Syllabus Religion/CMLT 4307 Comparative Islamic Literature, Dr. Godlas, Spring 2007
Office, 217 Peabody, phone 2-1486; Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
An analytical and hermeneutical method will be used to view significant texts from most of the major genres of Islamic literature. The primary genres covered will be Qur'an, hadith, Qur'anic literature, philosophy, theology, historiography, hagiography, and poetry, emphasizing the Medieval period and mystical prose and poetry primarily in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish. The works will be in English translation.
Objective of Course:
The objective of the course is both to introduce the major genres and masterpieces of Islamic literature as well as to provide students with basic concepts and an analytical framework necessary for understanding and comparing Islamic texts.
Comparative Religiological 14-20 pages
Test 1: 15%
Midterm: 20 %
Final 20 %
Paper: 35 %
Class participation, misc. assignments: 10%
Junior or Senior standing or permission of the department.
Schedule of Classes and Readings
Class Introduction, Religiology, and Hermeneutical Understanding, and Islam
Read by the weekend of the first week.
Esposito, "10 Things Everyone Needs to Know about Islam,"
http://www.cqpress.com/context/articles/epr_islam.html (Professor Voll teaches at George Washington University. This article was published in Congressional Quarterly, 2001.) A term sheet for this article will be put on WebCT.
Kaltner, "Talking With Churches About Islam," (Professr Kaltner teaches at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. The article is on a Christian website, the Congregational Resource Guide.)
Thursday of Week 2, hand in Religiological Interviews
Week 3 Tues. Test on articles
Jan 23-Feb 1
Comparative Qur’anic Readings in Translation, Surah 1 (The opening),
Surat Ya Sin #36, and Surah’s 93-114. See the link on WebCT.
Tabari tafsir: Basmala, pp. 54-59 and commentary 1:1-1:6, pp. 61-74.
Gatje, Qur'an and Its Exegesis (Zamakhshari, Tabari, Baydawi on Jesus) pp. 120-129.
Baqillani, Rhetorical Figures in the Qur'an: pp. 1-5.
Hadith Bukhari, Interpretation of Dreams:
Ahadith qudsiya, Forty Hadith Qudsi, read #s 1-20.
Sira (bio. of Prophet)
Ibn Is'haq, The Life of the Prophet, pp. 104-107 (advent of revelation)
Tabari, Tarikh: The Last Years of the Prophet, v. 9, pp. 183-189 (the death of the Prophet).
Tabari, Tarikh, From the Creation to the Flood, v. 1, pp. 249-257 (Iblis); And Tarikh, Muhammad at Mecca, v. 6, pp. 67-80 (the manner of the first revelation until the ascension).
Sahih Muslim, The Book of Vision:
Ibn Seerin's (pseud.) Dictionary of Dreams, pp. 292-296 (seeing Muhammad in a dream)
Week 6 Historiography
Ibn Sa'd (d. 845), The Great Biographical Collection, "Women of Madina", pp. 9-21.
Ibn Khallikan (d. 1282), Biographical Dictionary, vol. 3, pp. 205-217 (Ibn Tumart); pp. 321-328 (Zamakhshari); pp. 348-351 (Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj)
Muqaddimah, historical criticism, Ibn Khaldun, "The Science of Sufism" pp. 75-83 and "Sufism defended" 99-103
Travel Lit: Ibn Battuta (14th cent) Travels, pp. 299-306, 312-321(Shiraz)
Week 7 Al-Ghazali (d. 1111), The Precious Pearl, on death and the hereafter, pp. 32-36, 40-43, 48-55.
Ismaili literary philosophy: Ikhwan al-safa v. 2, pp. 202-208 (micro/macro); 219-225 (way to God);
Suhrawardi, The Philosophy of Illumination, pp. 141-50 (reincarnation and souls), 156-63 (states of wayfarers, author's exhortation).(every other page is Arabic)
recommended: Shi'ite Philosophy, Mullah Sadra (d. 1641) "concluding testament," pp. 250-258.
Week 8 20th century
Khomeini, Islam and Revolution, pp. 365-77. (lect. on Fatiha).
Muhammad Qutb, "Islam: The Misunderstood Religion," 231-237, 265-69.
Gulen: Questions This Modern Age Puts to Islam: Wives of the Prophet (online). http://members.cox.net/ameer1/questislam.html
Amina Wadud, Aishah's Legacy (online)
Egyptian Salafi, Syed Qutb, "Political Theory in Islam," (from Social Justice in Islam) pp.113-126; and 315-319
Modern: Nursi, Supreme Sign, pp. 19-27 (pages are very small)
Muslim Women's League, An Islamic Perspective on Sexuality
Week 9--Sufi Compendia,
Kalabadi (d. 995 ), pp. v.- viii, 90-94.
Qushayri (d. 1072), al-Risalah (tr. Godlas), pp. 88-93; Ansari (d. 1089), (One-hundred Battlefields, pp. 93-98).
Razi, The Path of God's Bondsmen, pp. 268-278 (dhikr/zekr)
recommended: Hujwiri (d. 1072-1076), pp. 374-379 (Contraction, expansion, and other states).
Sulami, Early Sufi Women "Rabi'a et al" pp. 74-86; (Ibn al-Jawzi on Rabi'a) 276-82 (even pages)
Attar, Muslims Saints and Mystics, Rabi'a pp. 39-51, Ibn 'Ata, pp. 236-238; Somnun, pp. 239-242.
Ibn 'Arabi, Sufis of Andalusia, pp. 69-83.
Mohammad ebn-e Monavvar (late 12th century), Secrets of God's Mystical Oneness (on Abu Sa'id Abu l-Khayr (d. 1049) pp. 89-92, 260-269, 433-438.
Eflaki, Menaqibu al-arifin, Stories of Rumi, pp. 20-28
al-Ghazali, Deliverance from Error (online) at
Autobiography, Sufi Ruzbihan, Unveiling of Secrets pp. 9-15 (Persian)
Ibn 'Ajiba, Autobiography, pp. 76-83, 118-23.
Ibn al-'Arabi, Fusus, pp. 50-53
Bursevi, Commentary on the Fusus, pp. 93-98
Iraqi, Flashes, pp. 73-83
Sufi treatises from Turkey, Malaysia, Indo-Pakistan
Badruddin of Simawna (d. 1420), Inspirations, pp. 147-152. (Jesus)
Malay Sufi: Hamzah Fansuri, Drink of the Lovers, pp. 431-447
Shah Waliyullah (d. ) Sata'at (Illuminations) pp. 101-112.
Sufi Apologetics and Criticism of Sufis
'Ayn al-Qudat al-Hamadani (d. 1131) A Sufi Martyr, pp. 59-68 (Apologetics)
Ibn al-Jawzi (d. 1200) The Devil's Delusion, pp. 362-64, 633-635,393-398
Nizam al-Din Awliya d. 1325, Conversations (Malfuzat) pp. 245-254.
Ibn 'Ata ullah (d. 1309), Book of Wisdom, pp. 47-53.
Abdullah Ansari (d. 1089), Intimate Conversations, 182-189.
Ibn 'Abbad of Ronda d. 1390, Letters on the Sufi Path, pp. 69-79.
Maneri, 100 letters, (shaykhs) pp. 25-34.
Week 15-- Mystical Lyric poetry:
Ibn Arabi Tarjuman al-ashwaq, pp. 48-53, pp. 66-70.
Ibn al-Farid, pp. 74-87.
'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani Emanations of Lordly Grace (The Wine Ode), pp. 80-84.
Rumi, Divan-e Shams, pp. 8-11, 28-31, 108-111, 124-127,170-73, 184-87
Hafiz, Divan, pp. 1-5, 14-17, 36-37
lyric poetry Turkish and Urdu
Ahmet Yesevi, Divan-e Hikmet, pp. 61-81.
Yunus Emre, pp. 112-114, 117-124.
Ghalib, Ghazals of Ghalib, pp. 84-96
Week 16--Didadactic Poetry:
'Attar (d. before 1220), The Conference of the Birds, pp. 166-74, 181-87,191-93, 196-97, 201-06.
Rumi (d. 1235), Mathnawi (Nicholson trans.), v. 1 pp. 5-6, 76, 81-83, 160-64, 310-17; v. 4, pp. 394-398. Barks trans. pp. 17-19= Nicholson pp. 5-6; Barks 193-197 (Three Fish) = Nicholson v. 4, pp. 394-398
Shabistari (d. 1339), pp. 85-92, 97-99.
Finals May 3, Thurs. 3:30 - 6:30 pm
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Changes to this Syllabus
The instructor reserves the right to make any changes to this syllabus. The course syllabus is a general plan for the course; deviations announced to the class by the instructor may be necessary. Changes will be posted on WebCT or handed out.