Which group had more influence over Islamic culture, society, religion, and politics, and why: the Byzantines, the Sasanians, or the pre-Islamic Arabs?
What are the major themes in Islamic religious and theological thought in the Early and Middle Islamic periods?
How would you characterize relations between Muslims and non-Muslims in the Middle East in the period between 632 and 1600?
What were the biggest challenges faced by the Muslim community after the death of Muhammad? Were those challenges the same throughout the periods we have studied in the first half of this semester or was the period immediately following Muhammad’s death unique?