Understanding Islam through the Life of Its Messenger: Teachings for a Time of Crisis

What insight, guidance, and solace can the life and teachings of the Prophet Mohammed, founder of the Islamic faith, provide in this time of worldwide pandemic? Fourteen hundred years ago a hadith from Mohammed advised to protect the health of yourself and others during epidemics through quarantine--precisely the same advice as modern epidemiologists offer today. How can modern society use Mohammed’s teachings to inform its response to not just this pandemic, but to other issues that plague us? Based on his religious and secular impacts, Prophet Mohammad is undeniably one of the greatest figures in human history even to the non-Muslim. For non-Muslims, one special advantage of learning about the life of Prophet Mohammad is to have firsthand knowledge about his life and actions in order to establish an authentic point of reference from which to examine the biased stereotypes of Islam to which Westerners are habitually exposed. In this second part of the class we will continue analyzing the major events in the rise of Islam, the concept of Prophethood in the Qur’an, the constitution of Medinah, the prophet covenants with the Christian, American Muslim responses to September 11th, and contemporary issues around Islam and the Muslim world. Books and other reading material will be suggested to those who want to delve deeper in any of the class topics.

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