Basics of Islam
Students will be able to
- describe the historical and hermeneutical development of exegesis, hadith's literature, the principles of Islamic jurisprudence law and the most important law schools
- analyze the overall shared interpretive frameworks and approaches of Islamic interpretive tradition
- compare the approaches of Islamic interpretive tradition to those previously learned (by students of theology) of Judaism and Christianity
This course will provide students with an integrated understanding of the key layers of Islamic interpretive tradition. The term Islamic interpretive tradition here refers to bodies of classical Islamic knowledge produced with the aim of interpreting the two primary Islamic sources: the Qur’an and the Sunnah. The course will review the following layers of the interpretive tradition: Quranic exegesis (tafsīr), Hadith corpus and its traditional science, principles and methodologies of deriving rulings from the primary sources (usūl al-fiqh), and the main Sunni and Shiʿi schools (al madhāhib al fiqheya).
Students will learn about the main interpretive frameworks used in each of these branches of knowledge and how they constitute together a tradition of Islamic hermeneutics that has informed Islamic law and norm making. Students will also be introduced to modern scholarship that has engaged critically with the interpretive approaches and methodologies of this tradition