Dr. Zainab Alwani, PhD

Dr. Zainab Alwani, PhD


Dr. Zainab Alwani is currently the Founder, Program Director, and the first Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at the 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 Maqasid al Shariah: Family Issues in the American Muslim Family. She is an educator with over 20 years of teaching and curriculum development experience in Islamic Studies and Arabic. 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.

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, gender and family. She recently co-edited a special issue of The Muslim World journal published by Hartford Seminary, Judaism and Islam in America, October 2014 Volume 104, Issue 4. She is currently the editor of the Journal of Islamic Faith and Practice, a scholarly peer-reviewed academic journal, published by Indiana University and sponsored by Islamic Seminary Foundation.

Some of her latest publications include: Maqāṣid Qur᾽āniyya: A Methodology on Evaluating Modern Challenges and Fiqh al-Aqalliyyāt (p 465–487), the book “Alusra fi Maqasid al sharia: Qira’ fi Qadaya al zawaj waltalaq fi Amrika” The Family and Maqasid Al Shariah: Marriage and Divorce: American Muslim Family,” “Muslim Women as Religious Scholars: A Historical Survey,” in Muslima Theology: New Voices of Muslim Women Theologians;” and co-author “Religion, Gender, And Family Law: Critical Perspectives On Integration for Western-Muslims” in Applying sharia in the West", Leiden University Press. She is currently working on a book called, “Islamic Jurisprudence: Role of Women Scholars Reforming Islamic Family Law in Morocco” which investigates the influence and the dynamics of women religious scholarship and activism on the advancement of Islamic Jurisprudence, family and society in contemporary Morocco.


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