Academics

Cambridge Muslim College was the original vision of Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, who continues to oversee and contribute to its work. Abdal Hakim was educated at Cambridge, Al-Azhar and London universities. He is currently the Shaykh Zayed Lecturer of Islamic Studies in the Faculty of Divinity at Cambridge University and Director of Studies in Theology at Wolfson College. He has published and contributed to numerous academic works on Islam, including as Director of the Sunna Project, and is a leading figure in inter-faith activity, notably as one of the signatories to the Common Word statement. He is well-known as a contributor to BBC Radio 4’s ‘Thought for the Day’.

Sohail Hanif works on Islamic legal theory, with a focus on the Ḥanafī school of law. He received a MA and DPhil from the University of Oxford. His doctoral thesis, A Theory of Early Classical Ḥanafism: Legal Epistemology in the Hidāyah of Burhān al-Dīn ‘Alī ibn Abī Bakr al-Marghīnānī (d. 593/1197), studies the interplay of rationality and tradition in a major work of legal commentary. Sohail has also spent over a decade in Jordan where he studied a full curriculum of Islamic sciences with traditional ‘ulamā’. He was previously Head of Arabic Sciences at Qasid Arabic institute in Amman, an instructor in Islamic studies at Qibla online academy, and has taught undergraduate classes on Modern Islam and Qur’anic studies at the University of Oxford. He has also served as Head of Research and Development at the National Zakat Foundation. Email: sh@cambridgemuslimcollege.ac.uk

Dr Ramon Harvey is the Aziz Foundation Lecturer in Islamic Studies at Ebrahim College and a visiting lecturer at Cambridge Muslim College where he teaches Revealed Foundations on the BA in Islamic Studies. He received his MA and PhD in Islamic studies from SOAS, University of London. His research focuses on Qur’anic studies, philosophical theology, and ethics, both studying the intellectual history of these disciplines and making his own contemporary interventions. Dr Harvey’s first book, The Qur’an and the Just Society, was published by Edinburgh University Press in 2018. He is currently writing a second monograph for EUP in constructive Muslim theology, drawing especially from the Māturīdī tradition. He is also a member of the Editorial Board for the journal Comparative Islamic Studies. Email: rh@cambridgemuslimcollege.ac.uk

Dr Hisham A. Hellyer read degrees in law and the social sciences at Sheffield University before completing his doctorate at the University of Warwick. He studied the Islamic intellectual tradition, particularly spirituality, law and theology, with scholars in the UK, Egypt, Malaysia, & South Africa, receiving ijāzāt from a number of them. A visiting professor at the UTM Centre for Advanced Studies on Islam, Science and Civilisation in Malaysia, Dr Hellyer is Professorial Fellow of Cambridge Muslim College. His research interests in Islamic Studies include Western Muslim communities, and the interchange between Islam, contemporary Muslim thought & modernity.

Well-known as an analyst and commentator focusing on politics and religion in the Arab world and Muslim communities globally in international media outlets, Dr Hellyer’s career has included positions at and affiliations with the Royal United Services Institute, Brookings Institution, ACUS, Harvard University, and the American University in Cairo. His books include “Muslims of Europe: the ‘Other’ Europeans” (Edinburgh University Press), “A Sublime Way: the Sufi Path of the Sages of Makka” (Fons Vitae & Dar al-Turath al-Islami) (co-author), “A Revolution Undone: Egypt’s Road Beyond Revolt” (Oxford University Press), and “The Islamic Tradition, Muslim Communities and the Human Rights Discourse” (editor)(Atlantic Council). @hahellyer
Email: hh@cambridgemuslimcollege.ac.uk

Dr Najah Nadi has a D. Phil from the University of Oxford and is the Aziz Foundation Lecturer in Islamic Studies at Cambridge Muslim College. Her doctoral thesis is titled Theorising the Relationship between Kalām and Uṣūl al-Fiqh: the Legal–Theological Hermeneutics of Saʿd al-Dīn al-Taftāzānī (d. 792/1390). Her thesis examines the appropriation and naturalisation of philosophical theology (kalām) and Arabic logic (manṭiq) into Islamic legal hermeneutics (uṣūl al-fiqh) and offers new insights on the features of Taftāzānī’s intellectual project. Dr Nadi completed several years of traditional training at al-Azhar Mosque’s classical reading-circles, receiving ijāzāt in various Islamic sciences. Her research interests include: epistemology, hermeneutics, fatwas and fatwa institutions; Islamic intellectual history and ethics. She has worked as a contributing editor for the Integrated Encyclopaedia of the Qur’an, a research assistant at Egypt’s Official Fatwa Council, IIT and the Centre for Islamic Legislation and Ethics. She has also taught in Egypt, the UK and the USA. Dr Nadi holds an M.A. in Religious and Theological Studies from Boston University and a B.A. in Islamic studies from al-Azhar University in Cairo. Dr Nadi has given a series of lectures and presentations on Shari’a, Muslim family law, fatwa, and legal hermeneutics in a variety of international contexts. Her teaching courses include Islamic legal theories, theology, Arabic logic and Islamic spirituality. She is currently a Fellow in Peace and Reconciliation at Virginia Theological Seminary (USA) and has been a junior fellow at the Holberg seminar on Islamic history at Princeton University (USA) since 2015.
Email: nn@cambridgemuslimcollege.ac.uk

Yasser’s research interests rest in two main areas: the tradition referred to as the ma’qūlāt (Islamic rational sciences), focusing on the related disciplines of ‘ilm al-kalām (philosophical theology), uṣūl al-fiqh (legal theory), manṭiq (Logic), and falsafa (Islamic/Arabic philosophy). His second area of interest is the western philosophical tradition, focussing mainly on areas in Metaphysics, Logic, and the history of Medieval and Modern Philosophy. After undergraduate studies in Philosophy, Yasser read for a MA in medieval Arabic thought and completed a PhD in Philosophical Theology at the University of Cambridge, with a thesis titled The Onto-Epistemology of the Beatific Vision in the Classical Ash‘arī School. In addition, Yasser has spent more than a decade studying the Islamic intellectual tradition – privately with scholars, as well as in traditional seminary settings – in Damascus and Istanbul. He has previously held the inaugural fellowship in Islamic Theology at ISAR Foundation, Istanbul; was Faculty Lecturer in Islamic Theology at the University of Istanbul, and continues to supervise undergraduate students for the Faculties of Philosophy and Divinity at the University of Cambridge.
Email: yq@cambridgemuslimcollege.ac.uk

Operations

Mustafa manages all aspects of the Colleges facilities. He has a BA in Humanities, specialising in the History of Religion. As well as being a qualified English Language Teacher, Mustafa has worked as a Peace Worker in Bosnia and the UK. He has lived and taught in Saudi Arabia and enjoys travelling.
Email: me@cambridgemuslimcollege.ac.uk

Administration

Zainab gained a master’s degree in Biotechnology before undertaking her PhD in Biochemistry at Heinrich Heine University in Germany. She subsequently worked as a post doc researcher in the Pharmacology Department at Cambridge University. Zainab works at Cambridge Muslim College as a part-time College Coordinator supporting the BA (Hons) degree programme.
Email: zk@cambridgemuslimcollege.ac.uk

Nabila Winter’s role involves providing support and pastoral care to the students on the Diploma and BA programmes. She has a degree in Arabic from the School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London, and has spent many years in voluntary and youth work.

Trustees

From 2007-10 Demiri was a Research Fellow at Trinity Hall College, Cambridge University, and she also taught courses on religious pluralism and interfaith dialogue at the Cambridge Muslim College. Demiri holds a BA and MA from Marmara University, licentiate degree and postgraduate diploma from the Pontifical Gregorian University, and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. Her research interests include the history of Islamic theology, Islam and religious pluralism, Christian-Muslim relations and Ottoman intellectual History.

Professor Abdel Haleem is Professor of Islamic Studies at SOAS, University of London and editor of the Journal of Qur’anic Studies. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2008 in recognition of his services to Arabic culture, literature and to inter-faith understanding.

Professor Haleem has authored many books and publications including the Oxford Classics English translation of the Qur’an.

An internationally recognised academic figure, Professor Ford has written and edited numerous books, including The Modern Theologians and Theology: A Very Short Introduction which are considered leading textbooks in the field.

Professor Ford is one of the founders of Scriptural Reasoning – the practice of Christians, Muslims and Jews reading their scriptures together. He also founded the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme which is dedicated to learning about, learning from, and learning between religions as they interact within a secular and religious world.

Dr Almihdar was educated in law at Churchill College, Cambridge (MA & LLM), his legal career started as Legal Adviser to the Saudi Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, and then expanded (through Almihdar Law Firm (ALF) established in Jeddah, 1976), to handling work for that Ministry and many other corporate and private clients from around the world including the UK, the USA and Western Europe. He holds a PhD in “Good Faith in Contracts” from Alexandria University.

He was the Honorary Legal Adviser to the British Consulate in Jeddah from 1998 to 2010.

Dr Siddiqui received her doctorate in Religious Studies from the University of California Santa Barbara. Her first monograph, Knowledge, Law and Politics: An Intellectual Portrait of al-Juwayni, analyses the thought of the 11th century jurist and theologian Abu Ma’ali al-Juwayni through a close reading of his legal, political and theological treatises. Her research interests include classical Islamic legal theory, classical Islamic political thought, the development and intersection of legal thought and political thought from the 9th to 11th centuries, Islamic Law under colonialism, and secularism and modernity in relation to Islamic law and Muslims in the West.

She has previously taught courses in Religion, Islamic Law and Islamic History at the University of Saskatchewan. She completed CMC’s Diploma Programme early in her academic career and has held fellowships at Cambridge University and Harvard Law School.

Arfan Ismail has been involved in the education sector for approximately 20 years. As a qualified teacher, he has taught in some of England’s most deprived wards. Arfan received his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Manchester and received his masters and doctorate in Applied Linguistics from the School of Education at Newcastle University. Arfan has worked primarily in the private sector, leading major international education reform projects for the Education Development Trust, Interserve Learning and Employment and Oxford University Press. He is an internationally published author in leading publications, including Emerald where he published a monograph on the importance of epistemology in Muslim education curricula. He is currently heading a digital learning transformation at a leading College in the North-West of England.

2019–2020 Research Fellows

Dr Razia Sultanova has studied and worked at both the Tashkent and Moscow State Conservatories and worked at the Russian Institute of Art Studies in Moscow. In 1994 she moved to reside in the UK and work at the University of London and since 2008 has worked at the University of Cambridge. She is the author of four books and five edited volumes (in Russian, French and English) on Central Asian gender, religion and music. She has been a visiting Professor at Moscow State Conservatory (Russia), at the Kazakh National University of Arts (Nur-Sultan), and at the Khoja Ahmet Yassawi Kazakh-Turkish University (Kazakhstan/Turkey). rs@cambridgemuslimcollege.ac.uk

Dr Yaqub Chaudhary holds a PhD in Physics from Imperial College London, where he worked on the Physics of Plastic Electronic Materials and their potential use in future types of lasers. Prior to this he studied Electronic Engineering at the same institution. As Research Fellow in Science and Religion he is reprising his long-standing interest in Artificial Intelligence and his current research project will consider recent developments in the fields of AI, cognitive science and neuroscience in connection with Islamic conceptions of the mind, intelligence, human reasoning, cognition, knowledge, the nature of perception and consciousness. yc@cambridgemuslimcollege.ac.uk

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