Islam in a Global Perspective
Understanding Islam as religious thought, practice and a global phenomena.
In this course, we explore a few basic concepts that are often misunderstood with Islam: ‘Ummah’ (world Muslim community), prophethood, ‘jāhilīyah’ (age of ignorance), ‘Gazi’ (Muslim warrior), ‘Hijra’ (Mohammad’s migration from Mecca to Medina), Caliphate (Muslim empire), and ‘Jehad’ (struggle in the path of Allah) and ‘Ijtihad’ (independent reasoning). We explore the many cultural and trade based exchanges around Islam. The course will base itself on the life of Prophet Mohammad and the first four caliphs, tracing the spread of Islam westward (Africa and towards Europe) and eastward (Central Asia and South Asia). Some key elements in this course include the crusades and Sufi silsilas.