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Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC)
100 Malcolm X Blvd, Roxbury Crossing, Massachusetts 02120
The “Ummah”: Qur’anic Meaning, Prophetic Practice, and Modern Relevance with Dr. Katrin Jomaa
December 9-10 and December 16-17 from 10am-5:30pm
his course explores a comprehensive analysis of the word “Ummah” in the Quran and Prophetic Sunnah in order to activate the concept in the modern period. Half the course is dedicated to a detailed analysis of the word ummah in the Quran. First, Meccan verses of the Quran mentioning the word ummah will be analyzed through the lens of four Quranic tafāsīr to determine the conceptual meaning of the word. Then, Medinan Quranic verses will be analyzed to understand the more particular meaning of the word. After the Quranic study, the concept will be analyzed in the prophetic Sunnah through the socio-political document “the Medina Constitution” which organized the first ummah in Islamic history uniting Muslims and Jews.
The aim of the latter ideological and historical study is to have enough material to consequently explore how the Quran sees the function of the ummah in the political sphere. This will be done comparatively through studies in philosophy (Aristotle) and political science. How to activate the meanings of khalīfa, practice of shūra and sharīʿa to achieve an ummah wasaṭ. Is the Quranic ummah composed only of Muslims? What is the meaning of justice in such an ummah? What is the difference between ummah and the modern nation state? Can the ummah provide an alternative model to the nation state, both at a local and global level? What is the relationship between the ummah and political power? The course will explore and discuss the latter questions and more ideas pertinent to the meaning and practice of citizenship, not only for Muslims but globally.