Dr Haifaa Jawad

Dr Haifaa Jawad

Department of Theology and Religion
Honorary Senior Lecturer

Contact details

ERI Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Broadly speaking, my research interests lie within Islamic studies and Middle Eastern politics and history. My research interests and writings cover areas such as the socio-political study of Islam, Modern and contemporary Islamic thought, Women in Islam, Feminism and Islam, Islam in Britain, especially New Muslims, Islam and the West, Islamism, Islamic beliefs and practices, Islam and other religions, Euro-Arab relations, Middle Eastern politics and history. I also have special interests in Islamic spirituality and Ethics, and the perennial philosophy, especially the works of Seyyed Hossein Nasr. Apart from my academic works, I also contribute to the media on contemporary Islamic and Middle Eastern issues. Currently, I am working on the Universal principles of the Quran related to gender relationship. The traditional Islamic perspective informs my research work.  


  • BA. MA. University of Baghdad
  • PhD, Exeter University
  • F.A.E.T.C. (Further and Adult Education Teacher's Certificate), Worthing, West Sussex.
  • Head of School’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, Department of Theology and Religion, School of Historical Studies, University of Birmingham
  • Dean of College’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, New England College, Arundel, West Sussex.


  • Arabic (native)
  • English (fluent)


Since 2001, I have been a member of the Department of Theology and Religion. I have also held a number of visiting positions and fellowships: In 2019, I secured research fellowship from Istanbul Sehir University, Turkey. In 2017, I held a Visiting Senior Scholar Status, Centre for Islamic Studies, Istanbul, Turkey. In 2013, I held a Visiting Senior Lecturer Status, the Institute of the Ismaili Studies, London. Between 2007 – 2009, I was a Visiting Senior Lecturer, Trinity College, Dublin. In 2005, I was the American University of Beirut/Fulbright Commission Visiting Professor at the University of Alabama, US. In 1998, I was a Visiting Lecturer at Lancaster University and in 1992 was a Visiting Lecturer at the Muslim College, London. Before joining the department, I held academic positions as Lecturer, Westhill College (1993-1999), Assistant Professor, New England College (American University) (1990-1993), and Postgraduate Teaching Assistant, Exeter University (1986).


  • Classical Islamic and Modern Islamic thought
  • Introduction to Islam
  • Islamic History 
  • Islamic Texts (Quran and Hadith)
  • Women in Islam
  • Islamic Spirituality
  • Feminism in the Muslim world (MA course)
  • Political Islam (MA course)
  • Research Methodology (jointly taught –MA level)                                                      
  • Islam and the West
  • Islamic Civilisation     

Postgraduate supervision

I am happy to supervise students under the following headings:

Modern and Contemporary Islamic thought
Current supervision
Sareh Ardeshir Larijany: Thesis title: “Mutahhari’s principles of thought on women’s public life”
Nur Saadah Binti Khair: Thesis title: The Use and Abuse of 'Anti-Women' Hadith: A Critical Study Between Traditional and Liberal Women's Movements.
Sadia Ali: Thesis title: Muslim feminists negotiating their space online.
Ghazala Qadri: Thesis title: A Women's Right to a Khula in Pakistan: Marital Relief or Marital Pain?
Zuraimy Mohamed Noordin: Thesis Title: Women’s leadership Role in higher Education in Malaysis.
Mashitah Sabdin: Thesis title: Perceptions of Non-Muslims in Higher Learning Institutions in Malaysia about Islam and Muslims
Khawla Al-Mulla: Thesis title: Intellectual currents in Saudi Arabia
Salha Nassr Aseere: Thesis title: The position of Islam on domestic violence against women with particular reference to Saudi Arabia
Ayse Elmali: Thesis title: Interfaith Marriages: Perspectives from Muslim women experiencing marriage to non-Muslims -The case of Birmingham
Owed Nahee: Thesis title: The Religious life in Najran.
Khalid al-jifiry: Thesis title: Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence in Bin Bayyah's Thought
Iman Al-Rajaibi: Thesis tilte: Aesthetics in the Quran


My main areas of research are the socio-political study of Islam, Modern and Contemporary Islamic thought, Women in Islam, inter-religious relations, Middle East history and politics. I have also personal interest in Islamic Spirituality and Ethics and the philosophy of Seyyed Hossein Nasr.

Other activities

  • Associate editor, Journal of the Study of Islam and Christian Muslim Relations.
  • Associate editor, American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, USA (2007 to 2016)
  • Member of the board, Centre for Christian-Muslim Studies, Oxford.
  • Member of the editorial board, Journal of Gender and Religion (on-line), Brill, (2010 – 2015)
  • Member of the editorial board, Open Theology (on-line Quarterly), UK, (2007 – 2010)
  • Member, British Association for Islamic Studies, UK.
  • Member of the Council (governing body), British Society for Middle Eastern Studies, Durham, (2000-2003)
  • External advisor, Al-Maktoum College of higher education, Dundee, (2018-2020)
  • External examiner, Cambridge A Level Islamic Studies, (2016-2017)
  • External advisor, Birmingham City Council, Islamic studies program, (2016-2017)
  • External examiner, St Mary’s University College, London, (2010-2014)Leeds Metropolitan University, (2009-2011)


Current Research

Universal principles of the Qur’an with specific reference to Gender issues, chapter for a book on the Universal principles of the Quran, forthcoming. 


(2013), Women, Islam and Resistance in the Arab world (with Holt). Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner, USA (pp- 295). https://www.rienner.com/title/Women_Islam_and_Resistance_in_the_Arab_Wold

(2012), Muslim Women and Sport (with Benn and Pfister (eds). London: Routledge, (pp- 296). https://www.routledge.com/Muslim-Women-and-Sport/Benn-Pfister-Jawad/p/book/9780415522373

(2011), Towards building a British Islam, New Muslims’ Perspectives. London: Bloomsbury, UK, (pp- 192). https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/towards-building-a-british-islam-9780826496843

(2003), Muslim Women in Britain and Beyond: Images and Experiences, with Benn (eds). Leiden: Brill, (pp-178). https://www.amazon.co.uk/Muslim-Women-United-Kingdom-Beyond/dp/9004125817

(1998), The Rights of Women in Islam: An Authentic Approach. London: Macmillan, (pp- 150). https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rights-Women-Islam-Authentic-Approach/dp/0312213514

 (1994/1997), The Middle East in the New World Order, ed, (an updated 2nd edition). London: Macmillan, (pp- 220). https://www.payot.ch/Detail/the_middle_east_in_the_new_world_order-haifaa_a_jawad-9780333669938?cId=1 

(1992), Euro-Arab Relations: A Study in Collective Diplomacy. Reading: Ithaca Press, (pp- 302) . https://www.amazon.com/Euro-Arab-Relations-Study-Collective-Diplomacy/dp/086372129X


(2020), Interfaith Marriages in Islam from a Woman’s Perspective: Turkish Women’s Interfaith Marriage Practices in the United Kingdom, (with Elmali-Karakaya), Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 128-147. https://doi.org/10.1080/13602004.2020.1737415

(2011), Embodied Faith: Islam, Religious Freedom, and Educational Practices in Physical Education (co-author), in Sport, Education, and Society, (1), (pp 17-34). https://doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2011.531959

(2011), Multiple Voices: Improving Participation of Muslim Gils in Physical Education and School Sport (co-author) in Sport, Education and Society, (2), (pp 223-239). https://doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2011.540427

(2011), 'A Quantitative Survey of Western Muslim Attitudes to Solid Organ Donation.', (co-author), Transplantation. https://doi.org/10.1097/TP.0b013e318231ea17

2009, Islamic Feminism: Leadership Roles and Public Representation, in HAWWA, Journal of Women in the Middle East and the Muslim world, Brill, (pp1-24). https://brill.com/view/journals/haww/7/1/article-p1_1.xml?language=en&ebody=citedBy-46518

2008, The Arab League, in Oxford Encyclopaedia of the Modern World, (ed), Peter N. Stearns, Oxford University press, Vol 1, (pp 1-4)

2005, Seyyed Hossein Nasr and the Study of Religion in Contemporary Society, American Journal of Islamic Social Science, Vol 22, No 2, (pp 49-68). https://www.ajis.org/index.php/ajiss/article/view/457

2004, An Islamic Response: Conference on Holy Texts: Authority and Language, Journal of the European Society of Women in Theological Research 12, Leuven, Peeters, (pp 129-131). https://poj.peeters-leuven.be/content.php?url=article&id=583254

2004, Divorce and Custody: Contemporary Practices: Western Europe, Encyclopaedia of Women and Islamic Culture, Vol 2: Family, Law and Politics, (ed), Saud Joseph, Brill, (pp 1-4). https://referenceworks.brillonline.com/entries/encyclopedia-of-women-and-islamic-cultures/divorce-and-custody-contemporary-practices-western-europe-EWICCOM_0074g

2003, Muslim Feminism: A Case Study of Amina Wadud’s Quran and Women, Journal of Islamic Studies, Vol 42, No. 1, (pp 107-125). https://www.jstor.org/stable/i20837246

1995, Islam and the West: How Fundamental is the Threat? RUSI (The Royal United Service Institute) Journal, Institute for Defence Studies, London, (pp 34-38). https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03071849508445940

1995, Hussein: the Stubborn Survival, in the Journal of the Geopolitics of Energy, Alberta, Canada, (pp 6-9).

1993, Pan-Islamism in the Middle East: Prospects and Future, the Islamic Quarterly, Vol XXXVII, No.3, 1993, (pp 207-222)

1991, Women and the Question of Polygamy in Islam, The Islamic Quarterly, London, Vol XXXV, No.3, (pp 181-190)

1990, Muhammad the Educator: An Authentic Approach, The Islamic Quarterly, London, Vol XXXIV, No. 2, (pp15-122)

Peer Reviewed, Book Chapters and Short Monographs

2018, De-radicalisation through Conversion: Hamza Yusuf’s attempt to revive sacred knowledge within a North Atlantic Context, in Karin Nieuwkerk, (ed),  Moving in and out of Islam,  Texas University press, (pp204-231).  https://utpress.utexas.edu/books/van-nieuwkerk-moving-in-and-out-of-islam

2017, Reflections on Muslim Women and Sport (with Benn and Pfister co-authored ), in Doll-Tepper, Koenen, and Baily, Sport, Education, and Social Policy, the State of Social Sciences of Sport, Routledge,(p19-33). https://www.routledge.com/Sport-Education-and-Social-Policy-The-state-of-the-social-sciences-of/Doll-Tepper-Koenen-Bailey/p/book/9781138223431

2017, Qirā’a fī al-Dirāsāt al-Islāmīyya fī Birmingham. in N Ṭabbāra (ed.), al-Dirāsāt al-Islāmīyya Amām Taḥaddī al-Tanawwuʿ al-Thaqāfī fī al-ʿĀlam al-muʿāṣir. Dār Al-Fārābī, Beirut, pp. 133-144.

2016, A Muslim Response to the Christian Theology of Religions, in Paul Hedges and others (eds), Twenty-First Century Theologies of Religions: Retrospection and New Frontiers, Brill, (pp- 328-358). https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004324077_021 

2010, Islam and Democracy in the 21st Century, in Gabriele Marranci (ed), Muslims, Globalisation and Secularism, Springer, London, (pp 65-81). https://researchers.mq.edu.au/en/publications/muslim-societies-and-the-challenge-of-secularization-an-interdisc

2010, Muslim Thought and Practice, in S. Patro (ed), A Guide to Religious Thought and Practices, SPCK, London, (pp 137-157). https://spckpublishing.co.uk/isg-45-a-guide-to-religious-thought-and-practices-pb

2010, Islam, Women and Sport (co-author) in Benn, Pfister, and Jawad (eds), Muslim Women and Sport, Routledge, (pp 25-40).  https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/mono/10.4324/9780203880630/muslim-women-sport-tansin-benn-gertrud-pfister-haifaa-jawad

2010, Muslim Women and Sport (co-author) in Benn, Pfister, and Jawad (eds), Muslim Women and Sport, Routledge, (pp 1-9; 263-267). https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/mono/10.4324/9780203880630/muslim-women-sport-tansin-benn-gertrud-pfister-haifaa-jawad

2009, Islamic Spirituality and the Feminine Dimension, in Gillian Howie and J’annine Jobling (eds), Women and the Divine: Touching Transcendence, (pp 187-203).   https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9781403984135 

2006, Female Conversion to Islam: The Sufi Paradigm, in K. Nieuwkerk (ed), Gender and Conversion in the West, Texas University press, (pp 153-171).  https://utpress.utexas.edu/books/vanwom

2003, Historical and Contemporary perspectives of Muslim Women living in the West, in H. Jawad and T. Benn (eds), Muslim Women in Britain and Beyond: Images and Experiences, Brill, (pp1-17) .https://www.amazon.co.uk/Muslim-Women-United-Kingdom-Beyond/dp/9004125817

1998, Islamic Extremism and Its Impact on Western Images of Islam, in S. Khasawnih and J. Nielsen (eds), Arabs and the West: Mutual Images, Jordan University Press, (pp 29-42)

1998, Islamic Jihad: The View of Sayyid Qutb”, in Haleem, Ramsbotham, Risaluddin and Wicker (eds), The Crescent and the Cross: Muslim and Christian Approaches to War and Peace, Macmillan, (pp 87-91). https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9780312213046

1997, Pan-Islamism and Pan-Arabism: Solution or Obstacle to Political Reconstruction in the Middle East, in H.A. Jawad (ed), The Middle East in the New World Order, Macmillan, (pp140-161). https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9781349235582 

1993, Arab Nationalism: Dead or Alive, the Gulf Report: The Gulf in the 1990s, Gulf Centre for Strategic Studies, London, (14- 28)

1993, Overarching Regional Co-operation (with Azzam) in Gerd Nonneman(ed), The Middle East and Europe, the Federal Trust, London, (pp 221-227).

1991, France and the Palestine Issue in the EC, (short monograph) Gulf Centre for Strategic Studies, London, (pp1-12) 

1991, The Education of Women in Islam, (short monograph) Gulf Centre for Strategic Studies, London, (pp 1-18)

1989, The EC-GCC Dialogue, (short monograph) Gulf Centre for Strategic Studies, London, (pp 1-19)

Digital Media

2021, Saudi Women to have more rights, this time to join the army at https://www.internationalaffairs.org.au/australianoutlook/saudi-women-have-more-rights-this-time-to-join-the-army/ 

2017, Saudi decree allowing women to drive cars is about politics, not religion, conversation, at  https://theconversation.com/saudi-decree-allowing-women-to-drive-cars-is-about-politics-not-religion-84809

Contributions to some media outlets: briefings and interviews


2017, The historical context of Islam, BBC TV,

2015, Personal Profile, Liberty Media, October 2015

2006, The Israeli attacks on Lebanon, (briefing) Sky News

2002, Why some young Muslims go to war, Midlands Today


2017, Women in Saudi Arabia, Sputnik Radio, Edinburgh

2017, Tolerance in Islam, Voice of Islam Radio

2017, Islam and animals, BBC West Midlands 

2011, Women, Islamism and Resistance in the Arab World, BBC West Midlands

2009, The Israeli attacks on Gaza, BBC West Midlands

2007, Muslim fundamentalists controlling mosques in Britain, BBC West Midlands

2006, Muslim perspectives on death, BBC radio four

2006, The Israeli attacks on Gaza and Lebanon, BBC West Midlands

2004, The future relations between Islam and the Western World, Radio Tehran

Print media:

2010, Why British women convert to Islam? Daily Mail

2007, Public Reaction to Veiling in Britain, Danish Newspaper

2006, Women Converts to Islam”, the Times Magazine

2006, Muslim Women and Face Veiling in Britain, Newsweek

2005, Women and Conversion to Islam, Christian Science Monitor

2005, Radical Islam in Europe, the Focus, German Magazine

2004, Social Cohesion: Breaking Down Barriers, Building Bridges, New Statement/Fellow’s Associates Report

2004, Islam and Other Religions, Tuscaloosa News, Alabama, US

2004, The Assassination of the Spiritual Leader of Hamas, Herald News, Alabama, US

2003, Unity within Diversity, Christian Movement Magazine, Birmingham, UK

1996, The Iraqi Opposition Groups and America, Al-Mustakillah, (Arabic Newspaper), Middlesex, London

View all publications in research portal