Associate Professor of Islamic Studies
- Historical Studies, Divinity
- School of Divinity
Dr. Zainab Alwani is the Founding Director and the first Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at Howard University School of Divinity (HUSD). She is also the chair of the Master of Arts (Religious Studies) program at HUSD. Dr. Alwani received her Ph.D. in Islamic Sciences and Islamic Jurisprudence from the International Islamic University in Malaysia. Her Ph.D. dissertation focused on the implementation of the higher aims of Islamic law (Maqāṣid al Shariah) within the domain of the American Muslim family. She has authored and co-authored a wide variety of publications ranging from books, textbooks and book chapters, to scholarly articles. She is particularly interested in deriving methodologies for approaching the Qur’an, Sunna and Islamic jurisprudence in the area of women and family relations in Islam. She is currently the editor of the Journal of Islamic Faith and Practice, a scholarly peer-reviewed academic journal, published by the Islamic Seminary Foundation in partnership with IUPUI University Library.Dr. Alwani is the first female jurist to serve on the board of the Fiqh Council of North America and currently serves as the Council’s Vice-Chair. Currently, Dr. Alwani is working on a groundbreaking project regarding orphan care, the Orphan Care Project.She is an educator with over 25 years of teaching and curriculum development experience in Islamic Studies and Arabic. She designed and developed the Master of Arts program in Islamic Studies at the HUSD and continues to reinvigorate the holistic curriculum development. Prior to joining the School of Divinity, Dr. Alwani was the Program Director and Adjunct Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), Loudoun Campus. She was also an Adjunct Professor of Arabic Studies at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. She developed courses in Arabic Studies that focused on the link between Islamic philosophy, language, and culture. She also taught Islamic history, inter-religious dialogue, and comparative religion at Wesley Theological Seminary and the Washington National Cathedral.Some of her latest publications include: “Transformational Teaching: Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a Teacher and Murabbī.” in the Journal of Islamic Faith and Practice, Vol 2 No 2 (July, 2019). “Teaching other faiths about Islam: A transformative journey” In the special issue “Theological education between the times” of Journal Cross-Currents, June, 2019; the chapter book “With ʿĀʾisha in Mind: Reading Sūrat al-Nur through the Qur’an’s Structural Unity; Al-waḥda al-bināʾiyya li-l-Qurʾān/ The Qur’an’s Structural Unity: A Methodology for Understanding the Qurʾān in the Modern Day, in the Journal of Islamic Faith and Practice, Vol 1 No 1 (2018);” Maqāṣid Qur᾽āniyya: A Methodology on Evaluating Modern Challenges and Fiqh al-Aqalliyyāt (p 465–487), and “Muslim Women as Religious Scholars: A Historical Survey,” in Muslima Theology: The Voices of Muslim Women Theologians.” She is currently working on a book on the ethical paradigm of the Quran and its application to critical family issues, such as divorce and marital challenges in the Muslim American community. She is also working on a series of articles stemming from the research on the relationship between sociocultural, civil and religious law in the area of foster care, guardianship and beyond in the American context. Dr. Alwani is a mother of four, and a grandmother of six. Her hobbies include spending time with her family, reading, writing and traveling.Representative Publications: Books:
- Author: "Alusra fi Maqasid al sharia: Qira' fi Qadaya al zawaj waltalaq fi Amrika" The Objectives of Sharia and the family: Reading in Marriage and Divorce in American Muslim Family. Herndon/VA: The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), 2013. ISBN 978-1-56564-476-2
- Muslim Women and Global Challenges: Seeking change through a Quranic Textual Approach and the Prophetic Model. New Delhi: Institute of Objective Studies, Genuine Publications & Media Pvt, 2012. ISBN 9389965330/ 978-9389965339.
- "Tatwr al manhj al maqasidi inda al mu'asreen: Mudarasa ma'al doktoor Taha Jabir al alwani" The Development of The Islamic Legal Theory and the Objectives of Shar'ia: A Conversation with Taha Al Alwani. Herndon: The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) January, 2012. ISBN 1-56564-474-3 978-1-56564-474-8
- What Islam says about Domestic Violence: A Guide for Helping Muslim Families. Zainab Alwani & Salma Abugideiri (Herndon: FAITH, 2003) second edition, 2012. http://www.peacefulfamilies.org/
- Perspectives: Arabic Language and Culture in Films. Alwani, Z., Sryfi, M., Isleem, N. ( USA: Alucen Learning, 2009) www.alucen.co
Chapter Books and Articles (Peer Review):
- “With ʿĀʾisha in Mind: Reading Sūrat al-Nur through the Qur’an’s Structural Unity,” in Muslim Women and Gender Justice: Concepts, Sources, and Histories. https://www.routledge.com/Muslim-Women-and-Gender-Justice-Concepts-Sources-and-Histories-1st/El-Omari-Hammer-Khorchide/p/book/9781138494862
- “Transformational Teaching: Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a Teacher and Murabbī.” The article was published in the Journal of Islamic Faith and Practice, Vol 2 No 2 (July, 2019). http://journals.iupui.edu/index.php/JIFP/article/view/23276
- Al-waḥda al-bināʾiyya li-l-Qurʾān/ The Qur’an’s Structural Unity: A Methodology for Understanding the Qurʾān in the Modern Day, in the Journal of Islamic Faith and Practice, Vol 1 No 1 (2018). https://www.amazon.com/Journal-Islamic-Faith-Practice-Issue/dp/1980526761
- Muslim Women as Religious Scholars: A Historical Survey in Muslima Theology: The Voices of Muslim Women Theologians, Aslan, Ednan / Hermansen, Marcia / Medeni, Elif (eds.) Peter Lang Press, 2013 https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctv2t4f10.6 refreqid=excelsior%3Af9e852bb3a5a3eff8d02f60e6311b47d&seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents
- Religion, Gender, and Family Law: Critical Perspectives on Integration for European Muslims in Applying Shari'a In The West: Facts, Fears and the Future of Islamic Rules on Family Relations in the West: Zainab Alwani & Celene Ayat Lizzio, edited by M. S. Berger. Leiden University Press, 2013. http://www.amazon.com/Applying-Sharia-West-Relations
- Conflict Resolution: Muslim reflection. Interfaith JustPeaceMaking: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives on the New Paradigm of Peace and War. Edited by Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-230-33989-7 http://www.amazon.com/Interfaith-Just-Peacemaking-Christian-Perspectives/dp/1137293373
- Family Relations: Islamic Perspective. In Domestic Violence Cross Cultural Perspectives. Edited by: M. Basheer Ahmed. Published by: MCC for Human Service: Northern Texas. 2009. ISBN: 978-1-4415-4472-8
- The Quranic Model for Harmony in family relations, eds. Maha B. Alkhateeb & Salma Elkadi Abugideiri. (VA Peacefulfamilies, 2007). ISBN 0-9791389-0-6
- “Teaching other faiths about Islam: A transformative journey” In the special issue “Theological education between the times” of Journal Cross-Currents. Published on June, 2019 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cros.12357 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/19393881/2019/69/1
- Maqāṣid Qur᾽āniyya: A Methodology on Evaluating Modern Challenges and Fiqh al-Aqalliyyāt. The Muslim World journal published by Hartford Seminary, Judaism and Islam in America, October 2014 Volume 104, Issue 4. (p 465–487).
- "The Quranic Model on Social change: Family structure as a method of social reform" in Islam and Civilisational Renewal (ICR) Journal vol. 3 no. 1 (November 2011).
- Critical Reading in al-Ghazālī's Usul al Fiqh/Legal theory Books: Qira'a fi Kutub al-Ghazālī al Usulia, Journal: Islamiyat Alma'rafa, No. 27, 2001, Published by IIIT.
- Aicha's Istidrakat and Their Methodological Premises: Reclaiming a Stunted Tradition. Journal: Women & Civilization, No.3, 2002. Published by The Association for the study of Women & Civilization.
- Introduction to the Qur’an
- The Qur’an and Its Place in Muslim Life
- Prophethood in the Bible and the Qu’an
- Ethics and Prophetic Tradition in Islam
- Sacred Texts and Hermeneutics
- Islam and African American Experience
- Islam in Africa: History and Culture
- Islamic Jurisprudence
- Dialogue with Islam
- Women and Family in Islam
- Women in the Hebrew Bible and the Qur’an