**This course will be conducted entirely in English including lectures, class discussions, student presentations, and written assignments.**
This discussion course is directly connected to HIST 2219 "Introduction to Islam, 600-1300." Students who enroll in this discussion course MUST also enroll in HIST 2219. While HIST 2219 is a lecture course, this discussion course will allow students to gain a deeper understanding of HIST 2219's subjects.
Course description for HIST 2219:
Islam is one of human civilization’s great religions. There are more than one billion Muslims living all over the world today. Politics in the Middle East and the broader Islamic world play important roles in international relations. For these and many other reasons it is crucial to have an understanding of the history of Islamic societies.
This course covers the first half of Islamic history from 600 to 1300 C.E. At the beginning of this period, Arab Muslims established a new religion and empire at the intersections of both Christian, Jewish, and Zoroastrian faiths and Roman and Sasanian empires in the Middle East. Over the course of the semester, we will study the construction of Muslim empires and the dynamics of life in Islamic societies during the classical and medieval periods. The course concludes in the 1300s a pivotal moment when Islamic societies had to find a response to Turkish, Latin Christian (Crusader), and Mongol invasions that contributed to the fragmentation of Islamic civilization. By studying early Islamic history, we can witness the construction of such a major civilization from its very origins.
The period we study has received an enormous amount of attention over the last few years. Today’s Islamic revivalists, militants, and their opponents all look to the Prophet Muhammad’s lifetime and the community he established as an ideal and true representation of Islam to be copied or even reestablished. Contrary to seeing the past from such ideological perspectives, we will approach the study of early Islam from a historical perspective. We will examine the historical circumstances that fostered a new faith, why peoples adopted these beliefs, and how Muslims shaped new societies.