Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Dr Mahsheed Ansari

Dr Mahsheed Ansari


Dr Mahsheed Ansari is lecturer in Islam and Contemporary Islamic Studies and the Higher Degrees Research Coordinator at the Centre for Islamic Studies & Civilisation, Charles Sturt University. She is also a Researcher (Trans-disciplinary Stream), Public and Contextual Theology (PACT), Charles Sturt University. Mahsheed has been a reader in Islamic thought for over 15 years. She is also community activist working in the areas of interfaith dialogue, social harmony and leadership-mentoring programs with Muslim youth and Muslim women for over a decade.

Mahsheed has a double degree in Law and Arts, majoring in History, Politics and Philosophy, from the Western Sydney University. She completed the Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the College of Law and was registered as a legal practitioner and solicitor at the Supreme Court of NSW in 2008. In 2009, she completed a Master of Arts in Arabic and Islamic Studies from Sydney university. Her research dissertation explored the ‘Concept of Sharia in the thought of Said Nursi’. Mahsheed has also completed her PhD in Historical Studies and Islamic Studies from Monash University. Her doctoral thesis titled ‘The rational and metaphysical notions of prophethood and the Prophet Muhammad in the thought of Said Nursi and Muhammad Iqbal’, explored two key Muslim thinkers in the modern era from Ottoman and Republican Era (Said Nursi) as well as British Raj and India/Pakistan era (Muhammad Iqbal). Her research focused on the interplay of religion and society and their role in the creation of modern Islamic thought that instigated social and movements. Mahsheed continues to explore these research areas in her writings, keynote addresses, public and community talks and publications.

Mahsheed is currently lecturing and coordinating these subjects; Muslims in Australia, Muslims in the West, Islamic Worldview, Essentials of Islamic Spirituality, Islamic Morality & Ethics and Purification of the Heart. Her research interests include the history of Islamic thought, spirituality and culture. As a historian she is interested in the migration, settlement, formation and development of Muslim communities as minority communities in Australia. She is currently working on the Muslim heritage research project at the Public and Contextual Theology Research Centre at Charles Sturt University and is the chief investigator of the Dr Ashfaq Ahmad Biography Project.

Professional Membership and achievements:

Chairman, International Hope School, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Board Member, Amity College, Sydney, Australia
Director, Islamic Sciences and Research Academy of Australia
Editorial Advisory Board, Harran Journal: An International Journal of Religion
Member/Author, Australian Journal of Islamic Studies [AJIS]
Member, Australian Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies (AAIMS)
Member, Australian Association for the Study of Religions [AASR]
Member, Islamic Community Academics Network (ICAN)
Member, Oral History of NSW & Oral History Australia Network
Member, Australian Centre for Public History [ACPH]
Member, American Academy of Religion [AAR]
Member, Muslim Legal Network (NSW)

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Mahsheed has a background in Historical & Islamic studies, she is currently lecturing in units on the development of Islamic Thought, Spirituality and Ethics. She is also teaching contemporary units related to Muslims and the Islamic belief and practice. Her subject specialities include the Islamic faith tradition, Muslims in the West, especially looking at the history of Australian Muslims.

Mahsheed along with her teaching colleagues at CISAC won the Faculty of Arts and Education’s teaching award for significant refocus of teaching strategies within the School in online delivery and the enhanced professional practice of the teaching team.

Subjects Taught:

ISL260 Introduction to Arabic Language
ISL353 World Religions in Australia
ISL355/ISL455 Women in Islam and Islamic Cultures
ISL599 Guided Research in Islamic Studies

Currently Teaching:

ISL270 Purification of the Heart (Session II)
ISL404 Islamic Worldview (Session I)
ISL453 Muslims in the West (Session II)
ISL456 Muslims in Australia (Session III)
ISL470/ISL170 Essentials of Islamic Spirituality (Session I)
ISL471/ISL171 Islamic Morality (Akhlaq) and Character (Session III)

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Mahsheed’s most current research project focuses on capturing Muslim History in Australia. She is working on capturing the oral history of Muslim pioneers in Australia and the general broader history Muslim migration, settlement and life in Australia.

Mahsheed’s other research area include transnational and transcultural Islamic movements and Islamic Sacred Texts & Theology. She continues to contribute to the field of Nursian Studies and Iqbaliyyat.

Research Areas

  • History of Islam and Muslims in Australia
  • Oral History & Migration History
  • Transnational and Transcultural Islamic Movements
  • Islamic Sacred Texts & Theology
  • The history of Islamic Thought, Spirituality and Culture
  • South Asian Studies
  • Middle Eastern Studies
  • Nursian Studies
  • Iqbaliyyat Studies
  • Islamic Studies & Religion & Society.

Current Research Projects

Biography Project:
A journey through Australia's Muslim Heritage: The Life and Times of Dr Qazi Ashfaq Ahmad Investigators:Mahsheed Ansari (Chief

Mahsheed Ansari (Chief Investigator)
Katy Nebhan

HDR Supervision

Mahsheed coordinates the higher degrees research degrees at CISAC. She has capacity to take on Principal Supervision of doctoral thesis in her related fields of research.

She is currently the co-supervisor of the following research topics:
Transnational Islamic Movements in America (PhD)
Islamic Education in Australian Schools (PhD)

Research Grants

  • Charles Sturt University, Faculty of Arts & Education Research Assistant Grant, $14,500, 2019.
  • Cumberland Council, Capturing Community Histories in the Cumberland LGA, $8000, 2019.
  • Public & Contextual Theology Research Project Grant, A Journey through Australia’s Muslim Heritage, $9,500, 2019
  • Community Grant $22,000 Integrated Family Education and Welfare, Muslim History Project, 2017-2019
  • Charles Sturt University, Faculty of Arts & Education Endeavour Research Grant, $15,000, 2017-2018.
  • Public & Contextual Theology Research Project Grant, A Journey through Australia’s Muslim Heritage, $25,000, 2017-2018.
  • Durham University: Postgraduate Research Support Award (Conference Travel) ($1,200), 2008.
  • Istanbul Foundation of Culture and Science - Travel Grant (Overseas Research/Training) Nursi Graduate Conference, 2011.
  • Monash University: Postdoctoral Research Travel Grant (Overseas Research) ($1,415), 2013.
  • Islamic University of Jakarta- Postgraduate Research Support Award (Conference Travel)- 2010.

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Publications & Conference Proceedings

  1. Ansari M. Said Nursi’s Non-violent Social Activism as a Refutation and Response to the Re-emergent Neo-Kharijite Sect in Islam. In Mansouri F, Keskin Z, Contesting the Theological Foundations of Islamism and Violent Extremism. 1 ed. Vol.1.Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.
  2. Ansari M. The Muslim Student Associations (MSAs) and the formation of the Australian ummah. Australian Journal of Islamic Studies. 2019 Feb 14;3(3):99-116.
  3. Ansari M, Coruh H. The History of Organ Transplantation in Islam. 2018.
  4. Ansari M, Muslim Christian Interfaith Experience in Australia, Christian Mission Journal, 2019 (forthcoming).
  5. ‘Man’s Struggle with Mortality and His Quest for Rediscovering God: Finding Spirituality in Generation Y’ in the Book: God, Man and Mortality: The Perspective of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Edited by Hasan Horkuc, Tughra Publications, New Jersey, September, 2014.
  6. Nursi and Iqbal on Mi‘rāj: The Metaphysical Dimension of the Prophet’s Ascension. The Australian Journal of Islamic Studies, Issue 3, Special Series Prophethood, 2017
  7. The rational and metaphysical notions of prophethood and the Prophet Muhammad in the thought of Said Nursi and Muhammad Iqbal, Dissertation, Monash University, 2015.
  8. Rumi and Iqbal: The Marriage of Heart and Mind in the Service of Education, Education is the Key to Success, EDU CON - Journal of Education & Research, Vol. 3 – 2015, University of Karachi.
  9. The concept of shari‘a in the thought of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (d. 1960), Dissertation, Sydney University, 2009.
  10. Nursi and Iqbal's Approaches to Prophethood and the Prophet, 10th International Said Nursi Symposium, Istanbul, 2013.
  11. The concept of mana-i ism (meaning by name) and mana-i harf (meaning by letter) as a comprehensive pedagogical tool. Global Peace & Interfaith Studies, Jakarta University, 2010.
  12. Fear as the Common Denominator between Radicals and Islamophobes: Diagnosis as well as Solutions from Said Nursi’s Perspective, Australasia Conference on Islam, 2015.
  13. Prophets as archetypes of peace in the Qur’an - Musa as prophet of peace as a case study from the Qur'an, Lexington Publishing, Peace and Sacred Texts, (Editor: Anthony Rees) 2019 (forthcoming).
  14. ‘Al Momina down under: The untold stories and legacies of Muslim women pioneers in Australia’, Women’s Agency in Australia, Brill Publications, (Editors: Ghena Krayem & Susan Carland) 2019 (forthcoming).
  15. Al Biruni, Sage Encyclopedia of Sociology of Religion, 2019 (Coauthored with Dzavid Haveric. Editors Adam Possamai, Anthony J, Blasi).
  16. Islamization, Sage Encyclopedia of Sociology of Religion, 2019 (Coauthored with Semra Mese Editors Adam Possamai, Anthony, J, Blasi)
  17. Monotheism, Sage Encyclopedia of Sociology of Religion, 2019 (Editors Adam Possamai, Anthony, J, Blasi)
  18. Ansari M and Nebhan K, The Life and Times of Qazi Ashfaq Ahmad, Pan Macmillan, 2020 (forthcoming).

Seminars and Invited Lectures

  1. Scriptural Reasoning Keynote Address Understanding Mercy in the Qur'an (PACT 13 March 2019.
  2. Guest Lecturer on compassion in conversation with Rev Graham Long and James Valentine at Darlinghurst Theatre, March 2019.
  3. Principles of Social Activism, Muminah’s Day Out: Women in Islamic Organisations and organized work, Islamic Forum for Australian Muslims (IFAM), Woodbine, 6 October 2018.
  4. Women Role Models of Harmony: Australian examples, Harmony of Colours 2018, Cannington Exhibition Centre, Perth, 8 September 2018. Intercultural Harmony Society and Fountain College.
  5. Who are Sarah and Hagar in Islam? Leadership for Mission Course, Mary MacKillop Centre in north Sydney, 27 September 2018. (organised by Monash University Dr Janine Lattick).
  6. Comprehensive Treatment of the Heath: Purification of the Heart, ISRA Ladies Rihla Retreat, 18 September 2018.
  7. Islam from the Inside Q and A with Rabbi Gad Krebs, Kehillat Masada, 28 June 2018.
  8. Ramadan and Social Harmony Address, University of Wollongong Iftar Dinner, 21 May 2018.
  9. Muslim Speaker: Women and Faith, UTS Multi-faith forum, 1 May 2018.
  10. Scriptural Reasoning and Sacred texts in Abrahamic traditions – Reading of Islamiyat and Israeliyat in Islam, Australian Catholic University, 20 April 2018. (Organised by Dr Emmanuel Nathan).
  11. Keynote Address: Living Mercy, Canberra Friendship & Dialogue Dinner, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and Bluestar, 01 June 2017.
  12. Abrahamic perspectives on Mercy: Mercy on Islam, Australian Catholic University (ACU), and 18 May 2016.
  13. The Spirit of Ramadan, Optus Multicultural Iftar Dinner, Optus Macquarie Park, North Ryde, 2016.
  14. Keynote Address: Unity and Diversity in the spirit of Fasting, Wollongong University, 2015.
  15. Dialogue and overcoming contemporary challenges, St Patricks Cathedral Parramatta, 2015.
  16. ISRA Keynote: ISRA Spirit of Ramadan Iftar Dinner, Emporium Bankstown, 2014.
  17. Overview of Islam, Interfaith address, North Sydney, 2015.
  18. Approaching Sacred Texts in Islam – The Qur’an, Australian Studies of Religion Conference, 2014.
  19. Address at Prophet Muhammad Pocket Guide launch, Unique aspect of Prophet Muhammad, 2010, Sule College.
  20. Secularism, Muslim Women, Headscarf, World Parliament of Religions, 2009.
  21. Islam and the environment, Environment Conference UWS 2012.
  22. Islam and the environment, Blue Mountains Panel, 2012.
  23. Representing Islam and interfaith dialogue UTC College CSU 2013.
  24. Graduate Conference Nursi 2011.
  25. Muslim youth, Interfaith Panel Newcastle, 2007.
  26. UWS Islam in Australia Participant 2008.
  27. I am an Australian Muslim Youth Because, Affinity Intercultural Foundation UWS Parramatta 2007.
  28. Purpose of Life according to Islam, UWS Islamic Awareness Week 2012.
  29. Fasting in Islam, UWS Islamic Awareness Week 2013.
  30. Islam as a world religion Sydney University Islamic Awareness Week 2007.

Media Appearances and Mentions

  • ABC Radio segment with James Valentine 12 April 2019 Reflections on Christchurch / Islamophobia.
  • Reunion to update on Muslim heritage project, Australasian Muslim Times, 02 Jan 2019.
  • Women in Scriptural Reasoning – Sarah and Hagar in Islam, PACT Media , 27 Sep 2018.
  • Is pilgrimage about looking for the best part of ourselves? Pilgrimage in Islam God Forbid radio show on ABC. Producer Noel Debien and presenter James Carlton, 27 Aug 2017.
  • 3 Tips to Building on Islamic Knowledge and Social Care | RISE with Mahsheed Ansari! Life Matters Academy, 20/03/17.
  • Imogen Brennan, ABC Ramadan Iftar and Multicultural Radio, Tuesday, June 7, 2016.
  • Short Documentary: Islam in Sydney - Overcoming Fear Through Dialogue (Mahsheed Ansari) 19/11/15.
  • Mahsheed Ansari, “Students of Islam make history” Muslim Village, Mahsheed Ansari, Jan 27, 2014.
  • Mahsheed Ansari and Salih Yucel, Education Conference: Hope For Indonesia Before a Devastating Natural Disaster, Today Zaman, 04/11/10.
  • No, ban to Headscarf, Daily Telegraph, 4 April 2004.

Please visit Mahsheed's page on CSU Research Output for her recent publications:

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