English » 70034 Introduction to Islam: Arab Civilization I

70034 Introduction to Islam: Arab Civilisation I

Eleni Kondyli

Associate Professor


3 hours per week


Course Objectives

Introduction to the epistemological knowledge of Islam. Islam combines the concept of its "sacred language" with the development of religion. Also, at the same time, the Arabic language and culture are supplemented and somewhat defined by the Islamic religion and society. Henceforth, the objective of the course is the following:

Through the historical context and with a literary/linguistic approach students are asked to "see", where and how Islam was born and developed.

The Arabian Peninsula - geographical, historical and cultural identity. Its relation to the Near East and Middle East.

The birth of Islam, historical course and the delineation of its relationship with the Arab world, there where it was born.

The basic principles of the religion of Islam and an extensive reference to the Islamic religion as a theological total.

The study of the double meaning of the word ‘Islam’, that on one hand designates a monotheistic, continuously expanding religion and on the other societies which embraced Islam while having an exceptionally rich cultural substrate (Egypt and Middle East, initially).

The relationship between the medieval Arab history and the Islamic religion towards the Αrab-Ιslamic identity a whole during the Middles Ages.

Corollary effects of the relationship between the history of Islam and the development of its ideology during the first centuries after its birth.

Taking into account that Arabic is the sacred language of Islam, we attempt to approach and learn the Arabic alphabet and get acquainted with the primary characteristics of Arab literature.


Course Structure

Introductory elements of the course. Terminology subjects: Islam, The Arab religion, culture, civilization.

Arab civilization: the modern geographical and social outline, religion-language relationship.

Definition of the Near East and Middle East: the interlocking of space-time, history and foreign influences. Orientalism.

The cradle of the Arab world. Pre-Islamic Arabia: the Arabian peninsula and its neighbours during the so-called age of ignorance, Jahiliyya.

The Arabic language: language, writing, orality, testimonies.

The age of Muhammad and its world. The teachings of Muhammad and the birth of the Umma.

Islam in its origin, the history and the principles of religion

The foundations of the religion of Islam, al-Quran and al-Sunna.

The religion of Islam: its aspects, primary religious axes, the relationship between the religious meanings and the development of society in history.

The First Caliphs of the Arab-Islamic spread (632-656).

The history of the Quran, sciences of tradition and Hadith.

Islam as a religion and social ratification: development of the modes of thought and ways of resolving emerging issues, relationship of Quran and cultural elements of the region. Religion, State, Society. Sharia and Fiqh, implementation of justice and Law.

Inter-religious relationships, Islam and society, gender and Islam.

Ideological trends of the classical Arab culture in relation to the development of Islam, and historical review of the ideological divergences.


Two mid-term tests and a final examination (written and oral).



Ελένη Κονδύλη, Αραβικός Πολιτισμός, εκδόσεις Συμμετρία, Αθήνα 2011.

Αναστάσιος Γιαννουλάτος, Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αλβανίας, Ισλάμ, εκδόσεις Ακρίτας 2006.

Hourani, Albert, Ιστορία του Αραβικού κόσμου, εκδόσεις Ψυχογιός, Αθήνα 2009.

Al-Quran al-Karim.

Encyclopaedia of Islam, Encyclopédie de l’Islam, Brill, Leiden.