ISL484 Modern History of Islamic Societies (8)

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 colonisation 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.

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 demonstrate a broad understanding of the events that shaped the current state of the Islamic societies
  • be able to evaluate the internal and external factors that contributed to key events in the modern era
  • be able to discuss and evaluate critically the various narratives that attempt to explain the development of the Islamic nation states
  • be able to identify and discuss critically religious, cultural and geo-political factors that influenced the modern history of the Muslim world
  • be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of how the religion of Islam has been used as a tool in political struggles
  • be able to analyse and discuss the rise and decline in nationalism, secularism and socialism in the Muslim world


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Brief Islamic history until modern period
  • The decline of the Ottoman Empire
  • The European colonialism and its impact
  • The impact of World War I and the end of the Ottoman Caliphate
  • The Muslim world during the Second World War
  • Nationalism, revolutions, calls for independence and the end of colonisation
  • The struggle between Arab nationalism and Islamist ideology
  • The democratic transformation of the Southern Asian states
  • The Arab-Israeli conflict and other regional clashes (Pakistan, Yemen and Lebanon)
  • The Iranian revolution and the Gulf conflicts
  • The ascendancy of Islamist ideology (Malaysia, Sudan, Algeria, Iran, Afghanistan and Turkey)
  • Religious, social and political currents in today's Muslim societies (Bosnia, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Tunisia)

Residential School

This subject contains a 2 day Optional Residential School.

The purpose of the residential school is to provide an opportunity for exploration of the coursework covered and assessment of student learning. In addition to content review, this part of the course aims to facilitate an interactive session between the teaching academics, students and sections of the Islamic community.

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.