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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 rituals, social precepts, theology, philosophy, mysticism, the so-called sects, and manifestations of Muslim culture. The final lecture will be devoted to the themes of gender, democracy and human rights.

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

Total course load for the course is 140 hours.

  • Lectures: 13 × 2 = 26 hours

  • Exams = 4 hours

  • Preparation lectures and exams (studying the compulsory literature) = 110 hours

Assessment method


  • Midterm (after block 1): written examination with closed questions (eg multiple choice)

  • Final exam (after block 2): written examination with closed questions (eg multiple choice)

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: midterm (40%), final exam (60%).


There is only one resit opportunity (in January 2018) which will make up 100% of the mark.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results (in BB) at the latest.



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

Reading list

  • William Shepard, Introducing Islam, [Second Edition], Routledge 2014.

  • Articles to be announced


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.

Contact M.S. Berger


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).