History of Islam and Islamic Civilization

This course examines the emergence and evolution of Islam as a world religion and of Islamic societies from the time of Muhammad and the establishment of the Islamic community as a political entity through the first conquests and the Islamic empires (the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates, the Mamelukes, the Ottomans, the Safavids, and the Mughals), to contemporary times. These are approached from several vantage points covering political history; economic and social issues; social control and enforcement of the law; and religious and cultural expressions (e.g., differences between Sunni and Shi’a Muslims and Sufism). This course also covers Islam’s contact and conflict with the Christian world; their first encounters in the seventh century CE, in Andalusia and during the Crusades; Napoleon’s invasion in Egypt; colonialism in the Middle East, and the response to Western cultural, economic, and political domination; and twentieth- and twenty-first-century relations between the Middle East and the West.

Credits: 3 Cr.