Dr. Walead Mosaad

Islamic Spirituality & Leadership

This course will provide an overview of models of spirituality and religious leadership in the Muslim context from both a historical perspective as well as a contemporary one, and give students an in-depth look at traditional texts that describe the core principles of leadership and spirituality.
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Course Summary

This course will familiarize the learner with the key elements of leadership and its relationship to spirituality based upon the Islamic tradition. Students will study primary classical texts that expound upon the attributes of the Muslim leader, the spiritual pitfalls and dangers associated with leadership, and the method of leadership of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Additionally, the formation of traditional as well as contemporary Muslim communities and societies are explored, as are the different approaches to community development utilized by various intellectual and ideological schools within the Islamic tradition.

You will learn about the following topics:

Islam: From Arabia to Africa to the West
Black Religious Cosmology: From Africa to America
America, Whiteness, and Blackness
African Muslims in America Under Slavery
Black Religion and the Rise of Black Proto-Islam
The Moorish Science Temple and Nation of Islam
The Ahmadiyyah Mission
Malcolm X
Imam W.D. Muhammad / Minister Farrakhan
Five Percenters, Ansar-Allah and other groups
Independent Sunni Movements, Dar al-Islam, Salafi Movement
Black Orientalism
Blackamericans, Immigrants and the American State
Blackamerican Islam and Gender
Navigating this Course

This course is divided into a series of Modules, each containing recorded lecture videos, quizzes, and related information.

Course readings and handouts may also be available for download. These materials serve as background reading and resources related to the course content.

Use the navigation buttons to proceed through the sequence of course modules. You can always re-watch a lecture in this entirely self-paced course. Take the optional quizzes to check your learning.

About your Instructor


Dr. Sherman Jackson is the King Faisal Chair of Islamic Thought and Culture, and Professor of Religion and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California (USC). He was formerly the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Near Eastern Studies and Visiting Professor of Law and Professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor).

Dr. Jackson received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and has taught at the University of Texas at Austin, Indiana University, Wayne State University and the University of Michigan. From 1987 to 1989, he served as Executive Director of the Center of Arabic Study Abroad in Cairo, Egypt. He is the author of several books, including Islamic Law and the State: The Constitutional Jurisprudence of Shihâb al-Dîn al-Qarâfî (E.J. Brill, 1996), On the Boundaries of Theological Tolerance in Islam: Abû Hâmid al-Ghazâlî’s Faysal al-Tafriqa (Oxford, 2002), Islam and the Blackamerican: Looking Towards the Third Resurrection (Oxford, 2005) Islam and the Problem of Black Suffering (Oxford, 2009), and most recently Sufism for Non-Sufis? Ibn ‘Ata’ Allah al-Sakandari’s Taj al-‘Arus (Oxford, 2012).

Course Readings

The main course book is:

Jackson, Sherman. Islam and the Blackamerican: Looking Toward the Third Resurrection. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. Paperback. ISBN: 978-0199782383. Kindle version available.

Please find selected additional readings for the course (articles and book sections within fair use parameters) in the Downloads section on the right. 

Patrick Jones - Course author

Dr. Walead Mosaad

Dr. Walead M. Mosaad is an internationally recognized scholar in Islamic Studies and human development. He has completed degrees from Rutgers University and Fath Islamic Seminary in Damascus. He received his PhD from the University of Exeter in Arab and Islamic Studies, and was also classically trained at Al-Azhar University.

Course contents