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Islamic Thought and World Culture: Course Outline

Course Outline

Rational of the Course:           

Islam is not a “religion” in its common conventional understanding. It calls itself al-din, al-din al-qayyim and din al-fitrah. Islam as al-din stands for the way of life as well as for a culture. Historical treatments of Islamic culture and civilization approach the subject matter as a piece of history. They also indicate, prejudice preconceived images and pre-judgments about its values, and culture. This is reflected in the titles as well as in the contents of a large number of research works done by the western writers as well as by some Muslims. According to the Qur’an Islam is the final message of Allah (3:19 also 5:3), it is important to understand basic concepts, philosophy, manifestations and impact of Islam on world civilization.


1.To understand concept of din, culture (thaqafah) and civilization (hadarah) it its conventional as well as Islamic context.

2.To understand epistemic foundations of Islamic thought & culture.

  1. To understand universality of Culture.
  2. To comprehend Islam’s relevance with modernity and future of mankind.
  3. To comprehend the sources of Islamic principles values & ethics.

Learning Objectives:    

On the successful completion of the course a participant shall know:

1.Uniqueness of Islamic culture and civilization.

2.Its relation with faith and its impact on daily conduct and behavior.

3.Islam’s contribution to the culture of knowledge, research and development.

4.Rationale behind the twentieth century Islamic revivalist movements.

5.Role of educationists in transmission of culture and social change.

Learning Strategies:

The course participants are expected to actively interact in the class, prepare one book report, make a class presentation, do assignments, respond to quiz and other methods of assessment.

Topics to be covered:

1.Concept of culture and civilization in the West and the East; Islamic view of culture.

2.Dominant features of prominent past civilizations and cultures.

3.Origin of Islamic Culture: Concept of knowledge, speculative, philosophical, empirical, scientific, institutional and mystical sources of knowledge, revelation (wahi) as source of knowledge, values and culture.

4.Islamization or integration of values in knowledge.

5.Meaning and impact of tawhid on Islamic culture and thought.

6.Islamic research methodology, the science of fiqh and the objectives of shari‘ah.

7.Manifestations of Islamic values in arts and sciences particularly in:

a)    Calligraphy              

b) “Ulum al Qur’an; Ulum al-Hadith and fiqh   wa kalam.

c)    Architecture              

 d)   Carpets and rugs.

e)    Ceramics                 

   f)   Metal work and wood work

g)    Textile                         

h)    water ways

  i)    Social works                 

j)    scientific contributions

9.         Revival and Islah in the 20th century, search for cultural roots.

10.        Future of Islamic culture.

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