Islam and Literature

Edited by Boutheina Kaldi, American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Overview: Bibliography, Online Bibliographical Resources, Journals, Book Series, Scholarly Societies, Graduate Programs, Grants


Allen, Roger. An Introduction to Arabic Literature. Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Altoma, S. J. “Westernization and Islam in Modern Arabic Fiction,” Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature 20 (1971): 81-88.

Badawi, M. M. “Islam in Modern Egyptian Literature,” in Modern Arabic Literature and the West. London: Ithaca Press, 1985.

Baldick, Julian. Mystical Islam: An Introduction to Sufism. New York: New York University Press, 1989.

Bin Tyeer, Sarah. The Qur’an and the Aesthetics of Premodern Arabic Prose. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.

Brugman, J. An Introduction to the History of Modern Arabic Literature in Egypt. Leiden: Brill, 1984.

Cacchia, Pierre: An Overview of Modern Arabic Literature. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1990.

Crone, Patricia, et al. The Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought. Princeton University Press, 2012.

Donohue, John, and John Esposito, eds. Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.

Gafaïti, Hafid, “Notes on Islam and Literature,” Religion and Literature 41. 2 (2009): 45-52.

Gibb, H.A. R, Kramers, J. H. Concise Encyclopedia of Islam. Brill, 2001.

Grunebaum, G. E. Von. “The Spirit of Islam as Shown in Its Literature,” Studia Islamica 1 (1953): 101-19.

Hitti, Philip K. Cities of Arab Islam. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1973.

Kadi, Wadad, Billah, Victor. Islam and Education – Myths and Truths. University of Chicago Press, 2007.

Kalin, Ibraim, ed. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Science, and Technology in Islam. Oxford University Press, 2014.

Le Gassick, Trevor. “The Path of Islam in Modern Arabic Fiction,” Religion and Literature 20: 1 (1988): 97-109. 

Morrison, S. A. “Arab Nationalism and Islam,” Middle East Journal 2 (1984): 147-59.

Al-Musawi, Muhsin. Islam on the Street: Religion in Modern Arabic Literature. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2009.

—–. The Medieval Islamic Republic of Letters: Knowledge Construction. University of Notre Dame Press. 2015.

—–. Arabic Poetry: Trajectories of Modernity and Tradition. London: Routledge, 2006.

—–. The Postcolonial Arabic Novel. Leiden: Brill, 2003.

—–. Scheherazade in England. Washington, DC: Three Continents Press, 1981.

Najjar Fauzi M, “Islamic Fundamentalism and the Intellectuals: The Case of Naguib Mahfouz,” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 25: 1 (1998): 139-68.

Ricouer, Paul. The Critique of Religion and the Language of Faith, trans. R. Bradley DeFord. New York: Union Theological Seminary, 1971.

Sharabi, Hisham. “Islam and Modernization in the Arab World,” in Modernization of the Arab World, ed. J. H. Thompson and Robert D. Reischauer. Princeton, NJ: D. Van Nostrand, 1966.

Smith, Charles. “The ‘Crisis of Orientalism’: The Shift of Egyptian Intellectuals to Islamic Subjects in the 1930s,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 4 (1973): 382-410.

Stetkevych, Suzanne Pinckney. The Poetics of Islamic Legitimacy: Myth, Gender, and Ceremony in the Classical Arabic Ode. Indiana University Press, 2002.

—–. The Mantle Odes: Arabic Praise Poems to the Prophet Muhammad. Indiana University Press, 2010.

Stetkevych, Yaroslav. Muhammad and the Golden Bough: Reconstructing Arabian Myth. Indiana University. 1996.

—–.The Modern Arabic Literary Language: Lexical and Stylistic Developments. Georgetown University Press. 2006.

—–. The Zephyrs of Najd: The Poetics of Nostalgia in the Classical Arabic Nasib.  University of Chicago Press. 1993.

—–. Arabic Poetry and Orientalism.  St John’s College, 2004.

Toorawa, Shawkat M. “Hapless Hapaxes and Luckless Rhymes: The Qur’an as Literature.” Religion and Literature. 41.2 (2009): 221-227.

—–. “Modern Arabic Literature and the Qur’an: Creativity, Inimitability… Incompatibilities?” Religious Perspectives in Modern Muslim and Jewish Literatures. Eds. Glenda Abramson and Hilary Kilpatrick. London: Routledge, 2005. 239-257.

Further readings on the Qu’ran as Literature can be found in the full Bibliography

Online Bibliographical Resources

“an online publication of Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University, offering expert analysis on a wide variety of issues in the field of Islamic Studies for academic and public audiences alike, and serving as a resource hub and a platform for informed conversation, featuring original articles and visual media from diverse perspectives.”

“…Sapelo Square intervenes in the marginalization and erasure of Black Muslims in the public square by building an online forum that places Black Muslims at the center. Our mission is to celebrate and analyze the experiences of Black Muslims in the United States to create new understandings of who they are, what they have done, and why that matters.”

“The goal of this project is to provide teachers, professors, researchers, journalists, and people interested in learning more about Islam with resources on Black Muslims to promote a more inclusive approach to the study of Islam…”

Annotated linguistic resource which shows the Arabic grammar, syntax and morphology for each word in the Holy Quran.

Database of several hadith collections searchable in Arabic and English taken from numerous unspecified editions

Portal for browsing and searching several hadith collections in English translation

Open access online collection of commentary, translation, recitation and other Qur’anic resources, Arabic & English

Platform to house primary sources of Islamic law.

المكتبة الشاملة | Shamela

Thousands of Arabic books (including various editions of important classical texts) available for browsing, download, search

مشروع تقني يهدف لتوفير خدمات بحث وتصفح متقدمة لمحتوى المكتبة الشاملة

Vast collection of digitized Arabic books and manuscripts relevant for Islamic studies including numerous classical texts

Platform with a multitude of digitized Islamic texts (drawn from various editions) and reference works on a range of subjects including tafsīr, fiqh, ʻaqāʾid, and more

Publications of the Türkiye Yazma Eserler Kurumu Başkanlığı available for browsing and PDF download

“These websites cover the responses of leading judicial authorities to current events in their respective countries (and in some cases well beyond).”

“AODL provides free universal access to cultural heritage materials from and about African countries and communities. It brings together tens of thousands of digitized photographs, videos, archival documents, maps, interviews and oral histories in numerous African languages, many of which are contained in curated thematic galleries and teaching resources.” 

Other Digital Resources

“An evolving sampling of digital scholarship related communication channels, collections, corpora,
training opportunities, tools (including Arabic OCR), projects & initiatives – by no means an exhaustive list. We will continue to expand the list & invite your suggestions for additional projects & other resources”

Additional Resources

  • The Blackwell Companion to the Qurʼan (2006 ed.)
  • Dictionary of Qurʾanic Usage
  • Historical Atlas of Islam
  • How to Read the Qurʼan: a New Guide, with select translations (Carl Ernst)
  • The Oxford Handbook of Qur’anic Studies (2020)
  • Oxford Islamic Studies Online
  • Persian E-Books Miras Maktoob: Persian and Arabic books on Islamic history and culture, published by the Written Heritage Research Institute (Miras Maktoob).

Scholarly Societies

Arab American Studies Association (AASA)

Association for Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies (AGAPS)

Association for Middle East Women’s Studies (AMEWS)

British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES)

British Association of Islamic Studies (BRAIS)

International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA)

Learned society dedicated to the study of the Qur’an. Holds conferences around the world and publishes cutting-edge research and scholarship

Middle Eastern Studies Association (MESA) 

North American Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies (NAAIMS)

Organization whose mission is to provide a forum for the production and dissemination of academic research on Islam and the diverse lived experience of Muslims

Graduate Programs

Columbia University: MA and PhD in Middle Eastern Studies;
MA in Islamic Studies

Emory University: PhD in Islamic Civilizations Studies

George Mason University: Accelerated MA in Middle East and Islamic Studies

Georgetown University: MA and PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies

Indiana University: MA and PhD in Middle Eastern Literatures;
MA and PhD in Islamic Studies

New York University: PhD in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies

Princeton University: MA and PhD in Near Eastern Studies

University of California Berkeley: MA and PhD in Arabic Literature;
MA and PhD in Islamic Studies

University of Chicago: PhD in Arabic language and Literature
PhD in Islamic thought
PhD in Islamic History and Civilization 

University of Pennsylvania: MA and PhD in Middle Eastern Literatures and Societies
JD AM Islamic Studies

The University of Texas at Austin: PhD in Middle East Literatures and Cultures
PhD in Islamic Studies

Yale University: PhD in Arabic Humanities
PhD in Islamic Studies


This is a list of external funders that provide grants for graduate students:

American Research Center in Egypt (pre-dissertation and dissertation research grants)

American Institute for Maghrib Studies (short-term and long-term grants)

Cosmos Club Foundation (research grants for students at Washington area universities)

Council of American Overseas Research Centers

Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Program

Fulbright U.S. Student Program

Institute of Turkish Studies

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships

Orient Institute Beirut

Palestinian American Research Center

Social Science Research Council (Dissertation Proposal Development Program, Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship)