Islamic Studies

Courses that critically examine and discuss the interpretation, language and impact of Islam


HISU 435  –The Qur'an in Muslim Life.

This course seeks to introduce the general history of the Qur'an and familiarize students with the related sources of the Qur'anic sciences, such as the concept of revelation and its Occasions, different schools of Qur'anic interpretations and their methodologies, the authenticity of Tafsir exegeses and its relation to the Qur'anic text, the relationship of the social context on Tafsir and cultures. The students should be able to develop some critical methods that enable them to contemplate the Qur'an.

They should be able to highlight the main themes and the unity of different Qur'anic chapters Suras. Students should be able to choose modern topics and form critical questions related to their topics to uncover the answers from the Qur'an. The main purpose of this course is to lead students to examine the different views of the scholars and their schools, both Muslim and Non-Muslim scholars that influenced the development of the Qur'anic studies and its field during the Islamic history. Finally, the students will explore contemplating the Qur'an as a methodology in the critical effort to deepen the understanding of contemporary Qur'anic scholarship.

HISU 435  – The Qur'an and Its Place in Muslim Life

3 crs 
The place of the Quran in the Islamic worldview is crucial. This course will explore the depth of the Qur'an in the Islamic paradigm, the nature of the Quran, and its universal message. Students will learn how to contemplate the Qur'an and deal with the Quran as a source of knowledge, a source of legislation, a book of worship, and a book of stewardship. Students will discover the tools of a methodology that enable them to understand different tradition and cultures. The traditional Islamic science of Qur'an, Hadith (Prophetic tradition), and Seerah (Prophetic Biography) will be studied through Qur'an.

The students identify the structural characteristics of the Quran; its coherence, syntactical integrity, and the relationship between its verses and the universe. Students will study the two readings of the real existential in the light of the Quran. Upon completion of the course, the students will develop methods that allow them to evaluate the Muslim's life in the light of the Qur'an.

HISU 495  Prophethood in the Bible and In the Qur'an

3 crs.
The proposed team taught course has an impressive syllabus with critical readings that would be of great benefit to the students as they become more informed about how the ancient concept and office of the Prophet had a great impact on shaping aspects of ancient and modern Civilizations. The course explores the identity, function, and legacy of the prophets in Islamic and Christian tradition.

Much of our work in this course will involve a close comparative exploration of the way Bible and Qur'ān render shared characters and narrative scenarios. We will compare, isolate, and analyze their similarities and differences with a view toward unpacking their broader significance. Figures of prominent interest include but will not necessarily be limited to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Elijah, Jesus, Mary, and Muhammad. Careful attention will also be given to the cultural issues surrounding the generation and promulgation of competing character profiles within kindred scriptures, as well as to the development of textuality as a marker of authority.

HISU 430  Dialogue with Islam in a Christian society

3 crs. 
This course examines the emergence and development of Islam as both a religion and a tradition. It discusses the basic Islamic concepts such as Monotheism Tawhid, The mission of humankind on earth stewardship, Prophet-hood, beliefs and practices. It introduces the essential sources of Islamic faith, the Qur'ān, and the traditions (Sunnah) of the Prophet Muhammad, as well as the relation of Islam to other religions, particularly Judaism and Christianity.

It examines Islam's origins, historical development of its basic metaphysical, essential doctrines, and the present state of the Muslim modern world. It analyzes the development of the Islamic intellectual tradition including Islamic law (sharī'ah), theology (kalām), philosophy, Sufism, arts and sciences, and shall introduce and study the most important representatives of these sciences from both Sunni and the Shī'ites schools of law, and from Sufis to Muslim philosophers, theologians, and scientists.

The course allows students to critically understand the philosophical base of Islam. It fosters fresh interpretations of Islam and encourages creative and authentic analysis to the economic, political and social challenges involving Muslims. The instructional method includes lecture, multimedia instruction via videos, interactive student presentations, and group discussion to expose the students to different ideas.

HISU 315  Women, Gender & Family in Islam

3 crs. 
This is a foundational course in an emerging interdisciplinary field that takes Muslim Women' Studies for its focus. This course paves the way for rethinking women and gender related issues in a framework that integrates empirical and normative perspectives. It seeks to accomplish this by testing out a Qura'nic hermeneutic of sociological inquiry in the context of a critical reflection and reconstruction of the women Question," generically and historically defined. It explores and suggests a conceptual framework for examining social questions against perspectives drawing on authentic Islamic cognitive and normative sources.

Women's status and role are re-examined through engaging the Qur'an as the transcendent record of revealed guidance in a moral economy postulating creation, election, freedom and responsibility. The Qura'nic worldview on family philosophy and laws will be analyzed throughout a holistic methodology for sociological inquiry are evolved in a concrete issue oriented setting to the benefit of redefining women roles in the family, and shedding new light on the issues at stake.

BSOT 225  The Women in the Hebrew Bible and the Quran (Hybrid)

This course is unique in its nature and structure. It's the first time at the HUSD that a hybrid course has been offered and taught. This is the first team-taught course about women in two sacred texts. Reading and discussing both the Hebrew Bible and the women perspectives of the Biblical stories enrich and broaden student's horizons. The course allows the students to explore theological debate amongst feminists, womanists, and general theologians.

The course encourages students to become immersed in the stories of the principal women of the Hebrew Bible and their parallel stories in the Qur'an and the research in feminist and womanist biblical studies on these women. The students discern how the stories of these women connect with contemporary issues in the lives of men and women. They discover ways of communicating the messages coming from these stories in faith communities today. This course is also considered the cornerstone of the field of interreligious studies and dialogue.

HISU 336  Modern Islam and its History

3 crs. 
The course Introduce the foundation of the Islamic paradigm in its entirety. This course paves the way for rethinking modern Islam and its related issues in a framework that integrates empirical and normative perspectives. The course explores different concepts and issues such as Islamic Ethics, Sufism, Shiite, wahabbi movement. The course also contributes fresh perspectives on the contemporary debate on Women in Islam, Islam in America, Islamic Modern History and Politics. There will be comprehensive discussions on variety of political and religious issues regarding present day challenges.

HISU 240   Islam in America

3 crs. 
This course will examine the experiences of indigenous and immigrant American Muslims. The course will explore the history of Islam in America. Attention will be given to the interaction between the shared Islamic identity and the distinctive local expressions of Muslim faith and life. Political, legal, social, artistic, and cultural dimensions of American Muslim experience will be analyzed.

In particular, students explore the development of social, cultural and intellectual institutions in the construction of a diverse American Muslim community. Students also examine issues such as gender, class, race and inter-religious relations. How does the overlap of race-class-gender identities create diverse notions of American Islam? What are the contributions of Muslims to American society?