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Professor Maribel Fierro

The CSI is delighted to welcome Professor Maribel Fierro, Research Professor at the CSIC (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid)as the 2019-2020 Al-Qasimi Professor of Islamic Studies.

The Centre for the Study of Islam (CSI)


Director: Professor Sajjad Rizvi

The Centre for the Study of Islam, based in the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, brings together the core teaching staff in Islamic Studies, other staff who have an interest in Islamic culture and civilisation, and all interested postgraduate students (at MA and PhD level).

We sponsor visiting speakers in Islamic Studies, hold regular workshops and conferences, and convene the CSI Lunchtime Seminar (which takes place on Wednesdays alternate weeks during term time).  All are welcome to our events, and to join the mailing list, you should email Ms Sarah Wood . At our lunchtime seminars, we regularly hold Arabic text reading sessions.  Text session attendees should be aware that competence in reading classical Arabic and Islamic texts in Arabic is assumed; attendees receive a copy of the Arabic text one week in advance of the class (by pdf email attachment) and are expected to have read the text before attending.



Professor Sajjad Rizvi

(Specialisms: Islamic philosophy and theology, Quranic exegesis, Shīʿī thought and theories of authority in Shīʿī Islam)

Islamic Studies teaching staff

Dr Mustafa Baig

(Specialisms: Islamic Law, Muslims living in non-Muslim contexts)

Professor Maribel Fierro

(Specialisms: Intellectual history of the Islamic West (eighth—fifteenth centuries), with special attention to law, religion, historiography, and political thought. Also interested in political history, representation of violence, forgeries and gender studies)

Professor Robert Gleave 

(Specialisms: Islamic law and legal theory, Shīʿī jurisprudence and exegesis, violence and its justification in Islamic thought)

Dr Istvan Kristo-Nagy

(Specialisms: late antiquity and early Islam, the role of the intellectual in Islamic civilisation, violence and heresy in early Islam) 

Professor Emeritus Ian Netton

(Specialisms: history of Islamic philosophy and theology, ritual and Muslim practice, literature, orientalism and Islam)

Dr Emily Selove

(Specialisms: Medieval Arabic Literature, Magic in Medieval Islamic  Culture, Medieval Arabic medical texts)

Dr Suha Taji-Farouki

(Specialisms: Modern Islamic thought, political Islam and modern Muslim movements, Islamic mysticism in contemporary Islam)

Research Fellows

Dr Paul Gledhill

(Law and Learning in Imami Shiite Islam research fellow project; specialisms: early Islamic law and the formation of the law schools)

Dr Sejad Mekic 

(Specialisms: Islamic law and jurisprudence, fatwas ands their interpretation in the odern period, Islamic law in the Balkans)

Dr Davide Pettinato 

(Specialisms: Islamic charities in the Europe, NGOs and International Development in the Muslim World, Islamic perspectives on Climate Change)

Visiting Fellows

Dr Eric Chaumont

Researcher, CNRS. Aix en Provence

Dr Saeed Zarrabi-Zadeh

(Specialisms: Islamic mysticism, Sufism, religion and modernity, comparative mysticism, Persian literature)

Research projects

Current research projects

The CSI brings together existing research projects including:

  • Understanding Shari'a: Past Perfect/Imperfect Present ( - This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 649307. Postdoctoral research fellow: Dr Sejad Mekic.

  • Law and Learning in Imami Shi'ite Islam (LAWALISI) - A 5 year project funded by the European Research Council. Postdoctoral research fellow: Dr Paul Gledhill.

  • Islam and water management in a changing climate: building ‘faith-based evidence’ – a six-month project, funded by the GCRF Facilitation Fund, examining religious engagement with climate change in the Muslim world, with a focus on Tunisia, and in collaboration with Institut des Régions Arides (Tunis) and the Centre for Water Systems (Exeter). Postdoctoral research fellow:  Dr Davide Pettinato

Past research projects

Events and activities

All are welcome to attend any of the events. If you have any questions contact the Centre’s Director: Associate Professor Sajjad Rizvi

Term 2, 2019–20 Events

22 January

Wednesday Lunchtime Seminar, Seminar Room 1 12.30-1.30pm:
Dr Margrit Pernau (Max Planck Institute, Berlin) will lead the discussion on her forthcoming article on Sayyid Ahmad Khan in History & Theory

Meet the Author and Wednesday Evening Visiting Lecture: Lecture Theatre 1. 5.30pm
Dr Margrit Pernau (Max Planck Institute, Berlin)
Emotions and Modernity in Colonial India: From Balance to Fervor? 

29 January

Wednesday Lunchtime Seminar, Lecture Theatre 1, 12.30-2.00pm
Professor Maribel Fierro, Visiting al-Qasimi Professor of Islamic Studies, to lead on Convivencia

Wednesday Evening Visiting Lecture, Lecture Theatre 1, 5.30pm
Professor Maribel Fierro:  A Link between the Fāṭimids and the Safavids? The Sacrifice of She-Camels

5 February

Wednesday Lunchtime Seminar, Seminar Room 1, 12.30-1.30pm
Dr Saiyad Nizamuddin Ahmad (Independent Scholar) to lead the discussion 

12 February

Wednesday Lunchtime Seminar, Seminar Room 1, 12.30-1.30pm
Dr. Cameron Zargar (LAWALISI) to lead the discussion

Wednesday Evening Visiting Lecture, Lecture Theatre 1, 5.30pm
Professor Peter Adamson (LMU Munich) "Animals in the Philosophy of the Islamic World" 

19 February 

Wednesday Lunchtime Seminar, Seminar Room 1, 12.30-1.30pm
Dr. Kumail Rajani (LAWALISI) to lead the discussion 

28-29 February

Research Workshop organised by Professor Maribel Fierro:  Narratives on the Maliki legal school: inside and outside views (from the early period to the present)
Please contact to register your interest and receive programme details. 

3 March

Research Afternoon on Islam in South Asia: VENUE: Building One: Kolade Teaching Room 1.30 pm – 6pm
Keynote speakers: Profs. Ali Usman Qasmi and Ali Raza (LUMS) plus Drs. James Caron (SOAS), Nur Sobers-Khan (British Library), Mobeen Hussain (Cambridge). Programme to follow 

4-5 March

Joint Workshop with Tokyo University on Intellectual History
Venue: Northcote House: Programme to follow

11 March

Wednesday Lunchtime Seminar, Seminar Room 1, 12.30-1.30pm. Majid Montazer Mahdi to lead the discussion

Wednesday Evening Visiting Lecture, Lecture Theatre 1, 5.30pm:
Dr Fozia Bora (Leeds) Stories, Documents and Narrative Strategies: the Archival Turn in Medieval Arabic Historiography’.

18 March

Wednesday Lunchtime Seminar, Seminar Room 1, 12.30-1.30pm. Mohsen Najafi to lead the discussion 


An archive of past events can be found here.

Postgraduate research

Academic staff within CSI supervise doctoral students with a diverse range of current research topics. If you are interested in applying for a place on our programme please see our members' specialisms.

Master of Arts Programmes

MA in Middle East Studies

Master of Research Programme

MRes Middle East Studies