Leading Scholar on Arabic literature, Islam and Democracy, Islamic Law, and Feminist Movements in Islam
Hijri Unknown–Present (AH); Common Era Unknown–Present (CE)
Souad T. Ali is a leading scholar on Arabic literature, Islam and democracy, Islamic law, and feminist movements in Islam.1 She is the department head of the Classics and Middle East Studies department at Arizona State University. Ali is also affiliate faculty at the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict and is a Fulbright Scholar completing research at the American University of Kuwait.2 Souad is best known for her work on Islam and secularism. In her groundbreaking book, A Religion, Not a State: Ali ‘Abd al-Raziq’s Islamic Justification of Political Secularism, Souad reassesses the writings of Ali ‘Abd al-Raziq, an Egyptian reformist scholar who is often considered the intellectual father of Islamic secularism. She considers his argument that Islam is “a religion, not a state; a message, not a government,” and situates it firmly within Islamic historical records and sacred texts, especially the Quran and Hadith.3 She challenges longstanding misinterpretations that ‘Abd al-Raziq’s writings were corrupted by Western ideology, and her study attempts to show the ways in which Islam has been impacted by the West while encouraging tolerance and civil debate regarding Islam and modernity.4 Shortly after publication, her book was named one of the “bestselling new and future releases in Turkey” on Amazon.com.5 Souad is also the Vice President and Program Chair of the American Academic of Religion/Western Region and is the co-chair of Islamic Studies section.6 She completed her BA with distinction from the University of Khartoum and the Polytechnic of North London, going on to receive her Masters at Brigham Young University and a PhD at the University of Utah in 2004.  “Souad T. Ali: Bio,” Arizona State University.  “ASU Fulbright Scholar delivers message of tolerance in Kuwait,” Arizona State University News.  “A Religion, Not a State Ali ‘Abd al-Raziq’s Islamic Justification of Political Secularism: Souad T. Ali. Utah Series in Turkish and Islamic Studies,” The University of Utah Press.  ibid.  “ASU Fulbright Scholar delivers message of tolerance in Kuwait,” Arizona State University News.  “Souad T. Ali: Bio,” Arizona State University.