ISD311 – Muslim Social and Political Thought


The views of some of the most important representatives of classical Islamic thought including Farabi, Ghazali, Ibn Rushd, , Khwajah Nasir al-Din Tusi, Ibn Khaldun, and a number of well-known modern representatives of Islamic thought including, Muhammad Abduh, Ali Shari’ati, Ayatollah Khomeini, Muhammed Arkoun, Nasr Hamed Abu Zaid, are discussed. Applying the general approach of ‘situational analysis’ the module critically explores the views of each of the classic and modern representatives of Islamic political and social thought in its historical context. In this way students get a more comprehensive understanding of the development of various intellectual trends which emerged in the sphere of Islamic culture and civilisation.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, the successful student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an analytical understanding of the key themes and debates in Muslim political thought. (A1, A2)
  • Summarize and critique major social and political trends in the Muslim world. (A3)
  • Evaluate a range of critical scholarship associated with the main controversies and issues in modern Muslim thought. (A5)

This module will call for the successful student to:

  • Engage with empathy, integrity and critical reflection with the ideas and arguments about social and political issues in the Muslim world. (B2, B4, B5, C1, C4, D4, D6)

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

Lectures will provide the basic structure of the module and will include time for informal discussions. Seminars will be used to debate and explore specific issues. Students will also be expected to undertake individual study consisting of free and set reading.

Assessment Mode

Formative Assessment:
Formative assessment includes a class presentation of a critical review of a theme covered within the course syllabus. The module leader will regularly give feedback to student regarding the progress of their coursework, a draft copy of the completed coursework need be handed in to the module leader before the 10th learning week as part of the formative learning process.

Summative Assessment:
Summative, graded assessment is by coursework, which will require students to demonstrate their learning of key skills and concepts by researching a particular theme mentioned in the Qur’an and presenting their findings effectively in the form of an essay of 3,000 words(Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4).

Assessment Weighting
Coursework: 100%

Learning Materials

Core readings

  • Black, A. (2010). The History of Islamic Political Thought From the Prophet to the Present. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.