The Origins and History of Islam 600-1500 CE, 7.5 credits

Islams historia år 600-1500 vt, 7.5 hp


Main field of study

Global Studies of Culture and Society

Course level

First cycle

Course type

Single subject and programme course


Polina Ignatova

Course coordinator

Polina Ignatova

Available for exchange students



Anna Martin, Studievägledare

Polina Ignatova, Kursansvarig

Ulrika Sund, Administratör

ECV = Elective / Compulsory / Voluntary
Course offered for Semester Weeks Language Campus ECV N.B.
Single subject course (Half-time, Day-time) Autumn 2024 202434-202443 English Norrköping CANCELLED
Single subject course (Half-time, Day-time) Autumn 2024 202434-202443 English Norrköping CANCELLED
F7KGS Bachelor´s Programme in Global Studies 3 (Autumn 2024) 202434-202443 English Norrköping E
F7KGS Bachelor´s Programme in Global Studies 5 (Autumn 2024) 202434-202443 English Norrköping E

Main field of study

Global Studies of Culture and Society

Course level

First cycle

Advancement level


Course offered for

  • Bachelor´s Programme in Global Studies

Entry requirements

  • 60 ECTS credits passed in Arts or Social science area
  • English corresponding to the level of English in Swedish upper secondary education (Engelska 6)
    Exemption from Swedish

Intended learning outcomes

After completion of the course the student will be able to:

  • understand the tenets of Islam as one of the major world religions
  • have a clear sense of the development of Islam and the main milestones in the history of the Middle East from the fifth to the fifteenth century CE (Common Era)
  • understand the complex ways in which Muslim and Christian world came into contact and interacted with each other in the past
  • identify the forces which have shaped Islamic history and the history of the Middle East
  • analyse and contextualise the major historical themes which have emerged and circulated in the Islamic world
  • analyse a diverse scope of primary sources, such as religious texts, chronicles, poetry, architecture, and works of art
  • employ their gained knowledge of geography, society, economies, administrative institutions, and culture of the Islamic world for a more nuanced understanding of its role in the global processes

Course content

Islam plays an important role in international relations. Many debates and issues which affect domestic and foreign policies of the countries in the modern Middle East can be traced back to the early centuries of Islam. This course is an introduction to the historical background of these debates. It tackles the religious, political, cultural, and social history of the main Islamic areas of the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Syria, Iran and Iraq covering the nine centuries from the time of the Prophet Muhammad to the end of the Christian conquest of the Iberian Peninsula. 

The core topics studied in the course are:

  1. Pre-Islamic Arabian Peninsula: sources, geography, and society
  2. Muhammad and the early Islamic state; sources of authority: the Qur’an and Hadith 
  3. The Arab Conquests; relations with non-Muslim populations and non-Arab Muslims 
  4. Islamic Urban Culture 
  5. Islamic Golden Age: scientific discoveries, the development of the legal system 
  6. Schisms and politico-religious thought, the Shia movement 
  7. Sources of prosperity: trade and economy in the Middle East 
  8. The Crusades, contacts between the East and the West 9) Islamic mysticism and the Sufi orders 10) Islamic art.

Teaching and working methods

This course is based on lectures, seminars, and group work. Homework and independent study are a necessary complement to these forms of teaching.

Language of instruction and examination: English


The course uses the following forms of examination:

  • Active participation in seminars, grade scale: EC, P/F
  • Individual oral presentation, grade scale: EC, P/F
  • Individual written assignement, grade scale: EC

For a passing grade in the course (E), the student needs to pass the individual written assignment with at least an E and Pass on the two other forms of examination. Higher grades are given depending on the grade on the individual written assignment.

Detailed information about the examination can be found in the course’s study guide.

If special circumstances prevail, and if it is possible with consideration of the nature of the compulsory component, the examiner may decide to replace the compulsory component with another equivalent component.

If the LiU coordinator for students with disabilities has granted a student the right to an adapted examination for a written examination in an examination hall, the student has the right to it.

If the coordinator has recommended for the student an adapted examination or alternative form of examination, the examiner may grant this if the examiner assesses that it is possible, based on consideration of the course objectives.

An examiner may also decide that an adapted examination or alternative form of examination if the examiner assessed that special circumstances prevail, and the examiner assesses that it is possible while maintaining the objectives of the course.

Students failing an exam covering either the entire course or part of the course twice are entitled to have a new examiner appointed for the reexamination.

Students who have passed an examination may not retake it in order to improve their grades.



Other information

Planning and implementation of a course must take its starting point in the wording of the syllabus. The course evaluation included in each course must therefore take up the question how well the course agrees with the syllabus. 

The course is conducted in such a way that there are equal opportunities with regard to sex, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation and age.

If special circumstances prevail, the vice-chancellor may in a special decision specify the preconditions for temporary deviations from this course syllabus, and delegate the right to take such decisions.


Institutionen för kultur och samhälle
Code Name Scope Grading scale
OBL1 Mandatory seminars 2 credits EC
RED1 Oral presentation 1.5 credits EC
UPG1 Written report 4 credits EC
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