HUM 306-Mid-term Study guide

HUM 306- Mid-tern Exam Study Guide
Test Covers:
Islam In Global Perspective
Pre-Islamic Arabia: Beliefs, Values, Way of Life
Qur’an: Its Format and Structure and Major themes
The life of Muhammad, and Prophetic traditions (Sunna), major themes of
the hadith literature
− The Islamic Religious System: The Pillars of faith and practice in Islam
− Islamic Legal Thought: Sources of Islamic Law and four Sunni legal
The format of the exam:
1. Identification/Short Answer - 40 points. – 5 questions in total, you get to
choose five of the six questions. In four to five complete sentences, you
must identify the person, term or event asked, as well as their/its
significance–not just what or who it was.
2. True / False – 15 points. – 15 questions.
3. Matching - 15 points. - 15 questions.
4. One Essay - 30 points.
Each of these essay questions (2 in total, you get to choose one of the two
questions, the questions will be chosen from the following list) is designed to
give you the opportunity to show to us how well you understand the topics
covered in class. Therefore, state things clearly enough, explaining any technical
terminology, offering examples where they are needed for illustration. However,
please do not simply answer them one-by-one, in a disconnected, “bullet-point,”
manner. Incorporate your discussion of each of the points within a continuous,
coherent, flowing essay on the topic. Your response to each essay question
should be no more than 1-2 pages.
Essay Topics
1. What are some of the stock ideas of Islamic and Middle Eastern representation?
Discuss how these ideas got disseminated in Europe and the United States?
2. Discuss the cultural values and political organization of pre-Islamic Arab
3. Why do Muslims call pre-Islamic history Jahiliyya? How was society
organized? What was the basis of the legal system? What were the major
religions and how did Islam challenge them ideologically, politically and
economically? What pre-existing beliefs and practices changed with
Islam’s success?
4. What is the Quran? What is the Hadith? What is the relationship between
Qur’an and Hadith?
5. Describe in some detail some of the major themes of the Qur’an.
6. Muslim tradition presents the hadith literature as the authentic reports of
the words, deeds, and practices of the Prophet Muhammad. Describe how
early Muslim scholars approached the hadith and how they solved for the
Muslim community the issue of authenticity. In your response describe
also how Western scholars have complicated the traditional Islamic
narrative on hadith.
7. What are the five pillars of faith? What are the five pillars of practice?
Discuss in detail one pillar of faith and one pillar of practice.
8. Generally Islam is defined as a way of life. Discuss this statement in the
context of Islamic rituals in a short essay.
9. Explain sources of Islamic law, and discuss also the historical
development of Islamic schools of law. Make sure to include major figures
and their preferred scholarly methods in developing codes of law.
Questions for ID, T/F, and Matching will come from terms on the following
Islam in global perspective
Pre-Islamic Arabia, Arabia on the eve of Islam
Jahiliyya, qabila, ghazw, Ka’ba, Ghassanids, Lakhmids, shaykh, ‘Ukaz, ‘assabiya
hanif, kahin, Mecca
Aya, sura (don’t forget to discuss the rationale behind naming of Qur’anic suras,
as well as their length, structure, style and contents), wahy, abrogation, major
The life of Muhammad and hadith literature
Amin, Quraysh, hijra, muhajirun, ansars, constitution of Medina, umma,
munafiqun, Battles of badr, Khandaq, conquest of Mecca, Ghadir Khum
Dates: 610, 619, 622, 632.
Hadith, isnad, matn, sunna, different kinds of hadith (da’if and sound), reasons for
hadith fabrication, major themes of prophetic hadiths
Pillars of practice and faith in Islam, patterns of Islamic Personal and
Communal Life,
Shahada, hajj, salat, sawm, zakat, (don’t forget to discuss their socio- economic
significance) Friday prayer, masjid, adhan
Islamic legal thought
Sources of Islamic law, Sunni schools of law, ijma’, ijtihad, hudud, haram, halal,
mufti, Abu Hanifa, al-Shafi’i, ra’y, shari’a, fiqh, example of Islamic legal issues,
riba, qiyas, ‘urf,
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