This is an advanced course for the study of Islamic history, civilization, culture and the history of Muslim societies. The module aims to develop a critical understanding of methods, procedures, current issues, debates and materials appropriate to the study of Islamic History and Civilisation. It is structured as a broad survey of the history and civilization of Islam from its rise in the seventh century to the contemporary period, with special emphasis on the critical turning points in the involvement of Islamic societies and the emergence of various Islamic dynasties and states. It discusses the background against which each of these empires emerged, their expansion and contributions to the Islamic experience. Although the course is designed to study the history and civilization of the Muslim world as processes, issues and inter-relations, it combines this approach with highlighting the basic elements of history: chronology, personalities and events.
The objective of this course is to provide a socio-political background to the study of Islamic sciences and intellectual history, to introduce students to the lively discussion of ‘Islamic decline’, and to encourage viewing Islamic history and civilisation as part of world history. It also highlights the impact of imperialism on the Muslim world and the Islamic modernising responses, especially during the nineteenth century. The students will be further encouraged to see the interaction of both the intrinsic and the extrinsic factors that have contributed to the emergence of the modern Muslim world, and the variety of elements that constitute the modern Islamic experience in the Arab countries, Iran and the Indian subcontinent.
By the end of the course the students should have gained knowledge and understanding of the themes, issues and debates within the study of Islamic History and Civilisation and be able to think critically and independently about what they have seen and read.
The postgraduate course Islamic History and Civilisation is divided into two modules, corresponding to the two year study period:
Graduate Certificate: Islamic History and Civilisation c.600-1800
Masters: Islamic History and Civilisation c.1800-2000
In the Graduate Certificate module, corresponding to the first academic year, the course covers the formative era of Islamic civilization from the revelation of the Quran to the end of the eighteenth century, and examines the transformation of Islam from a complex of doctrines and cultures into the organizing principles of Middle Eastern societies. The first module also traces the creation of similar societies in North Africa, Spain and the Indian subcontinent. In the Masters module, corresponding to the second academic year, the course explores the reaction of Muslim societies to European imperialism, and describes how they emerged at the beginning of the twentieth century as independent states. The second module also considers Islam’s most recent history, the formation of Islamic revival movements in their religious, community-building and political dimensions, and global Islamic identities and organizations.
1. The Modern Muslim Middle East I
2. The Modern Muslim Middle East II
3. Wahhabism and eighteenth century Arabia
4. The advance of Europeans and the European challenge
5. Islamic modernism in the Middle East I
6. Islamic modernism in the Middle East II
7. Islamic modernism in South Asia
8. Colonial rule in the Muslim Middle East I
9. Colonial rule in the Muslim Middle East II
10. Muslim Indian society under British rule I
11. Muslim Indian society under British rule II
12. The question of Palestine I
13. The question of Palestine II
14. The question of Palestine III
15. Jinnah and the creation of Pakistan I
16. Jinnah and the creation of Pakistan II
17. The Islamic revival I
18. The Islamic revival II
19. The Islamic revival III
20. Muslim women: Islamic perspectives, Middle Eastern realities I
21. Muslim women: Islamic perspectives, Middle Eastern realities II
22. Conclusion: Islam and the West