Describe the emergence of Islam, the evolvement of the message, the cultural context and
the stages in advancing the Prophet’s mission.

How did conflicts over authority shape the emergence of what became mainstream Sunni
orthodoxy and Shi‘i Islam? On what basis were claims to leadership made? Describe the
evolvement of Shi‘i Islam from its early days through the event of Karbala and the
leadership of the Imams until the beginning of the Occultation

Describe the Mihna and its significance in the context of the Abbasid dynasty. Refer to
the divisions between rationalists and traditionalists, the different theories behind this
.event and the end result of the Mihna

Introduction to Islam