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Harvard University Online Course to Learn About Islam

This summer Harvard University is offering an open online course, ‘Islam Through Its Scriptures’. This 4-week course helps in improving understanding of Islam and its most important holy text, the Quran.

In this free online course, applicants will learn about the Quran, the central sacred text of Islam, through an exploration of the rich diversity of roles and interpretations in Muslim societies. This course is part of the World Religions Through Their Scriptures XSeries Program.  The course starts on June 1, 2016.

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Course At A Glance

  • Length: 4 weeks
  • Effort:  3-5 hours/week
  • Subject: Islam through its Scriptures
  • Institution: Harvard University and edX
  • Languages: English
  • Price:  Free
  • Certificate Available: Yes. Add a Verified Certificate for $50.
  • Session: Course starts on June 1, 2016

Providers’ Details

Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally.

This online platform edX provides online courses from the world’s best universities.  EdX courses are open to everyone. All you need is access to a computer with a current browser, an Internet connection, and, of course, a desire to learn.

Harvard University and HarvardX are committed to maintaining a safe and healthy educational and work environment in which no member of the community is excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination or harassment in our program.

About This Course

How can you improve your understanding of Islam and its most important holy text, the Quran? How can you make sense of a tradition and a text that has been interpreted in different ways across vast geographical spaces for nearly a millennium and a half?

Using multimedia and student-centred approach, this religion course provides tools and perspectives for understanding the role of the Quran in the Islamic tradition. Learners will develop the skills and context to read the text themselves, while also being introduced to some of the issues classical and contemporary interpreters have addressed. This approach enables learners to explore the influence of the Quran on diverse Muslim understandings of Islam.

 Why Take This Course?

This is a free online course. Applicants can pursue a Verified Certificate to highlight the knowledge and skills they gain.

Learning Outcomes

-An introduction to the place of the Quran in Muslim cultures
-Major themes of the Quran
-The historical and cultural contexts of the Quran
-Interpretive skills that enable a more nuanced reading of the Quran
-Diverse approaches Muslims have adopted to engaging with Quranic texts, including issues in a contemporary interpretation


-Ali Asani
Professor of Indo-Muslim and IslamicHarvard University



How To Join This Course

1. Go to the course website link
2.Create an edX account to SignUp
3. Choose “Register Now” to get started.
4. EdX offers honour code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses.
5. Once you sign up for a course and activate your account, click on the login button on the edx.org home page and type in your email address and edX password. This will take you to your dashboard, with access to each of your active courses. (Before a course begins, it will be listed on your dashboard but will not yet have a “view course” option.)

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