Spotlight on Ahab Bdaiwi

Ahab BdaiwiAhab Bdaiwi lectures in medieval Islamic and Iranian history. He recently joined St Andrews after writing a doctoral dissertation on Islamic intellectual history at the University of Exeter. In the past he lectured in Islamic philosophy and classical Islamic history in London.

Ahab’s research focuses on Islamic intellectual history in the fifteenth and sixteenth century, with a particular geographical interest in Iran and Iraq. He is interested in philosophical, theological, and mystical traditions articulated by Shiʿi Muslim thinkers during the Safavid period (reg. 1501-1722), especially those who bring together different modes of enquiry, including but not limited the metaphysics of Avicenna, arguably the greatest philosopher in Islam, Shiʿi scripturalism, and theoretical mysticism.

In his current research, Ahab is preparing a study that looks at the history of opposition to philosophy and mysticism in the eastern lands of the Islamic world from the sixteenth century right until the present. This involves editing, translating, and commenting on hitherto unpublished Arabic and Persian manuscripts, some of which date back to the germane period.

Ahab 1Ahab’s teaching is closely linked to many of these research interests. He teaches the honours modules: ME3613 The Formation of Islamic Iran: From the Arab Conquests to the Seljuq Invasion and MO3080 From the Timurids to the Safavids. At postgraduate level he is a regular contributor to the School of History’s MLitt modules Themes in Middle Eastern and Iranian History (MH5101), where he teaches classes on the formative period of Islam and the Safavid era and the more general Introduction to Middle Eastern History (MH2002).

Ahab has recently published two entries in the Oxford Encyclopedia for Islamic Philosophy and Science. The first looks at the School of Isfahan, a seventeenth century philosophical movement in Iran which marks one of the most important junctures in Islamic intellectual history. The second looks at the School of Tehran, which marks an interesting encounter between Muslim philosophers and ideas associated with modernity, particularly in Tehran in the late nineteenth century.

For more on Ahab’s research, follow him on

About standrewshistory
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