The British Association for Islamic Studies was forced to cancel its 2020 Annual Conference, scheduled to take place at the Aga Khan University's Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations.

With an in-person conference not possible in 2021, BRAIS has decided to deliver a free online series of panels drawn from the 2020 programme. The panels will be delivered online via Zoom between March and July 2021.

Below you will find details of all the confirmed panels in the series. Additional panels will be added between now and the end of July 2021, so keep your eye on this page for updates.

You only need to register once for the series and this will secure you free access to all the panels.


The series is entirely free of charge and offered as a platform for sharing new research and developing connections across the many sub-disciplines of Islamic Studies.

If you would like to support BRAIS in these challenging times, please do consider becoming a member of BRAIS if you are not one already. Further information about membership categories can be found HERE.

2021 Online Series Programme


Teaching and Learning Islam: Case Studies from Denmark, Sweden and Germany

Friday 19 March, 2pm GMT

Chair: Simon Stjernholm (University of Copenhagen)

Maria Lindebæk Lyngsøe (University of Copenhagen) Managing Tradition: Danish Muslim Women’s Islamic Education

Maximilian Lasa (University of Copenhagen) Expanding Horizons of Higher Islamic Education

Simon Stjernholm (University of Copenhagen) Brief Reminders: Muslim Preachers, Mediation, and Time

Kasper Ly Netterstrøm (University of Copenhagen) Muslim Representation and Lobbying within EU Institutions


Sufism: Diachronic Studies

Tuesday 30th March, 2pm BST

Chair: Saeko Yazaki (University of Glasgow)

John Zaleski (New York University Abu Dhabi) “The Inheritance of Hunger”: The Making of an Ascetic Ideal in Early ‘Abbasid Baghdad

Gavin Picken (Hamad Bin Khalifa University) “Observing” Spiritual Purification:  Disciplining the Soul in al-Muḥāsibī’s Kitāb al-Riʿāya li Ḥuqūq Allāh

Naoki Yamamoto (Ibn Haldun University) Liu Zhi’s Five Phases of the Moon: Sayr wa Suluk literature in Chinese Islam


Modern Islamic Movements

Monday 3 May, 2pm BST

Chair: Usaama Al-Azami (University of Oxford)

Dietrich Reetz (BGSMCS, Free University of Berlin) Amir or Shura: How to lead a global missionary movement of Islam like the Tablighi Jama’at

Sara Tonsy (CHERPA, Institut d’Etudes Politique-Aix) An Alternative Political Economy in Egypt: the case of the Muslim Brotherhood

Fabian Spengler (Tel Aviv University) The Limited Appeal of Salafiyya and Wasatiyya for Muslims in Europe


Islam and Society in Europe

Tuesday 18 May at 12pm BST

Chair: Alyaa Ebbiary (SOAS)

Fouzia Azzouz (University of Bristol) British Muslim marriage and divorce practices: Avenues for regulation

Fatou Sambe (Cardiff University) Muslim Convert Families and the Experiences of Convert Children

Laiqah Osman (Cardiff University) Muslim Women in Britain and the Authority of Online Islamic Content

Tatia Tavkhelidze (European University Viadrina) Boundaries between the living concept of Islamophobia and the term 'being Islamophobic'


Criticality in Islamic Scholarship

Thursday 20 May, 10:30am BST

Chair: Tom Lea (University of Edinburgh)

I-Wen Su (National Chengchi University) ʿAlī b. al-Madīnī: a Critical Review and Reconstruction of His Biography

Mostafa Movahedifar (University of Birmingham) The position of content criticism within early Shīʿī hadith scholarship: the case study of the legal punishment of committing zinā with a female slave of one’s wife

Essam Ayyad (Qatar University) Medieval Muslim Katātīb between Independent Thinking and Learning by Rote  


Colonialism and the Empire of Law

Friday 21 May, 2pm BST

Chair: Omar Anchassi (University of Edinburgh)

Rozaliya Garipova (Nazarbayev University) Colonial Rule and the Legality of Marriage in the Russian Empire

Sohaira Siddiqui (Georgetown University) A Subtle Imbibe: Islamic law in 19th Century Colonial Courts in India

Alexandre Caeiro (Hamad Bin Khalifa University) Justice before Oil: Pearl Trade, Diving Courts, and the British Legal Order in the Arabian Peninsula (1860s-1950s)


Family, Sexuality and Gender in Islamic Law

Friday 28 May, 2pm BST

Chair: Shuruq Naguib (Lancaster University)

Hakime Reyyan Yasar (Mardin Artuklu University) From Fatwa Books to Codification: The Maintenance Code (Nafaka Kanunu) in Ottoman Family Law

Muhammad Faisal Khalil (University of Oxford) The Family as the Ordinary within Islam

Muhammad Zubair (Lahore University of Management Sciences) Regulation of Sex under Islamic Legal System: Application of Islamic Criminal (Hudood) Laws in Pakistan (1980-2018)

Emad Mohamed (RGCL/University of Wolverhampton) Gender Differences in Fatwa


Studies in Applied Islamic Law

Thursday 10 June, 4pm BST 

Chair: Omar Anchassi (University of Edinburgh)

Sumayyah Bostan (University of California, Berkeley) Abu Hanifa’s opinion on reciting the Qur’an in Persian in the prayer as it appears in the post-classical commentary tradition

Abdul Rahman Mustafa (University of Paderborn) Islamic Secularism? The Politics of Ritual in Ibn Taymiyyah's Fatāwā

John Burden (University of Chicago) The Logic of Iftāʾ: Ibn Marzūq’s Fatwā on European Paper

Rami Koujah (Princeton University) How to Get Away with Murder: Homicide and Culpability in Islamic Law


Law and Authority in Shi’ite Islam

Thursday 17 June, 3pm BST

Chair: Rob Gleave (University of Exeter)

Raha Rafii (University of Exeter) Envisioning the Medieval Judge in the Genre of Adab al-qāḍī: The Protocol of the Judge.”

Kumail Rajani (University of Exeter) Even if the Prophet did not Say it”

Cameron Zargar (University of Exeter) Marja'iyya between law and laity: the requirements of jurists as imagined by their followers"


The Māturīdī Theological Tradition

Wednesday 23 June, 3:00pm BST

Chair: Omar Anchassi (University of Edinburgh)

Safaruk Chowdhury (Whitethread Institute) A Very Heated Affair: Abū Manṣūr al-Māturīdī’s Justification for Hell’s Unending Chastisement

Kayhan Ali Özaykal (İstanbul Üniversitesi) Al-Maturidi on al-'Aql in Metaphysics and Ethics

Ramon Harvey (Ebrahim College) The Case of the Missing Disciple: Abū al-Ḥasan al-Rustughfanī (d. ca. 345/956) and the Reception of the Theology of Abū Manṣūr al-Māturīdī (d. 333/944) before Māturīdism

Kamaluddin Ahmed (University of Oxford) The Kitāb talkhīṣ al-adilla li-qawāʿid al-tawḥīd of al-Ṣaffār al-Bukhārī (d. 534/1139): Crafting a Historical Genealogy of the Māturīdī School of kalām

Najah Nadi (Cambridge Muslim College) Īmān as taṣdīq in the Works of Saʿd al-Dīn al-Taftāzānī (d. 792/1390)


Muslim Identity in Secular Spaces

Thursday 24 June, 11am BST

Chair: Alyaa Ebbiary (SOAS)

Ibtihal Ramadan (The University of Edinburgh) Muslim Academics Defining their Professional Identity: Faith, Challenges, and Career Success

Durali Karacan (Brunel University London) An Exploration of the Challenges of Bearded Muslim Men in the UK in the Age of Islamophobia

Haroon Sidat (Cardiff University) The ‘Ulamā are Backwards: Looking at the Past to Navigate the Present


Tafsīr and Qur’anic Hermeneutics

Monday 5 July 2021, 9am BST

Chair: Shuruq Naguib (Lancaster University)

Ali Aghaei (Berlin-Brandenburg Academy) and Michael Marx (Berlin-Brandenburg Academy) Explicit vs Implicit Variant Readings of the Quranic Text in early Quranic exegesis: The Case of Tafsīr of Muqātil ibn Sulaymān (d. 767)

Martin Whittingham (CMCS, Oxford) Early Qur'anic Exegesis on Positive Verses about the Previous Scriptures

Tarek Makhlouf (The University of Melbourne) Between Muʿtazilī Heritage and Ẓāhirī Imperative: Abū Ḥayyān al-ʾAndalusī’s (d. 745/1344) Philological Practice


Islamic Legal Theory

Thursday 8 July, 2pm BST

Chair: Usaama al-Azami (University of Oxford)

Merve Özaykal (İstanbul University) The Criticism by al-Jassās of his Predecessors on Abrogation

Josef Linnhoff (University of Edinburgh) A modern-day Ẓāhirī: The Legal Thought of Muhammad Asad (d. 1992)

Emine Bal (Queen Mary University) Modern adaptations of al-Shāṭibī’s Maqāṣid theory


Sufis, Salafis, Islamists and Copts: Inter- and Intra-faith Polemics after the Arab Spring

Monday 26th July, 2pm BST

Chair: Walaa Quisay (Independent Researcher)

Ermin Sinanovic (Shenandoah University) Political Theology of Obedience and Competitive Authoritarianism in the Middle East

Rahma Bavelaar (University of Amsterdam) Salafi Activism, Al-Azhar and the Politics of Coptic Conversion in Revolutionary Egypt

Usaama al-Azami (University of Oxford) Islam and the Arab Revolutions: The Ulama between Democracy and Autocracy

Besnik Sinani (Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient) The Responses of Saudi Sufi Scholars to the Arab Spring: An Investigation of Religious Conceptions, Positionality, and Histories that Inform Scholarly Political Choices


Muslims on the Margins: Finding Family, Authority and Belonging in Britain

Wednesday 28th July, 2pm BST

Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor (Coventry University) Amongst the last to leave: Understanding the journeys of Muslim Children in Care in Britain

Alyaa Ebbiary (SOAS) “You can teach the sisters”: Muslim Women, Education and Religious Authority in Britain

Muhammed Babacan (University of Bristol) Where are you really from?’: Islamophobia operated as everyday racism