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CIS - Students and Graduates

"The students who come to the GTU for Islamic studies are interested in serious academic study of the Islamic tradition within its theological, historical, and cultural contexts, and they want to do so in an interdisciplinary, intercultural, interreligious and intra-religous environment, where practice of faith matters. Students at the Center for Islamic Studies come from diverse backgrounds and traditions, and value the environment here at the GTU where that diversity is respected."

--Munir Jiwa, Director, Center for Islamic Studies 

Below you'll find a list of current students and graduates affiliated with the Center for Islamic Studies, along with each scholar's thesis or dissertation topic.

Sakinah Alhabshi
Interfaith Chaplancy

James Ford (on leave)
African-American Muslims

Toktar Aben
Islamic Studies

Taqwa Surapati
Understanding Death in Islam as a Guiding Concept: Role of Spiritual Care in Maintaining Human Dignity in End of Life Situation

Nosizwe Breaux-Abdur-Rahman
Islamic Studies

Laura Miller (deferred to Spring 2021)
Islamic Studies

David Coolidge
Islamic Theological Engagement with the Hindu Tradition

Mahjabeen Dhala
Presidential Scholar in Sacred Texts and Their Interpretation

Uzma Husaini
The Seven Liberal Arts as a Foundation for Muslim Civilization

Reem Javed (on leave)
Critical Pedagogy, Islamic Studies, and Women’s Studies (np)

May Kosba
Presidential Scholar in Historical and Cultural Studies of Religion

Reem Kosba
Refugee Studies

Abdul Hamid Robinson-Royal
Re/Imagining Masculinities: The Construction and Performance of an Aesthetics of American Muslim Subjectivity

Amin Tejpar
Encountering Biotechnology: Religion, Technoscience and Nation-Building

Paula Thompson
Historical and Cultural Studies of Religion

Therese Bjornaas (Currently in PhD program)

Andrew Lee (Currently in PhD program)


Bradley Seligmann (JST, Grad 5/18)

Benjamin Griffin (Common MA, Grad 5/13)

Meredith Jackson (PSR MDiv, Grad 5/13)

Dianne Muller (DSPT MA [Theology], Grad 5/11)

John Compaglia (Common MA, Grad 5/10)

Sara Mohr (Common MA, Grad 5/09)

Michael Gutzler (Common MA, Grad 5/06)

Alexis Easton (PSR MDiv, Grad 5/93)

Huzaifa Shahbaz
Islamophobia, White Supremacy, and the Far-Right
Grad Fall 2020

Kamran Khan
Demonizing Islam with Islam: Political Motives and the Proliferation of Anti-Islamic Rhetoric
Grad Fall 2020

Saad Akbar
Islamic Philosophy

Brian Johnson
Islamic Spirituality and Philosophy

Siddique A. Gilchrist
Faith and Spirituality: The African Muslim Slave Experience

Suheyla Cetin
The Importance of Muslim Chaplains on University and College Campuses for the Well-Being of Muslim Students in the United States
Grad 5/9/19

Imran Hyder Ghani
A Promenade of Memories: Reading Resistance and Revival in the Historiography of Maulana Hakim Sayyid 'Abdul Hayy al-Hasani
Grad 5/9/19 

Hameem Rahman
In Search of True Enlightenment: A Comparative Study of Ghazaliam and Kantian Ethics
Grad 5/9/19

Mahjabeen Dhala
The Right to Choose Piety: Understanding Muslim Women’s God-centric Choice from a Shia Perspective
Grad 5/11/17

Paula Thompson
A New Normal: Islam, Countering Violent Extremism, and The Creation of ‘Muslim Subjects’ in America
Grad 5/12/16

Ahmed Khater
A Theoretical Study of Classical Islamic Jurisprudence: The Application of Marjuh Legal Opinions

May Kosba
From Ikhwanophobia to Islamophobia: Post-Colonial Cultural Nationalism in Post-Revolutionary Egypt
Grad 10/21/16

Reem Kosba
Contemporary Christian-Muslim Relations in Egypt: Secularism, Violence, and the Challenges of Conflict Resolution
Grad 10/21/16

Rania Shah
Al-Ghazali on Reason and Revelation: A Revival in the Heart of the Islamic Scholarly Tradition
Grad 10/21/16

Saad Shaukat
Shibli Nomani's Contribution to Kalam
Grad 10/21/16

Asif Ali Sheikh
The Transformation of Sufi Metaphysical Thought in South Asia
Grad 10/21/16

Sammy Rahmati
Understanding and Countering Islamophobia
Grad 10/16/15

Murat Bilici
The Role of Islam in Kurdish Cultural Identity in America
Grad 10/16/15

Sundiata Al Rashid
From Bean Pie to Baklava: Islam in the San Francisco Bay Area
Grad 10/29/14

David Hiller
Breathe in Union: A Brief Look at Islamic Pluralism
Grad 10/29/14

Deenaz Kanji
Transformation in Contemporary Sufism: Contested Meanings and New Mediations of the Qawwali Tradition
Grad 5/8/14

Farah El-Sharif
"Making light" of Islam: Representations of Sufism in American Religion and the Public Sphere
Grad 10/18/13

Sarah Heddon
The Madrasa Early Childhood Program: An Integrated Model of Islamic Education in Kenya
Grad 10/18/13

Fateme Montazeri
Why Death?: An Inquiry into Text and Context in Persian Painting
Grad 10/18/13

Yahya Rhodus
Keys to the Revival: An Analytical Study of the Architecture of al-Ghazālī's Iḥyā' 'Ulūm al-Dīn
Grad 5/10/12

James Whipple
Reviving the Heart: The Heart, Knowledge, and Spiritual Transformation in al-Ghazālī's Revival of the Religious Sciences
Grad 10/19/12

Dr. Ahmed Khater
The Implementation of Fiqh Al-Nawazil in the West: Takhrij and Ijtihad Within the Four Sunni Schools of Jurisprudence

Dr. Hamza Yusuf

Dr. Kamal Abu-Shamsieh
End of Life Care and Islamic Practical Theology (Grad FA20)

Dr. Mohammad Waqas Sajjad
For the Love of the Prophet: Deobandi-Barelvi Polemics and the Ulama in Pakistan
Grad 5/9/19

Dr. Hatice Yildiz
Revisiting the Qizilbash/Alevi Tradition in Light of 17th Century Mecmua Manuscripts
Grad 5/11/17

Dr. Som Pourfarzaneh
Muslim Cultural Producers in The United States: Countering Stereotypes With Media+, Social Networks, and Cultural Capital
Grad 5/9/13

Dr. Abdullah Ali
The “Negro” in Afro-Arabian Muslim Consciousness
Grad 5/10/12

Dr. Ali Ataie
Authenticating the Johannine Injil: Sunnite “Polemirenic” Interpretive Methodological Approaches to the Gospel of John
Grad 10/21/11