All Ratings and Reviews for Ismail K Poonawala
This professor is the WORST I have had at UCLA. He is unable to teach the material and I had better luck learning for his midterm and final through the reading than anything I got out of lecture. He is very rude and will not answer any of your questions during lecture, and goes so far as to put students and their opinions down.
Something I found very offensive was how he put down other religions, an example being Mormons on how they do not drink tea or coffee "It is quite silly, how Mormons do not drink tea or coffee because they believe it is a stimulant." Really ridiculous stuff.
My TA was terrible (Eric Bordenkircher) and gives grades very arbitrarily. He's rude and takes favorites, and is definitely a tougher grader than the other TA.
Do NOT take this class at all costs, especially if its going to be a GE. Its a waste of your time, and will blow a hole in your GPA.
He is nice. Even if you think that you already know everything about Islam, attend lectures to show some respect.
Islam 110 was a very easy class that I took. The reading was manageable and the tests were very easy. There was a little memorization of particular names and dates but those details were given on a review sheet. Poonawala was a little difficult to understand but he will become more understandable as the quarter goes on. He is extremely intelligent on the topic of Islam and he is always open to any questions.
Poonawala is a treasure to have at UCLA. He is a world renowned Islamic Studies Scholar. He wrote the Microsoft Encarta Islam entry, and has published countless articles on Islam
I found this class painful. With over 10 Muslims in the class agreeing with his views, there was a hint that Poonawala did not represent the views of mainstream Islam. He unfortunately taught the class based on his own views, which are a very small minority within Islam (He is Ismaili/Aga Khani) so the students did not know what was part of mainstream Islam and what was merely a variation related to his sect. Poonawala like to stir up controversial topics- he would mention them, tell hiw view on it as if it was the mainstream view, and then leave the class bickering among themselves without giving any more academic information on the topic. His lectures are okay...but not always on topic and/or helpful for the exam. All in all, I would not recommend anybody to take the class. Besides, I got an A but it's not as easy as it used to be since he now has TA's grading it and depends how easy or hard they are.
I've never really fallen into a deep sleep until I took this class. His lectures are extremely boring. He doesnt believe in writing the Arab names on the board for non native speakers. So at times it can be hard to understand him. Once the class goes on you'll get used to his accent. I learned something when I actually stayed awoke. So if you are good at just having a pure lecture with no visuals. I fully reccommend this class. No way you should get less than an A.
This class is super easy. the midterm is a joke. the ideas are very general. you can't understand a thing the professor says because of his thick accent but if you do the readings you'll be fine.
heed my warning, he will be the worst professor you will ever take. if you haven't studied islam all over your life or put down his lectures verbadum on your tests- you will do poorly. this man is ridiculous, he is both a lousy lecturer/professor and a horrible grader. what else can i say? oh, don't bother going to his office hours, he'll just be having tea with one of his homies. screw the tenure system, ucla will feel it in the long run.
110 was great. Dr. Poonawala is a true scholar. It would be foolish to call him biased because he ALWAYS played devils advocate and gave rebuttals and replies to every view that was presented. He has a wealth of knowledge. He is not controversial, the subject matter of the classes are controversial. I am shocked about these negative reviews...he truly is a ray of light for the cause of Islam in this time of darkness.
The worst class you have ever taken? Please, I cant even believe someone would say things about this class. I took it this Fall and came in knowing NOTHING about Islam, but I did the reading, went to office hours sometimes and talked to my TA and it wasnt difficult at all. Actually, it was quite easy. Professor Poonawala always made time to talk to me, every time I emailed him, he quickly responded, and the midterm and final were just as I expected: the broad, general concepts with a study guide to boost. These people who hated the class probably never went or never read. It was NOT a hard class at all, even for people who know nothing about Islam, and though his lectures may be boring at times, its a very interesting subject. I definately recommend taking his classes, it broadens your perspectives on the world, history and religion a lot.
Did this review contain...
Thank you for the report!
We'll look into this shortly.