ISL355 Women in Islam and Islamic Cultures (8)

This subject will address critically the modern paradigms concerning women and gender roles within contemporary society. Developing arguments within a critical framework of an Islamic set of paradigms and values, it will take a fresh look at women in Islam by examining the status and role of women in scripture, exploring heroines in the mystic world, and discussing critically the authentic status of Muslim women in Islamic societies. The subject will address critically the conditions of women in both contemporary Islamic and non-Islamic cultures. In addition, Muslim feminists' viewpoints and arguments will also be considered within this subject.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2020.

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 assess critically women's status in Islam
  • be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of contemporary Muslim women's experience in Islam
  • be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of the role of women in Islamic sources, art, history and contemporary societies
  • be able to recognise the gender factor in social and interpersonal space for men and women
  • be able to develop a critical approach to patriarchal as well as counter-patriarchal discourses regarding women's status in Islam
  • be able to understand critically non-Islamic factors contributing to women's status in Islamic cultures and societies
  • be able to analyse critically widely discussed issues of inheritance, divorce, hijab (veil) and polygamy in Islamic societies
  • be able to articulate critically contemporary Muslim women's experience in social and religious activism
  • be able to research interdisciplinary topics and apply critical reasoning while presenting arguments in oral and written (essay) forms


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Concepts and definitions, paradigms and thinking out of paradigms
  • Women role models and womanhood in the Qur'an
  • Reforms of Prophet Muhammad on women's status in seventh century
  • Women's status and responsibilities according to the Islamic sources
  • Gender issues in Islamic worship and law
  • Women and Sufism
  • Harem: myth and reality of Muslim women through middle ages
  • Women-poetry, art and architecture
  • Social status of Muslim women from a variety of backgrounds through Muslim history
  • Women: nation building and nationalism
  • Influence of feminism in Islamic cultures
  • Contemporary status of women in Islamic societies
  • Muslim women in the West

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of ISL355 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 %
Participation and engagement
Analytical report: achieving musl. women
Take home 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.