Understanding the Muslim World - Fall 2018

Course Category: Islamic Sciences | Level 2 Core Course

Click here to view a short segment of this course: Class Sample: Understanding the Muslim World with Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Course Code: GEO 201

Instructor: Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Length: 1 term (15 weeks)

Course Dates: September 10 - December 17, 2018
Timings: Mondays, 8:00 pm CST/2:00 am GMT Click here to convert to your own time zone.

Classes last approximately 1.5 hours each. Live attendance is not required but recommended whenever possible. Recordings of the sessions will be made available for registered students who cannot attend live.

Offered: This course is offered in the Fall term of each year.


      • Students should be women above the age of 17.
      • Successful completion of at least one Ribaat Level 1 course

Summary: This course will provide an overview of the human geography of the Muslim World, with an emphasis on cultural, historical, economic, and political geography. Utilizing a world-historical approach, the course will challenge students to rethink certain assumptions about the way the world is mapped, bounded, and defined. The central thesis guiding the course is the contention that the features we take for granted on the world map (continents, countries, directions, and borders) are more a product of various ethnocentrisms rooted in the ideologies that shaped the modern world rather than a reflection of natural and inherent divisions. A variety of materials will be assigned to explore this thesis, including a chronicle of the travels of Ibn Battuta, premodern maps, and scholarly articles highlighting key events and processes in the shaping of the premodern Muslim World.

Course Requirements: Students are expected to attend the weekly online lectures, complete one or more weekly assignments, read the assigned material, write one critical analysis paper, and review and sit for a final exam.

Text: The Odyssey of Ibn Battuta: Uncommon Tales of a Medieval Adventurer by David Waines

Students are responsible for ordering their textbooks before the start of class. Ribaat textbooks are available to enrolled students at a discounted rate through Daybreak Press Global Bookshop. Once enrolled, students will have access to the discount code through the course forum.


For inquiries, contact registration@rabata.org

Registration Fees: Non-refundable, non-transferable

  • $100.00 (not including the cost of the course materials)
  • $20.00 late registration fee after September 5th (if seats are available)
  • $5.00 auditing fee.


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