“ISRA Australia was to have control over course content while Charles Sturt University was to provide quality assurance; ISRA Australia was to select its management and teaching staff in accordance with the university’s qualification criteria; and ISRA Australia would raise and manage its own budget while the university would only provide funding based on student load. In this way, ISRA Australia ensured the Islamic integrity of what was taught while meeting the university’s quality standards.”
2. Distinction between Classic and Contemporary Islamic Studies
- The sciences of the Qur’an: its readings, recitation, miraculous nature, exegesis and juristic interpretations;
- The sciences of the hadith and its methodologies including its transmission, collection, commentaries and juristic interpretations;
- Jurisprudence, comprising its methodologies and various branches that regulate every aspect of human life from worship to politics;
- Creed and theology including the study of various Muslim sects and the study of other religions (milal);
- History in its various forms such as biographies, chronologies and annals;
- The science of Arabic language including its grammar, literature and lexicology, which is seen as instrumental in understanding the religious textual sources;
- Logic and philosophy, though strictly not part of religious sciences but included in many religious curricula.
3. Current and Emerging Needs for Islamic Studies in Australia
3.1. Islamic Studies Experts
“… although when the idea of a national center for Islamic studies was originally floated, the government’s emphasis was on training future religious leaders and providing professional development for existing imams, the consortium partners made it clear from the very beginning that training imams in the way it is done at traditional Muslim seminaries (a program focusing on traditional Islamic disciplines for Muslims) cannot be undertaken at secular Australian universities.”
“Core Islamic sciences (such as Tafsir, Usul Al-Din, Usul al-Fiqh, Adaab, Usul al-Hadith and others) are adequately represented in their (CISAC, CSU’s) bachelors and masters courses in combination with units that aim to develop cultural integration of religious leaders and Imams with Australian values—a unique combination that we have not found in any other course.”(p. 82)
3.2. Islamic Studies to Complement Professional Training and Career
3.3. Muslim Student to Personally Benefit from Islamic Education and Teach Others
4. Islamic Studies Currently Available in Australia
4.1. Classical Islamic Studies
- Islamic Worldview and Faith Essentials
- Fiqh (Islamic Law) of the Five Pillars
- Ihsan (Spirituality) Essentials
- Sirah (Life of Prophet Muhammad)
- Usul al-Din (Foundational Islamic Theology)
- Usul al-Fiqh (Methodology of Islamic Law)
- Usul al-Tafsir (Methodology of Qur’anic Exegesis)
- Usul al-Hadith (Methodology of Prophetic Traditions)
- Advanced Study of Tafsir (Qur’anic Exegesis) Literature
- Advanced Study of Hadith Literature
- Arabic Skills 1
- Arabic Skills 2
- Arabic Skills 3
- Introduction to Arabic Reading
- Beginner Arabic Language 1
- Beginner Arabic Language 2
- Intermediate Arabic Grammar 1
- Intermediate Arabic Grammar 2
- Advanced Arabic Grammar
- Classical Islamic studies electives:
- Mantiq (Logic) and Critical Reasoning
- Akhlaq (Morality) and Adab (Manners) in Islam
- Purification of the Heart
- History of Prophets: Adam to Jesus
- Islamic Family Law
- Religious Service and Community Leadership (0.5 classical and 0.5 contemporary)
- Islam in the Modern World
- Women in Islam and Islamic Cultures
- Islamic History and Civilisations
- Guided Research
- Muslims in Australia: Past and Present
- Modern History of Islamic Societies
- Islamic Worldview and Theology
- Methodology of Islamic Law (Usul al-Fiqh)
- Methodology of Qur’anic Exegesis (Usul al-Tafsir)
- Methodology of Prophetic Traditions (Usul al-Hadith)
- Discuss and analyse the marriage of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to Aisha focusing on the deliberations related to her age;
- Analyse Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as a role model: elaborate on his methodology of problem solving in the modern context;
- Analyse the Last Sermon in regard to human rights, race and gender relations;
- Discuss Prophet Muhammad’s conflict resolution and peace-making methodology and how this can be implemented in modern days.
- Participation and engagement 10%: students are expected to attend weekly online tutorials;
- Research and referencing quiz 5%: being a first-year course, the development of research and referencing skills has been incorporated into the course;
- Submission of a first version of essay 25%: being a first-year course, students submit a 1000-word draft essay which they receive feedback on before they finalise their essay;
- Submission of final version of essay 20%: students are expected to incorporate the feedback they have received from their lecturer to finalise their essay;
- Exam 40%: students are asked questions from the lecture content in a closed-book exam.
4.2. Contemporary Islamic Studies
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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This article uses the same terminology used in the report produced by Rane, Duderija and Mamone for courses, minors, majors and programmes:
Programme: A programme is an approved course of study leading to a university qualification. A student is admitted to a programme, undertakes study while enrolled in that programme and on successful completion of all programme requirements is awarded the qualification to which the programme relates (inclusive of any degree, diploma or graduate certificate).
Major/Minor: Majors and Minors are a sequence of courses that develop a coherent academic theme culminating in advanced level courses.
Course: A course is a component of a qualification, normally undertaken over a single semester in which the student enrols and on completion of which the student is awarded a grade, with such grades appearing on a student’s academic record. Learning outcomes, assessment tasks and achievement standards are specified for each course appropriate to a level and qualification type (also called subjects/units).
There are a total of 307 graduates of CISAC programmes; however, the survey was sent to Bachelor of Islamic Studies and Master of Islamic Studies graduates only.
For the purpose of this article, classical Islamic studies will be used when referring to “basic Islamic disciplines”, “Islamic traditional” and “Islamic sciences”.
0.5 is allocated to a course where only half the course has a classical Islamic studies focus.
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