Sunday, October 7, 2012

Islamic Reform Abstract

Zackery M. Heern. The Emergence of Modern Shi'ism: Islamic Reform in Iraq and Iran. Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2014.

This book takes a fresh look at the foundations of modern Islam. Scholars often locate the origins of the modern Islamic world in European colonialism or Islamic reactions to European modernity. This study, however, focuses on the rise of Islamic movements indigenous to the Middle East, which developed in direct response to the collapse and decentralization of the Islamic gunpowder empires. Arguing that the Usuli movement, as well as Wahhabism and neo-Sufism, emerged in reaction to the disintegration and political decentralization of the Safavid, Ottoman, and Mughal empires, this book specifically highlights the emergence of Usuli Shi‘ism in the 18th and 19th centuries. The long-term impact of the Usuli revival was that Shi‘i clerics gained unprecedented social, political, and economic power in Iran and southern Iraq. Usuli clerics claimed authority to issue binding legal judgments, which, they argue, must be observed by all Shi‘is. By the early 19th century, Usulism emerged as a popular, fiercely independent, transnational Islamic movement. The Usuli clerics have often operated at the heart of social and political developments in modern Iraq and Iran and today dominate the politics of the region.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Key Islamic Terms

ahl al-bayt familial descendents of Muhammad

Akhbari traditionist, scripturalist, Twelver Shi‘i school of thought that stresses the importance of scripture as the only real source of knowledge and authority

‘alim scholar, learned

amal al-ta’ifa the righteous sect, reference to Shi‘ism used by Shi‘is

‘aql reason, usually implies Aristotelian logic

al-‘aql al-hissi sensible reasoning

‘arif enlightened knower

asl original legal case

‘Atabat lit. thresholds, Shi‘i cities in Iraq, including Najaf, Karbala, Hilla, and Samara which contain shrines for remains of holy Shi‘i figures

‘azan call to prayer

bab al-ijtihad An important debate among early modern Muslim scholars was whether the gate of ijtihad was opened or closed. See also ijtihad.

bab al-‘ilm gate of knowledge

badiha common knowledge

batin inner or esoteric knowledge derived through inspiration, as opposed to exoteric knowledge (zuhur)

bida‘ blameworthy innovation

dalil (pl. dalala) indicator, as a legal term dalil is a proof that indicates true knowledge

dalil ‘aqli rational indicator

dalil shar‘i indicator from the Lawgiver (God)

da’wa missionary activity

dhimmi protected status granted to non-Muslims by Muslim rulers

din-i ilahi lit. Divine Faith, syncretic belief system of Mughal emperor Akbar

fana’ ceasing to exist, annihilation in God, highest state of Islamic mysticism

fatwa legal judgment issued by a legal official

fiqh Islamic jurisprudence

furqan intuitive knowledge

furu‘ al-fiqh positive law, lit. branches of jurisprudence

Hadith collection of reports of the sayings and actions of Muhammad (and the Imams for Shi‘is)

haqiqa absolute reality, the ultimate non-relative truth, truth according to God

hawza Shi‘i seminary or educational system emphasizing the study of Islamic law, also madrasa

hikma (or hikmat) mystical philosophy, wisdom

hikmat al-ilahi see ishraqi

al-hikma al-muta‘aliya transcendent wisdom

hujja (or hujjat) proof

hujjiyya probative force, authoritativeness

hukm legal ruling

ibadat commands related to worship or ritual duty

Idrisi early modern Sufi movement established by Ahmad Ibn Idris al-Fasi (1760-1837)

ihtiyat caution

ijaza lit. permission, license or diploma issued from cleric to student indicating the permissibility for the student to exercise the rights of a jurist

ijma‘ legal consensus

ijma‘ zanni conjectural consensus

ijtihad independent personal judgment exercised by a jurist (mujtahid) based on the principles of Islamic law (usul al-fiqh)

ikhtilaf disagreement, opposite of consensus (ijma‘)

 ‘illa ratio legis, rationale, effect cause

‘ilm knowledge

‘ilm al-khawass special knowledge

Imam According to Shi‘is, Imams are successors of Muhammad, believed to be endowed with infallibility (‘isma)

imam jum‘a Friday prayer leader

Ishraqi (or hikmat al-ilahi) theosophy or illuminationist philosophy that originated with Shihab al-Din Yahya Suhrawardi (d. 1191), who promoted the idea that true knowledge is the result of both rational and intuitive emanations from the mind

‘isma sinless, infallible, see ma‘sum

isnad chain of transmission of a hadith report

istihsan juristic preference

istishab al-hal presumption of continuance

istislah public welfare or interest

jahiliyya ignorance

jihad holy war, struggle

jizya head tax paid to Muslim rulers by non-Muslims

kadkhoda village leader

kafir (pl. kuffar) infidel, unbeliever

kalam theology

karamat miraculous phenomena

kashf divine inspiration, intuitive revelation

Kashfiyya see Shaykhi

khabar (pl. akhbar) hadith report

khabar al-wahid (pl. akhbar al-ahad) isolated hadith report, hadith report that does not have multiple transmitters

khawass elite, special

khums (lit. one-fifth) Islamic tax paid on specific items

lisan language

lugha language, linguistic

al-lugha al-‘urfiyya customary language

luti thug, gang, homosexual

madhhab school of Islamic legal thought

madrasa school, often denoting religious school

mafhum (pl. mafahim) linguistic implication

Mahdi Hidden Imam, According to Twelver Shi‘is, the Mahdi (Muhammad al-Mahdi) is the twelfth Imam, who has been in a state of spiritual occultation since 873 CE. In other words, the Mahdi (or qa’im, lit. the one who will arise) did not die, but is also not physically present in the world – although he allegedly may periodically manifest himself on the physical plane

marja‘ al-taqlid (lit. source of emulation), Shi‘i jurist (mujtahid) whose legal judgments are emulated by lay Shi‘is (muqallid)

maslaha public interest, common benefit

ma‘sum infallible, sinless, often attributed to the Shi‘i Imams

matn text of a hadith report

millet confessional community

mirghadab executioner

mu‘amalat non-ritual legal duties

mu’assis founder

mufti legal judge

mujaddid renewer or reviver of Islam thought to appear every century. Based on the prophetic hadith: “At the beginning of every hundred years, God will send a person who will revive the religion (i.e. Islam) for the community (ummah).”

mujtahid legal scholar who carries out ijtihad

mukallaf sane person who is subject to the law

mulazama belief that revelation and reason are in complete agreement

mullabashi lit. head cleric, highest ranking government appointed cleric, especially in the Safavid period

muqallid emulator, follower of a mujtahid, lay Shi‘i

murawwij reviver

mutashabih unclear, ambiguous Qur’an verse

mutawatir widespread, hadith report transmitted through multiple chains of hadith transmitters

Muwahiddun lit. Monotheists, Unitarians, title by which Wahhabis initially referred to themselves

na’ib deputy, see al-niyaba al-‘amma

najes ritual impurity

naql scripture, foundational Islamic texts (i.e. Qur’an and Hadith)

al-niyaba al-‘amma general vicegerency on behalf of the Imam

qadi Islamic legal judge

qarina textual evidence used to derive a non-literal meaning

qat‘ legal certainty

qiyas analogy, principle used by some legal scholars to formulate a new law

qizilbash lit. read head, supporters of Shah Isma‘il who assisted him in establishing the Safavid dynasty

qutb al-zaman axis of the age

ra’y personal legal judgment

rijal Hadith transmitters

riwayat companions of Muhammad

sadr chief religious dignitary

sahib al-zaman Lord of the age, one of the titles of the Mahdi

shakk legal doubt, opposite of certainty (qat‘)

shafa‘a intercession

salah prayer

sharh (pl. shuruh) textual commentary

shari‘a God’s law

shaykh (or pir) Sufi master

Shaykhi Shi‘i school of thought established by Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa’i, also known as Kashfiyya

shirk idolatry, polytheism

silsila chain

Sunna Islamic legal custom and practice

ta‘adiyya transference, method of transferring a ruling from an original case to a novel case

ta‘arud contradiction found within revelatory texts

tabaqat biographical dictionaries of Shi‘i clerics

tabarra’iyan those who publicly curse the first two Caliphs

tafsir explanation of revelatory texts

takfir declaration of unbelief or infidelity

takhyir legal choice

taklif legal obligation

tanqih al-manat discovering the rationale of a law with certainty

taqiyya dissimulation

taqlid emulation of an Islamic scholar’s legal judgment(s), precedent

taqwa fear of God

tariqa Muhammadiyya brotherhood or Sufi order of Muhammad

tawqifi (or tawaqquf ) suspension of a legal decision

tawhid monotheism, oneness of God

ta’wil interpretation of a text, exegesis

 ‘ulama religious scholars

‘urf custom, customary

usul al-din theological principles

usul al-fiqh principles of Islamic law

Usuli rationalist, Twelver Shi‘i school of thought that accepts the use of ijtihad and other extra-textual methods of deriving knowledge and authority. Usulis are often referred to as Mujtahids.

Wahhabi puritanical Sunni movement established by Muhammad Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab (1703-1792), also known as Muwahiddun

wahy prophetic revelation, the manner in which Muhammad received the Qur’an from God

waqf religious endowment

al-wilayat al-takyini cosmic guardianship

yaqin certainty

al-yaqin al-‘adi ordinary certainty

zahir outer or exoteric knowledge, as opposed to esoteric knowledge (batin)

zann legal opinion, probability

zawiya Islamic religious school or monastery

zikrullah remembrance of God

zina’ extramarital sex

Modern World History

CIV 202
Fall 2012


Dr. Zackery M. Heern, PhD
Phone: 270-809-6585
Office Hours: MWF 9:30-11:30, Tuesday 10:00-12:00
Office: Faculty Hall 6B #4

Note: This syllabus is subject to change at the instructor’s discretion. It is the responsibility of each student to note any changes. All changes will be posted on Blackboard.

Course Description
An interdisciplinary survey of the history of world civilizations from the fifteenth century to the present. The course will follow a chronological outline, and within this framework will focus on traditions, change, and diversity in the evolution of gender relations, power systems, religion, technology, and warfare. Prerequisites: ENG 101 and 102.

To provide Murray State students with an introduction to world history and help them develop the characteristics of the Murray State graduate.

Course Objectives
Upon completion of this course, students will have had the opportunity to:
A.    Engage in mature, independent, and creative thought and express that thought effectively in oral and written communication;
B.    Apply sound standards of information gathering, analysis, and evaluation to reach logical decisions;
C.    Understand the roles and applications of science and technology in the solution of the problems of a changing world;
D.    Demonstrate a critical understanding of the world’s historical, literary, philosophical, and artistic traditions;
E.    Understand the dynamics of cultural diversity, of competing economic and political systems, and of complex moral and ethical issues.

Course Requirements

Reading assignments
Students will read roughly 50-100 pages each week. Please read the assigned materials prior to coming to class. There are two textbooks assigned for this course, which are available in the bookstore. Additional assigned readings will be available on Blackboard. See the “Course Schedule” below for the reading assignment schedule. The Crossroads and Cultures textbook will give you a broad overview of the course content and Sources of Crossroads and Cultures is composed of primary source documents. My lectures will follow the same general outline as the textbook. However, lectures will include different information and perspectives than the texts. We will have class discussions especially on the primary source readings.

Required Textbooks
Smith, Bonnie, G., et al., Crossroads and Cultures: A History of the World’s Peoples, Vol. 2, Boston: Bedford St. Martin’s, 2012.
Smith, Bonnie, G., et al., Sources of Crossroads and Cultures: A History of the World’s Peoples, Vol. 2, Boston: Bedford St. Martin’s, 2012.

Blackboard will be used extensively for this class. I will post announcements regarding changes in the syllabus and class schedule on Blackboard. I will also post your grades on Blackboard. Please check it regularly.


  1. Primary Source Analysis. 2,000-3,000 words, roughly 5-8 pages double-spaced. See the “Course Schedule” below for the due date. The grade for your paper will be derived according to the “Grading Scale,” which is on Blackboard. Also, before you begin writing, please study the following document on Blackboard: “Writing Tips.” Your paper must include and/or illustrate the following: 1. a thesis statement, 2. clarity of argument 3. critical thinking, 4. organization and interpretation of historical information and arguments, and 6. ANALYSIS. You will not do will on this assignment if your analysis is not up to par. Your paper must be typed, in twelve point Arial or New York Times font. Upload your paper to “Safe Assign” in Blackboard and turn in a hard copy to me.

  1. Exams. We will have two midterm exams and a final. A study guide will be posted on Blackboard for each exam approximately one week before the exam date. See the “Course Schedule” for exam dates. Each exam will test your overall knowledge of course content and will primarily be composed of essay questions. Content will be taken from both the textbooks and lectures. We will discuss the exams further in class.

  1. Quizzes. There will be a quiz nearly every other week on the lectures and readings with a total of 5 quizzes. It will not be possible to make up quizzes – even in the event of illness. However, I will drop your lowest quiz score. We will discuss quizzes in more detail in class.

  1. Class participation and Attendance. In addition to the research paper, exams and quizzes, students will also receive a participation grade. Participation in this class requires you to be physically present in class. If a student is absent for five or more classes, his/her final grade will automatically be dropped by a full letter grade. Ten or more absences will result in an automatic E for the final grade. Students will lose participation points for texting or improper use of technology in the classroom.

It is important that students come to class prepared, which includes reading the texts and reviewing your notes. It will be extremely difficult for you to participate in class discussions if you have not done the reading.
Please add your perspective to the discussion. The purpose of class discussions is for us to have a dialogue that is enlightening. I believe that the spark of truth can come from the clashing of opinions, as long as it is done in a respectful manner. So, my hope is that we can be open, honest, and respectful. This means that we can be free to express our ideas and beliefs without attacking others. Similar to exams and papers, your participation in class will be graded on academic merit. At the same time, class discussions are a place for us to freely talk about the exciting and interesting content of this course.

Writing Assignments: For all writing assignments please double space, use Times New Roman or Arial with 12 point font and default margins. If you would like assistance with writing please meet with me. You can also get help from the Writing Center. They will edit your paper free of charge. Be sure to consult the two documents that I have posted on Blackboard before you begin writing: “Writing Tips” and “Grading Scale.” The grade for your paper will be derived according to the “Grading Scale.”

Grading Procedure
Papers and exams will be graded according to the letter-grade scale (A through E) based on your percentage of total points received on each assignment:

  1. Primary Source Analysis                                        200
  2. Exam 1                                                                       150
  3. Exam 2                                                                       150
  4. Final Exam                                                                200
  5. Four Quizzes (50 points each)                              200
  6. Class Participation                                                  100
Total Possible Points:                                                     1,000

Missing an exam or paper deadline
If you miss an exam or paper deadline without prior excuse an E will be recorded. If you fall sick and are unable to notify the instructor, a doctor’s attestation is required.

Extra Credit
You may earn up to 10 extra credit points in this class by attending an academic lecture on campus or sharing a news article with the class related to the content of this course. In order to receive credit, you must write a summary and critique (roughly 200 words) of the lecture, film, or article. Each submission is worth 5 points. Extra credit is due no later than week 13.

Murray State University prohibits cheating, which includes plagiarism. If a student is charged with academic dishonesty, an E may be recorded as the final grade and the University may take further action. Please see below for more information on Academic Honesty.

I will be available to meet with you regularly. Please come to my office hours as often as you would like. It is my job to help you succeed in this class as well as your educational career. I am ready and eager to help you. You can contact me in the following ways:
  1. Office Hours: I will be in my office (FH 6B #4) on MWF 9:30-11:30, Tuesday 10:00-12:00
  2. Email: I check my email at least 100 times a day and will respond to you as quickly as possible. Feel free to email me at
  3. Phone: 270-809-6585. If you are unable to come to office hours please call me. Since this is my office phone, I can only answer it when I am in my office. If I do not answer, please leave a message and I will call you back. This is a landline, which does not receive text messages.

Ensuring that you have a positive learning experience
If you want to be successful in this class it is not sufficient just to do the readings, submit papers, and take exams. Although everyone has different study habits, you should plan on devoting about 10 hours a week to this class. Taking notes on both lectures and readings will help to ensure that you digest the course material. For the best result, your notes should include important content that you come across as well as your reaction to the author’s or instructor’s argument – this will help you develop a counter-argument or explore why you agree.

Just because this is a lower division course, does not mean it will be easy. It explores ideas, concepts, and problems with which you might not be familiar. Therefore, you will want to develop conceptual, methodological, and practical methods of understanding the material. Even if you are already fairly knowledgeable about World History, you will want to pay close attention to the perspectives and themes that we will cover.

It is possible that even though you are working hard, some confusion and disorientation may remain. Therefore, keeping up with the readings and participating in the lectures and discussions will be vital. It will allow you the chance to see how your peers interpret the course material, share your perspective, and ask questions. Feel free to ask any question. You can ask anything from “why does Murray State University require me to take this class?” to “when is the next exam?”

Murray State University takes seriously its moral and educational obligation to maintain high standards of academic honesty and ethical behavior. Instructors are expected to evaluate students’ academic achievements accurately, as well as ascertain that work submitted by students is authentic and the result of their own efforts, and consistent with established academic standards. Students are obligated to respect and abide by the basic standards of personal and professional integrity.

Violations of Academic Honesty include:
Cheating - Intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized information such as books, notes, study aids, or other electronic, online, or digital devices in any academic exercise; as well as unauthorized com­munication of information by any means to or from others during any academic exercise.
Fabrication and Falsification - Intentional alteration or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise. Falsification involves changing information whereas fabrication involves inventing or counterfeiting information.
Multiple Submission - The submission of substantial portions of the same academic work, including oral reports, for credit more than once without authorization from the instructor.
Plagiarism - Intentionally or knowingly representing the words, ideas, creative work, or data of someone else as one’s own in any academic exercise, without due and proper acknowledgement.
Instructors should outline their expectations that may go beyond the scope of this policy at the beginning of each course and identify such expectations and restrictions in the course syllabus. When an instructor receives evidence, either directly or indirectly, of academic dishonesty, he or she should investigate the instance. The faculty member should then take ap­propriate disciplinary action.
Disciplinary action may include, but is not limited to the following:
1) Requiring the student(s) to repeat the exercise or do additional related exercise(s).
2) Lowering the grade or failing the student(s) on the particular exercise(s) involved.
3) Lowering the grade or failing the student(s) in the course.

If the disciplinary action results in the awarding of a grade of E in the course, the student(s) may not drop the course.

Faculty reserve the right to invalidate any exercise or other evaluative measures if substantial evidence exists that the integ­rity of the exercise has been compromised. Faculty also reserve the right to document in the course syllabi further academic honesty policy elements related to the individual disciplines.
A student may appeal the decision of the faculty member with the department chair in writing within five working days. Note: If, at any point in this process, the student alleges that actions have taken place that may be in violation of the Murray State University Non-Discrimination Statement, this process must be suspended and the matter be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity. Any appeal will be forwarded to the appropriate university committee as determined by the Provost.

Murray State University endorses the intent of all federal and state laws created to prohibit discrimination. Murray State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, veteran status, or disability in employment, admissions, or the provision of services and provides, upon request, reasonable accommodation including auxiliary aids and services necessary to afford individuals with disabilities equal access to participate in all programs and activities. For more information, contact Director of Equal Opportunity, 103 Wells Hall. 270-809-3155 (voice), 270-809-3361 (TDD).

Tentative Weekly Schedule

Week 1: Aug. 20 (Classes begin on Aug. 21)
Topic: Introduction to World History
Readings: Syllabus

Week 2: Aug. 27 (Last day to add, drop and change to credit)
Topic: Islamic Middle East
Readings: See blackboard, Crossroads and Sources, Ch. 15

Week 3: Sept. 3 (No class on Monday – Labor Day)
Topic: Americas
Readings: Crossroads and Sources, Ch. 16
Quiz 1 in class Friday Sept. 7

Week 4: Sept. 10
Topic: Atlantic World
Readings: Crossroads and Sources Ch. 17

Week 5: Sept. 17
Topic: Africa and Slave Trade
Readings: Crossroads and Sources Ch. 18

Week 6: Sept. 24
Topic: Indian Ocean and South Asia
Readings: Crossroads and Sources Ch. 19
Quiz 2 in class Friday Sept. 28

Week 7: Oct. 1 (Oct. 4 and 5 No class for fall break)
Topic: Europe and Mediterranean
Readings: Crossroads and Sources Ch. 20
Midterm 1 in class Wednesday Oct. 3

Week 8: Oct. 8 (Oct. 12 Midterm grades)
Topic: East Asia
Readings: Crossroads and Sources Ch. 21

Week 9: Oct. 15
Topic: American Colonies
Readings: Crossroads and Sources Ch. 22
Quiz 3 in class Friday Oct. 19

Week 10: Oct. 22
Topic: Revolutions
Readings: Crossroads and Sources Ch. 23

Week 11: Oct. 29
Topic: Industry
Readings: Crossroads and Sources Ch. 24
PSA Due on Friday Nov. 2

Week 12: Nov. 5 (Nov. 6 No class for presidential election)
Topic: Nation States
Readings: Crossroads and Sources Ch. 25
Quiz 4 in class Friday Nov. 9

Week 13: Nov. 12
Topic: Imperialism
Readings: Crossroads and Sources Ch. 26
Midterm 2 in class Friday Nov. 16

Week 14: Nov. 19
Topic: War, Depression, and the Masses
Readings: Crossroads and Sources Ch. 27 and 28

Week 15: Nov. 26
Topic: Decolonization and Cold War
Readings: Crossroads and Sources Ch. 29
Quiz 5 Friday Nov. 30

Week 16: Dec. 3 (Dec. 7 is last day of class)
Topic: Globalization
Readings: Crossroads and Sources Ch. 30 and 31

Finals Week: Dec. 10-14
Final Exam Schedule:

Exam Date                            Time of Exam          Regular class meeting time
December 10
8:30 MWF
December 11
11:30 MWF
December 13

1:30 MWF