Najm al-Din Yousefi


Office: Trinity 211 
Phone: (530) 898-5386


Dr. Najm al-Din Yousefi’s current research addresses the intersection of knowledge and society in early Islamic history. The scope of knowledge in his research varies from technical know-how such as administrative skills to political wisdom such as adab and Mirrors for Princes to religious knowledge such as Prophetic tradition (Sunna) and law. Administration of land tax under the Umayyads (661-750) and early Abbasids (750-833) constitutes a major focus of his research program. Dr. Yousefi’s investigation of knowledge production demonstrates that religious and secular knowledge in early Islamic history have evolved in such a way as to advance their desired social order. His current research examines Islamic law of taxation and changes introduced to this dynamic body of law in the first two centuries of Islam.


Dr. Yousefi is a co-editor of a special issue of Iranian Studies (vol. 41, no. 4, September 2008) on the production of knowledge in Iran and eastern Islamic lands (800-1740). His own article on “Secular Sciences and the Question of ‘Decline’” appeared in this issue. His current research addresses a number of historical and legal questions pertaining to land tax in southern Iraq during the seventh century Arab conquest. Dr. Yousefi is also working on a revision of his Ph.D. dissertation, entitled Knowledge and Social Order in early Islamic Mesopotamia (690–813).


Dr. Yousefi’s teaches history and religious studies courses in an interdisciplinary fashion. His course offering includes Islam and the world (HIST/MEST 261; REL 202), history of the Middle East in the medieval and early modern periods (HIST 362), and history of the modern Middle East (HIST 464). Beginning in the fall 2014, he will be offering upper division courses on Islamic science, Muhammad and the Quran, and Islamic political thought.