The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Core Texts and Ideas

Hina Azam


Associate ProfessorPh.D.- 2007, Duke University

Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern Studies
Hina Azam

Contact

Interests


Islamic jurisprudence, theology, exegesis, hadith studies; Women/sexuality and Islam; Sexual Violence in Islamic Law

Courses


MEL 321 • Religions Of Middle East

41565 • Fall 2016
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM BUR 208
(also listed as ISL 340, MES 342, R S 358)

How is Christianity in Egypt different from Christianity in the U.S.? What do Zoroastrians believe? Is there a relationship between Islam and the Baha’i religion? These are the types of questions that this course is intended to answer. The course will include a basic overview of Zoroastrianism, Judaism in the Middle East, Eastern Christianity, Islam, and the Baha’i religion, with a focus on the manifestations of these religions in the Middle East. Focus will primarily be on cosmological doctrines, scriptures, moral principles, sacred history and geography, and liturgical practices, although historical and cultural developments within these traditions will be covered as necessary. Students may have opportunities to read primary texts as well, schedule permitting.

Texts

Tentative List - May Change: Mary Boyce, Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices Hayim Halevy Donin, To Be a Jew Betty Jane Bailey and J. Martin Bailey, Who are the Christians of the Middle East? David Waines, An Introduction to Islam Peter Smith, The Babi and Baha'i Religions

Grading

3 unit tests, 15% each = 45% Final exam = 45% Attendance = 10%

MES 386 • Islamic Feminism

41873 • Fall 2016
Meets W 12:00PM-3:00PM GAR 2.124
(also listed as R S 390T, WGS 393)

This course explores the idea of Islamic Feminism, and surveys key writings in the field. Islam and feminism are often considered to be contradictory in their essences and objectives. Nevertheless, we now find more than a century of writing by Muslim women who draw their inspiration from their religion, and who seek to reconcile Islam’s scriptures and traditions with modern ideals of gender equality and justice. Our exploration of Islamic feminism in this course will include a survey of those practices, doctrines, and texts of Islam that have been considered most problematic from a gender perspective. The course will begin with a reflection on the idea of “feminism,” after which students will construct their own definitions of the term. These definitions will serve as bases for critical evaluation both of patriarchal elements (texts, doctrines, practices) of classical Islam, and of contemporary Islamic feminist arguments. Readings may include excerpts by Fatima Mernissi, Leila Ahmed, Amina Wadud, Kecia Ali, Ayesha Chaudhry, Asma Barlas, among others. Required readings will be in English. However, final course papers will require research in a second language as well, one that is appropriate to the student’s area of study, and with instructor approval.

Texts / Readings:

Excerpts from the following:

  • Fatima Mernissi, The Veil and the Male Elite
  • Leila Ahmed, Women and Gender in Islam
  • Barbara Stowasser. Women in the Qur’an, traditions and interpretation
  • Kecia Ali, Sexual Ethics in Islam
  • Amina Wadud, Qur'an and Woman
  • Asma Barlas, Believing Women in Islam
  • Omid Safi, Progressive Muslims
  • Ayesha Chaudhry, Domestic Violence and the Islamic Tradition
  • Asma Sayeed, Women and the Transmission of Knowledge in Islam
  • Marcia Hermansen and Ednan Aslan, eds., Muslima Theology: The Voices of Muslim Women Theologians
  • Aysha Hidayatullah, Feminist Edges of the Qur'an
  • Hina Azam, Sexual Violation in Islamic Law

Relevant academic articles will also be assigned as well as online lectures and videos. Articles may include:

  • Mubarak, Hadia, "Breaking the Interpretive Monopoly: A Re-Examination of Verse 4:34," HAWWA, v.2, n.3 (2004), 261-289.
  • Umar, Nasaruddin, "Gender Biases in Qur'anic Exegesis: A Study of Scriptural Interpretation from a Gender Perspective," HAWWA, v.2, n.3 (2004), 337-363.
  • Jeena, Islamic Feminist Hermeneutics
  • Shah, Women's Human Rights in the Qur'an
  • Valentine M. Moghadam, “Islamic Feminism and Its Discontents”
  • Margot Badran, “Between secular and Islamic feminism/s”

Grading Policy:

  • 15% Attendance
  • 15% Participation
  • 25% Presentations on readings
  • 35% Term paper, due in stages:  5% for proposal; 5% for introduction/outline with bibliography; 25% for final paper
  • 10% Presentation on final research paper

HIS 306N • Introduction To Islam

38401-38404 • Spring 2016
Meets W 2:00PM-4:00PM
(also listed as ANS 301M, ISL 310)

 

 

CTI 375 • The Qur'An

33165 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM MEZ B0.306
(also listed as C L 323, ISL 340, MEL 321, MES 342, R S 325G, WGS 340)

In this course, we will study the religion of Islam through its sacred text, the Qur’an. To this end, this course will entail extensive reading of the Qur’an itself, as well as of other texts. In our studies, we will focus on the following themes of the Qur’an: cosmology and theology, ethical principles, ritual prescriptions, and legal injunctions. We will also examine some of the prominent symbols, images and rhetorical structures of the Qur’an. Through reading the prophetic narratives, we will have an opportunity to compare Qur’anic and Biblical accounts of the major prophets shared by Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The syllabus also includes an inquiry into role of the Qur’an in Muslim devotion and as a medium for artistic expression. We will also discuss the tradition of interpretation (or “exegesis”), especially as it pertains to those verses that engender the most debate today: those surrounding politics, intercommunal (i.e. interreligious) relations, and women/gender. Prior knowledge of Islam is helpful but not required for this course.

Texts

  • William E. Shepard, Introducing Islam (2nd edition, Routledge, 2014)
  • John A. Williams, The Word of Islam (1st edition, University of Texas Press, 1994)

Additional readings will be selected from the following authors/works:

  • Fazlur Rahman, Major Themes of the Qur’an
  • Imam al-Ghazali (d.1111), Inner Dimensions of Islamic Worship (The Islamic Foundation)

Grading Policy

  • Final exam – 30%
  • 2 Tests – 25% each (50%)
  • Class attendance 20%

ISL 340 • Classical Islamic Studies

40625 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 103
(also listed as MEL 321, MES 342, R S 358)

Course Description

This writing-intensive, upper-division course will provide an overview of the core religious disciplines of classical Islam, as well as a foundation in the methodologies of each discipline for those students interested in further study of any one of them. In this course, we will focus on the following four religious disciplines: Qur'anic exegesis ("tafsir"); critique of the Prophetic reports ("hadith"); theology ("kalam"); and law ("fiqh"). Readings will be in both secondary and primary texts (all in translation). Writing components will include short weekly essays and a final project. This course will assume a basic knowledge of Islam, such as is provided by the Introduction to Islam course (NOTE: This course carries a writing flag).

 

Texts

An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur'an Hadith Literature: Its Origin, Development and Special Features The Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology A History of Islamic Legal Theories

 

Grading and Requirements

Attendance 14%

Class participation 14%

6 response papers 12% each

MEL 321 • Religions Of The Middle Eas

40825 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM MEZ 1.306
(also listed as ISL 340, MES 342, R S 358)

How is Christianity in Egypt different from Christianity in the U.S.? What do Zoroastrians believe? Is there a relationship between Islam and the Baha’i religion? These are the types of questions that this course is intended to answer. The course will include a basic overview of Zoroastrianism, Judaism in the Middle East, Eastern Christianity, Islam, and the Baha’i religion, with a focus on the manifestations of these religions in the Middle East. Focus will primarily be on cosmological doctrines, scriptures, moral principles, sacred history and geography, and liturgical practices, although historical and cultural developments within these traditions will be covered as necessary. Students may have opportunities to read primary texts as well, schedule permitting.

Texts

Tentative List - May Change: Mary Boyce, Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices Hayim Halevy Donin, To Be a Jew Betty Jane Bailey and J. Martin Bailey, Who are the Christians of the Middle East? David Waines, An Introduction to Islam Peter Smith, The Babi and Baha'i Religions

Grading

3 unit tests, 15% each = 45% Final exam = 45% Attendance = 10%

MES 386 • Islamic Stds: Discpln Intro

41190 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CAL 422
(also listed as MEL 380)

This graduate seminar is designed to acquaint students with the academic study of Islam within the broader discipline of religious studies, in part to prepare students for possible doctoral work in Islamic studies. We will begin with an overview of the discipline of religious studies, with an eye to how Islam has been approached therein. Next we will explore the field of Islamic studies - its history and major contributors, salient theories and debates, methods and sources. A further objective of the course is to provide students with a rudimentary knowledge of major subfields within Islamic Studies, such as those pertaining to the Qur'an and its exegesis, to the life and legacy of Muhammad, to law and legal theory, and to theology and mysticism. A final area of attention will be pedagogy in Islamic studies, the objective here being to help prepare students to teach courses on Islam. Students with Arabic language ability can expect to do work in Arabic primary texts.

Texts

In addition to a number of books in various subfields of Islamic Studies, of which different students read different ones, all students read a series of important articles in the field of Islamic Studies: • Jacques Waardenburg, “Islamic Studies and the History of Religions.” In Mapping Islamic Studies, ed. Azim Nanji. 181-219. • Hermansen, M. K. “Trends in Islamic studies in the United States and Canada since the 1970s.” American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences. 10:1 (1993): 96-118. • Mahmoud Ayoub, “The Speaking Qur’an and the Silent Qur’an: … Imami Shii tafsir.” • Bruce Fudge, “Qur’anic Exegesis in Medieval Islam and Modern Orientalism.” • Andrew Rippin, “Tafsir.” • Angelika Neuwirth, “Qur’an and History – a Disputed Relationship …” • Mustansir Mir, “The Qur’an as Literature.” • Sebastian Günther, “Mu?ammad, the Illiterate Prophet” • Leah Kinberg, “Mu?kam?t and Mutash?bih?t (Koran 3/7): … Medieval Exegesis” • David Powers, “The exegetical genre nasikh al-Qur’an wa mansukhuhu” • Roberto Totolli, “Origin and use of the term Isra`iliyyat in Muslim literature.” • Kevin Reinhart, “Juynbolliana, Gradualism, the Big Bang, and ?ad?th Study in the 21st Century” • Adis Duderija, “Evolution in the Canonical Sunni ?adith Body of Literature” • Robert Gleave, “Between ?adith and Fiqh: the Canonical Imami Collections of Akhbar” • Sebastian Gunther, “Assessing the Sources of Classical Arabic Compilations” • R. Marston Speight, “Narrative Structures in the ?ad?th” • Marston Speight, “A Look at Variant Readings in ?ad?th” • G. H. A. Juynboll, “(Re)appraisal of some technical terms in ?adith science” • Wael Hallaq, “The Authenticity of Prophetic ?ad?th: A Pseudo-Problem” • Harald Motzki, “The Mu?annaf of `Abd al-Razz?q al-San`ani as a Source of Authentic A??d?th of the First Century AH” • Christopher Melchert, “Traditionist-Jurisprudents and the framing of Islamic law.” • Scott Lucas, “Where are the Legal ?adith? A Study of the Mu?annaf of Ibn Ab? Shayba.” • Yasin Dutton, “`Amal vs. ?ad?th in Islamic law: the case of sadl al-yadayn.” • Said Amir Arjomand, “The consolation of theology: the absence of the Imam …” • Norman Calder, “Doubt and prerogative: the emergence of an Imami Shi`i theory of ijtihad.” • Wilferd Madelung, “The sources of Isma`ili law.” • Christopher Melchert, “How Hanafism came to Originate in Kufa and Traditionalism in Madina.” • Mohammad H. Kamali, “Qawa`id al-Fiqh: The Legal Maxims of Islamic Law.” • David Johnston, “A turn in the epistemology and hermeneutics of 20th c usul al-fiqh” • Ebrahim Moosa, “Contrapuntal Readings in Muslim Thought.” • Asma Barlas, “The Qur’an and Hermeneutics: Reading the Qur’an’s opposition to patriarchy” • Manuela Marín, “Disciplining Wives: A Historical Reading of Qur'ân 4:34” • Joseph Witztum, “Q 4:24 revisited” • Asma Sayeed, “Women and ?ad?th transmission” • Sa`diyya Shaikh, “Knowledge, women and gender in the ?ad?th” • Scott Lucas, “Perhaps you only kissed her?” • Mohammad Fadel, “Two women, one man” • Valentine M. Moghadam, “Islamic Feminism and Its Discontents” • Margot Badran, “Between secular and Islamic feminism/s”

Grading

Tentative: In-class presentations on readings (approx. 5-6) 48% Term paper (20%) 20% Syllabus project (20%) 20% General preparedness & participation (12%) 12%

ANS 301M • Introduction To Islam

31835 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ 1.306
(also listed as HIS 306N, ISL 310, R S 319)

The objective of this course is to give students an understanding of what it means to be Muslim, in terms of beliefs (cosmology and theology), practices (rituals and moral teachings), and culture. In order to achieve this three-part objective, we will read materials from various perspectives and of different genres. We will devote some time to the history of the foundations and civilization of Islam, for even if a religion is conceived in terms of universals and ideals, its actual manifestation is always tempered by historical, cultural and social context. We will explore the meaning of Islam as a worldview and a moral system through examining its doctrinal, ritual, philosophical, ethical and spiritual dimensions. This course is designed for students with no prior knowledge of Islam.

Texts

To be provided by instructor. 

Grading

Final exam, Midterm exam, Quizzes, Class attendance

ISL 340 • Islamic Law

41760 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CAL 200
(also listed as MEL 321, MES 342, R S 358, WGS 340)

From the beginnings of Islam in the 7th century until today, observant Muslims have sought to live their lives in accordance with Islamic moral law, or shari‘a. This upper-division course is designed to give students a foundation in the substantive teachings of the shari‘a, which comprises not only what we normally think of as law, but also ethics and etiquette. Specific areas of coverage include the following: rules of ritual worship, ethical principles, etiquette, family and personal status law, criminal law, economic and contract law, constitutional and international law. Although the bulk of the course will concern classical Islamic law, we will take time out to discuss issues of contemporary concern as well, such as gender equity, human rights, medical ethics, and warfare. Readings will be in both secondary literature and primary texts (in translation). This course will assume a basic working knowledge of Islam. This course carries a writing flag and global cultures flag.

Texts

Tentative: The Origins and Evolution of Islamic Law, by Wael Hallaq The Spirit of Islamic Law, by Bernard Weiss Religion of Islam, by Muhammad Ali Supplementary readings (articles, book chapters)

Grading

5 Essays, Attendance, Preparedness & Participation

MES 386 • Qur'Anic Exegesis

42635 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ 1.104

The Qur’an has served the Muslim community from its initial proclamation by Muhammad until today as a source of spiritual insight, ethico-legal guidance, sacred narratives, and theology principles. In addition, Muslims have held it to contain truths about history, the natural world, and human psychology. Believed by Muslims to comprise the exact words of God and therefore an infallible indicator of the divine mind, its interpreters have hung complex doctrines on its precise wording and turns of phrase. As the Islamic scholarly disciplines gradually took on lives of their own, becoming traditions somewhat independent of and removed from this first source of religion, the Qur’an remained the ultimate point of reference and arbiter of truth: A doctrine or argument that was regarded (or portrayed) as antithetical to the Qur’an could never hope to thrive among practitioners. In this graduate seminar, we will progress along dual trajectories: One trajectory will center on the academic study of Qur’anic interpretation and commentary, known as tafsir. In this vein, we will read scholarly literature, in English, on the genre, nature and history of tafsir. Our second trajectory will involve reading from primary tafsir texts in Arabic. Reading selections will be taken from a variety of exegetical subgenres, such as rationalist and traditionalist, Sunni and Shii, mystical and legalist, classical and modern.

Texts/readings:

English readings will include sections from the following works: • Walid Saleh, The Formation of the Classical Tafsir Tradition: The Qur'an Commentary of al-Tha`labi • Andrew Rippin, ed. The Qur'an: Formative Interpretation. • Andrew Rippin, ed. Approaches to the History of the Interpretation of the Qur'an. • Andrew Rippin. The Qur'an and Its Interpretive Tradition. • Meir Bar-Asher. Scripture and Exegesis in Early Imami-Shi`ism. Other supplementary articles may also be added. Arabic/primary text readings will include sections from the following exegeses: • Qurtubi. al-Jami` li Ahkam. (medieval, Sunni/legal) • Tha`labi. al-Kashf wa al-Bayan. (medieval Sunni) • Ibn Kathir. Tafsir Ibn Kathir. (medieval Sunni) • Tabari. Jami` al-Bayan. (medieval Sunni) • Suyuti. al-Itqan fi `Ulum al-Qur'an and Tafsir al-Jalalayn. (medieval Sunni) • Razi. Mafatih al-Ghayb. (medieval Sunni/Ash`ari) • Kashani. al-Safi. (medieval Shii) • Tabarsi. Majma` al-Bayan. (medieval Imami Shii) • Tusi. al-Tibyan al-Jami`. (medieval Imami Shii) • A`qam. Tafsir al-A`qam. (medieval Zaydi Shii) • Zamakhshari. al-Kashshaf. (medieval Mu`tazili) • Qushayri. Lata'if al-Isharat. (medieval Sufi/Sunni) • Ibn `Arabi. Tafsir al-Qur'an. (medieval Sufi/Sunni) • Alusi. Ruh al-Ma`ani. (modern Sunni) • Qutb. Fi Zilal al-Qur'an. (modern Sunni/salafi) • Mawdudi. Tafhim al-Qur'an, English translation from Urdu. (modern Sunni/salafi) • Shirazi. Taqrib al-Qur'an. (modern Shii) • Tabataba'i. al-Mizan. (modern Shii)

Grading requirements:

Presence, preparedness and participation = 35%, Term paper, due in stages (proposal, bibliography, introduction/outline, and final paper) = 45%, Presentation on research paper = 20%

CTI 375 • Islamic Theology

34265 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM WEL 3.402
(also listed as ISL 340, MEL 321, MES 342, R S 358)

Islamic Theology may be understood as that branch of knowledge that comprises the way that Muslims have conceived the natures of God, humanity and the natural world, as well as the relationships between these three.  Muslim contemplation of these subjects has given rise to a number of debates and doctrines.  Some of these have had to do with issues such as the relationship between human will and the divine will, or the origins of sinfulness.  Other disputes have had to do with the nature of governance and the role of the ruler in effecting salvation.  Yet another area of questioning has had to do with the limits of rational knowledge and possibility of meta-cognitive experience of God.  These three classical areas of inquiry – that is, political theory, systematic theology (dogmatics) and mystical theology (sufi theosophy) – will form the main areas of focus in this upper division course.

CTI 375 • The Qur'An

34275 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM CLA 0.128
(also listed as C L 323, ISL 340, MEL 321, MES 342, R S 325G, WGS 340)

In this course, we will study the religion of Islam through its sacred text, the Qur’an. To this end, this course will entail extensive reading of the Qur’an itself, as well as of other texts. In our studies, we will focus on the following themes of the Qur’an: cosmology and theology, ethical principles, ritual prescriptions, and legal injunctions. We will also examine some of the prominent symbols, images and rhetorical structures of the Qur’an. Through reading the prophetic narratives, we will have an opportunity to compare Qur’anic and Biblical accounts of the major prophets shared by Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The syllabus also includes an inquiry into role of the Qur’an in Muslim devotion and as a medium for artistic expression. We will also discuss the tradition of interpretation (or “exegesis”), especially as it pertains to those verses that engender the most debate today: those surrounding politics, intercommunal (i.e. interreligious) relations, and women/gender. Prior knowledge of Islam is helpful but not required for this course.

ISL 310 • Introduction To Islam

41670 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GEA 105
(also listed as HIS 306N, R S 319)

The objective of this course is to give students an understanding of what it means to be Muslim, in terms of beliefs (cosmology and theology), practices (rituals and moral teachings), and culture. In order to achieve this three-part objective, we will read materials from various perspectives and of different genres. We will devote some time to the history of the foundations and civilization of Islam, for even if a religion is conceived in terms of universals and ideals, its actual manifestation is always tempered by history, culture and social realities. We will explore the meaning of Islam as a worldview and a moral system through examining its doctrinal, ritual, philosophical, moral and spiritual dimensions. This course is designed for students with no prior knowledge of Islam.

Texts/readings:

• David Waines, An Introduction to Islam (tentative) • Asma Afsaruddin, The First Muslims

• Eric Geoffroy, Introduction to Sufism: The Inner Path of Islam

• Excerpts from the following: -The Qur’an and the Bible, any translation - Imam Nawawi, Riyadh al-Salihin - Imam Ghazali, Inner Dimensions of Islamic Worship - John A. Williams, The Word of Islam - Omid Safi, Memories of Muhammad - John Esposito, Islam: The Straight Path, 4th edition

Grading requirements:

Four Unit Tests, 10% each (40% total), One Midterm Exam, 20%, One Final Exam, 25%, Class Attendance, 15%

MEL 380 • Qur'Anic Exegesis

41815 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM MEZ 1.104
(also listed as MES 386, R S 390T)

The Qur’an has served the Muslim community from its initial proclamation by Muhammad until today as a source of spiritual insight, ethico-legal guidance, sacred narratives, and theology principles. In addition, Muslims have held it to contain truths about history, the natural world, and human psychology. Believed by Muslims to comprise the exact words of God and therefore an infallible indicator of the divine mind, its interpreters have hung complex doctrines on its precise wording and turns of phrase. As the Islamic scholarly disciplines gradually took on lives of their own, becoming traditions somewhat independent of and removed from this first source of religion, the Qur’an remained the ultimate point of reference and arbiter of truth: A doctrine or argument that was regarded (or portrayed) as antithetical to the Qur’an could never hope to thrive among practitioners. In this graduate seminar, we will progress along dual trajectories: One trajectory will center on the academic study of Qur’anic interpretation and commentary, known as tafsir. In this vein, we will read scholarly literature, in English, on the genre, nature and history of tafsir. Our second trajectory will involve reading from primary tafsir texts in Arabic. Reading selections will be taken from a variety of exegetical subgenres, such as rationalist and traditionalist, Sunni and Shii, mystical and legalist, classical and modern.

Texts/readings:

English readings will include sections from the following works: • Walid Saleh, The Formation of the Classical Tafsir Tradition: The Qur'an Commentary of al-Tha`labi • Andrew Rippin, ed. The Qur'an: Formative Interpretation. • Andrew Rippin, ed. Approaches to the History of the Interpretation of the Qur'an. • Andrew Rippin. The Qur'an and Its Interpretive Tradition. • Meir Bar-Asher. Scripture and Exegesis in Early Imami-Shi`ism. Other supplementary articles may also be added. Arabic/primary text readings will include sections from the following exegeses: • Qurtubi. al-Jami` li Ahkam. (medieval, Sunni/legal) • Tha`labi. al-Kashf wa al-Bayan. (medieval Sunni) • Ibn Kathir. Tafsir Ibn Kathir. (medieval Sunni) • Tabari. Jami` al-Bayan. (medieval Sunni) • Suyuti. al-Itqan fi `Ulum al-Qur'an and Tafsir al-Jalalayn. (medieval Sunni) • Razi. Mafatih al-Ghayb. (medieval Sunni/Ash`ari) • Kashani. al-Safi. (medieval Shii) • Tabarsi. Majma` al-Bayan. (medieval Imami Shii) • Tusi. al-Tibyan al-Jami`. (medieval Imami Shii) • A`qam. Tafsir al-A`qam. (medieval Zaydi Shii) • Zamakhshari. al-Kashshaf. (medieval Mu`tazili) • Qushayri. Lata'if al-Isharat. (medieval Sufi/Sunni) • Ibn `Arabi. Tafsir al-Qur'an. (medieval Sufi/Sunni) • Alusi. Ruh al-Ma`ani. (modern Sunni) • Qutb. Fi Zilal al-Qur'an. (modern Sunni/salafi) • Mawdudi. Tafhim al-Qur'an, English translation from Urdu. (modern Sunni/salafi) • Shirazi. Taqrib al-Qur'an. (modern Shii) • Tabataba'i. al-Mizan. (modern Shii)

 

Grading requirements:

Presence, preparedness and participation = 35%, Term paper, due in stages (proposal, bibliography, introduction/outline, and final paper) = 45%, Presentation on research paper = 20%

C L 323 • The Qur'An

33710 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM MEZ 1.306
(also listed as ISL 340, MEL 321, MES 342, R S 325G, WGS 340)

In this course, we will study the religion of Islam through its sacred text, the Qur’an. To this end, this course will entail extensive reading of the Qur’an itself, as well as of other texts. In our studies, we will focus on the following themes of the Qur’an: cosmology and theology, ethical principles, ritual prescriptions, and legal injunctions. We will also examine some of the prominent symbols, images and rhetorical structures of the Qur’an. Through reading the prophetic narratives, we will have an opportunity to compare Qur’anic and Biblical accounts of the major prophets shared by Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The syllabus also includes an inquiry into role of the Qur’an in Muslim devotion and as a medium for artistic expression. We will also discuss the tradition of interpretation (or “exegesis”), especially as it pertains to those verses that engender the most debate today: those surrounding politics, intercommunal (i.e. interreligious) relations, and women/gender. Prior knowledge of Islam is helpful but not required for this course.

CTI 375 • Islamic Theology

33973 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM BEN 1.122
(also listed as ISL 340, MES 342, R S 358)

Islamic Theology may be understood as that branch of knowledge that comprises the way that Muslims have conceived the natures of God, humanity and the natural world, as well as the relationships between these three.  Muslim contemplation of these subjects has given rise to a number of debates and doctrines.  Some of these have had to do with issues such as the relationship between human will and the divine will, or the origins of sinfulness.  Other disputes have had to do with the nature of governance and the role of the ruler in effecting salvation.  Yet another area of questioning has had to do with the limits of rational knowledge and possibility of meta-cognitive experience of God.  These three classical areas of inquiry – that is, political theory, systematic theology (dogmatics) and mystical theology (sufi theosophy) – will form the main areas of focus in this upper division course. 

ISL 340 • Religions Of The Middle East

41525 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM MEZ 1.306
(also listed as MES 322K, R S 358)

Course Description

How is Christianity in Egypt different from Christianity in the U.S.?  What do Zoroastrians believe?  Is there a relationship between Islam and the Baha’i religion?  These are the types of questions that this course is intended to answer.  The course will include a basic overview of Zoroastrianism, Judaism in the Middle East, Eastern Christianity, Islam, and the Baha’i religion, with a focus on the manifestations of these religions in the Middle East.  Focus will primarily be on cosmological doctrines, scriptures, moral principles, sacred history and geography, and liturgical practices, although historical and cultural developments within these traditions will be covered as necessary.  Students may have opportunities to read primary texts as well, schedule permitting.

Texts

Islam in the Middle East: A Living Tradition, by G.P. Makris

An Introduction to Shi'i Islam, by Moojan Momen

Who are the Christians of the Middle East?, by B.J. Bailey and J.M. Bailey

Course supplement including excerpts from Marshall Hodgson, The Venture of Islam, and The Jews of Arab Lands, Norman Stillman.

 

Grading & Requirements

4 reading response papers: 15% each

1 field trip report: 10%

attendance: 15%

class participation: 15%

MES 386 • Islamic Stds: Discpln Intro

41820 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM CAL 22

Course Descriptions

This graduate seminar is designed to acquaint students with the academic study of Islam within the broader discipline of religious studies, in part to prepare students for possible doctoral work in Islamic studies.  We will begin with an overview of the discipline of religious studies, with an eye to how Islam has been approached therein.  Next we will explore the field of Islamic studies - its history and major contributors, salient theories and debates, methods and sources.  A further objective of the course is to provide students with a rudimentary knowledge of major subfields within Islamic Studies, such as those pertaining to the Qur'an and its exegesis, to the life and legacy of Muhammad, to law and legal theory, and to theology and mysticism.  A final area of attention will be pedagogy in Islamic studies, the objective here being to help prepare students to teach courses on Islam.  Students with Arabic language ability can expect to do work in Arabic primary texts.

 

Texts

These are all required texts for the course. The first three are available for sale at the University Co-Op. The last will be held on reserve at PCL.

• Richard Martin, ed. Approaches to Islam in Religious Studies (pbk). 1985. Oxford: Oneworld. 

• Aaron Hughes. Situating Islam: The Past and Future of an Academic Discipline (pbk). 2007. London: Equinox. 

• Brannon Wheeler, ed. Teaching Islam. 2003. New York: Oxford U Press.

• Azim Nanji, ed. Mapping Islamic Studies: Genealogy, Continuity & Change. 1997. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

 

Grading & Requirements

In-class presentations on select readings (12 x 4% each) 48%

Review essay / survey of the field (20%) 20%

Syllabus project (20%) 20%

Preparedness & participation (12%) 12%

 

 

ARA 372 • Islamic Law

41137 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM BEN 1.122
(also listed as ISL 340, MES 328, R S 358, WGS 340)

From the beginnings of Islam in the 7th century until today, observant Muslims have sought to live their lives in accordance with God's law, or shariah. This writing-intensive, upper-division course is designed to give students a foundation in the substantive teachings of the shariah, which comprises not only what we normally think of as law, but also ethics and etiquette. Specific areas of coverage include the following: rules of ritual worship, ethical principles, etiquette, family and personal status law, criminal law, economic and contract law, constitutional and international law. Although bulk of the course will concern classical Islamic law, we will take time out to discuss issues of contemporary concern as well, such as gender equity, human rights, medical ethics, and warfare. Readings will be in both secondary literature and primary texts (in translation). This course has no prerequisites, but will assume a basic working knowledge of Islam.

Flags: Writing

 

Texts

To be provided by instructor. 

 

Grading

To be provided by instructor. 

HIS 306N • Introduction To Islam

39102 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM MEZ 1.306
(also listed as ISL 310)

 

 

C L 323 • Classical Islamic Studies

33945 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM GAR 3.116
(also listed as ARA 372, ISL 340, MES 321K, R S 358)

Course Description

This writing-intensive, upper-division course will provide an overview of the core religious disciplines of classical Islam, as well as a foundation in the methodologies of each discipline for those students interested in further study of any one of them. In this course, we will focus on the following four religious disciplines: Qur'anic exegesis ("tafsir"); critique of the Prophetic reports ("hadith"); theology ("kalam"); and law ("fiqh"). Readings will be in both secondary and primary texts (all in translation). Writing components will include short weekly essays and a final project. This course will assume a basic knowledge of Islam, such as is provided by the Introduction to Islam course (NOTE: This course carries a writing flag).

 

Texts

An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur'an Hadith Literature: Its Origin, Development and Special Features The Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology A History of Islamic Legal Theories

 

Grading and Requirements

Attendance 14%

Class participation 14%

6 response papers 12% each

ISL 340 • Religions Of The Middle East

41900 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM WAG 101
(also listed as MES 322K, R S 358)

What are the differences between Sunni and Shii Muslims?  How is Christianity in Egypt different from Christianity in the U.S.?  How is Judaism practiced in Morocco?  Who are the Druze, and what do Zoroastrians believe?  This course seeks to answer some of these questions.  We will study the many and diverse religious communities of the contemporary Middle East, focusing on cosmology and mythology, doctrines and beliefs, liturgy and devotional practices, moral law and ethics, and scriptural tradition.  We will also study history and culture insofar as these inform and/or reflect religious beliefs and values. A key objective of the course will be to utilize comparative and anthropological approaches in order to explore the particularities of religion in the Middle Eastern context.

 

Texts:

Islam in the Middle East: A Living Tradition, by G. P. Makris;

An Introduction to Shi`i Islam, by Moojan Momen

Who are the Christians of the Middle East?, by B. J. Bailey and J. M. Bailey

Course supplement including excerpts from Marshall Hodgson, The Venture of Islam, and The Jews of Arab Lands, Norman Stillman.

 

Grading:

4 reading response papers (15% each), 1 field trip report (10%), attendance (15%) and class participation (15%)

HIS 306N • Introduction To Islam

39872 • Fall 2008
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM SZB 370
(also listed as ISL 310)

 

 

PHL 354 • Islamic Theology-W

43320 • Spring 2008
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 302

While North Americans and Europeans believe that liberal democracy is the best form of government, this was not always true. (Many people throughout the world today do not think it is true.) Liberal democracy is the theory that the individual person has certain rights, not dependent on the existence of government. Key concepts of liberalism include liberty, democracy, contract, and obligation.

The theory behind liberalism developed from several traditions (republicanism, democracy, and limited sovereignty) influenced by various religious, economic and political beliefs and values, over a long period of time. Perhaps the most crucial period in this development was seventeenth-century England.

This course is interdisciplinary. It begins with the religious and political history of the seventeenth century (which includes the Gunpowder Plot, the Long Parliament, the English Civil War, the Rump Parliament, the execution of King Charles I, the establishment of the Commonwealth, the restoration of the Monarchy, the Exclusion Crisis, and the Glorious Revolution.) Then some crucial works in political philosophy by some of the greatest political philosophers in history, such as Thomas Hobbes and John Locke will be discussed. Parts of two books written by John Milton, no political slouch, will be read, one in defense of the beheading of the king. The political relevance of some literary works will also be discussed.

A large part of this course will consist of working on a research paper, either alone or in partnership with one or two other students, as the topic and student interest dictates.

HIS 306N • Introduction To Islam

40505 • Fall 2007
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM BUR 112
(also listed as ISL 310)

 

 

HIS 306N • Introduction To Islam

39265 • Spring 2007
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM PAR 1
(also listed as ISL 310)