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Can you recommend schools with good Islamic Studies Programs?

Can you recommend schools with good Islamic Studies Programs?


As-salam `alaykom. Can you recommend some schools with good Islamic Studies grad programs? Any advice would be much appreciated! Also, have you read Dr. Khaled Abu Al-Fadl’s book A Conference of the Books? Would love to see some sort of book reviews on here from time to time… much better than the personal stuff you’ve been posting as of late 🙂 Thanks for this blog, and may Allah bestow you with his blessings.

Wa alykum as-salaam,

I have not read much of his work, and I’m not familiar with that particular one, but you’ve piqued my interest and I will look further into it.

I think the best schools for Islamic Studies are Princeton, Yale, and Georgetown. I might be biased, since I went to one of them, but I think they are the best, though there are probably others I’m forgetting, these are just the schools I know the best.

I would highly recommend Oxford, as well, considering you have Tariq Ramadan and various other professors there, though I’ve heard that Cambridge isn’t too shabby in Islamic Studies either.

Regardless, I think what ultimately sets apart candidates is where they choose to do their research, and whether they seek information outside of the confines of their research. So, you research at X Islamic institution, the question then becomes, did you learn their ways or did you simply look at them and poke them with a stick and just “observe.” There’s a great value to being like “Oh I have my PhD from Princeton, and I studied at Al-Azhar.” Do you see what I’m saying?

The other issue is that you should know what you want your specialization to be, because at the graduate level, you can’t study Islam like you did in undergrad, and the different schools have different specializations. So, if you want to study Shariah, I would not suggest going to Princeton, since they don’t have a law school, see what I’m saying?

As far as book reviews, I don’t read too many accessible books on Islam, and the vast majority are academic articles or primary sources. I’ve been asked to make a reading list before, and I think I might just do that, the difficulty is determining whether people would have access to these works or not. Do people have access to JSTOR? If so, I can start referring you to some articles.

I’m sorry if any of my personal posts have offended you, I simply wanted to provide a human element for my readers, because I’d like to be approachable, insha Allah.

Thank you for your compliments, and Rabina y’barik feek[i] insha Allah, I really don’t deserve that sort of praise, truly, I don’t do anything special, and I thank you, again, for your undeserved praise.

Insha Allah, if you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask me.

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