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Kamran Scot Aghaie, Chair CAL 528 | 204 W 21st St F9400 | Austin, TX 78712-1029 • 512-471-3881

Spring 2006

MES 320 • 14-The Qur'an

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
41075 MWF
1:00 PM-2:00 PM
BUR 134

Course Description

Adherents of Islam make up nearly one-fourth of the world's population. For Muslims, the ultimate source of divine guidance is the Quran, which has infused not only religious practice but also Muslim law, etiquette, literature, and the arts. To the beginner, however, the Quran can be a daunting text. In this introductory lecture course, students will be guided through Islam's sacred text. To this end, we will read extensively from the Quran itself (in translation), as well as from other texts. In our studies, we will focus on Qur'anic cosmology (eg, God, human nature, satan, and the afterlife), ethical principles, ritual prescriptions, and legal injunctions. We will also examine some of the prominent symbols, images and rhetorical structures of the Quran. Students will have the opportunity to compare Quranic and Biblical accounts of the major prophets shared by Judaism, Christianity and Islam, such as Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. The syllabus also includes an inquiry into role of the Quran in Muslim devotion and as a medium for artistic expression (for example, in calligraphy). Finally, we will discuss those themes and verses of the Quran that engender the most controversy in the world today, ie those surrounding politics, warfare and gender.

Grading Policy

3 papers (5pp each, 45%), 9 quizzes (45%) and class participation (10%).


" The Qur'an, tr. by Yusuf Ali " Watt, W.M., Bells Introduction to the Quran " Rahman, F., Major Themes of the Quran " Abdel Haleem, M., Understanding the Quran: Themes and Style " Course Reader " (Optl) Hussein, A.R., The Quran Outlined: Theme and Text


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