The M.A.I.S. Degree is a 128 point program. Students are expected to complete the eight 8-point courses with RGS listed below (totaling 64 points). Afterwards, students will complete the remaining 64 points with ISRA/CSU.
RGS Courses (8 Points Each)
This course provides a detailed coverage of Islamic fundamental beliefs, creed, theology and worldview with particular reference to the Qur’an and hadith as primary sources. The Islamic concept of God and the understanding of human nature will be addressed, together with the creation story according to the Qur’an. The unseen world, revelation, prophethood, the Prophet Muhammad and the question of theodicy and suffering are also addressed. The approach is a balance between textual basis of theology and rational argumentation.
This course addresses the methodology related to the principles of Islamic jurisprudence (Usul al-fiqh). The development of Islamic law in the early history of Islam, the emergence of ijtihad (Islamic legal interpretation) together with the revealed and non-revealed sources of law and methodology of Usul al-fiqh will also be addressed. In addition, the four primary sources of law as well as other supplementary sources of law used in the practice of ijtihad will be discussed.
This course introduces students to the methodology of Qur’anic exegesis. The concept of revelation, the importance of occasions of revelation for exegesis, the concept of abrogation, and a set of tools used in textual analysis will be discussed. The history of the development of Qur’anic exegetical method and its evolution over time to produce a rich literature of exegetical works will also be addressed. In addition, modern exegetical issues concerning the Qur’an will be investigated together with a critical evaluation of how the modern history of the Muslim world influenced contemporary exegetical works.
This course addresses the place of hadith in Islamic scholarship and the methodology of evaluating critically the authenticity of hadith narrations, as well as their classification in canonical texts. Prophet Muhammad’s sayings, actions and his approvals as reported by his companions have been collected separately as multi-volume hadith books. Collection of hadith books, their classification and authentication has been an integral part of Islamic scholarship. This subject will also cover the history of development of the science of hadith critique from the time of Prophet Muhammad (7th century) to the 10th century.
This course addresses the study of Islamic law or jurisprudence (Fiqh) relating to the five pillars of Islam – the declaration of faith (shahadah), the daily prescribed prayers (salat), fasting during the month of Ramadan (sawm), purifying alms (zakat), and the pilgrimage (hajj) – together with the textual evidence for the basis of the rulings. The rituals related to these practices will be studied together with the criteria and method for practice. Physical cleansing in Islam will also be addressed. The Hanafi School of Islamic law will be the primary school studied, however, views and evidence from Shafi‘i, Maliki and Hanbali schools of law will also be discussed.
This course addresses the importance of self development based on the teachings of the Qur’an and hadiths. Foundational Islamic spirituality concepts will be covered, such as ihsan (spiritual excellence), ikhlas (sincerity), istiqama (balance) and taqwa (righteousness). These concepts will be discussed alongside ‘ibada (worship) to appreciate the relationship between all these concepts. The spiritual meaning of the five pillars of Islam will also be covered; what each practice signifies; their relationship with one another within the framework of purification of the nafs (ego); and how the five pillars assist in the spiritual development of the practitioner. The importance of the Sunnah (practical teachings of the Prophet Muhammad) in the everyday life of a Muslim will also be discussed, with a particular focus on their application in contemporary times.
This course is designed for students with no prior language skills in Arabic. It presents an introduction to reading Arabic and is designed to teach students how to articulate Arabic letters, words and sentences. It will also cover writing practice of Arabic vocabulary, together with basic speaking in Arabic and basic acquisition of commonly used Arabic words. This subject provides foundations for further study in Classical Arabic.
This course introduces the Arabic language adopting the methodology of the classical grammarians. Students will learn the different types of words and move onto forming phrases and eventually sentences. Various examples will be derived from different sources such as the Qur’an, Prophetic traditions and everyday scenarios. Reading and writing skills acquired in the previous unit will be further developed.
ISRA/CSU Courses (16 Points Each)
Students may choose up to four 16-point courses with ISRA/CSU to complete the M.A.I.S. Degree. For detailed ISRA/CSU course descriptions, please see here.
This subject involves the study of selected Qur’anic verses and selected Hadith (Prophetice Narratives) from their original language at postgraduate level. Students will need to examine various tafsirs (exegeses) written on the selected Qur’anic verses. While studying the various tafsirs, students will need to examine and analyse text-critical issues, literary and historical context, literary structure, relevant critical approach(es) (e.g., form, narrative, sociological, ideological, etc.) as appropriate to the chosen verses. Similarly, selected Hadith will be analysed alongside various Hadith commentaries where students will need to examine and analyse critically the commentaries, as well as the text at hand.
This subject addresses Islamic theology as the foundational discipline in Islamic faith and its intellectual discourse. Key theological topics such as existence of God, names and attributes of God; the relationship between God and humans; the scope of God’s power; the efficacy of His decree; prophecy and eschatology will be studied according to the mainstream Ash’ari and Maturidi theological perspectives. This subject will also discuss the development of Islamic theology in response to historical events until the present day. Contemporary theological issues such as existence of God, evolution theory, proof of resurrection and dealing with theodicy and suffering will be critically analysed and studied in the context of the traditional and contemporary scholarship.
This subject explores the relationship between Islam and science from both historical and contemporary perspectives. It discusses Islam’s epistemological consideration of science, and the Muslim contribution to scientific development through the medieval era, together with its influence on the Western scientific renaissance. It also addresses key aspects of Islam’s perspectives and approaches to contemporary ethical issues arising from new developments in the fields of science and technology, including bioethics, family and sexuality, and the environment.
This subject addresses contemporary Islamic revivalism, and revivalist movements and their influence on Muslim societies. Students will critically examine the concepts of religious renewal and revival, and the notion of reform within the Islamic tradition. The subject will analyse the underlying internal and external factors that sparked the emergence of the revivalist movements. Students will examine significant revivalists from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century, including their thoughts and responses to Islamic tradition, modernity and post-modernity. In addition, the subject will explore emergent religious movements in Muslim societies that have developed separate traditions and communities of their own with some global presence.
This subject provides an intensive introduction to the principles of Islamic economy, banking and finance. It focuses on the underlying principles of economic justice and analyses the features of Islamic banking and finance. Several modes of personal and business finance solutions will be outlined and evaluated by considering the relevant primary and secondary Islamic sources. The subject will also cover the global development of Islamic finance, the challenges and opportunities associated with Islamic banking and finance in Australia.
This subject is an independent guided study and research on an approved topic in a chosen field of Islamic Studies. Students are expected to demonstrate competence in the use of appropriate research methodology together with advanced written and oral communication skills through the preparation and presentation of a substantial research paper on a topic agreed to in consultation with a supervisor.
In consultation with their appointed supervisor students will identify and investigate specific issues impacting Muslims in Australia, and implement initiatives that aim to address the identified issue(s). The student’s capacity to identify challenges, assemble materials, obtain ethics approval where required, argue a case for a solution, and develop and implement a project plan will be assessed. In addition, the student’s application of critical thinking and interpretive judgement in developing effective measurable solutions will also be assessed.
ISRA/CSU Courses (8 Points Each)
Students also have the option to substitute one 16-point course for two 8-point courses listed below with ISRA/CSU.
This subject addresses the application of Islamic law to the study of family law and its branches. The perspective of the Hanafi legal school will be considered when covering topics such as; the conditions for a valid marriage; dissolution of marriage; parenting and children; custody and guardianship; and alimony and maintenance. In addition, appropriate legal rulings of other schools will be discussed and critically evaluated. The similarities and differences between Islamic law and Australian statutory legislation relating to family law matters will be considered.
This subject addresses contemporary issues facing Islam and Muslims in the modern life from personal to public and local to international spheres. It sheds light on controversial topics like jihad, extremism, fundamentalism and shari’ah; examines the significant debates around Islam and Muslims such as women rights, Islamism as a political ideology and bio-ethical discussions; and explores Muslims’ experience in living Islam under current local and global circumstances. The subject approaches these topics by delineating and clarifying colloquial and terminological meanings of key concepts and provides the Islamic bases of the issues in reference to the Quran and Sunnah. Giving historical, cultural and socio-political circumstances and perspectives of modern scholarship, issues are weighed in the contemporary local and global contexts.
This subject addresses critically the modern paradigms concerning women and gender roles in primary and classical texts; through the Islamic history and civilization; as well as in contemporary Muslim cultures and societies. Developing arguments from within a critical framework of an Islamic set of paradigms and values, it takes a fresh approach at women in Islam. It examines the status and role of women in scripture; explores significant women figures in mysticism, scholarship, social and political life. Muslim women are positioned in their historical and contemporary reality with patriarchal, orientalist and feminist approaches highlighted. The subject covers chronologically the conditions and status of women in both contemporary Islamic and non-Islamic cultures. Classical, modern and feminist approaches, viewpoints and arguments are considered throughout the subject.
This subject explores the concepts of akhlaq (morality) and adab (etiquette) as the fourth dimension of Islam. It highlights the importance of their application in demonstrating human virtue and perfection. The subject commences with akhlaq and adab in the everyday life of a Muslim, followed by immediate family, and then other common relationships such as neighbors, work colleagues and friends. One’s relationship with the environment, animals and worship are also covered. An important part of this subject is to study the traditional understanding of akhlaq and adab through the lens of the the Quran, Hadith and the views of the traditional scholars. The traditional understanding of each type of interpersonal relation will then be analysed critically, considering the benefits and the challenges of their application in the contemporary context.
This subject discusses the life of the Prophet Muhammad, including pre-Islamic Arabia, early life before prophethood, the Meccan period, migration to Medina and the major events which took place in Medina. These events will be studied and analysed in the context of today’s world, making correlations and evaluations as a result. The social transformations during his lifetime, and the dynamics that were to shape human history will also be addressed. The character and personality of Prophet Muhammad will be analysed, as well as contemporary criticisms made about the Prophet.
This subject discusses critically the history of Muslim societies and civilizations from the time of the death of Prophet Muhammad to the end of the Caliphate era. The periods of Rightly Guided Caliphs, the Umayyad Empire, the Abbasid Empire, the Ottoman Caliphate and other major sultanates will be studied. There will be particular focus on the major historic events as well as the intellectual, economic, social and cultural aspects of the Islamic civilizations. The Muslim contribution to science and civilization will be evaluated critically. The decline of the Muslim world will also be covered.
This subject examines the history of Islamic societies between the 19th and 21st centuries. It addresses the major events of the period through a critical examination of the complex interplay of internal factors (religion, race and culture) and external factors (global conflicts and Western dominance). Students will consider political and social changes attributed to the demise of the Ottoman, Mughal and Safavid Empires and the emergence of national states. The effects of European colonization on the development of the Muslim world, and the theological, political, legal, cultural, and spiritual changes occurring during the modern era of Islamic history will be considered.
This subject involves the introduction to Arabic as a living language. Students will learn how to hold basic and simple conversations about everyday interactions such as greetings, introductions, food and family. Students will also gradually increase their vocabulary in the Arabic language to help them hold the basic conversations in various common scenarios. This subject will particularly establish the student’s confidence in speaking the language at a basic level.
This subject continues from Arabic Skills 1 and introduces new topics related to everyday interactions that include study, work, shopping, weather, hobbies, people and places. More complex sentence structures will be covered with an emphasis on verb conjugation in the different tenses. Reading, writing and speaking in the Arabic language will be developed to further enhance everyday communication in Arabic.
This subject continues from Arabic Skills 2 and introduces new topics related to everyday interactions including travelling, pilgrimage, health, holidays, looking after our health and leisure time. This subject will focus on the speaking of Arabic where the sentence structures are more complex, using higher form verbs in different tense, person, number and gender options. Writing skills will also be covered to develop the student’s ability to write short to medium length stories and passages.
In this subject, students will begin to engage with a basic text called “Stories of the Prophets”. This text will be used to acquire new vocabulary, improve comprehension and further develop the skill of syntax analysis. Students will continue improving on their knowledge of syntax and morphology. Various examples will be derived from different sources such as the Qur’an, Prophetic traditions and everyday scenarios. Reading and writing skills acquired in the previous unit will be further developed.
In this subject, students will continue reading the “Stories of the Prophets” textbook whereby they further build on the knowledge of vocabulary, syntax and morphology. The higher verb forms will be introduced for the first time. Students will also acquire the knowledge of how most nouns and verbs are derived by learning the systematic approach to word derivation developed by grammarians. This subject will also continue with developing the reading, writing and composition skills acquired in the previous unit.
In this subject, the role of the ism will be further expanded upon with the multiple roles that an ism mansub plays such as the mafool mutlaq, bihi, fihi and lahu. The “Stories of the Prophets” textbook will be analysed at a more advanced level, specifically focusing on the ism mansub as well as building on new vocabulary, new syntax and complex morphology.
This subject introduces the student to the development of the study of the Arabic language after the advent of Islam. Main figures, critical books and different methodologies in the study of Arabic will be explored to gain an appreciation of the importance of the study of Arabic for different Islamic disciplines and other fields. Students will continue to advance their knowledge in vocabulary, syntax and morphology as well as begin to access classical non-vowelized textbooks.