Sanah Mehnaz

Sanah Mehnaz

BA Islamic Studies, MA Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (2015)

Summary: Sanah talks about the broad range of topics that were available to her at Leeds during her undergraduate and postgraduate studies.

I have completed both a BA Islamic Studies and a MA Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at the University of Leeds. I have had a passion to study the religion of Islam from a very young age and thus studied in various traditional madrasa institutes within Bradford. However, after studying religious studies for my A-levels I began to appreciate the need to engage in more critical methods of studying religion rather than solely traditional methods. 

The University of Leeds was the perfect place for me to develop my passion for studying Islam. The lecturers specialise in a broad range of areas allowing you to critically engage with innumerable topics.

The broad range of topics covered throughout both my undergrad and postgrad studies have been my favourite part of the courses. Topics such as Qur’anic studies, Hadith studies, Fiqh (Islamic legislation), Islamic theology, Islam and Modernity and History of Islam and the Arab world are just a few of the modules that were available. These modules challenged me to critically engage with both traditional and contemporary literature. I never developed such skills throughout my studies in traditional madrassas nor did I appreciate contemporary Islamic literature. I strongly believe that throughout studying these courses at the University of Leeds I have developed skills that I may not have developed elsewhere.

Studying Islamic Studies for my undergrad played a big role in my decision to continue my studies with the MA Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. After completing the MA course I realised my love for academia and research and I am therefore intending to continue my journey as a postgrad student through a PhD. Currently I am researching in order to develop my PhD proposal. As Alumni I get to enjoy access to the University Library and the innumerable relevant literature available in relation to Islamic Studies.

I believe the environment within the University of Leeds and the department of Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies is the perfect place to feel comfortable and excel throughout your undergrad and postgrad studies. I would recommend both the BA Islamic studies and MA Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies to anyone with a desire to expand their knowledge and academic skills within this subject area. Not only are the courses fun, yet challenging but the support and encouragement available to students allows you to develop both life and academic skills.