Najam Haider

Najam Haider

Department of Religion, Barnard College



Associate Professor of Religion, Barnard College
Faculty Profile

Academic Focus:
Islamic Law, Shi'ism, Ritual,
History and Historiography,
Identity Formation

Najam Haider, an Associate Professor in the Department of Religion, completed his PhD at Princeton University (2007), M.Phil. at Oxford University (2000), and BA at Dartmouth College (1997). His courses bridge the gap between the classical and modern Muslim worlds with a particular emphasis on the impact of colonization on Islamic political and religious discourse. Prof. Haider’s research interests include early Islamic history, the methodology and development of Islamic law, and Shi‘ism. His first book, entitled The Origins of the Shi‘a, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2011 and focused on the role of ritual and sacred space in the formation of Shī‘ī identity. His second book (Shī‘ī Islam – Cambridge 2014) offered a comprehensive overview of three branches of Shī‘ī Islam – Zaydī, Twelver, and Ismā‘īlī – through a framework of theology and memory. His current project focuses on the link between early Islamic historical writing and Late Antique and Classical Rhetoric.

Professor Haider has been the recipient of a Center for the Study of Religion dissertation grant and a Keasbey Fellowship to University of Oxford.