ISL454 Women in Islam and Islamic Cultures (8)

This subject will critically address the modern paradigms concerning women and gender roles within contemporary society. Developing arguments within a critical Islamic framework, 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 critically address 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 2021.

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

Incompatible Subjects


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 discern critically 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; and
  • 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:
  • Introduction to the topic, terminology and paradigm shift
  • Women in non-Islamic civilisations, Abrahamic religions and Islam
  • Women's roles and responsibilities according to the Qur'an
  • Women around Prophet Muhammad
  • Women in the Medieval Age
  • Women and nation building
  • Women and jurisprudence
  • Women, reform and ijtihad (new legal ruling)
  • Rise of feminism in Islamic cultures and communities
  • Women in contemporary Islamic and Western societies
  • Muslim women in the West

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of ISL454 in Session 2 2020. 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 %
Reflective journal (3 submissions x 10%)
Online forum engagement
Preliminary findings and essay outline
Essay submission

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.