Studies

  1. 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.
  3. Islamic Religious knowledge for WASC Book 3 Hadith. M. Bushir Sambo and Mohammed Higab I.P.B., Lagos, Nigeria.
  4. Islamic Religious knowledge for WASC Book 2 Figh. M. Bushir Sambo and Mohammed Higab I.P.B., Lagos, Nigeria.
  5. Islamic Religious knowledge for WASC Book 1 Qur’an and Tafsir. M. Bushir Sambo and Mohammed Higab I.P.B., Lagos, Nigeria
  6. The life of Muhammad by Haykal Printed in Nigeria 1982.
  7. Islam in Focus by Hammudah Abdalati I.P.B., Lagos Nigeria.
  8. Islamic Studies for Secondary Schools Books 1 & 2 by Lemu I.P.B., Lagos. And Islamic Education Trust, Minna.
  9. Selected traditions of an-Nawawi by M.O.A., Abdul I.P.B., Lagos.
  10. Studies in Islam series Books 1m – 5 by M.O.A., Abdul I.P.B., Lagos.
  11. AL-‘IZZIYYAH for English audience by Quadri Y.A., and Oloyede, I.O. Shebiotimo Publications, Ijebu Ode.
  12. Islamic Religious Knowledge for Senior Secondary School series 1 -3 by Seriki and Badmos – B and B.P. Abeokuta.
  13. Yasin wal-Qur’an – by S.H.A., Malik Ilesanmi Press, Ilesha.
  14. The Classical Caliphate by M.O.A. Abdul. I.P.B., Lagos.
  15. West Africa And Islam, P.B. Clarke, Edward Amold.
  16. A. History of Islam in West Africa, J.S. Trimingham, Oxford University Press.
  17. Islam in West Africa, J. S. Trmingha, Oxford University Press.
  18. Islamic Studies for SSS Books 1 & 2 by B. “Aisha Lemu I.P.B., Lagos.
  19. Essentials of Islamic Studies Books 1 & 2 by M.O. Raheemson. M.D. & P.S. Lagos.
  20. 40 Hadith: An Explanation by Dr. Yushau Sodiq Published by J.S. Printing, USA in 2011.
  21. Sulemana, M. (2004). Islamic Studies. Capital Publishing. Accra, Ghana.
  22. Muhammad Jamiu Yunus (2011). Islam: The Religion of Peace. Alanisek Gen.Concept Publications Ijebu-Ode.

Frequently Asked Questions About WAEC Islamic Religious Studies Exam

What is the pass mark for the WAEC Islamic Religious Studies exam?

The pass mark for WAEC Islamic Religious Studies is 50%. Anything lower than that and you get a D which may affect your result.

What is the duration of the exam?

The exam will last for roughly 3 hours. Paper 1 which is the objective section will have 50 questions to be completed in 50 minutes while the second part which is the theory section will last for 2hours

How can I create a study schedule to cover all the syllabus topics?

Draw up a reading timetable for all the subjects you will be taking in the WAEC exams.

What is the minimum score required to pass the Islamic Religious exam?

The minimum score which will give you a C6 grade is 50%. Anything less than 50% and you have a D which could affect your chances of getting admission to the university.

Is there a specific format for answering theory questions?

Not at all. There is no format for answering theory questions. You should however, write clearly so it’ll be easy to see your work, spell correctly and provide clear explanations together with relevant examples or calculations.

What if I run out of time during the exam?

If you’re running out of time, don’t panic! Try to finish as many questions as possible and make sure your answers are as complete as possible

Are there any specific topics that are heavily tested in the exam?

All the topics in the syllabus above are important and you will be tested on them.



Ad Space

Other Categories


Nigerian Exams


Professional Exams


International Exams


School Syllabus


Primary School


Secondary School

Welcome to We’re on a mission to empower learners of all ages and backgrounds with educational resources they need to succeed academically and professionally

Professional Certification

CIBN Syllabus

CITN Syllabus

CIPM Syllabus

APCON Syllabus



Media Kit


© 2024 Created with Page 5 Digital