BMU3115 | SPRING 2017

Life, Times and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad 220px-mohamed_peace_be_upon_him-svg

Taught by Dr. Jonathan Brown

This course will explore the major themes, historical consequences and historiographical issues surrounding the career of the Prophet Muhammad. It will explore how historians have evaluated the sources on which we rely for our knowledge of this crucial historical figure, and it will give an overview of how Muslims have mined his legacy as a basis for their creed and law. The course will focus on several controversial case studies in which the Prophet’s teachings have been debated in terms of their authenticity and interpretation, and finally it will explore how the Prophet has served as a central part of Muslims’ pietistic and devotional lives up to the present.

Upon completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. Integrate the social, political and economic context of Muhammad’s preaching.
  2. Analyze the details and historiographical issues surrounding the Prophet’s life.
  3. Formulate how Muslim scholars evaluated the historical reliability of teachings attributed to the Prophet as well as how they interpreted them.
  4. Appraise the range of meanings that the Prophet’s persona has played in Islamic civilization and pietistic life.Critically analyze the main themes and arguments of Islamic theology and philosophy in relation to other disciplines in Islamic scholarship.

Required Course Readings

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


More About the Instructor

Dr. Jonathan AC Brown is the Alwaleed bin Talal Chair of Islamic Civilization in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and he is the Director of the Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding. He received his BA in History from Georgetown University in 2000 and his doctorate in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago in 2006. Dr. Brown has studied and conducted research in Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Indonesia, India and Iran. His book publications include The Canonization of al-Bukhari and Muslim: The Formation and Function of the Sunni Hadith Canon (Brill, 2007), Hadith: Muhammad’s Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World (Oneworld, 2009), Muhammad: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2011) and Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenges and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet’s Legacy (Oneworld, 2014). He has published articles in the fields of Hadith, Islamic law, Sufism, Arabic lexical theory and Pre-Islamic poetry and is the editor in chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Islamic Law. Dr. Brown’s current research focuses on modern conflicts between Late Sunni Traditionalism and Salafism in Islamic thought.

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


Course Start Jan. 17
Pre-Reading Jan. 17 – Feb. 3
In-Person Meetings Feb. 12-17 (Sun-Fri)
8:00AM – 1:00PM
Online Meetings 1 before in-person
3 after in-person
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
Islamic Education
Islamic Chaplaincy

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.