SOAS academic awarded an OBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours
19 June 2008
SOAS congratulates Professor Muhammad Abdel Haleem, King Fahd Professor of Islamic Studies and Director of the Centre of Islamic Studies, who was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours on 14 June. Professor Abdel Haleem was recognized for his services to Arabic culture and literature and to inter-faith understanding.
An extremely distinguished academic, Professor Abdel Haleem has made a major contribution to the understanding of Arabic culture and literature in general and Islam in particular. He has published 10 books, including his more recent The Qur'an: A New Translation and Dictionary of Qur'anic Usage, as well as a number of book chapters and journal articles. He is also editor of the Journal of Qur'anic Studies.
Professor Abdel Haleem’s work has received academic praise, but he is equally recognized for his contributions to the public understanding of Islam. His translation of the Qur'an, for example, is the first translation by an Arab Muslim to be published by a prestigious international academic publisher – Oxford University Press. It has been an international best seller, with numerous acclaimed reviews.
In his tenure at SOAS, Professor Abdel Haleem has been responsible for the introduction of many programmes, including his key role in establishing the Centre of Islamic Studies. In this capacity, he has raised money to fund further lectureship posts in Islamic Studies. Outside SOAS, he is equally active, contributing widely to interfaith discussions, through involvement in groups such as St Ethelburga’s interfaith centre for Reconciliation and Peace, the Cambridge Interfaith project and the Building Bridges seminars led by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Professor Abdel Haleems is also a regular guest on BBC World Service (English and Arabic services) and BBC Radio 4.
His many other accomplishments include acting as an expert witness in the English courts on matters concerning Islamic Law and Arabic and Islamic Culture; serving as a Trustee of the King Fahd Academy; and promoting the teaching of Arabic in the UK. The latter has included chairing the Examination Board for GCSE and GCE Arabic (University of London, Edexcel) and serving as an examiner at several UK Universities and the Chartered Institute of Linguists.
Please see Professor Abdel Haleem’s profile for more information on his work and publications.