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Viewing: REL 407 / HI 407 / HI 507 / REL 507 : Islamic History to 1798

Last approved: Wed, 07 Mar 2018 15:59:54 GMT

Last edit: Wed, 07 Mar 2018 15:59:48 GMT

Change Type
REL (Religious Studies)
Dual-Level Course
Cross-listed Course
Course Prefix:
Islamic History to 1798
Islam HI to 1798
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Philosophy and Religion (16PHI)
Term Offering
Fall Only
Offered Alternate Odd Years
Spring 2016
Previously taught as Special Topics?
Course Delivery
Face-to-Face (On Campus)

Grading Method
Graded with S/U option
Contact Hours
(Per Week)
Component TypeContact Hours
Course Attribute(s)
GEP (Gen Ed)

If your course includes any of the following competencies, check all that apply.
University Competencies

Course Is Repeatable for Credit
Anna Bigelow
Associate Professor of Religious Studies

Open when course_delivery = campus OR course_delivery = blended OR course_delivery = flip
Enrollment ComponentPer SemesterPer SectionMultiple Sections?Comments
Lecture55NoREL 407 enrolls 30-35 undergraduates. It is anticipated that about 5 graduate students would enroll in REL 507
Open when course_delivery = distance OR course_delivery = online OR course_delivery = remote
Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or REL 300 or above
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing
Is the course required or an elective for a Curriculum?
SIS Program CodeProgram TitleRequired or Elective?
16RELSTBAReligious Studies-BAElective
16HISTTEDHistory-BA Teacher Education concentrationElective
The history of the Islamic Near East to 1798. Topics include the East Mediterranean before Islam, Muhammad and the development of Islam, sources of Muslim civilization, Islamic law, science, philosophy, art and architecture, Islam in Spain, India, Asia and Africa, the Crusades, the Ottomans, Islam and Europe. Credit will not be given for both REL/HI 407 and REL/HI 507.

HI 507 already exists as does REL/HI 407. Past enrollments:

2014 Fall Term 35

2012 Fall Term 31

2010 Fall Term 38

2008 Spring Term 35

2006 Spring Term 31


Is this a GEP Course?
GEP Categories
Global Knowledge
Humanities Open when gep_category = HUM
Each course in the Humanities category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
Students will be able to describe using literary, religious and socio-historical sources the ways in which Islam developed from pre-Islamic cultures and will thus come better to appreciate the particularities of both with reflective awareness of the contrasts with their own cultures.
Measure for 1. Reading response question: Sura 3 of the Qur'an begins: “God: there is no god but Him, the Ever Living, the Ever Watchful. Step by step, He has sent the Scripture down to you [Prophet] with the Truth, confirming what went before: He sent down the Torah and the Gospel earlier as a guide for people and He has sent down the distinction [between right and wrong].” Explain the ways in which this Sura can be interpreted as showing that the God of Islam, characterized by Tawhid, or Absolute Oneness, is seen as the same as the God of Judaism and Christianity so that Islam stands in a continuous sequence of revelations given to humanity.
Students will be able to identify the modes of interpretational differentiation essential to Islam’s reflexive construction through implicit and explicit legal, social and theological rules and allied practices.
Measure for 2. Paper One topic: Some Islamic spiritual and legal leaders believed that music and dance were bodily pleasures and hence earthly distractions from God. The mystic traditions of Islam, Sufism chief among them, believed however that music and dance were instead sacred in and could lead to personal experience of God, a continuous remembrance of God or dikhr. Describe the ways in which Rumi was able to navigate the criticisms of some Islamic scholars and imams who called his ecstatic whirling heretical. Explain the related role given to Rabi'a Al-Adawiyya, a woman, as the representative of the first development of mysticism in Islam. A successful essay will argue for the explanation, using specific examples (quotations, direct references).
Students will be able to reconstruct and analyze arguments given within Islamic jurisprudence and to identify the cultural influences that informed those arguments.
Measure for 3. Exam question: Describe in detail the diversity of conceptions of rationality as evidenced in historical disputes over the use of ijtihad, ra’y, qiyas, ijma and istihsan.
Mathematical Sciences Open when gep_category = MATH
Each course in the Mathematial Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:




Natural Sciences Open when gep_category = NATSCI
Each course in the Natural Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:




Social Sciences Open when gep_category = SOCSCI
Each course in the Social Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:






Interdisciplinary Perspectives Open when gep_category = INTERDISC
Each course in the Interdisciplinary Perspectives category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:








Visual & Performing Arts Open when gep_category = VPA
Each course in the Visual and Performing Arts category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:






Health and Exercise Studies Open when gep_category = HES
Each course in the Health and Exercise Studies category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:








Global Knowledge Open when gep_category = GLOBAL
Each course in the Global Knowledge category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve objective #1 plus at least one of objectives 2, 3, and 4:
Students will be able to identify, interpret, and compare the major elements of the Islamic tradition and the cultural contexts of the religion's origins, foundational texts, and early leaders.
Measure for Outcome 1: Paper Two: The Djinn are explicitly mentioned in over thirty different verses of the Qur'an, and there are many hadiths that comment on the Djinn. As beings created from smokeless fire by the angels who nonetheless inhabit a human world, the Djinn are spiritual and conceptual mediators between two realms. Explain how this way of bridging the gap between human and divine was a natural outgrowth of pre-Islamic cultural influences on Islam.
Please complete at least 1 of the following student objectives.


Students will be able to evaluate and identify how changing representations of the Prophet Muhammad produced by Muslims and non-Muslims reflected changing exigencies, political conditions, and social concerns.
Exam Question 4: The biography of the prophet Muhammad has been told and retold from a variety of perspectives over the centuries. Explain Kecia Ali’s argument in The Lives of Muhammad about these multiple versions of the life story, how these accounts changed due to colonial encounters with Western Europe, and what we learn about changing sensibilities among Muslims and non-Muslims with regard to Muhammad’s biographies and biographers.
Interpret and explain how the interaction of Muslims and non-Muslims changed with the expansion of Islam and the emergence of Muslim governance.
Exam question 3: Relations between Muslims and non-Muslims have varied widely over the last fourteen centuries. Fred Donner argues that the early followers of Muhammad are best understood as “believers” rather than as “Muslims”. What is at stake in that claim? Giving specific examples, discuss how interreligious relations have been conceptualized and governed in at least three separate historical contexts. These examples can be very specific (such as the pre-hijra Meccan period or the reconquest of Jerusalem/al Quds) or very broad (such as the Abbasid period or the Crusades), as long as you give clear evidence. Demonstrate your understanding of the undergirding principles governing these relations as necessary (i.e. jihad, qital, ahl al kitab, dhimma, etc)
US Diversity Open when gep_category = USDIV
Each course in the US Diversity category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve at least 2 of the following objectives:
Please complete at least 2 of the following student objectives.








Requisites and Scheduling
a. If seats are restricted, describe the restrictions being applied.
b. Is this restriction listed in the course catalog description for the course?
List all course pre-requisites, co-requisites, and restrictive statements (ex: Jr standing; Chemistry majors only). If none, state none.
Prerequisite for REL 407: 3 hrs. of History
Prerequisite for REL 507: graduate standing
List any discipline specific background or skills that a student is expected to have prior to taking this course. If none, state none. (ex: ability to analyze historical text; prepare a lesson plan)
Credit will not be given for both REL/HI 407 and REL/HI 507.
Additional Information
Complete the following 3 questions or attach a syllabus that includes this information. If a 400-level or dual level course, a syllabus is required.
Title and author of any required text or publications.
See attached syllabus.
Major topics to be covered and required readings including laboratory and studio topics.

List any required field trips, out of class activities, and/or guest speakers.

College(s)Contact NameStatement Summary
College of Humanities and Social SciencesDavid ZondermanDoes History object to adding REL 507 to rectify an unknown error that led to the addition of HI 507 without REL 507? The History Department has no objection to the addition of REL 507.
No new resources are required for offering REL 507 as it will be taught concurrently ("piggy-backed") with the already approved REL/HI 408 and enrollments will be not be so large as to impose an excessive burden on the instructor.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

1. Identify major concepts, figures, and events from the Islamic tradition.

2. Interpret Islam's origins, growth, and development in the Middle East and beyond.

3. Identify and compare the various cultural contexts and their effects on the Islamic tradition.

4. Read and critically evaluate often challenging primary texts.

5. Implement a critical study of Islamic traditions.

6. Evaluate the role Islamic history plays in contemporary Islamic cultures.

7. Assess the impact of Islamic civilizations on the study of religious history.

Evaluation MethodWeighting/Points for EachDetails
Major Paper45%Research Paper (30-35 pp) on a topic of the student's choosing in consultation with the professor.
Written Assignment20%Annotated Bibliography - fifteen entries on books and articles related to the term paper. Formatting will be provided
presentation15%On a topic of student's choice, each student will give a ten-minute presentation on any topic in early Islamic History of particular interest or curiosity to the student.
Participation15%Participation means that you come prepared to discuss the readings and subjects under discussion. See attached syllabus. Graduate students are expected to attend four additional meetings outside of the class meetings
Attendance5%Attendance is mandatory and will be taken. See attached syllabus.
Other---See attached syllabus for REL/HI 507 student evaluation methods.
TopicTime Devoted to Each TopicActivity
Introduction0.5 weeks
Islam and World History0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
Religions of Antiquity0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
Arabia before Islam and after0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
Empire of Islam0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
Muhammad in History 0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
The Qur'an in Context0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
The Qur'an as Guide - Revelations of Power, Light, and Mercy0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
The Qur'an as Oral/Aural Revelation0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
Muhammad in the Tradition 0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
The First Four Caliphs and the Issue of Succession 0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
The First Four Caliphs and the Rise of the Umayyads0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
Women in Early Islam0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
Hadith0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
Commentaries and Consolidation0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
The 'Alid Movement0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
Successors to the Successors I: Administration, Leadership and Jihad0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
Jihad: the Greater and the Lesser0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
Successors to the Successors II: Humanism, Law, Spirituality0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
Law and Ritual0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
From 'Alids into Abbasids and the Shi'i movements0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
Sufi Traditions0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
The Franks and the Believers: The Crusades 0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
Beyond the Abbasids: Caliphates, Sultanates, Dynasties0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
Art & Architecture0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
Science and Islam 0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
The Past and the Present0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
Debates: the Past in the Present0.5 weeksSee attached syllabus.
Change in prerequisite for REL 407 and creation of REL 507 to match HI 507 cross-listed course.

mlnosbis 4/18/2016: No overlapping courses. See consultation notes from History, above. No further consultation needed.

ghodge 4/18/2016 Ask department to edit student learning objective "Understand the various cultural contexts and their effects on the Islamic tradition" as 'understand' is not measurable
COMMENT: Student evaluation methods shown in CIM are for graduate version only. do we need to show both in CIM for dual level courses

ABGS Reviewer Comments:
-Good to see the section in the syllabus discussing the differences between UG and GR.
-Suggest clearly listing and explaining the research paper and bibliography for REL 507 as they did with REL 407 in the text (there is some information in the description for REL 507, but I would label clearly with "Research Paper" and "Bibliography".
-Are the graduate student meetings considered as part of the participation grade? If so, that should be mentioned.
-Could put the requirements for REL 407 and for REL 507 in the same order in the tables provided to make it easier to compare the two courses.
-The primary item that I looked for was what is required for students enrolling at the 500 level. This has been indicated but is somewhat nebulous for example what does "Grading of graduate students will also reflect a higher standard for all work, as appropriate" mean? If I were a grad student taking the course I think that I would like to know what "higher standard" means.
-There seems to be a lot of detail and wording that we usually don't see in graduate level course actions. The word that comes to my mind is "messy" or lack of conciseness

ghodge 8/3/2016 Edit Student Evaluation Methods of "Other" on the CIM form above to show the actual weights for graduate students

ABB 8/18/16 The weights above are for the 507 class, the 407 class has two shorter papers (20% each) and a final exam (25%) instead of the annotated bibliography and research project.
I've attached a new syllabus without the higher standards language and with the weighted assignments.
As indicated in the syllabus and as reflected above, assignments are different for graduate students in weighting and kind: "Additional content will be required of graduate students, to be determined in consultation with the student according to their disciplinary interests. (For example, Master of International Studies students might focus their annotated bibliographies on how various Muslim groups interpret the tradition and how Islamic history shapes the theories and methods in the study of humanitarianism or foreign policy. Public History students might write papers analyzing early historiographical records such as Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul Muttalib ibn Hashim’s biography or Sira, and other materials.) Graduate students will have four additional meetings, individually or if appropriate with all graduate students enrolled, to discuss research methods and projects.
mlnosbis (Fri, 22 Apr 2016 13:43:20 GMT): Rollback: Please edit the student learning outcomes. Do not use the word "understand."
abbigelo (Sat, 23 Apr 2016 17:05:03 GMT): ABB 4/23/2016: Apologies for the back and forth, this is my first time using this system and I did not see the outcomes in a separate space from the place paired with the measures. Hopefully all fixed now
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