Dr Mustapha  Sheikh

Dr Mustapha Sheikh

Lecturer in Islamic Studies;
Co-Director of the Iqbal Centre for the Study of Contemporary Islam

+44 (0)113 343 3422

Summary: Islamic legal theory and theology; Muslim reformist thought; Islamic Finance


I studied at University College London, where I took my BSc in Project Management, and at St Cross College, Oxford, where I took my MSt in the Study of Religion and D.Phil. in Theology. My doctoral thesis, which was completed under the supervision of Professor Yahya Michot (now at Hartford Seminary) and Dr M.A. Al-Akiti (Worcester College and Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies), is an exploration of the theology, mysticism and ethics of Imam Ahmad al-Rumi al-Aqhisari, a 17th-Century Ottoman scholar who was associated with the infamous Qadizadeli movement. I am presently working on converting the thesis into a book for the OUP Theological Monographs series. Prior to taking up postgraduate studies, I spent significant periods of time in Damascus and Istanbul, where I studied the traditional Islamic sciences, including Arabic grammar, logic, jurisprudence, legal theory, Qur'anic exegesis, hadith and Sufism. These studies culminated in the award of a Higher License (Ijazah 'Aliyah) in Islamic Law and Theology (July 2006). 

Research Interests

My major research interests are in Islamic law and legal theory. I am presently working on the thought of the 13th-14th century Damascene jurist-theologian Taqi al-Din Ahmad b. Taymiyya (d. 1328) and his influence upon later Islamic revivalist movements; Hanafi jurisprudence; and Islamic Finance.

To learn more about my latest research activities, visit the Iqbal Centre for the Study of Contemporary Islam, of which I am Co-Director. 

    Taught Courses

    Undergraduate level:

    1. ARAB2280 - Islamic Law: Theory and Practice
    2. ARAB3073 - Islam and Modernity

    Postgraduate level:

    1. ARAB5060M - Debating the Middle East: Islam, Politics and Culture
    2. ARAB5014M - Islam and Modernity  

    Postgraduate Supervision

    I am happy to supervise PhD research in most areas of Islamic Studies. I am currently supervising the following doctoral candidates:

    Mohammed Ali Rizvi, 'The Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan and the Barelwi Movement'.

    Mohammed Abed, 'The Traditions of al-Mahdi and his Imamate between al-Kafi and the Six Books of Sunni Islam: The Contribution of al-Kafi to the Formulation of Twelver Shi'ism'. 

    Hizer Mir, 'Naming the Nameless: Islamicate Understandings and Interpretations of "Religion" and "Secularism"'.

    Claudia Radiven, 'Terrorist Rehabilitation in the UK Context'.

    Sitara Akram, 'Riba Revisited: A Genealogical Study'.

    Sajda Khan, Modelling Prophetic Behaviour: The Problem of Muslim Integration in Britain with Lessons Drawn from the Prophet's Biography

    Successfully completed:

    Marzouq al-Suheil, 'Hadith-Amali Sessions: A Historical Study of A Forgotten Tradition in Classical Islam' (2015).

    Taher Hamed Adheidah, 'Forced Marriage in the British Muslim Community from an Islamic Law Perspective: A Critical Study' (2015).

    Mansour Alshammari, 'Takfir and Terrorism: Historical Roots, Contemporary Challenges and Dynamic Solutions' (2013).

    Administrative Responsibilites

    Senior Admissions Officer for the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies



    A Treasury of Ibn Taymiyyah: Timeless Wisdom of His Words (Treasury in Islamic Thought and Civilisation). Forthcoming, Feb 2017 (Leicester: Kube Publishing).


    Ottoman Puritanism and Its Discontents: Ahmad al-Rumi al-Aqhisari and the Qadizadelis. Forthcoming, Nov 2016 (Oxford University Press)



    'Qadizadeli Revivalism reconsidered in light of Ahmad al-Rumi al-Aqhisari's Majalis al-abrar', University of Oxford, Theology Faculty, St. Cross College.




    'Debt Instruments in Islamic Finance: A Critique', Arab Law Quarterly, 30/2, 2016. Co-authored with M.S. Ebrahim.


    'The Mudaraba Facility: Evolution, Stasis and Contemporary Revival', Arab Law Quarterly,  29/3, 2015. Co-authored with M.S. Ebrahim.


    'Taymiyyan Influences in an Ottoman-Hanafi Milieu: The Case of Ahmad al-Rumi al-Aqhisari', Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, July 2014. 


    'Hybrid Islamic Finance Instruments: An Usuli-Rationalisation', Arab Law Quarterly, 28/3, 2014. Co-authored with M.S. Ebrahim and M. Salleh.


    'The Political Economy and the Underdevelopment of the Muslim World', co-authored with M.S. Ebrahim. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2171175

    'Debt Instruments in Islamic Finance', M. Sheikh and M.S. Ebrahim. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1960498

    'A Critical Study of the Mudarabah Facility in Islamic Finance', M. Sheikh and M.S. Ebrahim. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1977216


    Princeton Readings in Islamist Thought: Texts and Contexts from Al-Banna to Bin Laden. Roxanne L. Euben and Muhammad Qasim Zaman (eds), British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Volume 39 (2), 2012. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13530194.2012.709710


    'Iklhās and the Assimilation of Tawhīd,' Wisdom, Jul.-Aug. 2008 (Erkam Publishing).

    'Ibn 'Ajība's commentary on Qur'ān 51:55 from al-Tafsīr al-majīd,' introduction and translation, Wisdom, Jan-Feb 2009 (Erkam Publishing).

    'Ibn 'Ajība's commentary on Qur'ān 18:28 from al-Tafsīr al-majīd', introduction and translation, Wisdom, Mar-Apr 2009 (Erkam Publishing).

    Conferences and Talks

    4 July 2016: 'Digestifs and Dutch Courage in the Age of Muslim Empire', Food, Feasting and Famine in the Islamic World panel, Leeds International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds. 

    24 May 2016: Invited speaker: 'Just Jihad: The Ethics of Warfare in Islam', International Military Religious Leaders Conference, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. 

    4 February 2016: Invited speaker: 'Islam and Economic (Under)development: A Political Economy Perspective', Durham University Business School, Durham University.

    8 June 2015: 'Exploring the Possibilities of Taymiyyan Infusions in Ahmad al-Rumi al-Aqhisari's Conceptualisation of the Mystical Path, with Reference to the Notion of al-Tariqat al-Muhammadiyya', 'Ibn Taymiyya Among the Mamluks and the Ottomans: Reception, Transmission and State of the Art' international workshop, University of Bologna.

    25 April 2015: Invited Speaker: 'Islamic Legal Methods: Study of Sadd al-dhara'i, Ijtihad and Fatwa', 'Journey through Usul' seminar series, Madinatul Uloom, Bradford.

    28 January 2015: Invited Speaker: 'Ibn Taymiyya: His Life, Works and Legacy', 'Muslim Thinkers' seminar series, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies.

    4 April 2014: 'Taymiyyan Influences in an Ottoman-Hanafi Milieu', British Association of Islamic Studies Inaugural Conference, University of Edinburgh.

    27 June 2012: 'Reflections on the Arab Spring of 2011 and its Aftermath', Lifelong Learning Centre, University of Leeds.

    1 February 2012: 'Violence in Istanbul: Ottoman Puritanism in the 17th Century with Reference to the Qadizadelis', Research Seminar Series, Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Leeds.    

    28 January 2012: Co-organiser of symposium, 'Teaching Islamic Studies: Methodological Concerns, Practical Solutions", University of Leeds and Islamic Studies Network.

    10 December 2011: 'Reviving the Spirit of the Mudarabah Facility through the Participating Preferred Ijarah Facility', co-presented with Prof M. Shahid Ebrahim (Durham University), 'Analytical and Empirical Research in Islamic Finance, Management, Economics and Law' conference, Aston Business School.

    15 May 2011: Invited Speaker: 'Muslim Cultural Diversities in Britain', Luther King House, Manchester.

    22 March 2010: Invited Speaker: 'Challenges facing a People of Scripture: British Muslims, Active Citizenship and Faithfulness to the Qur'an', Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM).

    3 March 2009: Invited Speaker: 'Muslim Minority Fiqh in the West', Marmara University postgraduate seminar, Istanbul.

    15 January 2008: Invited Speaker: 'Women in Islam', Abingdon European Society, Oxford.

    Membership of Academic Bodies

    Member of British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES)
    Member of British Association of Islamic Studies (BRAIS)