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Muhammad S. Umar (Ph.D.

)
Associate Professor of Islam
Department of Religious Studies
Arizona State University
Tempe AZ 85287

ADDRESS
International Institute
Bunche Hall 10266
University of California
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1486
(310) 206-5781
e-mail: emess@imap1.asu.edu

EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATION
1997 Ph.D. (History and Literature of Religion) Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.
1991 Graduate Certificate in African Studies, Northwestern University
1990 Master of Art (History and Literature of Religion) Northwestern University
1988 Master of Art (Islamic Studies) Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria
1983 Bachelor of Art (Islamic Studies), University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria

ACADEMIC AWARDS, FELLOWSHIPS, PRIZES etc.


2003 Recipient of Global Studies Fellowship at International Institute of University of California, Los
Angeles
2001 Preceptor for Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought in Africa, four-year research project
funded by the Ford Foundation at Program of African Studies, Northwestern University,
Evanston, IL.
2001 Nominated for Outstanding Teacher, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Arizona State
University
1998 Faculty Grant in Aid, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
1998 Nominated for Outstanding Teacher, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Arizona State
University
1998 Semi -Finalist, Spencer Foundation and National Academy of Education Post-Doctoral Fellowship
1996 Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin
1995 Northwestern University Scholarship
1994 Teaching Assistantship, Department of Religion, Northwestern University
1992 International Doctoral Research Fellowship for Africa, American Council of Learned Societies
and Social Science Research Council
1991 Teaching Assistantship, Department of Religion, Northwestern University
1990 Teaching Assistantship, Department of Religion, Northwestern University
1989 Northwestern University Fellowship
1983 R.A.O. Akinjide Prize in Religious Studies, University of Jos
1982 Merit Award, Federal Republic of Nigeria Scholarship Program
1981 Merit Award, Federal Republic of Nigeria Scholarship Program
1980 Scholarship Award, Plateau State Government, Nigeria

PUBLICATIONS

Peer-reviewed articles in learned journals


1) “Islamic Discourses on European Visitors to Sokoto Caliphate in the Nineteenth Century,” manuscript
pages 1-38, accepted for publication in Studia Islamica, 95 forthcoming in the Fall of 2003.
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2) “Profiles of New Islamic Schools in Northern Nigeria,” manuscript pp. 1-37, accepted for publication
in The Maghreb Review, forthcoming, 2003.

3) “Islamic Arguments for Western Education: Mu’azu Hadejia’s Hausa Poem, Ilmin Zamani,” Islam et
Societies au du sud du Sahara, 16 (2002): 85-106

4) “Fatwa and Counter-Fatwa in Colonial Northern Nigeria,” Journal for Islamic Studies, vol. 21 (2001):
pp. 1-35

5) “Education and Islamic Trends in Northern Nigeria: 1970-1990s,” Africa Today, 48 # 2 (Summer
2001), pp. 127-150.

6) “Muslims’ Eschatological Discourses on Colonialism in Northern Nigeria,” Journal of the


American Academy of Religion, 67 #1 (March 1999), pp. 59-84.

7) ___.and John O. Hunwick, “Your Humble Servant: The Memoirs of 'Abd Allah al-Ghadamisi of
Kano, 1903-1908. Part III: Commentary,” Sudanic Africa, 11 (2000), pp. 95-105.

8) ___.and John O. Hunwick, “Your Humble Servant: The Memoirs of ‘Abd Allah al-Ghadamisi of
Kano, 1903-1908. Part II: Serving Colonial Masters,” Sudanic Africa A Journal of Historical
Sources, 9, (1998), pp. 91-134.
9) ___. and John O. Hunwick, “Your Humble Servant: The Memoirs of Abdallah al-Gadamasi, 1903-
1908. Part I: The British Conquest of Kano” Sudanic Africa, 7 (1996), pp. 61-96.

10) “The Role of European Imperialism in Muslim Countries,” Islam and The Modem Age, XVII (4),
1987, pp. 175-209.

Chapters in edited volumes


11) “The Tijaniyya and British Colonial Authorities in Northern Nigeria,” In Jean-Louis Triaud and David
Robinson, eds., La Tijaniyya: Une confrerie musulmane a la conquete de 'Afrique, (Parias: Karthala,
2000), pp. 327-355

12) “Sufism and its Opponents in Nigeria: The Doctrinal and Intellectual Aspects,” in Frederick de
Jong and Bernd Redtke, eds., Islamic Mysticism Contested: Thirteen Centuries of Controversy and
Polemics, (Leiden: Brill, 1999), pp. 357-385.

13) “Arabic Source Material for the History of the Struggle for Nigeria’s Independence: A Preliminary
Inquiry,” in Yusufu Bala Usman and George A. Kwanashie, eds. Inside Nigerian History, 1950-1970:
Events, Issues and Sources, (Ibadan: University of Ibadan for Nigeria Presidential Panel on Nigeria
Since Independence History Project, 1995), pp. 338-52.

14) ____ and John O. Hunwick, “Polemical Literature: For and Against Sufism,” in John O. Hunwick,
comp. Arabic Literature of Africa: The Writings of Central Sudanic Africa, (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1995),
pp. 550-59.

15) “Changing Islamic Identity in Nigeria from 1960s to the 1980s: From Sufism to Anti-Sufism,” in Louis
Brenner, ed. Muslim Identity and Social Change in Sub-Saharan Africa, (Bloomington: Indiana
University Press, 1993), pp. 154-178.

16) “Islam in Nigeria,” in J.A. Atanda, G. Ashiwaju, and Y. Abubakar, eds. Nigeria Since Independence,
The First 25 Years: Religion, (Ibadan: Heinemann, 1989) vol. ix, pp. 71-97.

17) “Islam: Western Africa,” Encyclopedia of Africa South of the Sahara (New York: Charles Scribner’s
Sons, 1997), Volume II, pp. 395-99.
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Essays under active review for publication

18) “Mass Islamic Education and the Emergence of Female Ulama in Northern Nigeria: Background,
Trends, and Consequences,” 27 pp., under consideration for publication in a forthcoming edited
volume in Brill’s series on Islam in Africa.

Book reviews in peer-reviewed journals


19) “Review of Controlling Knowledge: Religion, Power, and Schooling in a West African Muslim
Society, by Louis Brenner (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2001,” a book review
accepted for publication in Comparative Education Review, (2002), manuscript pp. 1-4.

20) “Review of The Times of Politics (Zamanin Siyasa): Islam and the Politics of Legitimacy in Northern
Nigeria, 1950-1966, by Jonathan T. Reynolds (Lanham, NY: University Press of America, 1999),
Journal of African History, vol. 43 # 2 (2002), 357-58.

21) Review of Violence in Nigeria: The Crises of Religious Politics and Secular Ideologies by Toyin
Falola, Journal of African History, 41 # 1 (2000), pp 168-69.

22) Review of Islamic Reform and Political Change in Northern Nigeria by Roman Loimeier, Journal
of African History, 40 # 1 (1999), pp. 148-49.

23) Review of Sufis and Anti-Sufis: The Defense, Rethinking and Rejection of Sufism in the Modern
World by Elizabeth Sirriyeh, Journal of Islamic Studies, 11 # 1 (2000), pp. 76-78.

24) Review of Islamic Personal Law and Practice in Nigeria by Suleiman I Nechi and Sama’ila A.
Mohammed, (Nigerian) Weekly Trust December 3-9, (1999), p. 40.

25) Review of African Islam and Islam in Africa: Encounters between Sufis and Islamists edited by David
Westerlund and Eva Evers. Athens: Ohio University Press, in cooperation with the Nordic African
Institute, Uppsala, 1997, The International Journal of African Historical Studies, 33 # 1 (1998): pp.
15-17.

26) “Review of The Diary of Hamman Yaji: chronicle of a West African Muslim Ruler, edited by James
Vaughan and Anthony Kirk-Greene, Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1995,”
Africa: Journal of the International African Institute 67/4 (1997), pp. 661-662.

Short essays
27) “Is Maitatsine Here to Stay,” Clarion, the Official Organ of the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian
Universities, 1:3 (1985), p. 5.

28) “Comment,” Newsletter, Program of African Studies, Northwestern University, Fall, 1996, p. 2.

Successfully completed research projects


29) “Muslims’ Intellectual Responses to British Colonialism in Northern Nigeria, 1903-1945,” Ph.D. diss.
Northwestern University, 1997, 495 pp.

30) “Historical Roots of Contemporary Islamic Revivalism,” M.A. thesis, Northwestern University, 1990,
54 pp.

31) “Sufism and Anti- Sufism in Nigeria,” M.A. thesis, Bayero University, 1988, 270 pp.

32) “Islamic Revivalism Today: The Case of Jamã‘at Izãlat al-Bid‘a wa Iqãmat al-Sunna,” B.A. thesis,
University of Jos, 1983, 108 pp.
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Current research projects in progress


33) Revising dissertation and incorporating additional primary materials in the form of colonial records
that I collected from Nigerian National Archive in course of field work for my research on education
during fall 1999, and Spring/Summer 2000. Revised manuscript is under consideration for publication
in Brill Series on Islam in Africa.

34) “Sarauta (Hausa Chieftaincy), Islam, and Democracy: Reciprocal Influences among Three Political
Traditions,” 70 pp. Draft of a work in progress, commissioned by African Center for Democratic
Governance, Abuja, Nigeria, to appear in projected volume(s) on “The Impact of Traditional Political
Institutions and Values on Democracy in Nigeria.” I presented parts of this work at Woodrow Wilson
Center , Expected date of completion is summer 2004.

35) “Expanding the Vocabulary of Liberal Islam,” research proposal selected through international
competition for funding at UCLA International Institute Global Fellows Program for academic year
2003/2004. In this research project I address some of the imperative questions arising in the aftermath
of September 11, 2001. While Muslim leaders, individuals and organizations were quick to denounce
the perpetrators of the tragedy of September 11, observers are puzzled by the inability or unwillingness
(or both) of moderate Muslims to speak out loudly and clearly against the militant voices of Muslim
extremists, who could not possibly be speaking on behalf of all Muslims. What role does traditional
Islamic religious learning play in advocating violent extremism or fostering tolerance and peaceful
coexistence? What intellectual reasons contribute to the intriguing silence of Muslims on the
discursive front of the war against the militant voices of extre mists? I expect this project to answer
these and related question in a projected volume tentatively titled Expanding the Vocabulary of Liberal
Islam.

Professional Presentations and Conference Papers


“Islam and Political Transition in West Africa: A Nigerian Case-Study,” invited paper presented to
conference on “Deprivation, Violence, and Identities: Mapping Conemporary World Conflicts,”
convened by Ohio State University Centers for Regional and Area Studies, Columbus, OH, October 3-
4, 2003

“Islam and Political Violence in Nigeria,” a presentation invited by the Swayer Seminar on
“Contending with Conflict: A Comparative and Historical Approach to Three African Cases,”
organized with support from the Andrew D. Mellon Foundation and the Graduate School of Emory
University, the Institute of African Studies, in association with other area studies programs at Emory,
September 25, 2002.

“Islam and Democratic Transition in Nigeria: Paradox and Predicament,” invited presentation at
Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, D.C. April 12, 2002

“Islamic Currents of Globalization in the Educational Arena: The Evidence From Northern Nigeria,”
invited presentation, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia, Charlottesville VA.,
March 27, 2002

“Islam and U.S. Foreign Policy in the Era of Globalization,” Departmental Colloquium, Department of
Religion, Northwestern University Evanston, IL, October 18, 2001

“Mass Islamic Education and Emergence of Female Ulama in Northern Nigeria: Background, Trends
and Consequences,” Invited Paper Presented at Workshop on Islamic Libraries and Literary/Scholarly
Traditions, Organized by Institute of Islamic Thought in Africa (ISITA), Program of African Studies,
Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, May 25-26, 2001, pp.23

“Profiles of New Islamic Schools in Nigeria,” Invited paper presented at the “Workshop on
Innovations and Their Contextualization in African Islamic Societies,” African Center, University of
Bayreuth, Federal Republic of German, 9-10 February 2001, pp21.
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“An Islamic Argument for Western Education,” Paper presented at the Workshop on Islamic Thought
in Africa, Program of African Studies, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, May 12-14, 2000.

“Transformation of Islamic Learning in Northern Nigeria, 1970s-1990s: Defining a Research Agenda,”


paper presented at the 18th annual national conference of the Nigerian Association of Teachers of
Arabic and Islamic Studies, Kano, 28 July-1 August, 1999, 8.pp.

“Western secular education and Islamic fundamentalism: A Case-Study from Northern Nigeria, 1970s-
1990s” presentation at the conference on “Islam and Politics” organized by University of Wisconsin
Joint Center for International Studies at Milwaukee and Madison, April 8-12 1999.

“Western Education vs. Islamic Education: A Northern Nigerian Debate in Hausa Poems,” paper
presented at the Midwest Regional Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Concordia
Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, March 20-21, 1999, pp. 22 pp.

“British Colonial Policies toward Islam in Northern Nigeria,” paper presented at the African Studies
Association 41th. Annual Meeting, Chicago, October 29-November 1, 1998, 16 pp.

“Civil Society and Contemporary Islamic Trends in Nigeria,” invited paper presented at the conference on
Globalization, Political Islam, and Urban Social Movements, UC Berkeley, March 6-8, 1998, 14 pp.

“Muslims’ Eschatological Discourses on Colonialism in Northern Nigeria,” paper presented at conference


on “The Apocalyptic Other: Millennial Views of Unbelievers among Jews, Christians, and Muslims”
organized by the Center for Millennial Studies at Boston University, November 2-4, 1997, 20 pp.

“British Colonial Policies towards Christian Missionaries in the Muslim Areas of Northern Nigeria,” paper
accepted and presented at the Upper Midwest Regional Meeting of the American Academy of Religion,
Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN, April, 12-13, 1996, 30 pp.

“The Tijaniyya and British Colonial Authorities in Northern Nigeria,” invited paper presented at
International Workshop on Tijaniyya Traditions and Societies in West Africa in the Nineteenth and
Twentieth Centuries, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, April 1-5, 1996, 22 pp.

“Sufism and its Opponents in Nigeria: The Doctrinal and Intellectual Aspects,” invited paper presented at
symposium on “Sufism and its Opponents,” Department of Oriental Languages and Culture, Utrecht
University, the Netherlands, May 1-6, 1995, 32 pp.

“Disputations on the Islamic Legality of Reciting the Qur’an over the Radio in Northern Nigeria,” invited
paper for a workshop on “Cases and Contexts in Islamic Law” organized by Center for Middle Eastern and
North African Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1994, 21 pp.

“Muslims’ Intellectual Responses to British Colonialism in Northern Nigeria,” paper presented at the
International Conference on the Sokoto Caliphate and the Europeans, 1880-1906 organized jointly by York
University, Canada, and Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto, Nigeria, 1993, 19 pp.

Invited Quest at the “Workshop on the Place of Islamic Law in Islamic Societies: Historical Perspectives”
organized by the Center for Comparative Study of Islamic Societies and Civilizations, Washington
University, St. Louis, 1992.

“Sayyid Qutb wa Manhajuhu fî al-Tafsîr,” paper presented at the Graduate Seminar Series, Department of
Islamic Studies, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria, 1986, 20 pp.

WORK EXPERIENCE
2003 Tenured Associate Professor of Islam, Department of Religious Studies, Arizona State University,
Tempe, AZ
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1997-2002 Assistant Professor of Islam, Dept. of Religious Studies, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

1996 Lecturer, Departments of Religious Studies and History, Lawrence University, Appleton, WI

1995 Instructor (World Religions) Northwestern University Summer Session, Evanston, IL

1994 Teaching Assistant, Department of Religion, Northwestern University

1994 Research Assistant, Computer Catalog for Arabic Manuscripts, Furqan Islamic Foundation,
London

1994 Visiting lecturer, Department of Religion, Northwestern University

1994 Instructor (World Religions) Northwestern University Summer Session

1993 Consultant on Arabic Manuscripts, Arewa House, Center for Historical Research and
Documentation, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

1992 Research Assistant, Computer Catalog for Arabic Manuscripts from Northern Nigeria, M.J.
Herskovits Library of African Studies, Northwestern University,

1992 Teaching Assistant, Department of Religion, Northwestern University

1991 Tutor for Summer Intensive Arabic, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of Chicago,
and Program of Asian and African Languages, Northwestern University

1991 Teaching Assistant, Department of Religion, Northwestern University

1990 Teaching Assistant (Summer Intensive Arabic) Program of Asian and African Languages,
Northwestern University

1989 Assistant Lecturer (Islamic Studies) Department of Religious Studies, University of Jos, Jos
Nigeria

1984 Graduate Assistant (Islamic Studies), Department of Religious Studies, University of Jos, Jos,

MEMBERSHIP OF PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION


1997 African Studies Association
1997 American Academy of Religion

AREAS OF TEACHING COMPETENCE


Islam
Islamic History
Islamic Revivalism in the Modern World/Islam and Modernity
Islamic Law (Principles and Rules of Islamic Jurisprudence)
Sufism
Islamic Scriptures (Qur’an and its Exegesis, Hadith and ‘Ilm al-Hadith)
Islam in West Africa
Islam and Colonialism

Phenomenology of Religion
Theories and Methodologies of Academic Study of Religion
Phenomenology of Islamic Religious Traditions

Comparative History of Religion


Survey of World Religions
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Western Religious Traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam)


Islam and African Religions

Arabic Language and Literature


Arabic Language for Beginners
Classical Arabic Literature
History of Arabic Literature
Islam in African Literatures (Hausa Poetry and Prose)

Languages
Hausa (Native Speaker)
Arabic (near native proficiency)