Asad Q. Ahmed

Asad Q. Ahmed (Ph.D. Princeton University, 2007) is Assistant Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He specializes in early Islamic social and religious history and post-classical Muslim intellectual history. In the former field, he focuses on the sociopolitical networks of the elite of the Hijaz during the first two centuries of the hijra. By using prosopographical and social network analysis methods on genealogies, biographical dictionaries, and transmission chains, he investigates the significance of formal and informal groups for the development of early Muslim politics, society, and dogma. These same methods have also allowed him to speculate on the metahistorical thrust of his sources and on the nature of kinship ties in early Islam. Some of the conclusions of his work in this field are presented in The Religious Elite of the Early Islamic Hijaz (P&G, University of Oxford, 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, Islamic jurisprudence, Graeco-Arabica, and Qur’anic and Hadith studies.