Islam is a way of life centred upon the primary principle of the oneness of God, out of which everything comes into being, and to which everything returns after it has died. The realisation of this oneness and its implications in every sphere of existence is the aim that the Muslim strives to attain. The ‘roots’ of Islamic belief are divided into three: testifying to the oneness of God; belief in prophethood and belief in the afterlife. This course examines these three principles, before moving on to reflect on the nature of the Qur’ān and how it may be understood and read. Linked to the realisation of tawhīd is the process of the purification of the soul. Methods for this constitute the spiritual tradition of Islam and they will be looked at in brief. Finally, a selection of ethical instructions in relation to society and politics will be discussed in the light of one of Islam’s key principles: that of justice.
Week One: Tawhīd: testifying to the oneness of God
Week Two: Nubūwwa and Imāma: Prophethood and Imamate
Week Three: Ma‘ād: the return back to God
Week Four: The nature of the Qur’ān
Week Five: Cultivation of the ‘aql (intellect); purification of the nafs (soul)
Week Six: Social and political ethics
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al-Tabarsi, Hassan ibn Fazl ibn Hassan. Mishkat al-Anwar fi Ghuraril-Akhbar [The Lamp Niche for the Best Traditions]. Trans. Ms Lisa Zaynab Morgan and Ali Peiravi (Qum: Ansariyan Publications, First Edition, 1422).
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Amir-Moezzi Mohammad Ali. The Divine Guide in Early Shi‘ism: the Sources of Esoterism in Islam. Trans. David Streight (Albany: SUNY, 2004).
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Redhewi, Sayyid Sa‘eed Akhtar. Imamate. (The Vicegerency of the Prophet s.a.) (Qum: Ansariyan Publications, 1996).
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Rizvi, Sayyid Saeed Akhtar. Day of Judgement. (Dar es Salaam, Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania, 1998).
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This course is at the level equivalent to a first year Batchelor’s degree. The rate is standard for a non-accredited short course in the Humanities.
Course date and time
You can book Introduction to Islam and arrange for classes at times that are convenient for you. The course consists of six intensive 60-minute classes on-line, with the opportunity for you to discuss and ask questions.
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