THE WORLD OF ISLAM
TEACHING STRATEGIES AND SUGGESTIONS
The reasons for including a separate chapter on the Islamic World are self-evident, and providing the students with
at least four lectures will supplement the information in the textbook. Chapter 8 covers the Islamic World to about
1500. The instructor, of course, can lecture on developments after this date. As in the other chapters, we have
sketched in the history (30% of text) and focused on cultural topics (70% of text).
Using the Historical Overview, the instructor might wish to expand the text's treatment of the Islamic dynasties,
the growth and spread of Islamic power and influence, and the political and social structure of these dynasties from
632 to 1500. The time line in the text can be helpful in identifying the dynasties and their reigns.
A Reflection/Connections lecture to examine how Islam influenced Islamic culture--the visual arts, learning and
scholarship, and literature--and also the Western world. Using slides from the McGraw Hill slide package,
illustrations from the text, and selections from the Reader will supplement this lecture.
A Comparison/Contrast lecture on the similarities and differences among Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. A
comparison of the respective founders of the three religions, their contributions, roles and how their followers honor
and view their founders will tie together Chapters 6 and 8. Also a comparison of theology, rituals, and, in particular,
literature since all three religions have literary origins and traditions. A comparison of how the visual arts and
architecture serve, enhance and reflect the values of each religion.
A Case Study as to why the Islamic World faded and the West moved ahead between 1000 and 1500. Values and
attitudes, religion, education systems, technology and inventions and their applications should be examined as
reasons for these developments.
I. The Islamic World
A. Overview of Islamic civilization
1. Meaning of
2. Geographic setting
3. The pre-Islamic Arabs
) Desert Bedouins
) Urban Arabs
4. Jewish and Christian neighbors
B. History of Islam
1. Life and teachings of Muhammad
) The Quraish tribe
) The cities of Mecca and Medina
and the expansion of Islam
) The purification of the Kaaba
2. The Islamic Empire and Muhammad’s successors