The Origins and History of Islam 600-1500 CE, 7.5 credits

Autumn 2024, Half-time, Norrköping


Islam plays an important role in the international relations. Many debates and issues which affect domestic and foreign policies of the countries in the modern Middle East can be traced back to the early centuries of Islam. This course is an introduction to the historical background of these debates. It tackles the religious, political, cultural, and social history of the main Islamic lands of the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Syria, Iran and Iraq covering the nine centuries from the time of the Prophet Muhammad to the end of the Christian conquest of the Iberian Peninsula. The core topics studied in the course are as will be delivered in the lectures: 1) What is history of Islam and Islamic studies? Pre-Islamic Arabian Peninsula: sources, geography, and society; 2) Muhammad and the early Islamic state; sources of authority: the Qur’an and Hadith 3) the Arab Conquests; relations with non-Muslim populations and non-Arab Muslims 4) Islamic Urban Culture; Islamic Golden Age: scientific discoveries 6) The development of the legal system; Schisms and politico-religious thought, the Shia movement 7) Sources of prosperity: trade and economy in the Middle East; the Crusades, contacts between the East and the West; 8) Islamic mysticism and the Sufi orders; 9) Women in Islam, LGBTQI+ community and Islam 10) Islamic art.