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
  • F.A.E.T.C. (Further and Adult Education Teacher's Certificate), Northbrook College, Worthing, West Sussex


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

External advisor

2018 -2020 : Al-Maktoum College of higher education, Dundee, Scotland.

2016: Cambridge A Level Islamic Studies Exams

2016: Birmingham City Council, Islamic studies program, Birmingham

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.

Visiting scholar positions

2018: Visiting Fellow, Islamic Studies department, Istanbul Sehir University, Turkey.

2016: Visiting Scholar, Centre for Islamic Studies, Istanbul, Turkey.    

2012: Visiting Lecturer, the Institute of the Ismaili Studies, London
Course taught:       Modern Islamic Thought

2007 - 2009: Visiting Lecturer, Trinity College, Dublin
Course taught:       Christian Muslim Relations

2004-2005: Visiting Professor, History department, University of Alabama, USA.
Courses taught:     The World of Islam, Modern Middle Eastern History

1997-1998: Visiting Lecturer, religious Studies department, Lancaster University.
Courses taught:   Introduction to Islam, Classical Islamic thought (MA)


Recent publications


Holt, M & Jawad, H 2013, Women, Islam and Resistance in the Arab World. Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Jawad, H 2011, Towards building a British Islam, New Muslims Perspectives. Continuum.


Jawad, H & Elmali-Karakaya, A 2020, 'Interfaith marriages in Islam from a woman’s perspective: Turkish women’s interfaith marriage practices in the United Kingdom', Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 128-147. https://doi.org/10.1080/13602004.2020.1737415

Sharif, A, Jawad, H, Nightingale, P, Hodson, J, Lipkin, G, Cockwell, P, Ball, S & Borrows, R 2011, 'A Quantitative Survey of Western Muslim Attitudes to Solid Organ Donation.', Transplantation. https://doi.org/10.1097/TP.0b013e318231ea17

Benn, T, Dagkas, S & Jawad, H 2011, 'Embodied faith: Islam, religious freedom and educational practices in physical education', Sport Education and Society, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 17-34. https://doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2011.531959

Dagkas, S, Benn, T & Jawad, H 2011, 'Multiple voices: improving participation of Muslim girls in physical education and school sport', Sport Education and Society, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 223-239. https://doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2011.540427

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Jawad, H 2018, Deradicalization through Conversion to Traditional Islam: Hamza Yusuf’s Attempt to Revive Sacred Knowledge within a North Atlantic Context. in K Nieuwkerk (ed.), Moving In and Out of Islam. University of Texas Press, pp. 204-231.

Benn, T, Pfister, G & Jawad, H 2017, Reflections on Muslim women and sport. in G Doll-Tepper, K Koenen & R Bailey (eds), Sport, Education and Social Policy: The State of the Social Sciences of Sport. 1st edn, ICSSPE Perspectives, Routledge, London, pp. 19-33. <https://www.routledge.com/Sport-Education-and-Social-Policy-The-state-of-the-social-sciences-of/Doll-Tepper-Koenen-Bailey/p/book/9781138223431>

Jawad, H 2016, A Muslim response to the Christian theology of religions. in P Hedges, E Harris & S Hettiarachchi (eds), Twenty-First Century Theologies of Religions: Retrospection and New Prospects. Currents of Encounter, vol. 54, Brill, pp. 328-358. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004324077_021

Marranci, G & Jawad, H 2010, Islam and Democracy in the 21st Century. in Muslims, Globalisation and Secularism.

Patro, S & Jawad, H 2010, Muslim Thought and Practice. in A Guide to Religious Thought and Practices.

Benn, XX, Pfister, XX, Jawad, XX & Jawad, H 2010, Muslim Women and Sport: conclusion. in Muslim Women and Sport.


Jawad, H 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.

Dagkas, S, Armour, K & Jawad, H 2010, Facilitating Positive Experiences of Physical Education and School Sport for Muslim girls. in Inclusion and Exclusion through Youth Sport.

Other contribution

Jawad, H 2010, Daily Mail: Why British Women convert to Islam?..

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.

Media experience

On-line media

Saudi decree allowing women to drive cars is about politics, not religion, conversation, September 28, 2017.


Recent interview: https://www.facebook.com/muslimscientistseurope/posts/153013862942015


  • 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, Sputnik Radio in Edinburgh, 31 of October, 2017
  • Tolerance in Islam, Voice of Islam Radio, London, 02 of November, 2017
  • Islam and animals, BBC West Midlands, Birmingham, January, 2017 
  • 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.

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