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Islamic studies is a term that can mean two different things.
"Islamic studies" can mean researching or learning any topic in a way that agrees with Islamic knowledge. It includes all the traditional forms of religious thought, such as Kalam (Islamic theology) and Fiqh (Islamic law). It also looks at areas of study that look at secular topics from an Islamic understanding. For example, Islamic science and Islamic economics.
"Islamic studies" can also mean studying the history of Islam and Islamic philosophy. Academics from many different disciplines (areas of study) study and share knowledge on Muslim societies as it is today and as it has been in the past. Some non-Muslim scholars have written works which are read by many Muslims. Before 1980, such non-Muslim scholars in this field had been called "Islamicists". The field of study was often a part of Oriental studies It is now more often said to be a part of Asian studies. Many universities have degrees on the subject of Islamic studies.