Course Information
SemesterCourse Unit CodeCourse Unit TitleT+P+LCreditNumber of ECTS Credits
8SOC 406Contemporary Social Thought in the Muslim World3+0+035

Course Details
Language of Instruction English
Level of Course Unit Bachelor's Degree
Department / Program BA Program in Sociology
Mode of Delivery Face to Face
Type of Course Unit Compulsory
Objectives of the Course Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

1. Know what broadly is the history of ideas or intellectual/conceptual history and how it is similar to and different from an anthropology-sociology of philosophy/ideas;
2. Identify and understand major themes & issues in contemporary Muslim social thought;
3. Acquire capability and tools to critically examine the strength and weakness of arguments and be equipped to formulate their own informed position on the subject under discussion;
4. Compare strands of thoughts and approaches that mark the social-political life in the wake of Western colonialism, which is political as much as intellectual-epistemological; and
5. Critically evaluate and compare themes and thinking in different periods and diverse contexts of the Muslim world.
Course Content Encapsulating diversity in the Muslim world and beginning in the nineteenth century until our very present, the key goal of this course is to critically acquaint students with multiplicity of thinking some systematized more than others – among Muslim intellectuals. It asks and addresses questions such as: what was the world these public intellectuals inhabited and how did they view the world in general and their own world as well as their roles within it in particular? How does thinking influence the social and how does social impact the work of thinking? What are points of convergences and divergences among these intellectuals as diverse, for instance, as Jamaluddin Afghani, Mohammad Iqbal, Zainab Al-Ghazali and Malcolm X? If and to what extent is the usual term, modernity, used to mark the temporal span of this course useful? Informed by anthropology of philosophy and history of ideas approaches, this interdisciplinary course will equip students with conceptual vocabulary and methodological tools to analyze thoughts as well as un- and under-thoughts.
Course Methods and Techniques
Prerequisites and co-requisities None
Course Coordinator None
Name of Lecturers Prof.Dr. IRFAN AHMAD
Assistants None
Work Placement(s) No

Recommended or Required Reading
Attendance, academic integrity, including collaboration and plagiarism

Attendance is mandatory in this course. Students with absence of more than four weeks will fail in the class. There are no accepted excuses for absence.

Academic integrity is crucial. Students are just allowed to collaborate in writing their papers (concerning developing English writing skills) with the help of writing center or other experts. Students have to write their research papers in their own thoughts and words. The ideas or passages taken from another source must be acknowledged by using quotation marks where appropriate and by proper referencing such as footnotes or citations. Students should take responsibility of outcomes of such act and s/he must know that plagiarism is a major academic offence. Students who are plagiarizing will get 0 mark and Fail in this course.

Late-Make-up Policy:
Students are expected to submit their assignments in time by following due dates. There is not a guarantee of extensions for deadlines and due dates.

There will be make-up for not conducted lectures due to absence of lecturer (conferences, meetings, health problems etc.) and students are expected to attend this classes that are going to be determined (day-hour) with consultancy of students in class.

Course Category
Social Sciences %100

Planned Learning Activities and Teaching Methods
Activities are given in detail in the section of "Assessment Methods and Criteria" and "Workload Calculation"

Assessment Methods and Criteria
In-Term Studies Quantity Percentage
Mid-terms 1 % 10
Assignment 1 % 20
Attendance 1 % 15
Practice 1 % 15
Final examination 1 % 40
% 100

ECTS Allocated Based on Student Workload
Activities Quantity Duration Total Work Load
Course Duration 14 5 70
Hours for off-the-c.r.stud 14 5 70
Assignments 8 8 64
Presentation 5 6 30
Mid-terms 1 3 3
Final examination 1 3 3
Total Work Load   Number of ECTS Credits 8 240

Course Learning Outcomes: Upon the successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
NoLearning Outcomes
1 Know synoptically key issues in social thoughts in the past two centuries and across the Muslim world in its full diversity
2 Acquire analytical & methodological resources to critically assess the (de)merits of diverse streams of thinking, including how to ask productive questions and critique a position. These resources will enable them to also evaluate thinkers and issues not treated in this course
3 Present, orally and in writing, ideas in a coherent, logical and structured manner.
4 Think comparatively and relationally.

Weekly Detailed Course Contents
WeekTopicsStudy MaterialsMaterials
1 Introduction: Setting the Stage; Muslim World & the Onset of Colonialism Nasr, Syed Vali Reza. 1999. “European Colonialism and the Emergence of Modern Muslim States.” In The Oxford History of Islam, edited by John Esposito. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 549-600.
2 What is Intellectual History? & What is Islamic Intellectual History? Whatmore, Richard. 2016. “The Method of Intellectual History.” In What Is Intellectual History? Cambridge: Polity: 45-57. Abu-Rabi’, Ibrahim. 2005. “Contemporary Islamic Intellectual History: A Theoretical Perspective.” Islamic Studies. 44(4): 503-526. Ahmad, Irfan. 2017. “Critique: Western and/or Islamic.” In Religion As Critique: Islamic Critical Thinking from Mecca to the Marketplace. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. 30-62.
3 Jamaluddin Afghani (d. 1897) Kohn, Margaret. 2009. “Afghani on Empire, Islam, and Civilization.” Political Theory. 37(3): 398-422. Hourani, Albert. 1983. “Jamal al-Din al-Afghani.” In Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age: 1798- 1939. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 103-129. Al-Afghani, Jamal al-Din. 2000. “Science versus Religion.” In Modernist and Fundamentalist Debates in Islam: A Reader, edited by Mansoor Moaddel and Kamran Talattof. New York: Palgrave: 23-28.
4 Muhammad Abduh (d. 1905) Hourani, Albert. 1983. “Muhammad ‘Abduh.” In Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age: 1798-1939. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 130-160. Sedgwick, Mark. 2010. Muhammad Abduh. London: One World publication. Pages to be specified. ‘Abduh, Muhammad. 2000. “The Necessity of Religious Reform.” In Modernist and Fundamentalist Debates in Islam: A Reader, edited by Mansoor Moaddel and Kamran Talattof. New York: Palgrave: 45-51.
5 Muhammad Iqbal (d. 1938) Iqbal, Mohammad. 1934. “The Principle of Movement in the Structure of Islam.” In The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam. London: Oxford University Press. 139-170. Sevea, Iqbal Singh. 2012. “Reconstruction of Islam.” In The Political Philosophy of Muhammad Iqbal: Islam and Nationalism in Late Colonial India. Cambridge University Press: 94-125.
6 Said Nursi (d. 1960) Vahide, Sukran. 1989. “Toward an Intellectual Biography of Said Nursi.” In Islam at the Crossroads On the Life and Thought of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, edited by Abu-Rabi Ibrahim. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press: 1-32. Mardin, Serif. 1989. “Reflections on Said Nursi's Life and Thought.” In Islam at the Crossroads On the Life and Thought of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, edited by Abu-Rabi Ibrahim. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press: 45-50. Eickelman, Dale. 1989. “Qur'anic Commentary, Public Space, and Religious Intellectuals in the Writings of Said Nursi.” In Islam at the Crossroads On the Life and Thought of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, edited by Abu-Rabi Ibrahim. Albany: State University of New York Press: 51-60.
7 Hasan Al Banna (d. 1949) Al-Banna, Hasan. “Toward the Light.” In Princeton Readings in Islamist Thought: Texts and Contexts from al-Banna to Bin Laden, edited by Roxanne Euben and Qasim Zaman. Princeton: Princeton University Press: 56-77. Al-Anani, Khalil. 2013. “The Power of the Jama‘a: The Role of Hasan Al-Banna in Constructing the Muslim Brotherhood’s Collective Identity.” Sociology of Islam.1: 41-63. Al-Abdin, A. Z. 1989. “The Political Thought of Hasan Al-Banna.” Islamic Studies. 28(3): 219-234.
8 Abul Ala Maududi (d. 1979) Ahmad, Irfan. 2017. “The Message: A Critical Enterprise.” In Religion As Critique: Islamic Critical Thinking from Mecca to the Marketplace. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. 91-119. Ahmad, Irfan. 2012. “Mawdudi, Syed Abul Ala: 1903-1979.” In The Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought, edited by G. Böwering, P. Crone, W. Kadi, D. Stewart, and Qasim Zaman. Princeton: Princeton University Press: 112–115. Ahmad, Irfan. 2013. “Islam and Politics in South Asia.” In The Oxford Handbook of Islam and Politics, edited by John Esposito & Emad El-Din Shahin. New York: Oxford University Press: 324–339.
9 Ali Shariati (d. 1977) Shariati, Ali. 1979. “Approaches to the Understanding of Islam.” In On the Sociology of Islam (translated by Hamid Algar). Berkeley: Mizan Press: 39-69. Muzaffar, Chandra. 2017. “Understanding Ali Shariati’s Political Thought.” In Ali Shariati and the Future of Social Theory: Religion, Revolution, and the Role of the Intellectual, edited by Dustin J. Byrd and Seyed Javad Miri. Leiden: Brill: 170-180. Rahnema, Ali. 1994. “Ali Shariati: Teacher, Preacher, Rebel.” In Pioneers of Islamic Revival, edited by Ali Rahnema. London: Zed Books: 208-250.
10 Zaiynab Al-Ghazali & Maryam Jameelah Al-Ghazali, Zaiynab. 1989. “Preface,” and “And the Covenant Takes Place.” In Days from My Life (translated by A.R. Kidwai). Delhi: Hindustan Publication. 11-13 & 29-43. Uthman, Ibrahim. 2010. “A Triadic Re-Reading of Zaynab al-Ghazali and the Feminist Movement in Islam.” Islamic Studies. 49(1): 65-79. Hermansen, Marcia. 2012. “Review of The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism by Deborah Baker.” Asian Ethnology. 71(2): 302-304. Esposito, John & John Voll. 2001. “Maryam Jameelah: A Voice of Conservative Islam.” In Makers of Contemporary Islam. Oxford University Press: 54-67. Jameelah, Maryam. 1988. “The Feminist Movement and the Muslim Woman.” In Islam and the Muslim Woman. Available online: 12-19.
11 Malcolm X TRT World. 2020. “Who was Malcolm X?” 15. 18 Minutes. Ahmad, Adil. 2020. “Islam and Black America: the Religious Life of Malcolm X.” Journal of African American Studies. 24: 456–481 Nikpour, Golnar. 2014. “Revolutionary Journeys, Revolutionary Practice: The Hajj Writings of Jalal Al-e Ahmad and Malcolm X.” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. 34(1): 67-85.
12 Abdurrahman Wahid Wahid, Abdurrahman and Holland Taylor. 2008. “A Tradition of Tolerance in Indonesia Offers Hope.” Foreign Service Journal (April): 35-40. Wahid, Abdurrahman, 2001. “Indonesia’s Mild Secularism.” SAIS Review. 21(2): 25-28 Oxford Islamic Studies Online. Undated. “Abdurrahman Wahid.” Barton, Greg. 1997. “Indonesia's Nurcholish Madjid and Abdurrahman Wahid as Intellectual Ulamâ: The Meeting of Islamic Traditionalism and Modernism in Neo-modernist Thought.” Studia Islamika: Indonesian Journal for Islamic Studies. 4(1): 29–81.
13 Abdolkarim Soroush Soroush, Abdulkarim. 2000. “Intellectual Autobiography: An Interview,” “Islamic Revival and Reform: Theological Perspectives,” and “Reason and Freedom.” In Reason, Freedom, and Democracy in Islam: Essential Writings of Abdolkarim Soroush (translated and introduced by Mahmoud Sadri and Ahmad Sadri). New York: Oxford University Press: 3-38 & 88-104. Ahmad, Irfan. 2017. “Epilogue.” In Religion As Critique: Islamic Critical Thinking from Mecca to the Marketplace. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. 203-208.
14 Summary, Assessment & Feedback Ahmad, Irfan. 2022. “The Time of Epistemic Domination: Notes on Modernity as an Oppressive Category.” ReOrient: The Journal of Critical Muslim Studies. Under Review.

Contribution of Learning Outcomes to Programme Outcomes
P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 P7 P8 P9 P10 P11 P12 P13

Contribution: 1: Very Slight 2:Slight 3:Moderate 4:Significant 5:Very Significant