Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World

Muslim Female Leadership & Authority

A groundbreaking conference and ongoing project bringing together academics and activists from across Europe and the USA.

Amina Wadud addresses the Female Leadership and Authority conference

The rise of female Islamic scholarship and leadership in the non-Muslim world is a relatively recent phenomenon that is garnering increasing public attention. Growing opportunities for women to train as scholars, both abroad and across Europe and the US, have facilitated this process and given rise to a number of institutions – for example, the Women’s Mosque of America in Los Angeles, the Muslim Women’s Council in Bradford, England, and the Mariam Mosque in Copenhagen – which actively promote and disseminate female scholarship. Exchanges between female scholars and teachers in North America and Europe do occur, but there are also differences in the experiences, opportunities, forms of teaching, and modes of authority of these public figures across the two continents. Despite public attention devoted to this topic, academic research has been limited. Furthermore, and reflecting a broader trend in the literature on Islam in the West, there is little comparative work on female Islamic scholarship across the two continents.

This project began with a conference in September 2018 which will lead to an edited volume sometime in 2020. The Alwaleed Centre is also commited to further events and initiatives exploring Muslim women’s religious leadership and authority, exapaning the frame of reference beyond Europe and North America.

For more information about the September 2018 conference, visit the conference webspage HERE.