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

Fall 2006

ISL 340 • The Qur'an

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
42590 MWF
10:00 AM-11:00 AM
PAR 203

Course Description

For the one-quarter of the world's people who are Muslim, the ultimate source of divine guidance is the Quran. The Qur'an has infused not only Muslim 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, judgment), 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. We will study the Quran in Muslim devotion and as a medium for artistic expression, e.g. in calligraphy. We will also discuss those themes and verses of the Quran that engender the most controversy in the world today, such as politics, warfare and gender.

Grading Policy

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


The Qur'an, tr. Yusuf Ali; Watt, Bell's Intro to the Qur'an; Ra_m_n, Major Themes of the Qur'an; Abdel Haleem, Understanding the Qur'an; Course Packet *Please note: If the course is offered in parallel as an undergraduate


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