Introduction to Islam – Fall 2020

Term: Fall 2020

Participating Campuses: Host – Michigan State University | Receiving – Pennsylvania State University

Course Dates & Times:

  • Michigan State: Tuesday & Thursday 3:00pm-4:20pm Eastern
  • Penn State: Tuesday & Thursday 3:05pm-4:20pm Eastern

Semester Dates:

  • Michigan State: September 2 – December 18, 2020
  • Penn State: August 24 – December 18, 2020

Course Numbers & Titles:

  • Michigan State: REL 330 “Islam”
  • Penn State: RL ST 107 “Introduction to Islam”

Professor: Mohammad Khalil |

This course aims to provide students with a working knowledge of the religion and civilization of Islam. In addition to identifying the core beliefs, practices, scriptures, and sentiments that have defined Muslim communities, we will look at those issues that have formed the focal point of ongoing debate and disagreement in the history of Islamic thought. We will also visit a number of the “major” communities in their historical encounter with Islam. The course will conclude with an examination of the encounter between Islam and modernity, and Islam in the West (specifically, the U.S.).

Students are able to enroll directly at their home institution for course credit. For more information about this course, including textbook information and instructions on enrolling, please contact

About the Instructor: Mohammad Hassan Khalil is a Professor in the Department of Religious Studies, an Adjunct Professor in the College of Law, and the Director of the Muslim Studies Program. Before returning to his hometown of East Lansing, Michigan, he was an Assistant Professor of Religion and a Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Illinois. He specializes in Islamic thought and is author of Islam and the Fate of Others: The Salvation Question (Oxford University Press, 2012) and Jihad, Radicalism, and the New Atheism (Cambridge University Press, 2018); and editor of Between Heaven and Hell: Islam, Salvation, and the Fate of Others (Oxford University Press, 2013) and Muslims and US Politics Today: A Defining Moment (Harvard University Press and ILEX, 2019). He has presented papers at various national and international conferences, and has published peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on various topics, from early Islamic historiography to bioethics.

Michigan State University Course Flyer

Penn State University Course Flyer