Faith Essentials of Islam
This course provides a detailed coverage of Islamic fundamental beliefs, creed, theology and worldview with particular reference to the Qur’an and hadith as primary sources. The Islamic concept of God and the understanding of human nature will be addressed, together with the creation story according to the Qur’an. The unseen world, revelation, prophethood, the Prophet Muhammad and the question of theodicy and suffering are also addressed. The approach is a balance between textual basis of theology and rational argumentation.
Tafsir: Exegesis of the Qur’an
This course introduces students to the methodology of Qur’anic exegesis. The concept of revelation, the importance of occasions of revelation for exegesis, the concept of abrogation, and a set of tools used in textual analysis will be discussed. The history of the development of Qur’anic exegetical method and its evolution over time to produce a rich literature of exegetical works will also be addressed. In addition, modern exegetical issues concerning the Qur’an will be investigated together with a critical evaluation of how the modern history of the Muslim world influenced contemporary exegetical works.
Hadith: Prophetic Tradition
This course addresses the place of hadith in Islamic scholarship and the methodology of evaluating critically the authenticity of hadith narrations, as well as their classification in canonical texts. Prophet Muhammad’s sayings, actions and his approvals as reported by his companions have been collected separately as multi-volume hadith books. Collection of hadith books, their classification and authentication has been an integral part of Islamic scholarship. This subject will also cover the history of development of the science of hadith critique from the time of Prophet Muhammad (7th century) to the 10th century.
Modern Issues and Islam
This course addresses contemporary issues facing Islam and Muslims in the modern life from personal to public and local to international spheres. It sheds light on controversial topics like jihad, extremism, fundamentalism and Sharia; examines the significant debates around Islam and Muslims such as women rights, Islamism as a political ideology and bioethical discussions; and explores Muslims’ experience in living Islam under current local and global circumstances. The subject approaches these topics by delineating and clarifying colloquial and terminological meanings of key concepts and provides the Islamic bases of the issues in reference to the Quran and Sunnah. Giving historical, cultural and socio-political circumstances and perspectives of modern scholarship, issues are weighed in the contemporary local and global contexts.