Understanding the Muslim World - Fall 2019

Course Category: Social Sciences | Level 1 Course

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

Course Code: SSC 201

InstructorUstadha Zaynab Ansari

Length: 1 term (14 weeks)

Course Dates: September 11 - December 11, 2019
Timings: Wednesdays, 11:00 am CST/5:00 pm UK Click here to convert to your own time zone.

Classes last approximately 1 hour 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.

Daylight savings time will go into effect in the United States on Sunday, November 3rd, 2019. Depending on where you live, this may or may not affect your class timing. In countries where DST is not applied at all, class will be one hour later starting November 3rd.

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


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

Course Description: 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, and complete one term project.

Registration Fee: Non-refundable, non-transferable

Students will have access to course forums, recordings, and files until the first day of the next term.

$100.00 (not including the cost of the course materials)

$20.00 late registration fee after September 7th (if seats are available)

Additional $5.00 auditing fee.

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