Foundation Islamic Mysticism – DE

Entry Requirements No Academic Degree is required to apply for this course. The applicant should have English language proficiency.
Duration 4 months
Fees 2018/19 £570
Financial Assistance Partial scholarships are available subject to meeting specific conditions. For further information contact
Validating Institution The Islamic College
Application Procedure Application for this course is online, please click here for enrolment.
Contact Distance Education (DE) Department
0044 (0) 2084519993 (Ext. 224)

As the conspicuous expression of Islamic spirituality, Islamic mysticism is indispensable for a deep understanding of the inner dimension of Islam. This course aims at introducing the salient features of the mystical tradition of Islam including the historical background of the mystical tradition, the foremost figures who played a major role in its development, the main issues pertaining to mysticism and their manifestations in both the religious and social contexts as well as the classical works dealing with both theoretical and practical mysticism.


  • Foundations of Islamic Mysticism in the Qur’an and Hadith
  • Early teachings of Ahl al-Bayt (as)
  • Qur’anic exegeses and the development of mystical language.
  • Baghdad School and asceticism
  • Khorasan and the mysticism of love
  • Isma’ili bātinī teachings
  • Al-Ghazzali’s reforms
  • Ishraqi School of Shihab al-Din Suhrawardi
  • Ibn ‘Arabi and his influence
  • The proliferation of Sufi tarīqas
  • Poetry: Hafez, Jalal al-Din Rumi
  • Perennialists: European Muslims in search of Tradition
  • Contemporary Islamic spirituality and the West

Learning, Teaching, and Assessment Strategy

All learning materials are developed according to the SCATE format. Students are advised to study units available online followed by timetabled activities which are of crucial importance and require a serious attention. Students need to consult suggested reading materials which are not necessarily available online. At the same time, students are expected to contribute to Discussion Group as an integral part of their study. They would receive feedback regarding their activities and contribution by the module tutor. Extra reading and activities are provided for students who are interested to have a deeper and broader understanding of the issues of concern.

Formative Assessment

Formative assessment for this module will consist of written feedback from the lecturer, questioning and discussion through the online forums. One draft of the students’ final essay (coursework) may be handed in to the lecturer at the 12th learning week for formative assessment, in which the lecturer will give the student feedback on how to improve their research and quality of writing.

Summative Assessment

Students are required to submit 3 out of 5 Review Questions (RQ) and 3 out of 5 Activities (Act) as the weekly assignments for each module during the semester. All of these assignments as well as students’ final essays at the end of the semester will be commented and marked by tutors. Students can see those comments and marks in their drop box which are available in their D2L accounts. Finally, students are required to submit an Individual coursework -final essay (4000 words) on a relevant topic approved in advance by the module tutor.

Assessment Weighting

Activities: 30%
Review Questions & Discussion Group: 10%
Final Essay (Coursework): 60%
Students should get at least a pass mark for all three above components.

Core readings:

  1. As-Sadiq, J.I.M. (2007). Lantern of the Path. Translated from Arabic by F. Haeri. Qum: Ansariyan Publications.
  2. Burckhardt, T. (2008). An Introduction to Sufi Doctrine. Bloomington: World Wisdom Inc.
  3. Chittick, W.C. (2000). Sufism: A Short Introduction. Oxford: Oneworld.
  4. Chittick, C. William. (1984) Sufi Path of Love: Spiritual Teachings of Rumi. New York: State University of New York Press.
  5. Knysh, A. (2000). Islamic Mysticism: A Short History. Leiden: Brill.
  6. Nasr, S.H. (1991). Sufi Essays. Chicago: ABC International Group Inc.
  7. Nasr, S. H. ed. (1991) Islamic Spirituality Manifestations. SCM Press Ltd.
  8. Safavi, G.S. ed. (2009). Sufism (‘Irfan). London: London Academy of Iranian Studies Press.
  9. Sells, M. (1995). Early Islamic Mysticism. New Jersey: Paulist Press.
  10. Sina, A.I. (1996). Ibn Sina and Mysticism: Remarks and Admonitions, Part Four. Translated from Arabic by S. Inati. London: Kegan Paul International.
  11. Schimmel, A. (1975) Mystical Dimensions of Islam. The University of North Carolina Press.
  12. Tabatabai, S.M.H. (2002). Kernel of the Kernel: Concerning the Wayfaring and Spiritual Journey of the People of Intellect. Albany: State University of New York Press.