BTH3155 | SPRING 2017

Foundations of the Islamic Worldview

Taught by Dr. Umar F. Abd-Allah

This course surveys classical Islamic theology and how other branches of Islamic thought such as Islamic law and legal theory, metaphysical Sufism, psychology, and ethics complemented the scope and content of how Muslims spoke of God and the world. It will survey traditional Islamic arguments for God’s existence based on the contingency of finite being and the dichotomy being necessary Being and possible existence. The course will examine the principal sources of discursive knowledge, which informed Muslim understanding of theology as well as their cultivation of other religious and secular disciplines. It will study the role of reason in the Islamic understanding God and the give-and-take in Islamic tradition between reason and revelation.

Upon completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. Critically analyze the main themes and arguments of Islamic theology and philosophy in relation to other disciplines in Islamic scholarship.
  2. Produce an integrated narrative of the diachronic development of Islamic theology and philosophy.
  3. Synthesize a conceptual foundation for placing contemporary theological and philosophical discourses in their social, political, and institutional locations.

Required Course Readings

(Click on titles to purchase required books from online vendors)


More About the Instructor

abdallah_300x320Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah is a world-renowned scholar and inspirational leader. He received his doctorate with honors in 1978 for a dissertation on the origins of Islamic Law, titled Malik’s Concept of ‘Amal in the Light of Maliki Legal Theory. From 1977 until 1982, he taught at the Universities of Windsor (Ontario), Temple, and Michigan. In 1982, he left America to teach Arabic in Spain. Two years later, he was appointed to the Department of Islamic Studies at King Abdul-Aziz University in Jeddah, where he taught (in Arabic) Islamic studies and comparative religions until 2000. During his years abroad, Dr. Abd-Allah had the privilege of studying with a number of traditional Islamic scholars. He returned to Chicago in August 2000 to work as chair and scholar-in-residence of the newly founded Nawawi Foundation, a non-profit educational foundation. He teaches and lectures throughout the United States and Canada, and internationally. He published A Muslim in Victorian America: The Life of Alexander Russell Webb (Oxford University Press, 2006). Dr. Abd-Allah is presently completing a second work entitled Roots of Islam in America: A Survey of Muslim Presence in the New World from Earliest Evidence until 1965 and has updated his dissertation for publication.

  • Traditional (On-Campus)
  • Hybrid Intensive
  • Fully Online


Course Start Jan. 17
Pre-Reading Jan. 17 – Feb. 3
In-Person Meetings Feb. 5-7 (Sun-Tues)
9:00AM – 6:00PM
Online Meetings none for this course
Assignments Feb. 20 – May 5
Course End May 5
Final Paper Due May 10


In person class sessions take place on the campus of Claremont School of Theology, unless otherwise noted. Complete details regarding course materials, assignments, resources and required meeting times and locations provided to registered participants.


Islamic Leadership
Fulfills Islamic Studies – Theology
Islamic Education
Fulfills Islamic Studies – Theology
Islamic Chaplaincy
Fulfills Islamic Studies – Theology

Registration Options

Bayan Claremont and CST students should register for credit using the registration PIN in the Empower Student Portal. Students at AJRCA, UWest, and CGU should register through their school’s registrar.

If you are not a student at one of the above institutions, you can enroll for Continuing Education as a community member (no academic credit is given). Click below for the registration form and payment instructions.

There is no “live stream” for remote access to this academic course. Furthermore, no admission will be granted to individuals who are not enrolled through the available registration options.

Master’s Students at Bayan and CST $2,325 ($775/unit for 3 units)
Ph.D. Students at CST $3,100 ($775/unit for 4 units)
Continuing Education (Community Members) $1,000 (flat rate)


  • If you are thinking about enrolling in a degree program at Bayan in the future and want to take a course that will count for the program at that time, you should take the course for credit instead of continuing education, at the full tuition rate. To do so, you must be admitted to the school as a non-degree-seeking student through an application process before the start of the semester. Contact for further information and application deadlines.