HUMN 3061 Mystical Islam: The Emergence of Sufism in World History

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102495

Coordinator Milad Milani Opens in new window

Description Global Islamism has projected a particularly severe, even militant face of Islam across much of the world. Much less well known is the fact that for much of its history Islam has had a quite different face: it has been mystical and contemplative more than proselytising. The Sufist tradition was formed within the first three centuries of Islamic history; its influence spread far and wide across the Muslim World where "Sufis" played a pivotal role in engaging non-Muslim peoples both within and on the fringes of their world. The unit explores religious pluralism and an alternative narrative in Islam.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject

Restrictions Successful completion of 60 credit points of study in currently enrolled program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of Sufi historical past leading up to the present;
  2. Analyse key figures and events that define the Sufi mystical tradition;
  3. Comprehend the history of scholarship and approaches to the study of Sufism;
  4. Apply multidisciplinary methodological approaches to the study of Sufism and mystic traditions;
  5. Identify significant influences in the process of development and impact of Sufi ideas to the present age; and
  6. Exhibit learned research techniques and awareness of relevant source materials.

Subject Content

1. Scholarship and historical contextualisation
2. Mystical before and after the Single God Religions
2.1 The ancient world; Greece, Persia, Egypt, India, China
2.2 Sacred texts: Torah, Bible and Qur'an
3.The emergence of Sufism
3.1 Muslim ascetics and desert monks
3.2 The 'X' factor: case studies of conversion and urbanisation
4.The making of Sufi tradition
4.1 The Sufi biographers and the biographical tradition
4.2 Muslim saints and the chain of authority
5.Classical and Mediaeval Sufism
5.1 Masters and the art soberness
5.2 the Ulama class and Sufi organisations: institutionalisation of religious knowledge
6.Transitions and transformations in the Early Modern world
6.1 Sufis, Sultans and Shahs
6.2 Poetics and polemics
7.Sufism in modernity
7.1 Popular Sufism
7.2 Political Sufism
8.The invention of tradition
8.1 Myth-history and the re-invention of tradition in modernity
8.2 Sufism 'online'

Assessment

The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Essay 1500 words 40 N Individual
Proposal 500 words 10 N Individual
Essay 2500 words 50 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Knysh, Alexander. Islamic Mysticism. 1st ed. Brill: Leiden, 2010.

Teaching Periods

2022 Semester 2

Bankstown

Day

Subject Contact Milad Milani Opens in new window

Attendance Requirements 80% attendance rate is imposed in all core subjects’ due to the nature of class activities that are aligned with subject assessments.

View timetable Opens in new window

Online

Online

Subject Contact Milad Milani Opens in new window

Attendance Requirements 80% attendance rate is imposed in all core subjects’ due to the nature of class activities that are aligned with subject assessments.

View timetable Opens in new window