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ISLAMIC STUDIES

School

Hartford International

HI-538

Dialogue Among Muslim Schools of Thought: Sunnis, Shias, and Others

BTI Category

Semester

Islamic Studies

FA24

This seminar explores historical formations of religiously-defined identities in the history of Islam. The most commonly known such religiously-defined identities are those of Sunnis and Shias (for the sake of convenience, the word Shia is used consistently throughout this course instead of Shi'i, Shi'ite, Shiite, etc.). Besides Sunni and Shia, many other religiously-defined identity labels have been and continue to be used in the history of Muslim societies. Sufis, for instance, may identify themselves as either Sunni or Shia, even though sometimes they are shunned by both Sunnis and Shias. Tens of different Sufi group affiliations, also known as Sufi Brotherhoods, or tariqas, are known. Still, there have existed many other identity labels that mostly are forgotten, deemed irrelevant or sometimes subsumed other labels: Salafis, Ismailis, Ahmedis, Azalis, Nu'ayris, and Alewis are but few examples of such religiously-defined identities. Covered themes include theology, politics, jurisprudence. Thematic material is presented chronologically, from the 7th century to the present, with examples drawn from the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and elsewhere. Historical processes of making, unmaking, and remaking of various forms of “orthodoxy” are linked with the ways in which various religiously-defined identities may come under a unifying rubric.

Professor

Class Day & Time

Kamaly

R

7-9pm

Grading Option

Letter

Credits

3

Professor Approval Req'd?

N

Online?

Y

Prerequisites?

N

Notes

N

School

Hartford International

SC-556

Women and Gender in the Qur'an

BTI Category

Semester

Islamic Studies

FA24

This course is a thorough investigation of the female figures who are mentioned in the Qur’an. In this context, we give attention to the wide-ranging depictions of femaleness, including in sexual relations, in kinship relations, in divine-human relationships, and with regard to female embodiment and social roles. We explore how females—old, young, barren, fertile, chaste, profligate, reproachable, and saintly—enter Qur’anic sacred history and advance the Qur’an’s overarching didactic aims. We cover narratives of sacred history, parables, and stories that allude to particular events said to have occurred in the nascent Muslim polity. With this deep dive, students will gain a greater facility with the Qur’an’s overarching didactic themes as well as probe core issues related to gender and sexuality, including as they intersect with contemporary discourses. The course is particularly suited to those who have prior Qur’anic studies exposure; however, accommodations will be made for those who are newer to the discipline who would still like to take the course.

Professor

Class Day & Time

(TBA)

R

5-7pm

Grading Option

Letter

Credits

3

Professor Approval Req'd?

N

Online?

Y

Prerequisites?

N

Notes

N

School

Harvard Divinity School

HDS 3057

Intro to Islam through Prophetic Traditions

BTI Category

Semester

Islamic Studies

FA24

This course will engage in a critical reading and analysis of well-known Muslim prophetic traditions and a study of the practices of the Prophet Muhammad. Through analysis of Muslim prophetic traditions, such as “Hadith Jibril,” we will develop an understanding of the Islamic value systems, Islamic manners/etiquette and Prophetic Character. The fundamental building blocks such as Islam (the physical surrender of the body), Iman (internal truth), and Ihsan (excellence and beauty) will be closely examined. We will focus on Muslim spiritual care through these building blocks during the semester. We will also develop a framework for understanding core Islamic sciences, such as: Jurisprudence, creed/theology, and spiritual purification. Throughout various modalities and exercises, we will study how this framework can enable a deeper understanding of the practical issues affecting the lives of Muslims. We will have expert guest speakers from different disciplines such as pastoral care/chaplaincy (ministry), poetry & literature, counseling, psychology, education, social work, and medicine throughout the semester. These specialists will give us perspectives and practical tips on how prophetic traditions are applied in a Muslim’s life. This course will provide a basic understanding of the Islamic religion through the eyes of Muslims, while providing an in-depth understanding of the various dimensions of Islamic practices. Students from different backgrounds, with or without prior experience with Islam, will find much enrichment in this course diving into the practice through the lenses of prophetic traditions.

Professor

Class Day & Time

Kumek

M

12:00pm-01:59pm

Grading Option

Letter, P/F, Audit

Credits

4

Professor Approval Req'd?

N

Online?

N

Prerequisites?

N

Notes

N

School

Harvard Divinity School

HDS 3338

The Prophet Muhammad in History, Devotion, and Polemic

BTI Category

Semester

Islamic Studies

FA24

In the early seventh century, a man named Mu_ammad son of _Abdallah founded a movement that in time grew into a global religion, empire, and civilization. This course explores three discourses that developed around the life and character of the Prophet Muhammad. First, we will survey some of the biographies that Muslim scholars, both ancient and modern, have written about the life of their prophet. Second, we will explore how the Prophet's life, teachings and persona have served as subjects of Islamic devotion. Finally, the course examines some of the ways in which non-Muslims, again both ancient and modern, have perceived and portrayed Muhammad in polemic against Islam or dialogue with Muslims. Jointly offered in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as Religion 1078.

Professor

Class Day & Time

Goudarzi

T

01:00pm-02:59pm

Grading Option

Letter, P/F

Credits

4

Professor Approval Req'd?

N

Online?

N

Prerequisites?

N

Notes

N

School

Hartford International

HI-624

Histories of Classical Islam: Peoples, Traditions, Institutions

BTI Category

Semester

Islamic Studies

FA24

This course explores historical formations of major Muslim beliefs, practices, and traditions in the context of socio-political institutions. It engages narratives on the development of Islam which have come forth from various perspectives. Topics range from the emergence of the community of faith around the Prophet to established orders under different polities. Chronologically, this course covers from the 7th to the 17th century CE, from Late Antiquity to the Early Modern Period. Geographically, coverage extends from what is presently called the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to southern Spain (Al-Andalus), as well as Asia Minor, the Caucasus, Central Asia, India, and the Malay Peninsula.

Professor

Class Day & Time

Kamaly

W

5-7pm

Grading Option

Letter

Credits

3

Professor Approval Req'd?

N

Online?

Y

Prerequisites?

N

Notes

N

School

Hartford International

AM-550

Quran Recitation/Tajweed

BTI Category

Semester

Islamic Studies

FA24

This course is designed for Muslim leaders and chaplains and anyone who is interested in learning and improving their Quranic recitation. Students will gain important knowledge on recitation of the Quran. In this course, the instructor will focus on correct pronunciation of Arabic letters and words with consistent application of tajweed rules.Class time will be divided between teaching a tajweed lesson and group Tilawah, an exercise during which the teacher reads aloud and the students repeat after the teacher. There will be time for listening to the students’ recitations, as well. Once each student understands and is comfortable with the application of the tajweed rules, s/he can complete recitation of the entire mushaf at a better and faster pace and more independently, in sha Allah.This course may be accompanied by the spring semester course AM-551: Quran Recitation/Tajweed II.

Professor

Class Day & Time

Dogan

M

7-9pm

Grading Option

Letter

Credits

3

Professor Approval Req'd?

N

Online?

Y

Prerequisites?

N

Notes

N

School

Harvard Divinity School

HDS 3176

What is Islam?

BTI Category

Semester

Islamic Studies

FA24

What are the academic approaches to studying Islam? How do our academic approaches help us engage the question: what is Islam? This course begins by considering how 'Islam' is an object of academic inquiry but remains primarily concerned with the most prominent elements of Islam and being Islamic that have been marginalized within Islamic studies. It acknowledges the methodological difficulties involved in pursuing research on the phenomenon and practice of Islam across social contexts of the past and the present, while discussing possible methods of studying Islam as the religion lived by Muslims and even non-Muslims. Students will be introduced to academic and religious sources that encourage us to (re)approach Islam as the everyday experience of believers, the multiverse of rituals and exercises of knowledge acquisition, as well as contests over moral authority. Students will, moreover, be encouraged to consider if a focus on lived Islam encourages us to discard regnant dichotomies of 'textual' and 'popular' religion, along with imagined divisions of the Islamic world into a center and peripheries. Jointly offered in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as Religion 1807.

Professor

Class Day & Time

Sevea

M

05:00pm-07:00pm

Grading Option

Letter

Credits

4

Professor Approval Req'd?

Y

Online?

N

Prerequisites?

N

Notes

N

School

Harvard Divinity School

HDS 3339

Exploring the Quran

BTI Category

Semester

Islamic Studies

FA24

This course explores the contents of the Quran and probes its place in the history of human civilization. Students will learn about and critically reflect on the following subjects: 1) the Quran's core ideas, stories, laws, parables, and arguments; 2) the historical context in which the Quran was first promulgated and codified; 3) the relationship between the Quran and the preceding literary traditions of the ancient world, in particular the Bible and post-biblical Jewish and Christian writings; and 4) Muslim utilization of the Quran towards religious, intellectual, social, and cultural ends. To meet these goals, we will read a substantial portion of the Quran in translation and draw extensively on modern academic scholarship on the Quran. In addition, lectures will contextualize and complement our encounter with the Quranic text and secondary scholarship. By the end of the semester, students should have the ability to utilize various resources and concordances in order to independently conduct further investigations and critically evaluate claims made about the Quran. Course will have a required discussion section and an optional Arabic section for interested students who have at least two years of Arabic. Jointly offered in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as Religion 1803.

Professor

Class Day & Time

Goudarzi

W

04:00pm-07:00pm

Grading Option

Letter, P/F

Credits

4

Professor Approval Req'd?

N

Online?

N

Prerequisites?

N

Notes

N

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