Foundational Islamic Texts: Qur'An and Hadith

Module titleFoundational Islamic Texts: Qur'An and Hadith
Module codeARA3138
Academic year2019/0
Credits15
Module staff

Dr Istvan Kristo-Nagy (Convenor)

Dr Suha Taji-Farouki (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

11

Number students taking module (anticipated)

10

Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module is suitable for those of you with an advanced level of Arabic skill, normally in the final year of your degree.  It examines foundational texts of Islam, including Qur’an, hadith and tafsir, and explores how these texts have been interpreted and understood. It also explores the application of these texts in the context of modern Islamic thought, by examining texts in modern Islamic thought.  The module is particularly recommended if you are studying Islamic Studies with an Arabic element, but will be of interest to you if you are studying Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic programmes.

Pre-requisite modules are ARA2003 Intermediate Arabic Language I and 2144 Reading Qur'anic Arabic, or equivalent Arabic reading proficiency.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This reading module has three primary aims:

(1) To provide you, as Islamic Studies students, with at least two years of prior intensive Arabic study, with the opportunity to develop your skills in reading the foundational texts of the Qur'an and hadith and related tafsir (Qur'an commentary) literature, and in reading selected texts in modern Islamic thought that relate to these foundational texts.

(2) To provide for the development of a broader acquaintance with the Qur'an, major collections of Sunni hadith, and tafsir literature, and a greater familiarity with how these sources are used in modern Islamic texts, through more extensive background readings of English translations and relevant secondary materials.

(3) To make sure that all students are thoroughly familiar with the essential scholarly index tools and concordances (Wensinck, Kassis, al-Mu'jam al-Mufahras, etc.) needed for any serious study of the Qur'an and hadith.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate skills in translating and interpreting foundational Arabic Islamic texts and significant modern Islamic texts, through the study of texts in the original Arabic as well as in translation;
  • 2. Demonstrate familiarity with research tools and literatures relating to the study of Qur'an, hadith and tafsir;

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Understand the production of scholarship in a traditional intellectual context through selected examples of its literary output, comparing this with modern examples;
  • 4. Demonstrate a nuanced appreciation of the basic difficulties and challenges involved in the accurate and effective translation and communication of foundational Islamic texts and significant related texts in modern Islamic thought;

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Transfer skills in translation, analysis and interpretation, as well as in evaluating arguments and appreciating different approaches and methodologies of interpretation and translation; and
  • 6. Find, digest, select and organise material to produce a coherent and reasoned argument in time to meet deadlines.

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

Week 1: Introduction

Weeks 2-5: Selected readings in Arabic from significant texts in modern Islamic thought.

Weeks 6-11: Selected readings in Arabic from the Qur'an and major Sunni hadith collections; additional assigned readings from tafsir, Arberry's translation of the Qur'an and translations of hadith and tafsir literatures. 

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
221280

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activity 22Weekly 2-hour seminars devoted to the translation and analysis of selected Arabic texts from the Qur'an, hadith and tafsir literature, and from related texts in modern Islamic thought, supplemented by assigned readings of related materials in translation;
Guided Independent study64Weekly preparation and follow-up for seminars, encompassing preparing set texts; background readings, and completing the Formative Assessment assignment
Guided Independent study64Researching and writing 2 Summative Assessment assignments

Assessment

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written translation and analysis of an assigned Arabic text plus commentaryTranslation of 500 to 1,000 words plus commentary of up to 500 words1-4Verbal

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams
10000

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Research Paper502,000 words1-6Written feedback
Written translation and analysis of an assigned Arabic text plus commentary50Translation of up to 1,000 words plus commentary of up to 1,000 words1-6Written and oral

Re-assessment

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Research paperResearch paper of 2,000 words1-6August/September reassessment period
Written translation and analysis of an assigned Arabic text plus commentaryTranslation of up to 1,000 words plus commentary of up to 1,000 words1-6August/September reassessment period

Resources

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

Arabic text of Qur'an, and al-Mu'jam al-Mufahras (Arabic concordance).

Arberry translation of Qur'an, and H. Kassis's English Concordance of the Qur'an.

Sahh collections of Bukhr, Muslim, Ibn Mja, etc., and Wensinck's Concordance of hadith.

The Commentary on the Qur'an: Al-Tabari, Abu Ja'far Muhammad bin Jarir. Vol 1, Abridged Eng. Tr. by John Cooper. (Oxford, 1987).

M. Ayyoub, The Qur'an and Its Interpreters, volumes 1-2. (Albany, SUNY, 1984, 1992).

Encyclopaedia of Islam (new edn) and Oxford Encyclopaedia of the Modern Islamic World (New York, 1995)

Roxanne L. Euben and Muhammad Qasim Zaman, ed., Princeton Readings in Islamist Thought: Texts and contexts from al-Banna to Bin Laden (Princeton, 2009)

J. A. Haywood & H. M. Nahmad, A New Arabic Grammar (London, 1962)

Suha Taji-Farouki, ed., Islamic Thought in the Twentieth Century (London, 2004)

Hans Wehr, A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic (any edition)

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

 ELE – vle.exeter.ac.uk

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Islamic Texts, Qur'An, Hadith

Credit value15
Module ECTS

7.5

Module pre-requisites

ARA2003 Intermediate Arabic Language I and 2144 Reading Qur'anic Arabic, or equivalent Arabic reading proficiency

Module co-requisites

None

NQF level (module)

6

Available as distance learning?

No

Origin date

01/10/2007

Last revision date

17/06/2014