Malika Zeghal

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Malika Zeghal (born 1965[1]) is a Tunisian Professor in Contemporary Islamic Thought and Life at Harvard University, and formerly an associate professor of the anthropology and sociology of religion in the University of Chicago Divinity School.


She was a student of the École Normale Supérieure and received her doctorate from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris in 1994. She began her postdoctoral research in 1995 at the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies at New York University before returning to France to join for ten years, the Centre national de la recherche scientifique from 1995 to 2005.[2] She is a Member of the Scientific Council of the Tunisian Academy of Sciences, Letters, and Arts.[3]

Her work, Gardiens de l'Islam, written in French is an analysis of the influence of the ulama of Al-Azhar University. A. Marsot argues her thesis is that "the ulama of the Azhar believe that it is their duty, daʿwa, as the guardians of religion to see that the laws of a country conform to the shariʿa; thus, their struggle with the authorities is defined by an attempt to set aside the laws of the state in favor of the shariʿa."[4] The book explores how state interactions with the Azhari ulama helped to lead to the rise other Islamic movements, namely the Muslim Brotherhood, outside of traditional institutions.

Courses Taught[edit]

In 2013, she taught a course at Harvard University's School of Divinity called "HDS 3361: Political Islam in the 20th and 21st Centuries".[5]


  • Gardiens de l'Islam. Les oulémas d'al-Azhar dans l'Egypte contemporaine Presses de Sciences Po, 1996. ISBN 2-7246-0679-5
  • Les islamistes marocains: le défi à la monarchie La Découverte, 2005. ISBN 2-7071-4480-0


  1. ^ "Malika ZEGHAL Archived 2006-11-28 at the Wayback Machine." Centre d'Études Interdisciplinaires des Faits Religieux.
  2. ^ "La Tunisienne Malika Zeghal nommée Professeur à Harvard". leaders (in French). Retrieved 2019-05-26.
  3. ^ "Malika Zeghal". The Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Department. Retrieved 2019-05-26.
  4. ^ A. Marsot. Book Review: Gardiens de L'Islam. by Malika Zeghal. International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 31, No. 2. (May 1999), pp. 283-284.
  5. ^ Harvard Divinity School: Course Detail. HDS 3361 Political Islam in the 20th and 21st Centuries [1]

External links[edit]