Sufism: The Spiritual Dimension of Islam

Subject ISLM20016 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial
Total Time Commitment:

Time commitment totals 170 hours.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Muhammad Kamal



Subject Overview:

In this subject the students explore the Sufi Way as the spiritual dimension of Islam, its roots and philosophical meaning, and the factors which led to its emergence, its seeming conflict and reconciliation with the views of the Orthodox scholars, its socio-political dimensions as a popular religious trend, and such Sufi practices as chanting, meditation and dance-like rituals. It also explores the various Sufi brotherhoods, and analyses the relevance of the Sufi dimension of Islam to contemporary society.

Learning Outcomes:

Understanding of Sufism, its genesis, development and practices in the Muslim world, as the spiritual dimension of Islam, which is different from other traditions within this religion.

To grasp the salient features and practices of Sufi individuals and orders, such as chanting, meditation and dance-like rituals to attain purity and get into trance. To understand the relevance of Sufism and its socio-political role in the modern world.

The ability to work effectively both independently and in groups on the arguments and ideas of these key intellectuals, gain effective oral and written communication skills. Being able to anaylse their ideas critically and develop the research skills in examining them.

  • A take home test, 500 words, 20%, (due in week 8)
  • A journal exercise 1,500 words, 30%, (due in week 10)
  • A major essay, 2,000 words, 50%, (due at the end of the semester)

Hurdle requirement: Class attendance is required for this subject; if you do not attend a minimum of 80% of classes without an approved exemption you will not be eligible for a pass in this subject.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Available through the bookroom.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Islamic Studies

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