Fall 2014 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Anjum, Zafar
Discipline and Number
HUMA 3342 Section 002
TR Time 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM
Course Title
Intro to Islamic Culture

Description of Course:

This course is an introductory course on Islam intended for students with little or no knowledge of Islam. The goal of this course is to provide a comprehensive understanding of Islam based on the following topics:
(1) Muhammad and the Qur’an; The Messenger and the Message
(2) Religious life, Beliefs and Practice
(3) Contribution of Islam to the World
(4) Modern Interpretations of Islam
(5) Islamic Art and Calligraphy
(6) Islam in the 21st Century
For more than fourteen centuries, Islam has grown and spread from the Arabian Peninsula to a world religion whose followers at present times are more than one billion across the globe and several millions in Europe and North America.
Islam - a great monotheistic tradition – shared common roots with Judaism and Christianity that guided millions of believers to spiritual path and whose beliefs, practices, ethics, theology and mysticism have made it one of the fastest growing religions both in the past and today. Media images of Islam have often obscured the fact that Muslims, Jews and Christians share much in common; they are indeed all children of Abraham. Besides, Islam spawned a great world civilization that stretched from North Africa to Southeast Asia. During the medieval period, Muslim scientists had transmitted human intellect and legacy to the generations of their time. Later, it has shown a great impact on European Renaissance and paved the way for advancement in science and technology.
Art is the universal language. In this course, Islamic Art has been included as a translator and connector across generations and cultures. Muslims today, like believers the world over, continue to struggle with the relevance of their faith to the realities of contemporary society. In chapter five, the compatibility of Islam with modern and postmodern life will be discussed.
In short, the aim of this course is to build bridges of understanding and highlight the fact that the vast majority of Muslims, like most members of other religious traditions, are pious, hardworking men and women, family and community originated, who wish to live in peace and harmony rather than in hostility and warfare.

Required Texts:

Required text book:
Islam: The Straight Path
By: John L. Esposito
A Textbook for HUMA 3342.501 “Introduction to Islam”
4th Edition (2010)
Oxford University Press Inc.

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

An introductory course on Islam intended for students with little or no knowledge of Islam.

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