ISL571 Spirit of Islam: Mysticism, Art and Architecture (16)

This subject studies the spirit of Islam and its reflection in the arts. It will critically explore Islamic mysticism and spirituality discussing key concepts of Sufism. It will focus on the roots of Muslim spirituality in the primary sources as well as emergence and historical development of Sufism and its modern reflections. The artistic manifestation of Islam in poetry and various forms of Islamic arts and architecture will be examined in the classical and contemporary era.

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

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the history of Sufism, its contested roots and development through the contemporary era;
  • be able to evaluate the major Sufi orders and institutions, their contributions to Muslim societies and the spread of Islam;
  • to be able to demonstrate an understanding of the foundations of tasawwuf and the major Sufi concepts and orders;
  • be able to discuss critically classical Sufism in contrast with modern day Sufism;
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the foundations of Islamic arts including architecture and their diverse forms and expressions;
  • be able to discuss critically the relationship between mysticism, Islamic arts and architecture;
  • be able to interpret critically the various genres of Islamic arts; and
  • be able to demonstrate independent research, organisation, written and oral communication skills through the presentation of a substantial work.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • The notions of Sufism, mysticism and tasawwuf
  • Roots, emergence and historical development of classical Sufism
  • Systematisation of the Sufi tradition
  • Foundations of the path, stations and stages of Sufism
  • Sufi orders in the past and present
  • The development of Islamic art and its relationship with Islamic spirituality
  • The spirit of Islam in poetry
  • Islamic architecture, its philosophy and spiritual significance
  • The spiritual symbolism in Islamic art and calligraphy
  • Mystical music and its expressions in Muslim cultures
  • Forms of classical and modern Islamic art

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.