Mahsheed Ansari

Teaching and Research Staff

Dr Mahsheed Ansari


HDR Coordinator / Lecturer in Islamic Studies & Contemporary Islam and Higher Degrees Coordinator

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)

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)

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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