Dr Haifaa Jawad

Dr Haifaa Jawad

Department of Theology and Religion
Senior Lecturer in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
Director of Centre for Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

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 and Extremism, Islamic beliefs and practices, Islam and other religions, Euro-Arab relations, Middle Eastern politics and history, Muslims in Britain especially new Muslims. 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 often to the media on contemporary Islamic and Middle Eastern issues.


  • BA, MA, Baghdad University
  • PhD, Exeter University


Since 2000, I have been a member of the Department of Theology and Religion at Birmingham. From 2005-8, I was Visiting Lecturer at the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin, teaching a joint course on Christian-Muslim relations. In spring 2004, I was the American University of Beirut/Fulbright Commission Visiting Lecturer in Contemporary Islam at the University of Alabama. Since 2005, I have been running successful seminars in Islamic studies which bring prominent scholars to the University of Birmingham but also lead to extensive postgraduate involvement. Previously I held academic positions as Lecturer, Westhill College (1993-1999), Assistant Professor, New England College (American University) (1990-1993), Visiting Lecturer, Lancaster University (1997-1998), Postgraduate Teaching Assistant, Exeter University (1986), and Assistant Lecturer, Al-Mustansiriya University, Baghdad (1980-1982).


In 2007, I received the Head of School’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, School of Historical Studies, University of Birmingham. Previously in 1992, I won the Dean of College’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, New England College. 

Currently, I teach the following courses:

  • Classical and Modern Islamic Thought
  • Islam and the West
  • Islamic Spirituality
  • Political Islam
  • Feminism in the Muslim world

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

Find out more - our PhD Theology and Religion  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


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

Other activities

I am the director of the Centre for Islamic Studies, and Associate Editor of the American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, and the Journal for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim relations. I am also a member of the editorial boards of Journal of Open Theology (on-line quarterly) and the Journal of Gender and Religion, based in the Netherlands. Moreover, I coordinate and chair the weekly postgraduate seminars in Islamic Studies. From 2000 to 2003, I was a member of the governing Council of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies.


Recent books 

Select chapters and articles

  • "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, June 2016.
  • "Facilitating Positive Experiences of Physical Education and School Sport for Muslim Girls" (co-author) in Dagkas, H. and Armour, K. (eds), Inclusion and Exclusion Through Youth Sport, Routledge, 2012, pp. 203-217. 
  • “Islam and Democracy in the 21st Century” in Gabriele Marranci (ed), Muslims, Globalisation and Secularism, Springer, London, September 2010, pp 65-81.
  • “Islam: Believe and Practice” in S. Patro (ed), The World Religious Traditions, SPCK, London, September 2010, pp137-157
  • “Islam, Women and Sport” (co-author) in Benn, Pfister, and Jawad (eds), Muslim Women and Sport, Routledge, 2010, pp25-40
  • “Muslim Women and Sport: introduction”, (co-author) in Benn, Pfister, and Jawad (eds), Muslim Women and Sport, Routledge, 2010, pp 1-9.
  • “Muslim Women and Sport: conclusion”, (co-author), in Benn, Pfister, and Jawad (eds), Muslim Women and Sport, Routledge, 2010, 263-270.
  • “Islamic Spirituality and the Feminine Dimension” in Gillian Howie and J’annine Jobling (eds), Women and the Divine: Touching Transcendence, Palgrave, February 2009, 187-203.
  • “Islamic Feminism, Leadership roles and Public Representation, in Hawwa, Journal of Women in the Middle East and the Muslim world, Brill, June 2009, pp1-24. 
  • “Arab League”, in Oxford Encyclopaedia of the Modern World, (ed), Peter N. Stearns, Oxford University press, 2008, vol 1, pp1-4.
  • “Female Conversion to Islam: The Sufi Paradigm” in K. Nieuwkerk (ed), Gender and Conversion in the West, Texas University press, 2006, 153-171.
  • “Seyyed Hossein Nasr and the Study of Religion in Contemporary Society”, in American Journal of Islamic Social Science, Vol 22, No 2, 2005, pp 49-68.
  • “An Islamic Response to the conference “Holy Texts: Authority and Language”, Journal of the European Society of Women in Theological Research 12, Leuven, Peeters, 2004, pp129-131.
  • “Divorce and custody: contemporary practices: Western Europe” in Encyclopaedia of Women and Islamic Culture, vol 2: Family, Law and Politics, (ed), Saud Joseph, Brill, 2004, pp1-4.
  • “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, 2003, pp1-17.
  • “Muslim Women in the United Kingdom and Beyond: Setting the Scene” (with Benn) in HA. Jawad, and T. Benn (eds), Muslim Women in the United Kingdom and Beyond, Experiences and Images, Brill, 2003, pp xiii-xxv.
  • “Muslim Women in the United Kingdom and Beyond: The Way Forward” (with Benn) in H. A. Jawad, and T. Benn (eds), Muslim Women in the United Kingdom and Beyond, Experiences and Images, Brill, 2003, pp171-173.
  • “Muslim Feminism: A Case Study of Amina Wadud’s Quran and Women”, Journal of Islamic Studies, Vol 42, No. 1, 2003, 107-125

Conference papers

  • “Hamza Yusuf‘s attempt to Revive the Sacred knowledge within Western /American Context”, paper presented a conference on ‘Moving into and out of Islam’, 16-17 October, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
  • Sufi Spirituality and the Feminine Dimension, paper to be presented at Brais (British Association for Islamic Studies) annual conference, London, 11-12, April, 2016.

Public lectures

  • The Meaning of Pilgrimage (Hajj): A Muslim Perspective, Ludlow Mascall Centre and Hereford Cathedral, 18 February, 2016.
  • The Rise of Islamic Fundamentalism: Some socio-political and theological factors, Warwick Internal development symposium, University of Warwick, March 16, 20016.
  • ‘Pickthall’s translation of the Qur’an: an analysis of some selected verses on women’ Al-Mahdi Institute, Birmingham, 24 March, 2016.
  • Islam and the Religious Other, Potteries theological Society, Keele University, 21 April, 20016.  



  • Personal Profile, Liberty Media, December 2015
  • The Israeli attacks on Lebanon (briefing), Sky News, 2006
  • Why some young Muslims go to war, Midlands Today, 2002.


  • Women in Saudi Arabia, BBC West Midlands, 2011
  • Women, Islamism and Resistance in the Arab World, BBC West Midlands, 2011
  • Halal Make up, BBC West Midlands.The Israeli attacks on Gaza, BBC West Midlands, 2009
  • Muslim fundamentalists controlling mosques in Britain, BBC West Midlands, 2007.
  • The Israeli attacks on Gaza and Lebanon, BBC West Midlands, 2006
  • The future relations between Islam and the Western World, Radio Tehran, 2004

Print media

  • Why do British women convert to Islam?, Daily Mail, 2010.
  • Public Reaction to Veiling in Britain (briefing), Danish Newspaper, 2007.
  • Women Converts to Islam, The Times Magazine, 2006.
  • Muslim Women and Face Veil in Britain, Newsweek, 2006.
  • Women and Conversion to Islam (briefing) Christian Science Monitor, 2005.
  • Radical Islam in Europe (briefing), The Focus, German Magazine, 2005.
  • Social Cohesion: Breaking Down Barriers, Building Bridges, New Statement/Fellow’s Associates Report, 2004.
  • Islam and Other Religions, Tuscaloosa News, Alabama, 2004.

View all publications in research portal


The socio-political study of Islam; Modern and contemporary Islamic thought; Women in Islam;  Islam and the West;  Christian-Muslim relations; British Islam especially new Muslims; Middle East politics, especially the politcs of the Arab world and Euro-Arab Relations;  Islamic Spirituality and Ethics.

Alternative contact number available for this expert: contact the press office


  •  Socio-political study of Islam
  • Women/Feminism in Islam
  • Muslims in Britain especially new Muslims
  • Modern and contemporary Islamic thought 
  • Middle East politics, especially the Arab world