If you've ever had questions about Islam, this course is for you.

It is impossible to overestimate the influence of Islam, which brings inspiration and meaning to the lives of many millions of people worldwide. At the same time, misunderstandings about Islam abound. 

Now, in ""Introduction to Islam,"" you will explore the full sweep of the religion of Islam. Your guide, Prof. Gabriel S. Reynolds, a Catholic and a scholar of Islamic studies and a Notre Dame professor, will answer your most important questions about the second largest, and fastest-growing, religion in the world. 

You will begin with the sources of Islam, the life of Muhammad, and the importance of the Qur'an. Next, you will analyze the historical development of Islam, coming to understand the rise of Islam and its Sunni and Shiʿite traditions. You will also discuss the central place of shariʿa, or the divine law, to Islam. Finally, you will consider the mystical tradition of Islam, the role of Jesus in Islam, and the origins and meaning of jihad. 

Ideal for beginners, this course answers questions of particular concern to Christians who care about the Church's relation with Islam. As you listen to these fascinating lectures, you will broaden your own capacity for interreligious dialogue and understanding of Abrahamic religions. At the end, you will emerge with a deeper understanding of the history, teachings, and practice of Islam.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Introduction to Islam

    • Introduction to Islam

    • 01 Muhammad

    • 02 The Qurʾan: Revelation, Structure, and Message

    • 03 A Closer Look: Qurʾan 37

    • 04 Rise of an Empire

    • 05 The Development of Sunni Islam

    • 06 The Development of Shiʿite Islam

    • 07 Islamic Law

    • 08 Islamic Views of Non-Muslims

    • 09 Ritual

    • 10 The Mystical Tradition of Islam

    • 11 Jihad

    • 12 Christ in Islam