HSD205 – Islam and Modernity


Syllabus

  • Conceptualising Modernity
  • Tradition and Modernity within Islamic Civilisation and the West
  • The Notions of ‘Islamic Science’ and ‘Islamisation of Science/Knowledge’
  • Orientalism
  • Muslim Scholars and the Issue of Modernity
  • Interpretation of Islamic law in Modern Perspective
  • Ijtihad and The dynamism and flexibility of Islamic law
  • Abortion
  • Genetic Screening
  • Artificial Insemination
  • Surrogacy and Cloning
  • Organ Transplantation
  • Brain Death and Euthanasia
  • Islam and gender issues

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge
On completion of this module, the successful student will be able to:

  • Evaluate the key issues in the modernity discourse (A4)
  • Discuss intellectual efforts on the part of Muslim intellectuals and activists to adapt Islam to modern life (A6, B2, B5)

Skills
This module will call for the successful student to:

  • Theorize and formulate a discussion on the relation between stagnant laws and changing social structures [B1, B3, B4, C2, C4, C5, D3, D4]

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

Alongside lectures and seminars, students are expected to develop their learning through research and preparation leading to a research based essay. The use of questioning and small group work in class ensures that students are constantly engaged and take an active role in the learning process.

Assessment Mode
Formative assessment is through co-ordinated independent study of reading material, followed by discussion in class to supplement topics covered and is an essential element of the programme. The module leader will regularly give feedback to student regarding the progress of their coursework, a draft copy of the completed coursework need be handed in to the module leader before the 10th learning week as part of the formative learning process. Formative feedback is also gained through mubāḥathah, providing an invaluable opportunity for students to consolidate their learning. Unresolved matters or new ideas resulting from mubāḥathah sessions are researched and brought to the attention of the module leader for feedback as part of the formative learning process.
Summative, graded assessment is by coursework, which will require students to demonstrate their learning of key skills and concepts by researching a particular theme mentioned in the Qur’an and presenting their findings effectively in the form of an essay of 3,000  words (Outcomes 1, 2, 3).

Assessment Weighting
Coursework: 100%

Learning Materials

Core Reading

  • Mutahhari, M. (2014) The Rights of Women in Islam, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Masud K. M (2009). Islam and Modernity: Key Issues and Debates, Edinburgh University Press

HSC201 – Islamic Theology 2


Syllabus

  • The Unity of God
  • The Names and Attributes of God
  • Divine Justice
  • The Relationship between Human Free-will and God’s Decree
  • Prophethood
  • Imamate
  • Eschatology

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge
On completion of this module, the successful student will be able to:

  • Debate the main theological arguments of the Shia school of thought. (A1, A3, A5, A6)
  • Propose effective answers from the Qur’an, traditions and logical reasoning to common questions and misconceptions about Islamic doctrine. (A2 A3, B5)
  • Evaluate key theological concepts and perspectives. (B1, B2, B3)

Skills
This module will call for the successful student to:

  • Build on relevant and appropriate information and examples from the lectures and discussions to substantiate theological perspectives. (B4, B5, C2, C5, D3, D5)
  • Discuss and challenge perspectives on major theological issues. (B5, C1, C2, C4, D1, D3, D4)

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

Lectures provide the basic structure of this module. Seminars and group discussions are used to debate and explore specific areas. Students are expected to undertake individual study consisting of set and free reading and are encouraged to participate in discussions, led by the lecturer, in order to enhance learning and to cover any gaps in knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. Furthermore, students are expected to discuss material presented in class in their mubāḥathah (study circle) sessions to enhance understanding and retention.

Assessment Modes
Questions arising from lectures form the basis formative assessment, through small group discussions leading to the development of theological understanding. Each portfolio assignment is entitled to formative feedback from the module leader before the 10th learning week. Students are required to see the module leader regularly to receive feedback and support with their portfolio work. Additionally, tutorial time enables the module leader to give guidance to students on topics of concern and provide constructive feedback related to portfolio work. Revision sessions are also arranged that will cover topics in preparation for exams, providing constructive formative feedback to students.
Summative, graded assessment is by portfolio and debate. The portfolio will consist of two assignments of 1,500  words each (Outcomes 4, 5). The 2 hour written examination will take place at the end of the semester (Outcomes 1, 2, 3).

Assessment Weighting
Portfolio: 50%
Written Examination: 50%

Learning Materials

Core Reading

  • Misbah-Yazdi, M.T. (2009). Theological Instructions. London: Institute of Islamic Studies.
  • Mutahhari, M. (2002). Understanding Islamic Sciences. London: ICAS.
  • Sa‘idi-Mihr, Muhammad and Amir Divani (2014), Islamic Thought. ABWA Publishing and Printing Center

HSC204 – Islamic Philosophy


Syllabus

Over the course of this module, students will see the importance of metaphysics as a cornerstone of the Islamic sciences, and how our answers metaphysical questions ultimately impact discussions in other fields, such as theology, ethics, and mysticism. This module will also tie basic concepts and current issues to classical debates in the history of Islamic philosophy.

Topics covered include:

  • Existence and quiddity.
  • Modalities of existence.
  • Existence in-the-world versus existence in-the-mind.
  • Essence and accident.
  • Universals and particulars.
  • Aristotelian categories.
  • Potentiality and actuality.
  • Unity and multiplicity.
  • Philosophical theology.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge
Upon completion of this module, a successful student will be able to:

  • Evaluate the basic ideas and terms invoked in contemporary Islamic metaphysics. (A4, A7)
  • Debate the main points of controversy and debates within contemporary Islamic metaphysics. (A1, B2)
  • Describe judgements about competing views in metaphysical debates.(A4, B1)

Skills
This module will require a successful student to:

  • Discuss ideas at different levels of abstraction, to develop logical and well-thought-out arguments, and to critically assess the views of others. (B4, B5, C2, C4, C5, C7, D1-D4)

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

In addition to attending lectures, students are expected to augment their learning through research and preparation leading to a research-based essay. Seminars are used to debate and explore specific issues while the use of questioning and small group work in class ensures that students are constantly engaged and take an active role in the learning process. Furthermore, the module will involve a systematic study of a modern work on metaphysics, and students are encouraged to critically examine the text and carry out further research on the topics it deals with, as well as engaging in independent study circles to discuss it with their classmates and enhance their understanding and retention of its contents and arguments.

Assessment strategy
Participation in debates on a question around topics covered within class provides students the basis formative assessment, whereby students will be expected to present the case for or against a particular position and the quality of their argument be judged by peers. The module leader will regularly give feedback to student regarding the progress of their coursework, a draft copy of the completed coursework need be handed in to the module leader before the 10th learning week as part of the formative learning process. Additionally, revision sessions are arranged that will cover topics in preparation for exams, providing constructive formative feedback to students.
Summative, graded assessment is by coursework and written examination. The coursework will require students to write an essay of 3,000  words that demonstrates a critical understanding of one of the main topics covered in class (Outcome 4). A 2-hour written examination will take place at the end of the semester. (Outcomes 1, 2, 3).

Assessment weighting
Coursework: 40%
Written examination: 60%

Learning materials

Core readings

  • Tabataba’i, S. M. H. (2003). The Elements of Islamic Metaphysics. Qara’i trans., London: ICAS Press.
  • Misbah Yazdi, M.T. (1999). Philosophical Instructions: An Introduction to Contempoary Islamic Philosophy. Binghamton: Global Publications.
  • Ubodiyat, A. (2000). An Introduction to Islamic Philosophy. F. Asadi & M. Dasht Bozorgi trans., Qum: The International Organisation of Seminaries and Islamic Schools.

HSD225 – Abrahamic Faiths


Syllabus

The module concentrates on the major tenets and historical events in Judaism and Christianity. As the students will have sufficient knowledge of the Islamic equivalents of these from their studies in previous modules, comparison to Islam takes place in the form of class-discussions. The key areas covered are:

  • Divine Oneness
  • Prophethood, the nature of revelation and infallibility
  • Scripture: Its history, composition, divinity and role in contemporary religiosity
  • The nature of Divine Law
  • Eschatology

Learning Outcomes 

Knowledge 
On completion of this module, the successful student will be able to:

  • Compare and contrast theological views of the Abrahamic Faiths (A1, A6, B4)
  • Debate the various contexts and circumstances in which these religions have developed (A6, A7)

Skills 
This module will call for the successful student to:

  • Construct and communicate well-reasoned arguments concerning the relationship between religious ideas and institutions and the surrounding cultures in which they developed. (B5, C1, C2, C7, D1, D3, D5, D6)

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

A variety of teaching and learning methods are used, including lectures, assignments, class discussions and individual study. The use of questioning and small group work in class ensures that students are constantly engaged and take an active role in the learning process. Individual study will consist of general reading, specific historical texts and reading on selected topics.

Assessment Mode
Formative assessment includes a class presentation of a critical review of a theme covered within the course syllabus, also including observation of group exercises on chosen themes. Revision sessions are arranged that will cover topics in preparation for exams, addressing student understanding and providing constructive formative feedback to students.  Tutorial time enables the module leader to give guidance to students on topics of concern and provide constructive feedback related to summative work.
Summative, graded assessment for this module consists of a 2 hour written examination, which will take place at the end of the semester. (Outcomes 1, 2, 3).

Assessment Weighting
Written examination: 100%

Learning Materials

Core readings

  • Peters, F. E. (2003). The Montheists: The Words and Will of God, Vol. 2. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

HSD223 – Muslims in the West


Syllabus

The module examines both the historical aspect of the Muslim presence in Europe and the contemporary situation. The key topics covered are:

  • The historical interaction between Islam and the West
  • Muslim presence in Spain
  • Muslims in Asia Minor and the Balkans
  • Trade exchange between Muslims and Europeans
  • The effect of the crusades on Europe-Muslim relations
  • The effects of colonization on Europe-Muslim relations
  • Modern interaction between Islam and the West
  • Muslims in North America
  • Social impact of Muslims in the West
  • Muslims in Britain and the concept of citizenship

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge
On completion of this module, the successful student will be able to:

  • Analyse the context of the long interaction between Muslims and the West (A4, B2)
  • Evaluate the background of various Muslim communities in the West (B4)

Skills
This module will call for the successful student to:

  • Demonstrate effective development of argument and discussion on key issues as related to Muslim communities in the West (B2, B4, B5, C1, C2, D1- D3, D5, D6)

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

The basic structure of the module will be provided by the lectures, within which time will be allocated for group work and documentary clips. There will also be several seminars to discuss key moments and movements that have had a radical impact on relation between Muslims and the West. Individual study will consist of general reading, specific historical texts and reading on specific topics. A number of topics will be selected for special reading and seminar discussion and the exam questions will focus on these.

Assessment Mode
Questions arising from lectures form the basis formative assessment, through small group discussions leading to student-led seminar presentations. The module leader will regularly give feedback to student regarding the progress of their coursework, a draft copy of the completed coursework need be handed in to the module leader before the 10th learning week as part of the formative learning process. Additionally, revision sessions are arranged that will cover topics in preparation for exams, providing constructive formative feedback to students.
Summative, graded assessment is by coursework, which will require students to demonstrate their learning of key issues and to present their findings effectively in the form of an essay of 1,500  words (Outcomes 3). The 2 hour written examination will take place at the end of the semester (Outcomes 1, 2).

Assessment Weighting
Coursework: 50%
Written Examination: 50%

Learning Materials

Core readings

  • Haddad, Y.Y. ed. (2002). Muslims in the West: From Sojourners to Citizens. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Allen, C. (2010). Islamophobia. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing Ltd. 

HSD226 – Current Issues in Muslim Societies


Syllabus

The main issues explored are:

  • Islam and democracy
    • Fundamentalism
  • Islam and human rights
    • Integration
    • Hijab
  • Islam and terrorism
    • Suicide bombing
  • Islam and issues in medical ethics
    • Contraception
    • Abortion
    • Artificial insemination
    • Euthanasia
    • Organ transplantation

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge
On completion of this module, the successful student will be able to:

  • Evaluate key contemporary debates in a Muslim context. (B4)
  • Represent an overview of the broader picture of Islam as understood by different modern Muslim thinkers. (A3, A4)
  • Summarise and evaluate key points raised in a debate on current issues in Muslim societies. (B4, B5, B6)

Skills
This module will call for the successful student to:

  • Build appropriate methods to identify, gather and organize information on current issues from primary and secondary sources and use them effectively. (B6, C1, C5, D5, D6)
  • Verbally argue and challenge modern and traditional understanding of Islamic issues. (B5, C2, C4, D2, D3, D4)

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

The module will be taught through lectures, discussion, and seminars. Students work will be developed through class work and search of primary and secondary sources. Certain topics will be addressed in round table discussions.

Assessment Modes
Formative assessment involves an in-depth search and review of publications related to the specific paper will be required. Students will receive formative feedback on their debate performance after completing them which will help them improve for future debates. They may also hand in their debate notes to the lecturer for feedback and guidance, and discuss and clarify and outstanding issues before the debate commences. Additionally, as part of the formative learning process each student will meet at least once with the module leader in order to discuss their critical learning for their assessed essay. The tutorial or meeting will not be assessed but will form part of the formative learning process with constructive feedback given to the student. A draft of the critical review may be submitted for formative assessment before the 10th week.
Summative, graded assessment for this module is based on a debate and a critical review. The debate will last for 30 minutes and will require students to present researched arguments on differing perspectives concerning current issues in Muslim societies (Outcomes 2, 4, 5). The critical review will be of 1,500  words and will consist of a summary and evaluation of key points raised in the debate (Outcomes 1, 3).

Assessment Weighting
Debate: 60%
Critical review: 40%

Learning Materials

Core readings

  • Mutahhari, M. (2014) The Rights of Women in Islam, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Masud K. M. (2009). Islam and Modernity: Key Issues and Debates, Edinburgh University Press
  • Nasr, S.H. and Religionsphilosoph, I. (2010) Islam in the modern world: Challenged by the west, threatened by fundamentalism, keeping faith with tradition. New York: HarperOne.

HSD221 – Arabic Rhetoric


Syllabus

  • Introduction to Arabic Rhetoric: Definition, Branches, Subject Matter and Aims
  • Word Order (‘Ilm al-Ma‘ānī)
    • Types of Speech
    • Ellipses and Occurrence (al-Ḥadhf wa al-Dhikr)
    • Definiteness and Indefiniteness (al-Ta‘rīf wa al-Tankīr)
    • Foregrounding and Backgrounding (al-Taqdīm wa Ta’khīr)
    • Restriction (al-Qaṣr)
    • Conjunction and Disjunction (al-Waṣl wa al-Faṣl)
    • Succinctness, Verbosity and Moderation (al-Ijāz, al-Aṭnāb wa al-Musāwāt)
  • Figures of Speech (‘Ilm al-Bayān)
    • Simile (al-Tashbīh)
    • Allegory (al-Majāz)
    • Metonymy (al-Kināyah)
  • Embellishments (‘Ilm al-Badī‘)
    • Semantical Embellishments (al-Muḥāsināt al-Ma‘nawīyyah)
    • Lexical Embellishments (al-Muḥāsināt al-Lafẓīyyah)

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge
On completion of this module, the successful student will be able to:

  • Analyse the linguistic style and features of the Qur’an. (B1, B3)
  • Compile examples of Word Order, Figures of Speech and Embellishments in Arabic. (A1, B3)

Skills 
This module will call for the successful student to:

  • Formulate advanced language skills to arrive at a deeper understanding of Arabic texts and resources. (B1, B3, C1, C6, D1, D2, D6)

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

Lectures provide the basic structure of this module. The use of questioning and small group work focused largely on selected verses of the Qur’an and traditions ensures that students are constantly engaged and take an active role in the learning process. Furthermore, students are expected to undertake individual study consisting of set and free reading, and to discuss material presented in class in their mubāḥathah (study circle) sessions to enhance understanding and retention.

Assessment Modes
Students are set bi-weekly formative assignments on Arabic, and receive feedback as they are handed in throughout the year. Although portfolios are done during class, students are required to see the module leader regularly in tutorials to receive formative feedback on their performance and support with their portfolio work. Additionally, revision sessions are arranged that will cover topics in preparation for exams, continuously strengthening and developing students’ competence in the Arabic language.  Moreover, tutorial time enables the module leader to supported continuously while providing the opportunity for constant engagement with the language, and constructive feedback related to the development of language skills.
Summative, graded assessment is by portfolio and written examination. The portfolio will comprise of two completed exercises about 500 words each on syllabus topics (Outcomes 3). The 2 hour written examination will take place at the end of the semester (Outcomes 1, 2).

Assessment Weighting
Portfolio: 50%
Written examination: 50%

Learning Materials

Core readings

  • Abdul-Raof, H. (2006). Arabic Rhetoric: A Pragmatic Analysis. Abington: Routledge.
  • Al-Daqiq, M. (2010). Durusun fi al-Balaghah. Qum: Al-Mustafa International Translation and Publication Centre.

HSD220 – Thematic Exegesis


Syllabus

  • Introduction to Thematic Exegesis
    • What is Thematic Exegesis?
    • What Difficulties can Thematic Exegesis of the Qur’an Solve?
    • The Benefits of Thematic Exegesis
    • The Precedence in Thematic Exegesis
    • Difficulties with Thematic Exegesis
  • Knowledge in the Qur’an
    • The Emphasis of the Qur’an on Learning and Teaching
    • The Importance of Knowledge in the Qur‘an
  • The Sources of Knowing Allah (Ma‘rifah)
    • Sensory Perception
    • The Intellect
    • History and Historical Evidence
    • Inherent Nature
    • Divine Revelation and Messages
    • Unveiling and Spiritual Witnessing
  • Barriers and Obstacles to Attaining Ma‘rifah
  • Prerequisites to Knowing Allah

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge
On completion of this module, the successful student will be able to:

  • Assess the benefits of and difficulties with thematic exegesis. (B4)
  • Discuss a major theme in the Qur’an. (A1, A2, A5)
  • Analyse verses of the Qur’an that relate to a particular theme. (A7, B1, B2, B3)

Skills
This module will call for the successful student to:

  • Organise and examine in light of each other verses of the Qur’an relating to a particular theme. (B1, B3, C1, C5, C6, C7, D1-D3, D6)

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

Alongside lectures and seminars, students are expected to develop their learning through research and preparation leading to a research based essay. The use of questioning and small group work in class ensures that students are constantly engaged and take an active role in the learning process.

Assessment Mode
Questions arising from lectures form the basis formative assessment, through small group discussions leading the development of exegetical skills. The module leader will regularly give feedback to student regarding the progress of their coursework, a draft copy of the completed coursework need be handed in to the module leader before the 10th learning week as part of the formative learning process. Formative feedback is also gained through mubāḥathah, a well-established and integral part of the Hawza tradition of learning. Informal and interactive, the mubāḥathah is an invaluable opportunity for students to consolidate their learning. Unresolved matters or new ideas resulting from mubāḥathah sessions are researched and brought to the attention of the module leader, serving to further student learning through formative learning process.
Summative, graded assessment is by coursework, which will require students to demonstrate their learning of key skills and concepts by researching a particular theme mentioned in the Qur’an and presenting their findings effectively in the form of an essay of 3,000  words (Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4).

Assessment Weighting
Coursework: 100 %

Learning Materials

Core readings

  • Shirazi, N. M. (2010). Message of the Qur’an, Volume 1: Knowledge and Comprehension in the Noble Qur’an. London: The World Federation of KSIMC.
  • Al-Tabatabai, S.M.H. (1996). Al-Mizan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an. Qum: Office of Islamic Publications.

HSC 215 – Islamic Ethics


 

Syllabus

The key topics covered on the module are as follows:
• Definition and Importance of the Subject
• Seeking Knowledge – An Islamic Perspective
• The Four Major Faculties of the Soul
• Spiritual Awakening
• Repentance
• Self-Conditioning
• Monitoring of Actions
• Reviewing and Accounting of Deeds
• Reprimanding and Punishing

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

Assessment Mode
Assessment is by portfolio and role play. The portfolio will consist of two assignments of 500 words each. The role play will last 10 minutes and will take the form of a mock scenario in which the student will play the role of a teacher who has to advise someone on particular problems relating to their spiritual well-being. The self-reflective journal of personal development will be marked as a pass or fail. Although the journal is a necessary component of the module, it does not carry any assessment weighting.

Assessment Weighting
Portfolio: 75 %
Role play: 25 %
Each assessment component must be passed in order to pass the module.

Learning materials

Core readings
Amini, I. (1997). Self Building. Qum: Ansariyan Publications.
Khomeini, R. (2003). Forty Hadiths: An Exposition of Ethical and Mystical Traditions. Tehran: The Institute for Compilation and Publication of Imam Khomeini’s Works.
Khomeini, R. (2008). Combat with the Self: The Greater Jihad. Translated from the Persian by M. Legenhausen and A. Sarvdalir. Tehran: The Institute for Compilation and Publication of Imam Khomeini’s Works.

HSC212 – Demonstrative Jurisprudence 1


Syllabus

The syllabus for all three Demonstrative Jurisprudence modules is based on what has now become a standard textbook of the Hawza in this subject: Baqir al-Irawani’s Durus Tamhidiyyah fi al-Fiqh al-Istidlali. The present module covers selections from volume one of this four-volume work. It should be noted that although some of the syllabus topics below resemble those of the Islamic Laws module in that they concern rulings for the main ritual acts of worship, this module requires a different approach and depth of study, with a focus on the process of Islamic law derivation and the justifications for the rulings.

  • Definition, sources and historical development of Islamic Jurisprudence
  • Laws pertaining to and jurisprudential evidence for:
    • Purification
    • Prayer o Fasting
    • Alms Tax (Zakat)
    • One-fifth Tax (Khums)
    • Pilgrimage
    • Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge
On completion of this module, the successful student will be able to:

  • Debate the process Islamic law derivation. (A2-A5)
  • Construct an overview of the historical development of Islamic Jurisprudence. (A2, A3, A6)
  • Evaluate the jurisprudential basis for rulings pertaining to the main ritual acts of worship in Shia law. (B1, B3, B4)

Skills
This module will call for the successful student to:

  • Display an ability to correctly read and debate selected excerpts on ritual acts of worship from a leading
  • Hawza text on Demonstrative Jurisprudence. (B1, B3, C1- C3, C6, D2, D3, D6)

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

Delivery of this module is in the traditional Hawza style, whereby the teacher carefully reads and explains the core text, and discusses areas of particular complexity in more detail. Students are encouraged to examine the text critically and to engage in the discussions. Furthermore, students are expected to discuss material presented in class in their mubāḥathah (study circle) sessions to enhance understanding and retention.

Assessment Modes
Formative assessment will be by means of discussions, and continuous questioning on the practical and theoretical aspects of the course syllabus.  Revision sessions are arranged that will cover topics in preparation for exams, providing constructive formative feedback to students.  Students may hand in their PowerPoint slides to the lecturer for guidance prior to the 9th learning week. They will also receive formative feedback on their presentations after completing them, and guidance and feedback can be gained from student-led discussion, which will help them improve future performance. Finally, formative feedback is also gained through mubāḥathah, providing an invaluable opportunity for students to consolidate their learning. Unresolved matters or new ideas resulting from mubāḥathah sessions are researched and brought to the attention of the module leader for feedback as part of the formative learning process.
Summative, graded assessment is by presentation and written examination. The presentation will last for 20 minutes and will require students to demonstrate correct reading and comprehension of an excerpt from the core text. (Outcomes  4). The 2 hour written examination will take place at the end of the semester (Outcomes 1, 2, 3).

Assessment Weighting
Written examination: 60%
Presentation, Reading & Comprehension: 40%

Learning materials

Core readings

  • Al-Irawani, B. (2009). Durus Tamhidiyyah fi al-Fiqh al-Istidlali. Qum: Al-Mustafa International Translation and Publication Centre.