College Of Humanities and Fine Arts

Najm al-Din Yousefi

Middle Eastern Studies


Dr. Najm al-Din Yousefi’s research addresses the intersection of knowledge and society in early Islamic history. The scope of knowledge in his research varies from technical know-how (e.g., administrative skills) to political wisdom (e.g., adab, Mirror for Princes) to religious knowledge (e.g., Islamic law and Prophetic tradition). Administration of land tax under the Umayyads (661-750) and early Abbasids (750-833) constitutes a major focus of his research. In addition, Dr. Yousefi studies state-clergy relations in early twentieth-century Iran during the transition from the Qajars (1789-1925) to the Pahlavi dynasty (1925-1979).

Select Publications

“Division and Discord among the Shiʿa ʿUlamāʾ: New Lights on the Failure of the 1927 Anti-Conscription Movement in Iran,” Iranian Studies 50.5 (September 2017): 705–33.

“Islam without Fuqahāʾ: Ibn al-Muqaffaʿ and his Perso-Islamic Solution to the Caliphate’s Crisis of Political Legitimacy (70–142 AH/690–760 CE)” Iranian Studies 50 (March 2017) published online October 2015 (DOI: 10.1080/00210862.2015.1073912).

Review of Robert G. Hoyland, In God’s Path: The Arab Conquests and the Creation of an Islamic Empire (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2015) Review of Middle East Studies 49:2 (2015): 198–200.

Review of Jocelyne Cesari, Why the West Fears Islam: An Exploration of Muslims in Liberal Democracies, Culture and Religion in International Relations(New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) Sociology of Islam 2:2 (2014) 99–101.

“Kharāj [land-tax],” Muhammad in History, Thought and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God, 2 vols., C. Fitzpatrick & A. Walker, editors, ABC-CLIO (2013) 335–338.

Co-editor of Iranian Studies 41 (Sept 2008), Special Issue: Production of Knowledge in Iran and Eastern Islamic Lands (800-1740 C.E.).

“Secular Sciences and the Question of ‘Decline’” Iranian Studies 41 (Sept 2008):559–79.

“Privacy: Erosion or Evolution?” Chasing Moore’s Law: Information Technology in the United States, ed. William Aspray, SciTech Publishing (2004) 161–199.


Dr. Yousefi teaches a variety of courses in History, Religious Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies. His regular course offering includes “Islam and the world” (HIST/MEST 261; RELS 202); “The Middle East before 1800” (HIST/MEST 362); “The Middle East after 1800” (HIST/MEST 363); “Muhammad and the Quran” (RELS 302/HIST 361); “Historians and Historical Methodology” (HIST 290); and “Introduction to Middle East Studies” (MEST 110I).

Portrait of Najm al-Din Yousefi