Review for Religion 316:Islam: Faith and Practice Midterm Exam

Part I. Short answer questions (40%) Answer the questions. (3-4 sentences each) Three will appear on the exam.

1. What are the distinctively Islamic features of Islamic architecture? Discuss at least 4 features. (See Ettinghausen)

2. List and briefly explain the Five Pillars of Islam. (See Denny)

3. Do the poems of Hafiz seem to reflect different worlds from the one mirrored in the pre-Islamic poem of Imru’l Qais? (Discuss at least 3 points of difference). (See Hodgson, Denny, Hess and Schimmel)

4. What was the hijra and why does the Islamic calendar begin from this date? (Denny)

5. What are the principle differences between Sunni and Shi’i Muslims - regarding their practices, views of authority, and interpretations of history after the death of Ali in 656? (Tabatabai, Miracle Play of Hassan and Husein, Denny, Lapidus)

Part II. Essay (40%) Choose one of the following questions and answer it in a 3-4 page essay.

1. Discuss the impact on Islamic art of the view expressed in the Qur'an (Sura 59:24) that God "alone is the true 'fashioner' (mussawir), and that He alone -- unlike the human mussawir, usually a painter -- is able to apply the breath of life to His creation?" (Ettinghausen, p. 62)

2. Is the Sufi Tariqa opposed to or consistent with the normative Shari'a? In your answer make sure you (1) define the terms (including relevant types of Sufism); (2) give specific examples both pro and con (hint: you may not ignore al-Ghazzali); (3) draw a general conclusion based on the evidence you present. (Start with Denny, p.231-242, but make sure you also use evidence from the reserve readings and the movies)

3. In Book I of Rumi’s Mathnawi, the narrator says about the king who killed the goldsmith, "you are judging (his actions) from (the analogy of) yourself, but you have fallen far, far away (from the truth)." [Book I, 246]. Discuss how false analogies are a recurring theme in the selection we read. What does this say about the Sufi way to union with God?


Part III. Multiple Choice (20%) Any of the following terms may appear in this section of the test.

Qur'an  Ramadan  Ismailis
 hadith  ta'ziya  Agha Khan
 isnad  10 Muharram  Shiah
 Ali b. Ali Talib  mi'raj  mihrab
 Mu'awiya  ka'ba  'ilm, 'alim, 'ulama
 "Twelvers"  qibla  fiqh, faqih
 al-Ghazali  jihad  the Rashidun
 mu'tazila  Rabi'ya  islam/Islam
 al-Ash'ari  masjid  imam/Imam
 Umayyads shari'a   umma
 Abbasids  4 sources of legal authority  Sufi
 wazir  shirk  adab, adib
 Khadijah  al-Hallaj  Haroun al-Rashid
 tafsir  hafiz  ghazal