Islam is a way of life centered upon the primary principle of the oneness of God, out of which everything comes into being, and to which everything returns after it has died. The realisation of this oneness and its implications in every sphere of existence is the aim that the Muslim strives to attain. The ‘roots’ of Islamic belief are divided into three: testifying to the oneness of God; belief in prophet-hood and belief in the afterlife. This course examines these three principles, before moving on to reflect on the nature of the Quran and how it may be understood and read. Linked to the realisation of tawhīd is the process of the purification of the soul. Methods for this constitute the spiritual tradition of Islam and they will be looked at in brief. Finally, a selection of ethical instructions in relation to society and politics will be discussed in the light of one of Islam’s key principles: that of justice.
Week One: Tawhīd: testifying to the oneness of God
Week Two: Nubūwwa and Imāma: Prophethood and Imamate
Week Three: Ma‘ād: the return back to God
Week Four: The nature of the Qur’ān
Week Five: Cultivation of the ‘aql (intellect); purification of the nafs (soul)
Week Six: Social and political ethics
Week Seven: Islam and West
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