Understanding Islam and Muslim Societies

| April 11, 2015

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Assessment 1 Minor Essay Support Essay Question: Discuss the emergence of Islam in its historical context. How might this be different to the traditional narrative? 1. The way to answer this question, you must first outline the history of the origins of Islam using available and recommended scholarship on the subject. a. Your task would be to examine these histories presented by the different scholars. 2. Second part of the question asks you to discuss your findings in relation to the traditional narrative. a. The traditional narrative is typically a glorified account and not a strict historical account. The reason being is that the traditional narrative speaks from within the tradition, as it depends on inhouse memory (i.e., group or cultural memory), and it is biased in its representation of past events where the Islamic faith or key figures and events are concerned. b. This does not mean that traditional narrative is wrong or false. On the one hand, it can deliberately overlook and or leave out certain details, and on the other hand, it can offer significant information about figures, events and elements of faith that may not be accessible to a strict historical investigation. • What you have emerging is a debate to which students are required to respond regarding how one might reconstruct and understand the past.

101462: Understanding Islam and Muslim Societies Assignment Task: Minor Essay | Due Date: Week 3 – Friday 14th March 2014 at 4:00pm. Length: Maximum 1000 Words | Weighting: Worth 30% of Unit Assessment Instructions: Students must use at least 3 relevant scholarly sources in response to the question. Student essay must reflect a critical analysis and argumentative discussion of the material. Students are required to use the APA or Chicago (footnotes or endnotes) style referencing. This is an online submission only. Students are required to submit through Turnitin. Essay Question: Discuss the emergence of Islam in its historical context. How might this be different to the traditional narrative? Marking Criteria: • Clear writing and well-structured paragraphs; • Clarity of ideas and expression; • Sophisticated and detailed engagement with the primary and secondary texts selected; • A well-developed and comprehensive argument supported by quotations from the primary and secondary texts; • Evidence of secondary reading and research supported by well-integrated and relevant quotations from secondary resources; • Breadth of knowledge across the unit, particularly of the unit’s key themes, topics, and cultural/social/historical contexts; • Sophisticated and detailed close readings of the relevant sources; • A solid command of the academic conventions of writing and presentation, including full referencing and bibliography. Recommended Consulting Texts: Primary: Guillaume, A 1955, The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah, Oxford University Press, Oxford. Secondary: Guillaume, A 1954, Islam, Pelican Books. Silverstein, A.J 2010, Islamic History: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, Oxford. Cook, M.A 2004, Studies in the origins of early Islamic culture and tradition, Aldershot: Ashgate Variorum.

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