Faculty Directory

Mahjabeen Dhala, WSR Chair

Director, Madrasa-Midrasha Program; Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies; Women's Studies in Religion Chair

Consortial Faculty
At the GTU since

In my capacity as a religious leader and pilgrim guide, I spent the last couple of decades studying and learning with and from Muslim communities across the global north and south. My international engagements have privileged me with a unique aptitude of blending research methods from both traditional Islamic principles and western academic disciplines.

To each class, I bring my earnest enthusiasm to learn more. I make it a point to acknowledge the minds, bodies, and emotions of all the participants to ensure that we engage wholly with the discourse. I believe in making room in one’s mind and heart for new paradigms and strive to provide a safe, non-judgmental, amicable space for sharing experiences and active learning. I draw on reflective, participatory, inclusive, multi-sensory, and process-focused pedagogies that engage with the micro-dynamics already present in the learning space and connect that to the larger theories and systems at play. I always leave a class more enriched than the time I entered it.

Degrees and Certifications

PhD, Graduate Theological Union, May 2021

MA, Graduate Theological Union, May 2017

Bachelors in Commerce and Economics,  Bombay University, May 1989

Research and Teaching Interests
  • Islamic Theology
  • Women's Studies
  • Pilgrimage
  • Lament Culture
  • Muslim Minorities
Selected Publications

“The Rib: Resurrecting Skeletons, Re-creating Eve,” in Beyond Words: Art Inspired by Sacred Texts. Berkeley, Center for the Arts and Religion, 2019

“Five Foundational Women in the Qur’an: Rereading their Stories from a Shia Female Perspective,” in Berkeley Journal of Religion and Theology, Vol. 5, no. 2, (2019) © 2019 by the Graduate Theological Union

“A Pilgrim’s Perspective on a Spiritual Reboot,” in GTU Voices, posted on July 24th, 2020 https://www.gtu.edu/gtu-voices/pilgrims-perspective-spiritual-reboot

"To Teach Like a Prophet: Community Engaged Learning with a Theological Twist," in the Association for Public Religion and Intellectual Life, 

Courses Taught
  • Introduction to Islam
  • Women's Studies in Religion
  • Islam and Its Interreligious Dimensions
  • Women and Gender in Jewish and Muslim texts and Practice
  • Covid-19 and Precarious Life