Introduction to Islam
- Course Code:
- Unit value:
- Year of study:
- Year 1 or Year 2
- Taught in:
- Full Year
This is an introductory course for students who have little or no previous knowledge of Islam and that area. The course most suitable for 1st and 2nd year students because it would involve about 45 hours of informal lectures and tutorials with some visits to mosques and possible other institutions.
It will cover the life and career of the Prophet Muhammad, and the Qur'an and Sunna as the main sources of Islamic teachings, as well as some Islamic institutions, selected issues of Islamic law and ethics, the modern resurgence of Islam and current issues in Muslim society.
Objectives and learning outcomes of the course
- The pre-Islamic Arabian background
- The life of Muhammad
- The early Caliphs
- the Qur'an: its arrangement, style, contents and compilation
- The essential articles of faith
- The 'five pillars' of Islam
- Islamic ceremonies and festivals; popular Islam
- Islamic culture: morality, social etiquette, that which is permitted/prohibited etc.
- The golden age of Islamic civilisation
- Islamic scholarship: the Sunna or Hadith; Islamic Law; theology and philosophy
- Sectarian division, with particular reference to Shi'ism
- Islamic mysticism (Sufism)
- Selected topics , e.g.: the status of women in Islam; relations with non-Muslims; 'jihad'
- Islam in the modern age
Scope and syllabus
- The Prophet Muhammad and the Qur'an: a survey of the life and career of the Prophet, of the place within it of the revelations made to him, and of the subsequent development of the text of the Qur'an
- A survey of the main duties and beliefs of Islam: the content and development of the 'five pillars of Islam', and some of Islam's main theological, legal and ethical concerns
- a survey of the history of the Islam, with particular reference to the development of the main sects and other groups within Islam and to some of the leading religious and other personalities
- Islam in the modern world: a survey of some of the more important movements in modern Islam and current issues in Muslim society.
Method of assessment2 essays (3,000 words each) (1 x 20% and 1 x 35%) and 2 - hour exam (45%).
- Waines, D (1994) An Introduction to Islam, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Murata, S and W Chittick (1995) The Vision of Islam, London.
- Esposito, J (1998) Islam: The Straight Path, Oxford: Oxford University Press.