Postponed: Understanding Islam Introductory Course

6 Webster St. Brookline, MA 02446












This course was postponed. Click here for the new dates (March 18-April 15).


Course Description

Back by popular demand, we are excited to offer this introductory course again! By some accounts, over 60% of US citizens say they have never met a Muslim or know much about the religion of Islam. Yet, despite the lack of contact and interaction, a majority of Americans continue to define all Muslims as “fanatics”, “violent” and “ignorant”. This is not surprising because their impression of Muslims is derived largely from narrow and biased reporting by media and other sources. 

This course is designed to bring an alternative voice, and a glimpse of the wider, sweeping, story of the 1.8 billion Muslims in the world. Islam is the fastest growing faith in the world. Hayat will answer questions such as: Who are we? What do Muslims find so appealing in Islam? What do we believe? What underlies Islamic culture and community? What is our experience with non-Muslims? 

As an American Muslim, who has lived and worked in many Muslim countries, Hayat will share facts and figures about Islam, as well as her personal lived experiences as a practicing Muslim, an immigrant, and a peace activist. In the brief time together, Hayat will share the story of her growing up years and the influence of her Muslim parents. From Hayat’s 40 years of disciplined study and practice of the religion, she will discuss the fundamental principles of Islam and the essence of the religion, illustrated by relevant passages from the Quran. The course will touch upon the impact of Islamic scholars on Western civilization and tackle some typical questions such as women’s status in Islam, and how Islam views violence. 

In this increasingly connected globe, it’s imperative for our survival to foster greater understanding and build bridges. This course will offer information that may feel challenging, but participants may end up being surprised and delighted to find that, beyond the differences, people have more in common than initially thought!  

The course is offered in four sessions that will cover the following topics: 

  1. Islamic Culture and the Diversity of the Muslim World
  2. What’s at the Heart of Islam
  3. The Early History of the Islamic Community, Islam’s Contributions to Civilization
  4. The Relationship between Muslims and the West, Historic Jewish/ Muslim Connections, Visualizing a way forward together.

Teaching Style: Lecture and discussion. Each session will include a presentation, interspersed with time for questions and answers. 

Weekly Prep: Occasional Readings

This course is being postponed until the spring. Thank you!


Course Location: 6 Webster St., Brookline in Coolidge Corner (@ Boston Workers Circle)


Registration Cost:

Sliding scale (covers all 4 classes)

Middle - High Income: $120-$160 per person
Young Adult / Low Income: $65 per person.

Cost should never be a barrier to accessing our programs so please pay what you can. If you can afford to pay the higher end of the scale, that covers the cost for those who cannot. Please email with questions about tickets.



Instructor Bio: Hayat Imam

Hayat Imam is an American-Muslim of Bangladeshi origin. She is a feminist-activist committed to building global social justice movements. Former Executive Director of the Boston Women’s Fund and Board Chair of Grassroots International, she is an active member of Mass Peace Action and Dorchester People for Peace. Hayat was a keynote speaker at the Boston Women’s March in January 2017 and, in the summer of 2018, at the Poor People’s Campaign on the War Economy.




This course is being postponed until the spring. Thank you!