Dr Ahab Bdaiwi

Dr Ahab Bdaiwi

BSc (Hons) (London), BA, PhD (Exon)


Contact Details

E-mail: ab286@st-andrews.ac.uk
Telephone - +44 (0)1334 463373
Fax - +44 (0)1334 462914



Teaching and Research Interests

My primary research interest focuses on mediaeval intellectual and religious history in the Islamic East with a special interest in the period between AD 1000-1600. I examine the interactions between later Ashʿari theology and the Avicennan philosophical tradition where I focus on the writings of Avicenna (d. 1037) and his followers and the later Ashʿari philosophizing theologians such as Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d. 1111), Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (d. 1209), 'Adud al-Din al-Iji (d. c. 1355), Sa'd al-Din al-Taftazani (d. 1390), al-Sharif al-Jurjani (d. 1413), and Jalal al-Din al-Dawani (d. 1502).

At present I am preparing a monograph that explores the lives, works, and thought of Sadr al-Din al-Dashtaki (d. 1498) and Ghiyath al-Din al-Dashtaki (d. 1542), two important but little-known Shiʿi Muslim, and anti-Ashʿari, thinkers who lived in Shiraz during the late Timurid and early Safavid period, and who, I argue, revived interest in Avicennan philosophy and Shiʿi theology at an age when Sunni (Ash'ari) theology was dominant.

My secondary research interest focuses on the intellectual and religious history of Shiʿi Islam from the early developments of the tradition in the Umayyad period and up to and beyond the Mongol period. I am especially interested in the intellectual and religious literature produced by, or attributed to, early Shiʿi groups such as the Ghulat, as well as literature produced by Shiʿi thinkers in the Islamic East such as al-Shaykh al-Mufid (d. 1022) and his students, Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (d. 1274), and al-ʿAllama al-Hilli (d. 1325) and his circle.


Main Publications


  • Shiʿi Defenders of Avicenna: An Intellectual History of the Philosophers of Shiraz, in preparation.

Chapters in Books

  • With Sajjad Rizvi, "Mohammed Husayn Tabataba'i: A Modern Shi'i Philosopher," in Sabine Schmidtke and Khaled El-Rouayheb (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Philosophy, New York: Oxford University Press, Forthcoming.
  • "The Introduction of Philosophy in Najaf in 1958," in Robert Gleave (ed.), Clerical Authority in Iraq and Iran, London: IB Tauris, Forthcoming.
  • "Excerpts from the works of Mullā Mahdī Narāqī's (d. 1794) al-Lamaʿāt al-ʿarshiyya fiʾl-ḥikma al-ilāhiyya," in Hani Khafipour (ed.), Empires of the Near East and India: Sources for the Study of the Safavid, Ottoman, and Mughal Societies, Oxford: Oxford University Press, Forthcoming.
  • "Anti-Ashʿari Polemics and Critiques in Late Timurid Iran: the case of Ṣadr al-Dīn al-Dashtakī (d. 1498)," in Jan Thiele and Ayman Shihadeh (eds.), Later Ashʿari Theology in the Near East, Leiden and Boston: Brill, Forthcoming [Islamic Intellectual History Series].
  • Some remarks on the confessional identity of the philosophers of Shiraz: Ṣadr al-Dīn Dashtakī (d. 903/1498) and his students Mullā Shams al-Dīn Khafrī (942/1535) and Najm al-Dīn Maḥmūd Nayrīzī (948/1541)”, in Ishraq: Islamic Philosophy Yearbook 1 (2014)

Journal Articles

  • "Some Remarks on the Confessional Identity of the Philosophers of Shiraz: Ṣadr al-Dīn Dashtakī (d. 1498) and his Students Mullā Shams al-Dīn Khafrī (d. 1535) and Najm al-Dīn Maḥmūd Nayrīzī (d. 1541)," in Ishraq: Islamic Philosophy Yearbook 1 (2014), pp. 61-85.
  • "From al-Dashtakī to al-Sammākī: Islamic Philosophy in the 15th and 16th Centuries," in Religion Compass 9 (2015).

Encyclopaedia Entries

  • “Isfahan, School of,” in The Oxford Encyclopaedia of Islam and Philosophy, Science, and Technology, ed. Ibrahim Kalin, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.
  • “Tehran, School of,” in The Oxford Encyclopaedia of Islam and Philosophy, Science, and Technology, ed. Ibrahim Kalin, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. 

Teaching Duties

Undergraduate teaching:

MH2002 - Introduction to Middle Eastern History
ME3613 - The Formation of Islamic Iran: from the Arab conquests to the Seljuq Empire (600-1200)
MO3080 - Nomadic Heritage and Persianate Culture: the Iranian world from the Timurids to the Safavids (1370-1722)


ME1003 - The Fall of Rome and the Origins of Europe (400-1100)
HI2001 - History as a Discipline 

Postgraduate teaching:

MH5101 - Themes in Middle Eastern and Iranian History