ISL170 Ihsan (Spirituality) Essentials (8)

This subject introduces students to the basic spiritual concepts found within Islamic spirituality, as well as the spiritual significance of the five pillars of Islam. The subject discusses the importance of self-development with a particular focus on spiritual development. Some of the key foundational concepts that will be addressed include ihsan (spiritual excellence) and ikhlas (sincerity), istiqama (straightforwardness) and taqwa (righteousness). The five pillars of Islam will be covered from a spiritual, mental and social perspective; what each practice signifies and how they assist in the development of the individual and the community. The importance of the Sunnah (practical teachings of the Prophet Muhammad) in the life of a Muslim will also be discussed.


Session 1 (30)
United Theological College

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ISL170. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe the three level s of self-development from an Islamic perspective
  • be able to understand key Islamic spiritual concepts
  • be able to explain the Islamic concept of ibadah (worship) with its sub-categories
  • be able to understand the role of the Sunnah (practical teachings of the Prophet Muhammad) in the life of a Muslim
  • be able to explain the spiritual significance of the five pillars of Islam
  • be able to demonstrate self-guided learning, including research, writing and communication skills


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Human nature and its faculties
  • Ihsan (spiritual excellence) and the seven levels of nafs (egotistic-self)
  • Virtuous circle of development, ikhlas (sincerity) and istiqama (balance)
  • Three dimensions of worship, taqwa (righteousness) and Sunnah
  • Du'a (supplication) and zikr (remembrance)
  • Abstaining from sins and tawba (repentance)
  • Spiritual significance of shahada (testimony), tafakkur (reflection) and yaqin (certainty)
  • Spiritual significance of salat (daily prescribed prayers)
  • Spiritual significance of sawm (fasting) and shukr (thankfulness)
  • Spiritual significance of zakat (alms giving) and sadaqah (charity)
  • Spiritual significance of hajj (pilgrimage) and sabr (patience)
  • Khuluq (good nature) and the Prophet Muhammad

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of ISL170 in Session 1 2019. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Engagement and participation
Essay plan

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: October 2020. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.