Spring 2017

Discovering Islam: Introduction to Islamic Traditions

Listed in: Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-187  |  Religion, as RELI-187


Tariq Jaffer (Section 01)


Islam is a religious tradition with 1400 years of history and over one billion adherents today in countries around the globe. This course equips students with the basic vocabulary needed to engage with the diversity of practices, sects, and intellectual currents found among Muslims over the course of this history. We will begin by studying the life of Muhammad and Islam’s scripture (the Quran). We will then examine the ways in which Muslims have sought to live up to the demands of revelation in their lives by seeking the correct means of interpretation of revelation and working out its implications in the fields of law, theology, and mysticism. Emphasis will be on the means by which Muslims contest the meaning of the tradition. The course will end by looking at Islam in the world today, the various ways in which Muslims view the significance of religion in their lives, and trends in contemporary Islamic thought worldwide. 

Spring semester.  Professor Jaffer.


Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing, Transnational or World Cultures Taught in English


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015, Spring 2017, Fall 2018