ISL470 Essentials of Islamic Spirituality (8)

This subject addresses the importance of self development based on the teachings of the Qur'an and hadith (Prophetic narratives). 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.


Session 1 (30)
United Theological College

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ISL470. 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

Enrolment Restrictions

Master of Islamic Studies (Articulated Set)

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to articulate critically the relationship between levels of self-development from an Islamic perspective.
  • be able to relate and discuss critically ibada (worship) in relation to its key components.
  • be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of spiritual concepts in various life scenarios.
  • be able to evaluate critically the significance of the five pillars in relation to Islamic spiritual development.
  • 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 (ego)
  • Virtuous circle of development, ikhlas (sincerity) and istiqama (balance)
  • Three dimensions of worship, taqwa (righteousness) and Sunnah
  • Du'a (supplication) and dhikr (remembrance)
  • Abstaining from sins and tawba (repentance)
  • Spiritual significance of shahada (testimony), tafakkur (reflection) and yaqin (certainty)
  • Spiritual significance of salat (prescribed daily prayers)
  • Spiritual significance of sawm (fasting) and shukr (thankfulness)
  • Spiritual significance of zakat (alms giving) and sadaqa (charity)
  • Spiritual significance of hajj (pilgrimage) and sabr (patience)
  • Khuluq (character) of Prophet Muhammad

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of ISL470 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.