Asma Sayeed

A photo of Asma Sayeed
E-mail: Phone: 310-206-9497 Office: 388 Kaplan Hall

Asma Sayeed’s primary research interests are in early and classical Muslim social history, the history of Muslim education, the intersections of law and social history, and women and gender studies.  Her book, Women and the Transmission of Religious Knowledge in Islam (Cambridge University Press, 2013) analyzes  Muslim women’s religious education, specifically their transmission of hadith from the rise of Islam to the early Ottoman period.  She teaches “Introduction to Islam” and courses on the Qur’an and Islam in the West as well as graduate seminars on research methodologies in Islamic studies and Muslim social and intellectual history.

She received her PhD from the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. She was previously Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Lafayette College (Easton, PA), where she taught courses in Islam and World Religions.  She has published on topics related to Muslim women and their religious participation in journals such as Studia Islamica and Islamic Law and Society and has contributed a number of encyclopedia articles on women’s history in early and classical Islam.  In 2010, she undertook archival research in Syria on Muslim women’s education in the Ayyubid and Mamluk periods under the auspices of a Fulbright fellowship. Her current project relates to Muslim education and in particular to an examination of texts and textual practices in diverse regional and historical contexts.


PhD, Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University (2005)
MA, History, Binghamton University (1994)
BA, Politics, Princeton University (1991)
Certificate, Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University (1991)


  • Islamic Educational History
  • Muslim Social and Intellectual History
  • Hadith Studies
  • Muslim women’s history in early and classical Islam



  • The Quran (Islamic Studies M106)
  • Islam in the West (Islamic Studies/Middle Eastern Studies/Religion M107)
  • Introduction to Islam (Islamic Studies M110/Religion M109
  • Methodologies and Approaches of Islamic Studies (Islamic Studies 201)
  • Themes in Islamic History 600-1250 (Arabic 220)

Professional Affiliations

  • American Academy of Religion (Islam AAR section)-member
  • Middle Eastern Studies Association-member
  • American Historical Association-member
  • Middle East Medievalists-member