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Early Islamic Thought


Admission requirements

Admission to one of the following programmes is required:

  • MA Philosophy 60 EC: specialisation Global and Comparative Philosophy

  • MA Philosophy 120 EC: specialisation Philosophy in World Traditions


This course studies the major ideas and intellectual traditions in Late Antiquity focusing on the periods before and after Islam, roughly 200 – 900 AD. The aim of the course is to analyse the ideas that shaped early Islam and Muslim society, focusing on the Qurʾan, early hadith corpus, and the writings of early groups and traditions, before the rise of orthodoxy and period of canonisation.

Course objectives

Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:

  • the intellectual origins and foundational ideas of Islam before the emergence of orthodoxy and orthopraxy.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • examine and analyse ideas and beliefs both synchronically and diachronically, reading a range of texts and different genres of writings from Islamic milieus);

  • integrate Islam and Islamic ideas into world history and global thought.


The timetables are available through MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars

Class attendance is required.

Assessment method


  • Weekly essays (20%)

  • Midterm paper (40%)

  • Final paper (40%)


The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average of the subtests (see above).


The resit consists of one examination, consisting of a paper. The mark for the resit replaces all previously earned marks for subtests. Class participation and completion of practical assignments are required for taking the resit.

Students who have obtained a satisfactory overall grade for the first examination cannot take the resit.

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

To be announced on Brightspace.


Enrolment through MyStudymap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the information bar at the right hand side of the page.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc., contact the Education Administration Office Huizinga


Not applicable.