SOAS University of London

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Dr Ayman Shihadeh

BA (London), MSt, DPhil (Oxford)
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Publications


Ayman Shihadeh-IMG 485 186 56
Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Reader in Arabic Intellectual History

Department of Religions and Philosophies, School of History, Religions and Philosophies

Reader in Arabic Intellectual History

SOAS Middle East Institute (SMEI)


Dr Ayman Shihadeh
Email address:
+44(0) 20 7898 4343
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Academic Support Hours:
On Research Leave 2020-21


I am an intellectual historian of the Islamic world, whose research focuses on the history of theology, philosophy and wider intellectual and religious culture. After receiving a first-class BA (Hons) from SOAS, I completed my postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford in 2002, and then taught at the Universities of Edinburgh, Exeter and Glasgow before joining SOAS in 2008. I was awarded the Senior Humanities Research Fellowship at New York University Abu Dhabi for two years, between 2019-2021.
My main areas of research interest include the history of systematic theology, the Avicennan philosophical tradition, and the interaction between philosophy and religious thought in the pre-modern Islamic world. I am interested in the thought, especially in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, anthropology and dialectical practices, as well as the sources and wider environments in which thought developed and was transmitted and contested. My publications include several books, including two monographs, the first on the ethical theory of the influential theologian-cum-philosopher Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (d. 1210), and the second on the little-studied 12th-century philosopher Sharaf al-Din al-Mas‘udi, as well as studies on Avicenna (d. 1037), al-Ghazali (d. 1111), Ash‘arism and Mu‘tazilism. The first monograph later appeared in Arabic and Turkish translations. My current research investigates sources from the 10th through the 13th centuries.
I have been active in service to the academic community by serving in the following roles:

  • Member of the History Sub-panel in the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021), the official system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.
  • Editor-in-Chief, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
  • Editor-in-Chief, Islamic Translation Series. (Brill, previously BYU Press).
  • Editor of the Philosophy and Theology section, Encyclopaedia of Islam (Brill)
  • Member of the advisory boards of several academic journals and research projects, including Global Intellectual History, Oriens: Journal of Philosophy, Theology and Science in Islamic Societies, and Islamicate Intellectual History. 

My previous roles include co-chairing and then chairing the British Association for Islamic Studies between 2012-2019, and founding and chairing the BRAIS-De Gruyter Prize in the Study of Islam and the Muslim World.

Previous doctoral supervisees:

Current doctoral supervisees:

I convene the SOAS Intellectual History Reading Group, which is attended by scholars and doctoral students. We study medieval Arabic texts, which tend to be of an advanced nature.




Medieval Arabic intellectual history; the history of medieval Arabic philosophy and Islamic theology, especially kalam; Arabic codicology


Authored Books

Shihadeh, Ayman (2020) Al-Akhlāqiyyāt al-ghā'iyya 'ind Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (Arabic translation of The Teleological Ethics of Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī). Rabat: Mominoun Without Borders.

Shihadeh, Ayman (2017) Fahreddîn er-Râzî’nin Gayeci Ahlâkı (Turkish translation of The Teleological Ethics of Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī, by Selime Çınar and Kübra Şenel). Istanbul: Nobel Academic Publishing (Nobel Akademik Yayıncılık).

Shihadeh, Ayman (2015) Doubts on Avicenna: A Study and Edition of Sharaf al-Dīn al-Masʿūdī’s Commentary on the Ishārāt. Leiden and Boston: Brill.

Shihadeh, Ayman (2006) The Teleological Ethics of Fakhr al-Din al-Razi. Leiden: Brill.


Shihadeh, Ayman (2022) 'Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī and Ghūrid Self-Fashioning'. Afghanistan, (5) 2, pp 253-292.

Shihadeh, Ayman (2021) 'Psychology and Ethical Epistemology: An Ashʿarī Debate with Muʿtazilī Ethical Realism, 11th-12th C.'. Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies, (21), pp 81-102.

Shihadeh, Ayman (2021) 'Kelâmda Mereoloji: Arazlardan Hareketle Kurulan Hudûs Delilinin Yeni Bir Okuması (Turkish translation of 'Mereology in Kalām: A New Reading of the Proof from Accidents for Creation', translated by Güvenç Şensoy)'. Kader, (19) 1, pp 347-376.

Shihadeh, Ayman (2020) 'Mereology in Kalām: A New Reading of the Proof from Accidents for Creation'. Oriens: Journal of Philosophy, Theology and Science in Islamic Societies, (48), pp 5-39.

Shihadeh, Ayman (2019) 'Avicenna’s Theodicy and al-Rāzī’s Anti-Theodicy'. Intellectual History of the Islamicate World, (7) 1, pp 61-84.

Shihadeh, Ayman (2016) 'Gazzâlî'den Râzî'ye: 6/12. Yy.'da Felsefî Kelâmda Yeni Gelişmeler (Turkish translation of 'From al-Ghazālī to al-Rāzī: 6th/12th Century Developments in Muslim Philosophical Theology', translated by Bilal Taşkın)'. Kelam Araştırmaları Dergisi, (14) 1, pp 240-278.

Shihadeh, Ayman (2014) 'Avicenna's Corporeal Form and Proof of Prime Matter in Twelfth-Century Critical Philosophy: Abū l-Barakāt, al-Masʿūdī and al-Rāzī'. Oriens: Journal of Philosophy, Theology and Science in Islamic Societies, (42) 2-4, pp 364-396.

Shihadeh, Ayman (2014) 'Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī’s Response to Sharaf al-Dīn al-Masʿūdī’s Critical Commentary on Avicenna’s Ishārāt'. The Muslim World, (104) 1, pp 1-61.

Shihadeh, Ayman (2013) 'The Argument from Ignorance and Its Critics in Medieval Arabic Thought'. Arabic Sciences and Philosophy, (23) 2, pp 171-220.

Shihadeh, Ayman (2013) 'A Post-Ghazālian Critic of Avicenna: Ibn Ghaylān al-Balkhī on the Materia Medica of the Canon of Medicine'. Journal of Islamic Studies, (24) 2, pp 135-174.

Shihadeh, Ayman (2012) 'Classical Ash'ari Anthropology: Body, Life and Spirit'. The Muslim World, (102) 3-4, pp 433-477.

Shihadeh, Ayman (2011) 'Ash'ariyya'. Oxford Bibliographies Online.

Shihadeh, Ayman and Suleiman, Yasir (2007) 'Islam on Campus: Teaching Islamic Studies at Higher Education Institutions in the UK'. Journal of Beliefs & Values, (28) 3, pp 309-329.

Shihadeh, Ayman (2006) 'Three Apologetic Stances in al-Tufi: Theological Cognitivism, Noncognitivism, and a Proof of Prophecy from Scriptural Contradiction'. Journal of Qur’anic Studies, (8) 2, pp 1-23.

Shihadeh, Ayman (2005) 'From al-Ghazali to al-Razi: 6th/12th Century Developments in Muslim Philosophical Theology'. Arabic Sciences and Philosophy, (15) 1, pp 141-179.

Edited Books or Journals

Shihadeh, Ayman and Thiele, Jan, (eds.), (2020) Philosophical Theology in Islam: Later Ashʿarism East and West. Leiden and Boston: Brill. (Islamicate Intellectual History).

Shihadeh, Ayman, (ed.), (2013) Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī’s Father, Ḍiyāʾ al-Dīn al-Makkī. Nihāyat al-Marām fī Dirāyat al-Kalām. Facsimile of the Autograph Manuscript of Vol. II. Berlin; Tehran: Freie Universität Berlin and Mīrāth-i Maktūb.

Shihadeh, Ayman, (ed.), (2012) The Ontology of the Soul in Medieval Arabic Thought. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. (The Muslim World, double issue 102.3-4).

Shihadeh, Ayman, (ed.), (2007) Sufism and Theology. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Shihadeh, Ayman, (ed.), (2005) Najm al-Din al-Tufi: Dar’ al-qawl al-qabih bi-l-tahsin wa-l-taqbih (Critical edition and study). Riyadh: King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies.

Book Chapters

Shihadeh, Ayman (2020) 'Al-Rāzī’s Earliest Kalām Work: Eastern Ashʿarism in the Twelfth Century'. In: Shihadeh, Ayman and Thiele, Jan, (eds.), Philosophical Theology in Islam: Later Ashʿarism East and West. Leiden and Boston: Brill, pp 36-70.

Shihadeh, Ayman (2020) 'Klasik Eş‘arî Antropolojisi: Beden, Hayat ve Ruh (Turkish translation of 'Classical Ash'ari Anthropology: Body, Life and Spirit', translated by Güvenç Şensoy)'. In: Alpyağıl, Recep, (ed.), Din Felsefesi Açısından Eş’ari Gelen-Ek-i Klasik ve Çağdaş Metinler Seçkisi V. Istanbul: İz Yayıncılık, pp 1125-1160.

Shihadeh, Ayman (2016) 'Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī's Commentary on Avicenna's Pointers : The Confluence of Exegesis and Aporetics'. In: El-Rouayheb, Khaled and Schmidtke, Sabine, (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Islamic Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Shihadeh, Ayman (2016) 'Theories of Ethical Value in Kalam: A New Interpretation'. In: Schmidtke, Sabine, (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Islamic Theology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 384-407.

Shihadeh, Ayman (2016) 'Religious Readings of Philosophy'. In: Taylor, Richard C. and López-Farjeat, Luis X., (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Islamic Philosophy. London and New York: Routledge, pp 412-422.

Shihadeh, Ayman (2015) 'Al-Ghazālī and Kalām: The Conundrum of His Body-Soul Dualism'. In: Griffel, Frank, (ed.), Islam and Rationality: The Impact of al-Ghazālī. Papers Collected on His 900th Anniversary. Vol. 2. Leiden and Boston: Brill, pp 113-141.

Shihadeh, Ayman (2013) 'Aspects of the Reception of Avicenna’s Theory of Prophecy in Islamic Theology'. In: Houser, R. E., (ed.), Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Philosophy in the Abrahamic Traditions. Volume 86, 2012. Houston, TX: Philosophy Documentation Center, pp 23-32.

Shihadeh, Ayman (2011) 'Khojazada on al-Ghazali's Criticism of the Philosophers' Proof of the Existence of God'. In: Yücedoğru, Tevfik and Koloğlu, Orhan and Kılavuz, Murat and Gömbeyaz, Kadir, (eds.), International Symposium on Khojazada (22-24 October 2010 Bursa): Proceedings. Bursa: Bursa Büyükşehir Belediyesi, pp 141-161.

Shihadeh, Ayman (2011) 'New Light on the Reception of al-Ghazali’s Doctrines of the Philosophers (Maqasid al-Falasifa)'. In: Adamson, Peter, (ed.), In the Age of Averroes: Arabic Philosophy in the Sixth/Twelfth Century. London: The Warburg Institute, pp 77-92.

Shihadeh, Ayman (2008) 'The Existence of God'. In: Winter, Tim, (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 197-217.

Shihadeh, Ayman (2007) 'The Mystic and the Sceptic in Fakhr al-Din al-Razi'. In: Shihadeh, Ayman, (ed.), Sufism and Theology. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp 101-122.


Shihadeh, Ayman (2016) 'Ḍiyā’ al-Dīn al-Makkī'.

Shihadeh, Ayman (2013) 'Favour (Divine)'.


This list was last generated on Saturday, 1st October 2022, 21:23 Europe/London.