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6th Year Ph.D. Student
I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Cornell University, where I am writing my dissertation on War and Law in the First Islamic Polity: A Study of the Terms of Capitulation Tradition. The study interrogates the compositional development and Near Eastern context of what I propose is an especially impactful Muslim tradition (ḥadīth) pertaining to the structure of law and society at the dawn of Islam. There exist well over a hundred distinct variants of the tradition, which is attributed to the Prophet Muḥammad or other early authorities, such as the first two caliphs, Abū Bakr and ʿUmar I, and comprises instructions given to a military commander prior to his setting out on a raid or expedition. The instructions pertain to the appropriate means of enacting terms of capitulation with a subjugated community and a number of sociolegal institutions, most importantly: military recruitment through conferment of aʿrābiyya, the dhimma contract of protection, and subjecthood through payment of jizya. My analytical approach involves refinements to current methods of text and transmission analysis and close attention to a variety of materials outside of the traditional Islamic canon, especially Arabian epigraphy and pre-Islamic poetry.
David Powers (Chair), Ross Brann, Munther Younes, Pavel Pavlovitch
- Near Eastern Studies
- Hadith and Islamic Law
- Early Islamic Dogma and Political Thought
- Judeo-Islamic Interactions
- Classical Arabic Literature
- Religion and Society in Ancient and Late Antique Arabia
"Rebel's Advocate: How Abū 'Ubayda Ma'mar b. al-Muthannā Came to be Labelled a Khārijite," Journal of Near Eastern Studies [Forthcoming].
"The Gestation of Arabic Biography: Lives of the Traditionists," in The Oxford Handbook of Hadith Studies, ed. Mustafa Shah. Oxford University Press [Forthcoming].
"al-Ṭabarānī." In The I.B. Tauris Biographical Dictionary of Islamic Civilization, ed. Muhammad A.S. Abdel Haleem and Mustafa Shah. London: I.B. Tauris [Forthcoming].
"al-Qifṭī." In The I.B. Tauris Biographical Dictionary of Islamic Civilization, ed. Muhammad A.S. Abdel Haleem and Mustafa Shah. London: I.B. Tauris [Forthcoming].
"The Four Braids of the Ruwāla Bedouin, ca. 1930: Continuation of a Pre-Islamic Custom?" Presented at the Tübingen Hadith Studies Workshop (University of Tübingen, Germany), Dec 11, 2020.
"The Qur'ānic A'rāb: A Reassessment," presented at the Third Biennial International Conference of the International Qur'anic Studies Association (University of New England, Tangier, Morocco), Jul 26, 2019.
"Reflections on the Prohibition of Music and Song in Islam," presented for the Cornell University and TST BOCES lecture series, "Listening to the Middle East" (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY), Apr 2, 2019.
"The Critic, the Convert, and the Concealment of the Torah: A Compositional Analysis of the 'Stoning of the Jews' Tradition," presented at the 229th Meeting of the American Oriental Society (Chicago, IL), Mar 16, 2019.
"Meaningful Textual Features (MTFs) and a Layered Approach to ICMA: The 'Stoning of the Jews' Tradition as a Case Study," presented for the seminar, "Approaches to Isnād-cum-matn Analysis (ICMA),"directed by Professor Pavel Pavlovitch (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY), Aug 14, 2018.
"Conversion and Subjecthood before the Jizya: New Light from a Qur'anic-era Tradition," presented for the panel, "Community, Identity, and the Codification of Islamic Law," Fifth Annual Conference of the British Association for Islamic Studies (Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, UK), Apr 11, 2018.
“The Arghal Tradition: A Primitive Ruling Concerning Male Circumcision Evincing a Shared Judaic and Islamic Context,” presented at the Second IDEO Conference in Cairo: The Emergence of Ḥadīṯ as the Authority of Knowledge (Dominican Institute for Oriental Studies, Cairo, Egypt), Jan 12, 2018.
“Muslim and Islam-Affiliated Denominations in the United States,” presented for the TST BOCES K-12 teacher training series, “America and the Middle East” (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY), Oct 24, 2017.
“Two Policies of Non-Aggression in the Umayyad Period: Abū Bilāl Mirdās b. Udayya, al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī, and the Beginnings of Basran Quietism,” presented for the panel, “Reconsidering Kharijism in Early Islamic History,” 33rd Deutscher Orientalistentag (Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany), Sep 27, 2017.
“The Arghal Tradition: Exclusionary Praxis in a Shared Judaic and Islamic Context,” presented at the Symposium organized by students of Syriac and Armenian at HMML (St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN), Aug 4, 2017.
“Rebel’s Advocate: How Abū ʿUbayda Maʿmar b. al-Muthannā Came to be Labelled a Kharijite,” presented for the panel, “Reassessing Textual Transmission in the Early Islamic Period,” 21st Anniversary NMCGSA Symposium (University of Toronto, Canada), Mar 9, 2017.
“Community, Identity, and the Codification of Islamic Law,” Fifth Annual Conference of the British Association for Islamic Studies, (Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, UK), Apr 11, 2018 (with Antonia Bosanquet).