The Department of Islamic Studies at Osmania University was founded in the year 1965. Professor Hans Kruse, visiting Professor from Germany was the first Head of the Department.
The academic programmes in the department are devoted to research and teaching on the religion of Islam, civilization of the Islamic world and contemporary developments in Muslim societies. Islam is studied here in its historical, sociological, political and anthropological contexts, removed from the biases of Orientalism and also removed from strictly theological perspectives.
The Department at Osmania University is one of the largest centres for teaching and research in Islamic Studies in South India. The department celebrated its Golden Jubilee year in 2015 and hosted lectures by eminent scholars, symposia and a national level seminar to mark the celebrations.
Through its M.A level courses such as the Quran and Hadith, Muslim Jurisprudence, History of Muslim Civilization, Modern Trends and Socio-Political Thought, the department seeks to impart basic information with regard to Islam and Muslim society. Spiritual and speculative insight is gained through courses on Sufism and Muslim Philosophy. Contemporary Islam as a living phenomenon and Muslim societies as its expression is dealt in courses in area studies of North Africa, Turkey, Central Asia, South-East Asia, Egypt, Iran and the Arab-East. The courses on these areas focus on socio-economic and political developments. Political developments in recent times have increased the awareness of the need to study Muslim societies in a global context. In view of this the courses on area studies are designed in such a way as to enable the students to understand issues of race, prejudice, gender, social structure, economic and political institutions, legal reforms and fundamentalism. Courses on Muslim reform movements cater to the students aspiring to take civil services and other competitive examinations conducted by various bodies of Government of India and the State. Courses on Modern Trends in Islam and Development of Muslim Thought in India help students in understanding the evolution of contemporary Islamic thought. Under choice based credit system, the department has introduced new courses namely: Introduction to Islam, Women, Gender and Islam, Cultural History of the Deccan, Religion and Politics in Contemporary Iran, Orientalism and Islam, and Developing Research Project.
The faculty at the department besides teaching and administrative work is actively engaged in research. The faculty publications number around twenty.
Professor Anwar Moazzam, former Head, Department of Islamic Studies, was instrumental in the establishment of Islamic Studies Departments in Jamia Hamdard at Delhi and at Kashmir University. He also served as the Deputy Director ICSSR (SRC). Professor Mohammad Suleman Siddiqi, former Vice-Chancellor Osmania University, has earlier served as the Principal University College of Arts & Social Sciences. Director, Academic Audit Cell, Osmania University and Dean, Faculty of Arts, Osmania University. He was the Director of Dairatul Ma'arifil Osmania at Osmania University. He was the founder Registrar of Maulana Azad National Urdu University. Professor Muhammad Ahmadullah, former Head and Chairman, Board of Studies in Islamic Studies, is well known in the academic circles for his erudition and scholarship. Professor Shahid Ali Abbasi, former Head, and Chairman, Board of Studies in Islamic Studies, has served as the Editor of Islamic Culture - a journal of Islamic studies of international repute. He was also the Director of Dairatul Ma'arifil Osmania. Professor Syed Abdul Hamid, former Head and Chairman, Board of Studies in Islamic Studies was also Director of Minority Cell at Osmania University.
The Nizam's Trust acknowledging the contribution of the department has instituted H.E.H, The Nizam's Gold Medal to be given to the top ranking student at Master's level.
The department maintains a Seminar library with 2,500 books.