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Islamic Studies
 

Islamic Studies

We currently do not offer any degree options for students wishing to study Islamic Culture.

However, we do offer a BA in Near Eastern Studies. As part of this program, students can take courses in Islamic Culture.

In addition, stduents majoring in other areas can take the following courses as electives.

NE 1900: Comparative Religion (3 credits)
The current resurgence of religion affects not just the individual who subscribes to a particular religion and its regiment, but also the international community and its efforts to maintain global harmony. This class examines six major religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and the East Asian religions, and focuses on their impact on modern societies. In addition to their histories, their belief systems, and their religions traditions, we also look at how the modern secular world has helped shape these very traditions and practices.

NE 2000: Introduction to Islamic Civilization (3 credits)
To promote a global understanding of various cultures and civilizations courses such as this one on Islam, are offered to all students at Wayne State University. The history and development of Islamic civilization is closely related to the history of the Middle East, southern Europe, and the religions of this area. This class therefore, does explain the faith and History of Islam, but it also moves beyond Arabia to South Asia, Africa, and Europe, and beyond Islam to Hinduism, Judaism, and Christianity.

NE 3320: Muhammad (3 credits)
Muhammad the Prophet of Islam remains an enigmatic personality for historians of religion, members of the clergy, and contemporary thinkers alike. Partly, this is because he is both Caesar and Christ-and at the same time. For Muslims his spirituality and his monotheistic teachings evoke a deep reverence and a sense of spiritual intimacy; to this day, a great many of them continue to emulate the minutiae of his life in their rituals, their social engagements, and even in the way they do business. But to many outside the faith these very qualities evoke a certain disquiet: Muhammad's military engagements, his treatment of minorities, and even his domestic life seem at odds with what many in the West consider the character of a spiritual being. Our task in this class is to critically examine the complexities of his personality and his legacy, and to interrogate the various perspectives on his life and mission. The study of this legacy includes both the period of the Prophet himself, as well as the period thereafter, when Muslims appropriated the contours of his personality into their personal and public lives.

NE 5220: Muslim Personal Law (3 credits)
This course focuses on elements of Islamic law that govern marital contracts, the dissolution of marriages, child custody, laws of inheritance, wills, and endowments It also includes an overview of the history and the structure of Islamic law in its classical form, as well as in its contemporary application. To some extent it also seeks to explain what to many is indeed, a puzzling phenomenon: the ever expanding relevance of a law based on religious tenets in a world that increasingly seeks the separation of the sacred from the profane.

This course will also be of interest to those choosing careers that will serve the legal and social needs of a growing Muslim population within the United States. A large number of Muslims from South Asia and the Middle East have joined African American Muslims in calling the United States their home; together, this community faces the challenge of reconciling their sacred laws with the judicial system of this country.

Finally, the course looks at the application of Muslim Personal law in the modern nation state: whilst the Shari`a, or classical Islamic law is today, nowhere applied in Toto, a survey of the legal systems of the Middle East will, at every juncture, indicate its unmistakable ubiquity. These modern legal systems, whilst certainly not mirror images of the Shari`a of classical Islam, nonetheless reflect in some cases evolutionary steps, taken in tandem with social change, and in others, sudden breaches with the past.

NE 5710: Islam and the Challenge of Modernity (3 credits)
The 19th century was for the Muslim world, a period of great social upheaval and institutional change: the great Islamic empires were defeated and replaced first, by colonialist powers, and later, by nation states with new political structures and new legal systems. Europe's presence in the Muslim world brought to an end the educational and legal structures that served the world of Islam for 12 centuries, and brought to this same world secular educational systems that emphasized Enlightenment thinking, scientific inquiry, and liberal values.

In response to this European legacy, alternative Islamic ideologies developed, quite unlike any in the Muslim past, and unlike any outside the Muslim world as well. In addition to secularists, wanting to separate the sacred from the profane-as in the West, for instance-there also developed in the Islamic world authentic alternatives that tried to meld European thought with Islamic beliefs and values. This class examines this effort, which, for the most part, is still unfinished business.

Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
906 West Warren 487 Manoogian
Detroit, MI 48202
Phone: (313) 577-3002
Fax: (313) 577-6243
Website: clasweb.clas.wayne.edu/languages
Email: aa1690@wayne.edu