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Introduction to the Study of Islam


Admission requirements



This course gives an introduction to the many ways Islam can bestudied: historical, social, theological. We will address the origins of Islam, its sources, and the theological developments through the following centuries. Topics that will be discussed are: philosophy of Islam, mysticism, theological issues, sectarian divisions, law. The last two lectures will be about Islam in Europe.

Course objectives

This course will provide the participant with basic knowledge of Islam and its different expressions in the Islamic world and elsewhere; it will also provide a first insight into the social and political context of religious views and the interaction between normative prescriptions and everyday religious experience.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture
    Attendance is not obligatory for lectures. The conveners do not need to be informed in case of missed classes. Information and knowledge provided in the lectures greatly contribute to the subsequent courses of the programme. In order to pass the course, students are strongly advised to attend all sessions.

Assessment method

The dates of the Exams are fixed, and no alternative dates or times can be set.


  • If you missed Midterm exam: the score on the Final Exam will be your total score.

  • If you failed Midterm exam: only the score on the Final Exam will be your total score.

  • If you passed Midterm: your score will be used ONLY to upgrade your score for the Final Exam. (So, if your score of the Mid Term would lower your final score, then the Midterm Exam will not be considered).

  • If you missed the final, or failed the final grade, the Resit score is your final score.


Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

Aaron W. Hughes, Muslim identities: An Introduction to Islam (Columbia University Press, 2013)


Students are required to register through uSis To avoid mistakes and problems, students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetable in the column under the heading “Act.nbr.”.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Studeren à la carte. Contractonderwijs


Prof. dr. mr. M.S. Berger

For questions regarding registration, please contact De Vrieshof Education Administration Office


Students with disabilities

The university is committed to supporting and accommodating students with disabilities as stated in the university protocol (especially pages 3-5). Students should contact Fenestra Disability Centre at least four weeks before the start of their courses to ensure that all necessary academic accommodations can be made in time conform the abovementioned protocol.

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you submit any work with your name affixed to it, it is assumed to be your own work with all sources used properly indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations).