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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Skreslet, Paula Youngman and Rebecca Skreslet. The Literature of Islam: A Guide to the Primary Sources in English Translation. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2006.

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.

Stewart, Tony K. Witness to Marvels: Sufism and Literary Imagination. University of California Press, 2019.

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, and 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).”

Other Digital 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)
  • Persian E-Books Miras Maktoob: Persian and Arabic books on Islamic history and culture, published by the Written Heritage Research Institute (Miras Maktoob)

Book Series

Arabic Literature of Africa 

Basic Texts of Islamic Mysticism 

Brill Studies in Middle Eastern Literatures Series

Documenta Coranica

Islamic Literatures: Texts and Studies

Islamic Manuscripts and Books 

Islamic Translations series

Literatures and Cultures of the Islamic World

Studies in Arabic Literature

Studies on Performing Arts and Literature of the Islamicate World

Texts and Studies on the Qurʾān 

Other Series and Collections in Islamic Studies

Annotated Legal Documents on Islam in Europe

Brill’s Arab and Islamic Laws Series

Brill’s Companions of Middle East and Islamic Studies Online

Christian-Muslim Relations: a Bibliographical History 

The Classical Shiʿah Library

Contemporary Archive of the Islamic World

Islam in Africa

Islamic Area Studies

Islamicate Intellectual History

Leiden Studies in Islam and Society

Middle East Today

Middle East and Islamic Studies E-Books Online

The Modern Shīʿah Library 

The Muslim World in the Age of the Crusades

Routledge Islamic Studies Series

Shii Islam: Texts and Studies

Studies in Islamic Ethics

Studies in Islamic Law and Society

Themes in Islamic Studies

Theology and Society 


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

Encyclopedia of Canonical Hadīth (Juynboll)

Encyclopaedia of Islam

Encyclopaedia Islamica

Encyclopaedia of the Qur’ān

Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures 2010-2020

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

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

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)