Master of Arts in Contemporary Islamic Studies | HBKU
Master of Arts in Contemporary Islamic Studies

Master of Arts in Contemporary Islamic Studies

The Master of Arts (MA) in Contemporary Islamic Studies, with a specialization in Contemporary Islamic Thought,* is a program of study that synthesizes traditional Islamic sciences with contemporary religious thought. It aims to develop a generation of graduates with the critical skills and exceptional knowledge of Islam in the modern context.


The specialization attracts students who are seeking a unique opportunity to engage with a rigorous multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary graduate training across a range of core subjects, while also enabling them to pursue a focused field of study within modern Islamic scholarship.

Students will learn how to critically approach and analyze issues related to Islam and Muslim societies, develop sophisticated and balanced arguments, and meaningfully shape discourses surrounding Islam.

Program Focus

The program track is structured to examine traditional Islamic knowledge and place such knowledge in the context of the challenges faced by modern society. Students explore diverse theoretical perspectives and thought traditions, such as postcolonial and decolonial thought, pluralism, scientific thought, media-driven discourses, and diaspora studies, in order to delve deeply into the complexities of contemporary debates.

The track is tailored for students who aim to advance their academic pursuit through a PhD degree and a career in academia, or for those students who look forward to employment opportunities across various sectors that can be enhanced with expertise in Islamic thought.


A 36-credit degree program taught over two years that includes:

  • Three foundation courses (9 credits)

    • Foundations of Islamic Thought
    • Contemporary Quran and Hadith Studies 
    • Applied Research Methodologies in Islamic Studies
  • A choice of two specializations (9 credits)

    • Fiqh and Society (taught in Arabic) 
      • Non-textual Legal Sources
      • Fatwa, Family and Society
      • Islamic Jurisprudence, Politics and the State
    • Contemporary Islamic Thought (taught in English)
      • Islam and Modernity
      • Islamic Thought and Postcolonial Studies
      • Islamic Law and Society
  • Three elective courses (9 credits)*

  • Thesis (9 credits)

  • *Students can select up to three elective courses from the range of options offered within each specialization.
    Students also have the option of selecting one elective course from the CIS catalog.

    *The MA in Contemporary Islamic Thought offers two specializations: Contemporary Islamic Thought (taught in English) and Fiqh and Society (taught in Arabic).

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