Spring 2015 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Anjum, Zafar
Discipline and Number
HUMA 3342 Section 501
TR Time 5:30 PM - 6:45 PM
Course Title
Introduction to Islamic Culture

Description of Course:

This course is an introductory course on Islamic culture intended for students who are interested to know more about Islamic culture, religious life; beliefs and practices. The goal of this course is to provide an insight and a world view of Islamic culture on the following topics:
(1) Religious life, Beliefs and Practice
(2) Muhammad and the Qur’an
(3) Contribution of Islam to the World
(4) Islamic Art and Calligraphy
(5) Festivals, Dresses & Food
(6) Muslims in America

Islam belongs to Abrahamic faiths and has deep roots in the teachings of Prophet Abraham, the fountain head of three world major religions; namely Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It has grown and spread from the Arabian Peninsula to a world religion whose followers at present times are more than one and a half 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:

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

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:


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