‘I enjoyed the reading material that was selected, especially the ahadith. It gave me new information and opened my mind to issues that I hadn’t considered in the past. I enjoyed the interaction between the participants even though we were in different parts of the world. It was my first experience of distance learning and I think I will be doing it again at a later date.’  (Hadia Saad, London. Tenets of Tashayyu’, January 2014)

‘The last recordings you sent were incredible, mash’Allah–Really enjoyed the topic.’ (Imrul Mazid, The Athenian School, California, United States. Esoteric Knowledge in Tashayyu’, June 2014)

‘Really enjoyed the classes.  Not only enlightening but most importantly, they stretch and challenge one’s thinking.  I was initially slightly sceptical as to how well this would work via Skype and whether I would get as much as I’d hoped out of it.  However, the system works well especially when the class engages in discussions. Thank you so much, your breadth of knowledge and expertise is evident and provides the extension needed during discussions and whilst going through the text.’ (Safina Saadat, London. Esoteric Knowledge in Tashayyu’, June 2014)

‘These two courses were very well structured and clear to follow from week to week. As a new convert to Shi’a Islam, the esoteric knowledge of tashayyu course was particularly useful. I also appreciated the approach that was taken with the Tenets of Tashayyu course.  It wasn’t a cut and dry approach, i.e. going through the main five roots of Shi’i Islam, instead I found that the main theme underlying these five roots, aql, which is central to Shi’i spirituality helped me make the connections between all five roots of Shi’i Islam.  As a result of taking this course, my understanding of the teachings of the Ahlul Bayt has deepened.’ (Fahmida Husain, London. Tenets of Tashayyu’, March 2014 and Esoteric Knowledge in Tashayyu’, June 2014)

‘Coming from a non-Muslim background , I found Online Shia Studies to be a great platform for getting a systematic introduction into both the theological and sociological aspects of the Shi’a path. The course structure has the academic rigour and yet is designed to suit a general reader as well. Dr. Rebecca not only helps in putting history into perspective but also articulates the spiritual dimensions, which otherwise remain abstract in language and theory. This is one of the most intellectually challenging and spiritually enlightening courses I have done. I hope like me, all seekers of knowledge benefit from this online initiative.’ (Shantanu, Melbourne, Australia. Tenets of Tashayyu’, November 2014)

‘Rebecca was a wonderful teacher.  I still consider myself new to Islam and before the course I didn’t completely understand the Shia views and was beginning to feel lost. I’m so happy I took this course. It was a world of information that I had never thought about or knew anything about. It opened my eyes to my purpose on this earth and gave me a strong understanding of the imams and what their purposes are. I actually feel years older then I am because of this course. I am definitely not the same person and interestingly I can keep up with deep conversation and enjoy asking questions. I am very excited to continue my journey and I am very thankful of Rebecca’s class that helped me along the way. Thank you!!’ (Theresa, Toronto, Canada. Tenets of Tashayyu’, December 2014)

‘It was a truly inspiring and spiritually uplifting course. I thank you for designing and delivering it.’ (Mohammad, London. Tenets of Tashayyu’, March 2015)

‘Dr. Masterton is a wonderful teacher. If questions came up after class, Dr. Masterton made sure to include in her emails that she was always willing to answer them; question and answer wasn’t only blocked out for class time. Having the recordings to go back and listen to is a great help! The generic recordings are useful in that it covered anything that wasn’t discussed during class, and the actual class recordings are helpful to go back to in case I forget an author, or the name of a book that was mentioned, or just to go back and get a deeper understanding of something discussed during class.’ (J’nelle Bob-Semple, United States. Tenets of Tashayyu’, December 2015)

‘I would like to add that this is the second time that I have taken this course, and it was like I was taking it for the first time.  Rebecca always manages to bring a freshness to these new lessons, and this is why the course keeps revealing itself to you.  She provides excellent examples to illustrate a certain point or concept, and is responsive to the needs of her students in terms of helping them understand each topic area with insight and clarity. Thank you Rebecca.’ (Fahmida Husain, London. Tenets of Tashayyu’, August 2016)

‘Definitely recommend purchasing and reading (Passing Through the Dream). Very intriguing, and quite magical in a very strange way. Dr. Rebecca somehow combines very unlikely combinations, which for some reason opens doors within the imagination, allowing an amazing visualisation of the words. I remember reading this at university, having purchased a copy from the author Herself.’ (A. Kassim Hassan, 2016)

‘I am just emailing to say hello and send my well wishes. I have been thinking of you lately. I am part of a discussion group at university and we have talked about topics such as the Imamate and traits and life of a Muslim. I have either lead or co-lead the discussions and have referred often to the readings you assigned or the discussions we had in your class. I am very grateful for both.’ (H. G., Canada. Tenets of Tashayyu’, 2017)

‘The reference list and resources provided are quite exceptional.  Ms. Masterton has an exemplary knowledge of the subject and her passion for the details is evident in her lessons.’ (Stephanie, US. Early Shīʿī History, 2017)

‘This is one of the most humane course I have taken. Its format is so flexible that anybody can take it and complete it at his or her own pace. The teaching style is absolutely unpretentious, reminiscent of the sincere and dedicated style in which our holy Imams (Peace be upon them) taught the Ummah.’ (Mujahid Husain Jafri, India. Esoteric Knowledge in Tashayyu’, 2017)

‘Objective and historical based teaching style. Wide range of sources used. Rebecca has an excellent manner, great personality and flare. You can really tell she is passionate about what she is talking about which is lovely. I have learnt things I would not have even heard about had I not taken this course, which I think is very important when it comes to Islamic development.’ (Maryam, UK. Early Shīʿī History, 2017)

‘I was very impressed with the impressive knowledge of the course instructor, as well as the extensive research that went into the compilation of the course materials. The face-to-face interaction combined with the rich written material provided a strong base for this important course.’ (Lisa Kader, US. Introduction to Islam, 2018)

‘Just want to quickly say, I’m listening to your third lecture of this course and I absolutely love it. The discussions and the explanations you provide, the historiography, the detailed background of the historians, to me its worth £1500! It’s worth years of research and trying to figure out historiography, history, historians, historians’ motives.’ (Mo Mohsin, UK. Early Shīʿī History, 2018)

Dr Masterton has really done an amazing job in making this course so comprehensive and in depth, and as a self-study package I found everything easy to follow and very well structured.

The recorded classes are easy to listen to and explained systematically with frequent references to the previous modules which I found very useful from a pedagogic point of view. Highly recommended, both for people being part of a shi’a community or anyone with a general academic interest in the subject.’ (Pieter Jan, Stockholm, Sweden. Tenets of Tashayyu’, 2019)