Contact Information

P.O. Box 59 (Unioninkatu 38B)
00014 University of Helsinki



Interest in the Arabic language and in Islamic culture has undergone a rapid increase over the past few decades. The significance of Islamic studies is self-evident in the present world, Islam being one of the world religions. Arabic, on the other hand, is one of the world's major languages, with a written tradition going back some fifteen centuries. A historical viewpoint is necessary for understanding Arabic and Islamic culture and Islam as a religion.

In studying Arabic and Islamic studies, the student may either focus on Islam and Arabic culture or on the linguistic study of Arabic. The studies aim at an ability to use sources in the original language. The texts taught in the courses include the Qur'an, poetry and Mediaeval classics, as well as literature written in modern standard Arabic. A student who wishes to learn to speak Arabic fluently is advised to complement his studies in an Arabic-speaking country.

It is possible to acquaint oneself with Islamic culture widely and from many viewpoints. In the study of Islamic culture, special emphasis is given to Islam and its different fields, such as Islamic law, theology, mysticism and Qur'anic studies. Geographically, the study of Islam is focused on the Arab countries and Iran.