ISL271 Purification of the Heart (8)

This subject will explain the development of Islamic Spirituality from Prophet Muhammad's time until now to help students understand the importance and the role of purification of the heart within the discipline of Islamic spirituality. This will provide the opportunity to critically evaluate spiritual orders of the past and the present. The subject will then discuss the common spiritual diseases of the heart, which act as a hindrance to developing a close relationship with God and also negatively impact on one's relationship with others. Diseases such as arrogance, pride, anger, heedlessness and vanity will be explained with their symptoms, causes and implications in one's life, followed by the treatment for each of the diseases. Overall comprehensive treatment of the heart will also be covered. The spiritual diseases will be analysed in the context of the contemporary circumstances.


Session 2 (60)
United Theological College

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ISL271. 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

Assumed Knowledge
Students should have a good understanding of the basic concepts of spirituality as covered in ISL170; the heart, soul and the spirit. Students would also need to have understanding of the Islamic worldview as covered in ISL100.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to discuss the importance of purifying the heart from an Islamic perspective
  • be able to describe the different diseases which impact on one's spirituality such as pride, arrogance, vanity and anger
  • be able to analyse critically the implications of the various diseases of the heart on one’s spiritual well-being
  • be able to explain the symptoms and the treatment of the different diseases of the heart
  • be able to evaluate the diseases of the heart in the contemporary context


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • The historical development of Islamic spirituality
  • Ostentation, seeking reputation, boasting and arrogance
  • Iniquity, envy and anger
  • Miserliness, wantonness, love of the world and fear of poverty
  • Heedlessness, vanity, fantasising and antipathy towards death
  • False hopes, relying on other than God, displeasure with Divine Decree
  • Negative thoughts, derision of others and displeasure with blame
  • Comprehensive treatment of the heart
  • Remembrance of God and its importance
  • Sending blessings upon Prophet Muhammad

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of ISL271 in Session 2 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 %
Group activity and forum posts
Reflective journal
Online exam

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.