Afifi al-Akiti


University Research Lecturer in Islamic Studies; KFAS Fellow in Islamic Studies, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies; Fellow of Worcester 

Faculty / College Address:

Faculty of Theology / Worcester College


Research Interests:

  • Islamic theology, philosophy and science.
  • The works of al-Ghazali (d. 1111), especially with regard to the influences from the Greek philosophical tradition and, most notably, the writings of Avicenna (d. 1058).
  • The relationship between science and religion in the Islamic world with particular attention to the reception of the rational sciences in the kalamtradition and in madrasa culture.
  • Medieval Arabic manuscripts and Moroccan religious lithographs (Hajariyyat).
  • Medieval Islamic astronomy (`ilm al-falak).
  • Islamic law, primarily the Shafi'i school.

Current Projects:

  • The edition of the manuscripts of the Problemata component of al-Ghazali's Madnun corpus.
  • The edition and translation of a unique Arabic manuscript, attributable to Nastulus (fl. ca. 890-925), concerning a lunar-solar mathematical gearing of Byzantine origin.

Courses Taught:

  • MPhil in Medieval Arabic Thought

Recent Publications:

  • “Negotiating Modernity in Muslim Philosophical Discourse: The Neo-Ghazalian, Attasian Perspective.” In W.M.N. Daud and M.Z. Uthman (eds.), Knowledge, Language, Thought and the Civilization of Islam: Essays in Honor of Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas (Kuala Lumpur, 2010).
  • “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Falsafa: al-Ghazali’s MadnunTahafut and Maqasid with Particular Attention to their Falsafi Treatments of God’s Knowledge of Temporal Events” in Y.T. Langermann (ed.), Avicenna and His Legacy: A Golden Age of Science and Philosophy (Brepols, 2009).
  • Defending the Transgressed by Censuring the Reckless against the Killing of Civilians: Mudafi' al-mazlum bi-radd al-muhamil 'ala qital man la yuqatil (Birmingham, 2005); German translation (Hellenthal, 2006); also appeared (2nd ed.) in A.A. Malik (ed.), The State We Are In; Identity, Terror and the Law of Jihad (Bristol, 2006); and (3rd ed.) in C. Miller (ed.), War on Terror: The Oxford Amnesty Lectures 2006 (Manchester, 2009).
  • “The Three Properties of Prophethood in Certain Works of Avicenna and al-Ghazali” in J. McGinnis (ed.), Interpreting Avicenna: Science and Philosophy in Medieval Islam (Leiden, 2004).

Further Info:

  • Assistant Editor, Journal of Islamic Studies (OUP).
  • Convened the 'Islam and Science' OCIS Seminar Series (2009).
  • Convening the Islamic Studies panel for the 15th Conference of the International Society for Religion, Literature and Culture (ISRLC), St. Catherine's (2010).
  • BBC documentaries: The Muslim Tommies (2009); Science and Islam (2009).
  • Upcoming exhibition: 'Sciences and Arts in Early Islam', Oxford Museum of the History of Science (2010-11).
  • Oxford Scriptural Reasoning Group.
Photograph of Afifi al-Akiti