Sufi Culture and Literature Master's Degree - About

Today, academic studies and research are quickly distancing from the understanding of being ‘profession-focused.’ Many disciplines are entering into a deeper relation with topics of religious studies and methodology. The area of tasawwuf encompasses a large extent of interest ranging from fundamental Islamic studies to literature and philosophy, history and sociology, psychology, music and architecture, other area studies and art, and from political philosophy to popular culture. As the result of a thousand years of Muslim civilizations, Sufi culture spread into the matter of everyday life; its capacity to add more to our world of culture and thought is only possible through the development of new programs and institutional activities.

The Institute for Sufi Studies began the “Sufi Culture and Literature” MA nonthesis program in February of 2016 and matriculated its first students in the Spring Semester of the 2015-2016 academic year. The program provides the opportunity for all interested from different disciplines to be informed of tasawwuf and related subjects. Due to the interest in the program and based on the allocations it gained the Institute, Üsküdar University has officially begun the Sufi Culture and Literature MA Program with Thesis as of the Fall Semester of the 2017-2018 academic year.

The content of the MA program of Sufi Culture and Literature has been structured in a holistic manner by starting with the doctrine of tasawwuf considered alongside the history and literature of tasawwuf within the context of introductory Islamic studies, and related to the other areas of various social sciences and humanities through the main topics of Islamic thought and history of civilizations. At the same time, the program aims to contribute to the production of cultural works based on the perspective of “Muslim civilizations, tasawwuf thought and culture” that takes up a wide cultural geography as its base. When considered more closely, it is observed that any work done on culture in this geography must inevitably apply to the area of tasawwuf. Area Studies and Religious Studies can offer new opportunities. Research on tasawwuf can also bring different viewpoints to those interested in sociology and human psychology today.

The program, with the teaching of Ottoman Turkish as among the main research languages of the area of tasawwuf, also provides supportive Arabic courses. The Arabic language teaching has been structured in accordance with classical Ottoman style in order to aid students’ understanding of classical texts. Introduction to Persian language is among the elective courses.

The MA program with thesis includes a semester-long academic preparation part. Except for graduates of the Divinity School, all students are required to take the classes of the academic preparation. Those with the necessary language skills will be exempted from the academic preparation’s language classes. The preparation includes Ottoman Turkish, Introduction to Arabic, and Introduction to Islamic Studies classes.

The student, if they so request, can also take a year-long preparatory Arabic program. The preparatory Arabic program is given within the framework of the special protocol the Institute has developed with the

International Arabic Center for Education Implementation and Research of 29 Mayis University.


Prerequisites for MA Program with thesis

TSV 565 Introduction to Islamic Studies

TSV 507 Ottoman Turkish

TSV 562 Introduction to Arabic Language


Mandatory Courses for MA with thesis

TSV 533 Sufi Thought

TSV 535 History of Sufism

TSV 531 Research Methodology

TSV 534 Sufi Culture and Art

TSV 536 Sufi Literature and Textual Analysis

TSV 566 Seminar

TSV 590 MA Thesis


Mandatory Courses for MA without thesis

TSV 533 Sufi Thought

TSV 535 History of Sufism

TSV 507 Ottoman Turkish

TSV 562 Introduction to Arabic Language

TSV 531 Research Methodology

TSV 534 Sufi Culture and Art

TSV 536 Sufi Literature and Textual Analysis

TSV 581 Graduation Project


Elective Courses

TSV 540 Sufi Texts in Arabic

TSV 542 Sufi Texts in English

TSV 544 Introduction to Rumi’s Thought

TSV 546 Significant Sufis in Turkish Literature

TSV 548 Introduction to Ibn Arabi’s Thought

TSV 550 Sufism and Psychology

TSV 552 History of Islamic Thought

TSV 556 Introduction to Persian Language

TSV 532 Sufi Classics

TSV 538 Beautiful Conduct of Sufis

TSV 526 Seminar on Sufi Texts

TSV 528 History of Islamic Civilization

TSV 558 Sufism and History of Religions

TSV 563 Sufi Texts in Ottoman Turkish

TSV 564 Tasawwuf and Poetry

TSV 502 The Qur’an and Sunna in Light of Sufi Wisdom

TSV 554 Post-19th Century Sufi Movements in Turkey and around the World