Asad Q. Ahmed is Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies in the Department of Near Eastern Studies, the University of California, Berkeley.  He received his B.A. in 2000 from Yale University, majoring from the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Literature.  He was awarded a Ph.D. in 2007 from the Department of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University.

Ahmed specializes in early Islamic social history and pre-modern Islamic intellectual history, with a special focus on the rationalist disciplines, such as philosophy, logic, and astronomy. Though he has worked extensively on Islamic intellectual history of the so-called classical period (ca. 800-1200 CE), his current focus is the period ca. 1200-1900 CE, especially with reference to the Indian subcontinent.  He is the author of *The Religious Elite of the Early Islamic Hijaz* (University of Oxford, 2011) and *Avicenna’s Deliverance:  Logic* (Oxford University Press, 2011).  He is also the co-editor of *The Islamic Scholarly Tradition* (Brill, 2010).  He has published several articles in the aforementioned fields and in usul al-fiqh and kalam.  His general training also includes Graeco-Arabica, classical Arabic poetry and poetics, and hadith and Qur’anic Studies.

Ahmed is the editor-in-chief of the Oxford Studies in Post-Classical Islamic Scholarship (OUP) and co-editor of the journal Oriens.  He is also co-editor of the Qur’an and Early Islam sections of The Marginalia Review of Books.  He currently chairs the Mellon Seminars called Graeco-Arabic Rationalism in Islamic Transmitted Sciences: The Post-Classical Period, held regularly at UC Berkeley.

Ahmed is very happy to receive queries and applications from students wishing to pursue doctoral studies in his fields of interest and expertise and he welcomes manuscripts of books, articles, and reviews for publication in the three venues noted above.

*faculty advisory committee


The Religious Elite of the Early Islamic Hijaz. P&G, University of Oxford, 2011.

Avicenna’s Deliverance: Logic. Oxford University Press, 2011.

In the field of intellectual history, Asad’s long term goal is to write a responsible history of the rationalist sciences (ma’qulat) after the so-called Golden Age of Islam.  Since such work first and foremost requires detailed and piecemeal studies of texts in logic, theology, philosophy, jurisprudence, etc., much of his output in this area focuses either on case studies of salient technical issues or on the rationalist tradition in pre-modern and early modern Muslim India.  In this area of scholarly interest, Asad has published Avicenna’s Deliverance: Logic (Oxford University Press, 2011), in addition to a number of articles.  Asad’s more general training includes classical Arabic poetry and poetics, Graeco-Arabica, and Qur’anic and Hadith studies.

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