Asad Ahmed

Associate Professor Fellow
2016-2017
Ahmed Image

Asad Ahmed (Near Eastern Studies) delineates in his book project the contours of post-classical rationalist trends in the Islamic scholarly tradition by focusing on the sociopolitical and intellectual history of a notable South Asian school of thought. The School of Khayrābād, which emerged in the late eighteenth century in Uttar Pradesh, India, was one of the most respected of the Islamic pedagogical and intellectual systems of the Subcontinent. Among those of the rationalist bent, it maintained a global pride of place. Yet most of the scholarly output and archives of this school — in Arabic, Persian, and Urdu — remain untouched in unpublished manuscripts in collections in India. Ahmed brings to light the rich information this archive offers not only to present the sociopolitical and intellectual history of a particular school of thought, but also to test longstanding assertions about the decline of Islamic rationalism and the concurrent rise of traditionalist fundamentalism.