Introduction to Islam
Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences
20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Dr Farhaan Wali
Overall aims and purpose
This module will provide a broad overview of the historical and religious configuration of Islam together with comprehensive analysis of Islamic beliefs and practices. The module will commence with an inspection of early Islamic history, society and philosophy, covering the life and career of Prophet Mohammad, and the Qur’an and Sunnah as the main sources of Islamic theology, as well as selected issues of Islamic law and philosophy. The module will also seek to introduce broader understandings and interpretations of the diverse nature of Islamic faith, namely the development of the Shi’a sect. It will explore the nature of the devotionalist attitude that centred on the figure of Ali, and its implications for the religious as well as the philosophical views of successive shi'a communities. In sum, the module aims to encourage students to gain understanding of a broader range of issues relating to the study of Islam, looking both at the religion of Islam and also Muslims in particular social and historical contexts.
Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion, yet for most people its beliefs and practice remain obscure despite having close religious connection with Judaism and Christianity. For this reason, this module has been designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to Islamic faith, philosophy and practice. The module will introduce students to the study of Islamic theology by exploring the emergence and development of Islam, from its origins in the seventh century to its modern revival. Therefore, the module will guide students through the following aspects of the study of Islam: (1) Introduce students to the history and development of early and modern Islam (against the background of social and cultural contexts); (2) Examine core Islamic beliefs and practices; and (3) Investigate the wider Islamic tradition by surveying Islamic law, philosophy and mysticism.
Shows detailed knowledge of key areas covered in the module with the arguments presented in a logical and coherent way.
Shows some knowledge of key areas of the module with acceptable presentation of arguments.
Shows comprehensive and very detailed understanding of the material covered in the module, based on extensive background reading.
To demonstrate understanding of Islamic philosophy, as well as an understanding of the key issues facing contemporary Muslims
To show understanding of how Islam as a faith relates to wider social, cultural and political contexts
To demonstrate understanding of the Islamic faith and practice, as well as an understanding of the main approaches and methodologies in the study of the Islamic religion
To demonstrate an understanding of the development of the historical and conceptual importance of the Islamic core sources: namely the Qur’an and Hadith and the function they play in the synthesis of Islamic belief and practice
To be aware of the heterogeneous nature of Islamic faith and to be aware of the historical, sectarian and cultural differences between Muslims
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Teaching and Learning Strategy
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
Subject specific skills
- Articulacy in identifying underlying issues in a wide variety of debates.
- Sensitivity in interpretation of religious and philosophical texts drawn from a variety of ages and/or traditions.
- Clarity and rigour in the critical assessment of arguments presented in such texts.
- The ability to use and criticise specialised religious and philosophical terminology.
- The ability to abstract and analyse arguments, and to identify flaws in them, such as false premises and invalid reasoning.
- The ability to construct rationally persuasive arguments for or against specific religious and philosophical claims.
- The ability to move between generalisation and appropriately detailed discussion, inventing or discovering examples to support or challenge a position, and distinguishing relevant and irrelevant considerations.
- The ability to consider unfamiliar ideas and ways of thinking, and to examine critically presuppositions and methods within the disciplines of philosophy and religion.
Courses including this module
Optional in courses:
- LM3Y: BA Cymdeithaseg&CriminologyCrimJ year 1 (BA/CCCJ)
- M93B: BA Criminology & Criminal Just (4yr with Incorp Foundation) year 1 (BA/CCJ1)
- M931: BA Criminology & Criminal Justice with International Exp year 1 (BA/CJIE)
- M930: BA Criminology & Criminal Justice year 1 (BA/CRIM)
- LM4X: BA Polisi Cymdeithasol & Criminology and Criminal Justice year 1 (BA/PCCCJ)
- VV56: BA Philosophy and Religion year 1 (BA/PHRE)
- 3VQV: BA Philosophy and Religion and English Literature year 1 (BA/PREN)
- VVR1: BA Philosophy and Religion and French year 1 (BA/PRF)
- VVR2: BA Philosophy and Religion and German year 1 (BA/PRG)
- VVV1: BA Philosophy and Religion and History year 1 (BA/PRH)
- VVR3: BA Philosophy and Religion and Italian year 1 (BA/PRI)
- VVW3: BA Philosophy and Religion and Music year 1 (BA/PRM)
- VVR4: BA Philosophy and Religion and Spanish year 1 (BA/PRS)
- VVQ5: BA Philosophy and Religion and Welsh year 1 (BA/PRW)
- VVV2: BA Philosophy and Religion and Welsh History year 1 (BA/PRWH)
- L300: BA Sociology year 1 (BA/S)
- L31B: BA Sociology (4 year with Incorporated Foundation) year 1 (BA/S1)
- LM40: BA Sociology & Criminology & Crim Just with International Ex year 1 (BA/SCJIE)
- LM39: BA Sociology and Criminology & Criminal Justice year 1 (BA/SCR)
- 8Y70: BA Sociology (with International Experience) year 1 (BA/SIE)
- L41B: BA Social Policy (4 year with Incorporated Foundation) year 1 (BA/SOCP1)
- L402: BA Social Policy year 1 (BA/SOCPOL)
- LL34: BA Sociology and Social Policy year 1 (BA/SOCSP)
- LM50: BA Social Policy and Criminology and Criminal Justice (IE) year 1 (BA/SPCIE)
- LM49: BA Social Policy/Criminology year 1 (BA/SPCR)
- M1V5: LLB Law with Philosophy and Religion year 1 (LLB/LPR)
- M932: MSocSci Criminology & Criminal Justice year 1 (MSOCSCI/CCJ)
- L302: MSocSci Sociology year 1 (MSOCSCI/S)
- L403: MSocSci Social Policy year 1 (MSOCSCI/SP)