ARAB 101 – Elementary Arabic I — 4 credits
This course is an introduction to the phonology and writing system of Arabic, its basic vocabulary and structure. Students will acquire the foundations of Arabic grammar and build their vocabulary directed to reading and simple conversation, such as greetings and simple expressions of needs.
ARAB 102 – Elementary Arabic II — 4 credits
This course is a continuation of the mastery of Arabic phonology, basic vocabulary and structure. Students will build their vocabulary and grammatical structures; emphasis will be placed on basic reading comprehension and sentence construction. Prerequisite: Arabic 101, or equivalent.
ARAB 201 – Intermediate Arabic I — 4 credits
This course serves as an expansion and solidification of the student’s understanding of the classical Arabic language, including its verbal system. Building upon the students’ active vocabulary and structural understanding, this course equips students with the basic tools to read, grammatically analyze, and translate selected classical and contemporary texts, which will be taken from various genres of Arabic prose literature.
Prerequisite: Arabic 102, or equivalent course.
ARAB 202 – Intermediate Arabic II — 4 credits
This course aims to develop a more fluent command of classical Arabic structure by guiding students in the careful reading, analysis, and translation of a wide selection of classical and contemporary texts. By the end of this course, students are expected to be able to read and translate selections of classical as well as contemporary texts in literary Arabic.
Prerequisite: Arabic 201, or equivalent.
REL 100 – Religions of the World — 3 credits
This course introduces students to the academic study of religion and the major religions of the world—including Hinduism,
Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and others–by examining their history and exploring their beliefs, moral teachings, rituals, and practices. Combines lecture and discussion.
IS 130 Islamic Origins, History and Civilization to 1100 CE — 3 credits
This course traces the rise and development of the Islamic religious tradition from its formal beginnings in the 7th century to the middle of the thirteenth century, CE. Special attention is given to the pre-Islamic culture and economy of Arabia, the life of the Prophet Muhammad, the gradual revelation (nuzūl) of the Qur’ān, major themes of the Qur’ān, the early Muslim community (umma), the basic “pillars” of the Islamic religion (al-islām), the basic beliefs shared by all Muslims (al-īmān), Islamic piety, ethics, and spirituality (al-ihsān), the social and theological developments following the death of the Prophet in 632 CE, the emergence of the Sunnī-Shī‘ī divide and other sectarian developments, the development and codification of the Islamic religious sciences, incl. Jurisprudence (al-fiqh), theology (al-kalām), and mystical spirituality (al-taṣawwuf), the educational and social institutions of classical Islam, the scientific and philosophical achievements of classical Islamic civilization, and the major Muslim dynasties up to end of the Abbasids.
IS 131 – History and Civilization 1100 CE to 1800 — 3 credits
This course continues our undergraduate survey of the historical, political, religious, and intellectual developments in Islamic Civilization up to 1800.
Prerequisite: IS 130, or equivalent.
IS 132 – History and Civilization 1800 to Present — 3 credits
This course will examine the phenomenon of modernity and explore the varied contexts and ideas of Muslim thinkers who have responded to the ideals and realities of Modernity over the past two centuries.
Prerequisite: IS 130, or equivalent.
IS 201 – Introduction to Qur’anic Studies — 3 credits
In this course, we read and analyze the Qur’an (in English translation), with attention to the following topics: the revelation and its original contexts, the collection of the canonical text; Qur’an recitation; structural, linguistic and literary features of the text; occasions of revelation and abrogation; major themes; law in the Qur’an; and introduction to modes of interpretation. Knowledge of Arabic is not required.
IS 202 – Introduction to Prophetic Biography (sīrah) and Ḥadīth — 3 credits
This course explores the life of the Prophet through biographical and historical works as well as selected traditions taken from the canonical collections of oral reports (Ḥadīth) concerning his words and deeds. Special attention will also be paid to the political and cultural contexts of the biographers, historians, and Hadith narrators and collectors.
IS 301 – The Sciences of Ḥadīth — 3 credits
This course introduces students to the history and methodology of the collection of the canonical collections of oral reports (Ḥadīth narrations) concerning the Prophet Muhammad’s words and deeds. Topics include the historical evolution of the collection and study of the Ḥadīth, technical terms of Ḥadīth sciences, the categories of Ḥadīth reports, the technical structure of Ḥadīth reports, the science of men, the relationship between the Ḥadīth and the Qur’an, the problem of contradiction within Ḥadīth literature, and contemporary controversies within both traditionalist and academic discussions of Ḥadīth.
IS 305 – Islamic Legal Reasoning (al-fiqh) — 3 credits
This course studies the historical development of the various methodologies for deriving juridical rulings from the revealed sources. Attention will be given to the principles of jurisprudence (uṣūl al-fiqh), the fiqh of religious observance, and the major theorists who shaped the Muslim legal tradition.
Prerequisite: IS 130, or equivalent.
IS 320 – Muslim Spirituality — 3 credits
Following an overall historical approach, this course traces the origins and development of the mystical or experiential dimensions of Islamic spirituality, often collectively referred to as “Sufism,” from the prophetic period (7th century, CE) to the medieval Arabic and Persian traditions. Students will experience a first-hand encounter with the writings of many of the most noteworthy and seminal sages of the “Sufi” tradition and, through this experience, will grapple with many of the core ideas, practices, institutions, and social manifestations of the Muslim spiritual tradition.
Prerequisites: IS 130 or an equivalent.
IS 328 – History of Islamic Art and Architecture — 3 credits
This course introduces students to the rich heritage of Islamic art and architecture. Students will examine a number of examples of works of art and buildings from different periods and regions and discuss their artistic and architectural characteristics in conjunction with their historical and political background.
Prerequisite: sophomore status or consent of instructor.
IS 329 – Islam and World Cinema — 3 credits
This course will examine the various portrayals of Islam and Muslims in World Cinema (both in Muslim and non-Muslim societies) over recent decades. Students will have the opportunity to watch segments from several feature films, study the socio-political environment surrounding the period of each film, and draw conclusions on how the environment might have impacted the messaging of the film, and vice versa. Students will also discuss the impact World Cinema has had on Islam, Muslims and the world.
IS 333 – Islam in America — 3 credits
This course traces the history of Islam in America, beginning with the historical records of African Muslims who were forcibly taken to the Americas as slaves and their enduring efforts to retain their culture, faith, language, and identity as Muslims. This course then explores the complex unfolding of African American Islam in its unique and varied manifestations, including the Moorish Science Temple and the Nation of Islam. We also study the waves of Muslim immigrants from the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and the impacts they have had upon the shaping of American Muslim communities since the 1960s. Expanding our scope even further, we will explore American Muslim convert narratives, the rise of Islam within America’s Hispanic, indigenous, and other ethnic populations, and the evolving adventure of what it means to be an American Muslim within the mosaic of the American Muslim community and the greater mosaic of the United States. Questions of religious pluralism, Islamophobia, portrayals of Islam in the mainstream American media, and future trajectories for American Muslims will also be considered.
IS 410 – Medieval Islamic and Jewish Philosophy — 3 credits
This course introduces the thought and context of the most influential philosophers known to medieval Islam and Judaism, including al-Kindī, al-Rāzī (Razes) al-Fārābī, Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna), Ibn Tufayl, Ibn Rushd (Averroes), Saadia Gaon (al-Fayyumi), Solomon Ibn Gabirol, Bahyā bn Paqudah, Abraham ibn Daud, Moses Maimonides, and Levi ben Gershom (Gersonides). Special attention will be given to philosophical understandings of religion and prophecy, the soul (psychology), the state (political philosophy), metaphysics, and religious critiques of Aristotelean rationalism within these sister traditions (esp. by Abū Hāmid al-Ghazālī and Judah Halevi). Prerequisites: IS 130, PHIL 101, junior or senior standing
IS 428 – Muslim Great Books and Thinkers Seminar — 3 credits
This seminar explores some of the most important books and thinkers throughout Islamic History. Specific titles and figures are determined by the supervising faculty member convening the seminar. Through the careful reading, analysis, and discussion of the text (or texts) at hand, students are given a first-hand encounter with the greatest minds and insights of Muslim heritage, be it in the specific field of philosophy, science, politics, literature, theology, law, art, music, mathematics, or history.
Prerequisite: senior standing or consent of instructor.
IS 495 – Special Topics — 3 credits
Undergraduate students with advanced (junior) status or above may petition their academic advisor to enroll in no more than 3 graduate level courses compatible with their program.
IS 497 – Independent Study — 3 credits
Qualified students may arrange with specific instructions to undertake significant independent study on a topic not offered in the regular curriculum.
Sophomore status or consent of instructor.
IS 498 – Civic Engagement Internship — 3 credits
Students will engage in a social service organization where they can receive hands on training in a service field of their interest. All students must complete 120 hours of service at their field placement. Students will attend a 1-hour seminar each week to discuss their experience and draw upon the experiences of their classmates.
IS 499 – Study Abroad — 3 – 9 credit hours
In consultation with an academic advisor, qualified advanced students may be allowed the option to register for study abroad credit during the semester, semester breaks, and/or summer sessions