`Ulamâ’ in the Modern Muslim World

Course description `Ulamâ’ in the Modern Muslim World
Year: 2017-2018
Catalog number: 5854IUMM
Teacher(s):
  • Dr. N.J.G. Kaptein
Language: English
Blackboard: Yes
EC: 10
Level: 500
Period: Semester 2, Block III, IV
Hours of study: 24:00 hrs
  • No Elective choice
  • No Contractonderwijs
  • Yes Exchange
  • Yes Study Abroad
  • No Evening course
  • No A la Carte
  • No Honours Class

Admission requirements

Admission to the MA Middle Eastern Studies, to the MA Middle Eastern Studies (research) or another relevant MA. Students should have had approximately 30 EC worth of courses in Islamic studies at BA level. Students who are interested in taking this course, but who do not fulfill these requirements are requested to contact dr. N.J.G. Kaptein or the student advisor.

Description

This seminar will deal with the present day role of the class of scholars, who represent and continue traditional Islamic scholarship, called the `ulamâ’. The underlying question is what their position and relevance is in contemporary societies, which do no longer adhere to a purely religious worldview.

For the theoretical background parts of the book by Muhammad Qasim Zaman will be studied, entitled The ulama in contemporary Islam: custodians of change, Princeton: 2002.

In the remainder of the seminar we will deal with the opinions of `ulamâ’, as expressed in fatwa’s. Three countries, each with their own social and political dynamics, will be dealt with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia,

Course objectives

The student will get insight into the religious authority and various roles of the `ulama’ in different societies, ranging from mere theocracies to more secular countries, and thus be able to assess their contribution to the complex processes of religious change in the modern Muslim world.

Timetable

Timetable

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Attendance and active participation are obligatory for seminars. Students are required to prepare for and attend all sessions. The convenor needs to be informed without delay of any classes missed for a good reason (i.e. due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness, family issues, problems with residence permits, the Dutch railways in winter, etc.). In these cases it is up to the discretion of the convener(s) of the course whether or not the missed class will have to be made up with an extra assignment. The maximum of such absences during a semester is two. Being absent without notification and/or more than two times can result in exclusion from the term end exams and a failing grade for the course.

Course load

• College: 2 contact hours per week = 13×2: 24 hours
• Reading: 8 hours reading for ca. 11 classes: 88 hours
• Preparing assignments for 11 classes: 22 hours
• Preparing the presentations: 6 hours
• Writing paper: 140 hours
• Total study load: 280 hours (10EC)

Assessment method

Assessment

  • Attendance of the meetings and active participation in the discussions and oral introduction/presentation linked to one (or more) of the meetings (30-45 minutes)

  • Preparation of meetings, which includes the thorough reading of the literature for each meeting and the preparation of three written questions related to this literature. These questions must show that the literature for the meeting has been read; together they should not exceed 500 words. These three questions should be submitted via blackboard ultimately on the day before the seminar takes place, not later than 17.30 h.

  • Presentation of the outline of one’s paper in final meeting(s) and writing of a paper of approximately 5000 words on a particular fatwa which has been chosen in consultation with Dr. Kaptein (various languages possible, depending on the original language of the text).

Weighing

  • Attendance of the meetings and active participation in the discussions and oral introduction/presentation linked to one (or more) of the meetings (30-45 minutes) – 20 %

  • Preparation of meetings, which includes the thorough reading of the literature for each meeting and the preparation of three written questions related to this literature. These questions must show that the literature for the meeting has been read; together they should not exceed 500 words. These three questions should be submitted via blackboard ultimately on the day before the seminar takes place, not later than 17.30 h. – 30 %

  • Presentation of the outline of one’s paper in final meeting(s) and writing of a paper of approximately 5000 words on a particular fatwa which has been chosen in consultation with Dr. Kaptein (various languages possible, depending on the original language of the text). – 50 %

Resit

The draft of this paper should be submitted before the start of the holiday break (exact date announced in first class). After feed back of the professor, the final draft should be submitted, before the start of the next semester.

In order to pass the course, students must obtain an overall mark of 5.50 (=6) or higher.

The course is an integrated whole. All assessment parts must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.

Exam review

If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam/paper results, an exam/paper review will be organized.

Blackboard

Blackboard will be used.

Reading list

  • Muhammad Qasim Zaman, The Ulama in Contemporary Islam, Princeton University Press 2002

  • selected articles indicated by the professor.

Registration

Students are required to register through uSis. To avoid mistakes and problems, students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetable in the column under the heading “Act.nbr.”. General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Contact information

Dr. N.J.G. Kaptein

Remarks

Students with disabilities

The university is committed to supporting and accommodating students with disabilities as stated in the university protocol (especially pages 3-5). Students should contact Fenestra Disability Centre at least four weeks before the start of their courses to ensure that all necessary academic accommodations can be made in time conform the abovementioned protocol.

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you submit any work with your name affixed to it, it is assumed to be your own work with all sources used properly indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations).

Languages