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Introduction to the Study of Islam


Admission requirements



This course will give an introduction to the origins of Islam, the sources of Islam, the organisation, Islamic law, the main rituals, social precepts, theology, philosophy, mysticism, the so-called sects. It’s not possible to talk about these themes without taking ‘everyday Islam’ into account: examples of Muslim practices. Current themes such as gender and political Islam will also be touched upon.

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.


Timetable BA Midden-Oostenstudies Timetable BA SSEAS Timetable BA Religiewetenschappen Timetable minor Islam Timetable minor Religion in a changing world

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.

Course Load

5 EC x 28 hrs = 140 hrs
Lectures (13 x 2) 26
Exams 4
Preparation lectures and exams (studying the compulsory literature) 110

Assessment and weighing

Partial Assessment Weighing
Midterm (after block 1): written examination with closed questions (eg multiple choice) 40%
Final exam (after block 2): written examination with closed questions (eg multiple choice) 60%

The course is an integrated whole. The final examination and the assignments must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.
The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


There is only one resit opportunity (in January 2019) which will make up 100% of the mark.

Exam review

If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will be organized.



A detailed programme with reading assignments per week will be available through blackboard before the start of the course.

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.


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).