Universiteit Leiden

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Sami AlDaghistani

PhD candidate

Dr. S. AlDaghistani
+31 71 527 2567

Sami AlDaghistani defended his thesis on 30 November 2017.

More information about Sami AlDaghistani

PhD research

Contemporary Islamic Economics – an ideological straightjacket? Epistemological and historical inquiry of Islam’s Economic Teachings, Legal Discourse, and Islamization Process

Islamic economics has been mostly studied through the lens of the plain regulation of ḥarām vs. ḥalāl, and the ethical components of Islam’s intellectual history as well as the notion of social justice have often been downgraded. The PhD project provides a critique of contemporary Islamic economic theories since modern scholarship uses overwhelmingly technical discourse and legal terminology when invoking economic theories and addressing economic problems in Islam. The research therefore combines examination of Muslim scholarly contributions of the pre-modern period to the field of economics, e.g. Ibn Khaldun, Ibn Taymiyya, and al-Ghazali, along with the analysis of the contemporary conception of the Islamization of Islamic economics. The role of social justice in Islam and the position of Islamic economic theories, which shaped a certain vision of economic conduct is problematic since discrepancy can be noticed between theoretical composition of Islamic economic theories, and their factual applicability in (Muslim) societies.

Fields of interest

Islamic economics, ethics, jurisprudence, Islamic intellectual history, Islamization of knowledge / Contemporary history of Iraq, Iraq and the 2003 invasion / Islam in the Balkans, Islam in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


  • Double PhD Candidate/Co-tutelle in Islamic Studies at Leiden University, The Netherlands (supervisor Prof. Dr. Maurits Berger) and at WWU Münster, Germany (supervisor Prof. Dr. Marco Schöller), Mentor Prof.Dr. Wael Hallaq (MESAAS, Columbia University), September 2013 - expected to finish September 2017
    • Ph.D Graduate exchange at the Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University. Courses: “Islamic Legal Discourses” (level 716), “Central Questions in Islamic Law”,  “Higher Intermediate Arabic”, Mentor Prof. dr. Ahmed Ibrahim, January – May 2014
    • Visiting Scholar in Islamic Studies at MESAAS, Columbia University, Mentor Prof.Dr. Wael Hallaq, December 2015 – January 2017
  • Research MA, Leiden University, Middle Eastern Studies, Specialization in Islamic Studies, Thesis Title: “Imam al-Ghazali’s Perspectives on Economy, Ethics, and State in Islam” (graded with 9.0/10), GPA (grade point average): 3.32/4, 1st September 2011 – 31st August 2013
    • Université Mohammed V Souissi - Faculté des Sciences de l’Education, Rabat, Morocco, Arabic Language and Culture Programme, Certificate of Advance level of Modern Standard Arabic (language acquisition of 108 working hours of Arabic Language), 24th June – 6th August, 2012
  • Bachelor degree (4+1) Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Double-mayor degree: Comparative Literature, and Sociology of Culture (grade average 9.4/10), 1st October 2005 – 15th June 2011
    • Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Humanities, Utrecht, The Netherlands, Courses: Cultural Studies; Cultural diversity and Identity; Philosophy of Knowledge, 1st Sept. 2007 – 16th Feb. 2008
    • Faculty of Islamic Studies, University of Sarajevo, Courses: Shi’a kelam and Sufism; Classical Islamic Philosophy; Arabic language; Turkish language, 21st February – 21st August 2010
    • Merkaz Dawd, Cairo, Egypt, Certificate of Arabic language acquisition (level 1 - 4) and tajweed, February 2011 – June 2011


  • Appointed lecturer in replacement of Prof. dr. Muhammed Ghaly at Leiden University, Spring semester 2014. Deliverance of lectures, composition of the classes and literature for the following courses:
    • “Fiqh and Usul al-fiqh” (Methodology of Islamic Jurisprudence) (BA)
    • “Islamic Ethics” (BA)
  • Lecturer at Leiden Islam Academie (Leiden University)
  • Guest lecture (invited) “Ethics and Morality in Islamic Tradition”, Iqra, Erasmus University Rotterdam, 28th October 2014.
  • Guest lecture (invited) “The History of Islamic Law”, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, 22nd December 2014.
  • Guest lecture (invited) “Islamic Legal Discourse” for the class “Politics and Islam”, LIAS, Leiden University, 3rd March 2015.
  • Guest lecture (invited) “Medieval Islamic Economics and its Impact” for the class “Global History”, University College Rotterdam, Erasmus University, 19th April 2015
  • Guest lecture (invited) “Contemporary Critique of Islamic Economic Thought”, European University at St. Petersburg, Russia, 14th October 2015.
  • Public lecture (invited), “The Fated Triangle: US-Iraq-Iran Relations in Today’s Middle East”, together with Dr. Kristin Soraya Batmanghelichi, 19th January 2016, George Mason University, Virginia, US.
  • Guest lecture (invited) “The War on Terror and its Flip Side” at the “10th Annual Conference on Global Governance”, 8th April, 2016, George Mason University, Virginia, US.

Key publications


  • “Abu Hamid al-Ghazali’s Perspectives on Economic Teachings in Islam” (forthcoming 2016).
  • “Kaj je islam? Sodobna interpretacija islama kot družbenega in estetskega modela življenja” (“What is Islam? Contemporary interpretation of Islam as social and aesthetic model of life”) (forthcoming 2016).
  • “Pesem, islam, ljubezen – študij, zapiski in pričevanja o poeziji, revoluciji in islamu” (“Poem, Islam, love – studies, notes and testimonies on poetry, revolution and Islam) (forthcoming 2017).

Scientific articles

  • Scientific article, “Dotakljivo življenje zgodovine” (“The Touchable Life of Iraqi History”), Journal for the Critique of Science, No. 239, 17 March 2010, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
  • Scientific article: “The Qur’an, the Philosophy of the Arabic Language and Islamic Aesthetics”, Journal for the Critique of Science: Liberating Iraq, September 2013, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
  • Scientific article: “An Islamic Model of Social Life: Legal and Economic Thought in Islam”, Journal for the Critique of Science: Islam and the Middle Easts, September 2013, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
  • Scientific article published in a peer-reviewed Journal Poligrafi: “Contemplations about Reality, the Absolute and the Perfect Human Being – Toshihiko Izutsu's views on Sufism and Taoism” (April 2014).
  • Scientific article: “Al-Ghazali and the Intellectual History of Islamic Economics”, ZIT Jahrbuch für Islamische Theologie und Religionspädagogik: Islamische Gelehrten neu gelesen, WWU Münster, 2015/3.
  • Scientific article: “Semiotics of Maṣlaḥa and Islamic Economic Theory”, International Journal for the Semiotics of Law (IJSL), published by Springer (February 2016).
  • Scientific article: “Morality or Money? Notes on Islamic Economic Predicaments and Democracy”, Islam and Democracy, editors, Mesut Idriz, Anja Zalta (forthcoming 2016).
  • Scientific article: “Islamske znanosti in evropska identiteta” (“Islamic Sciences and European Identity”), Poligrafi: Islam in Evropa, editors dr. Anja Zalta, dr. Rok Svetlic (forthcoming 2016).


  • Ibn Tufayl: “Hay ibn Yakdhan” (scientific introduction and translation from Arabic into Slovenian), Publishing house KUD Logos, Ljubljana, (forthcoming 2016).
  • Ibn Battuta: “Rihla” from Arabic into Slovenian (scientific introduction and translation from Arabic into Slovenian), Publishing house Skodelica kave, FDV, University of Ljubljana, (forthcoming 2016).

Editorial work

  • Co-editor of 293. Number of Journal ČKZ (Journal for the Critique of Science / Časopis za kritiko zanosti, antropologije in moderne domišljije) together with Marta Gregorčič, PhD: “Osvobajanje Iraka / Liberating Iraq”. Datum izida 17.marec 2010 / Date of Issue: / 17 March 2010).
  • Co-editor and author of Journal for the Critique of Science / Časopis za kritiko zanosti, antropologije in moderne domišljije) together with Mirt Komel, PhD, Primož Šterbenc, PhD: “Islam in Bližnji vzhodi / Islam and the Middle Easts”. (Date of Issue: September 2013).


  • University of Paris I Panthéon – Sorbonne, EUROPAEUM, Graduate Workshop: “The Arab Spring One Year on: What Next?” (22nd - 24th March, 2012). Europaeum Certificate for the paper “Uprisings in Iraq in 2011: The war of the Iraqi people”.
  • NISIS (Netherlands Interuniversity School for Islamic Studies), Leiden University, “Islamic Network Day”, (14th September, 2012). Discussant at the conference.
  • NISIS (Netherlands Interuniversity School for Islamic Studies) autumn School, Leiden University, “Centres and Peripheries. Networks connecting Muslim Societies in Past and Present”, (23rd – 26th October, 2012). Presentation of the paper “Islamic Tradition and Revival in Bosnia and Herzegovina”.
  • Oxford University, EUROPAEUM Graduate Workshop: “From Plato to NATO: communication, media and rhetoric in Europe” (7th – 10th November, 2012). Discussant at the conference.
  • Leiden University, Campus The Hague, 3rd LUCIS Annual Conference: “What is Islamisation?” (15th -16th November, 2012). Graduate Master Class by Professor dr. David Cook: “Classical and Contemporary Arabic Apocalyptic Predictions”.
  • NISIS (Netherlands Interuniversity School for Islamic Studies) Spring School, Hammamet, Tunisia, “Din wa Dawla – State and Religion” (18th – 23rd March, 2013). Paper: “Encountering ethics and economy within the Islamic state in the writings of Imam Al Ghazali”.
  • NEPAS  Project, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal, Summer School on Democratization and Political Transitions in the Arab World: Actors, Challenges, and Policy Options for the EU, 16th-19th July 2013. Paper: “Democracy during the decade of stalemates – the case of Iraq”.
  • International Literary Festival “Vilenica”, Koper, Slovenia, 10th-15th September, 2013. Literary Mediator for translation of contemporary Arabic literature into Slovene  language (invited).
  • NISIS (Netherlands Interuniversity School for Islamic Studies) autumn School, Utrecht University, “Islam: Culture of Religion?” (22nd – 25th October, 2013). Discussant at the Workshop.
  • LUCIS, Exeter-Leiden Shari’a-Project, Leiden University (15th-16th November 2013). Paper: “Why bother with Islamic Law? Encountering Ethics and Economics in relation to Social Justice in Islam”.
  • McGill East Asian Studies Graduate Symposium 2014; Expanding (East) Asia: Movement, Territory, Exclusion, McGill University, Montreal, Canada (April 25-26, 2014). Paper: “Between Contestation and Expansion – Islamic Area Studies, Toshihiko Izutsu and Islamic Economics”. 
  • ADSAM Studienförderung für Islamisches Denken, DITIB Akademie 2. Forschungswerkstatt, 23.06.2014 - 25.06.2014, Cologne/Köln. Paper (in German): “Maṣlaḥa und Das Konzept der Sozialegerechtigkeit in dem islamischen Milieu”. 
  • Summer school – “Gender in Europe: an unfinished Revolution”, 28th June – 4th July, 2014 Madrid. Paper: “Contesting the undesirable – The West, Muslim women and Islamic Feminism”.
  • IIIT Summer School – “Muslims in Europe: Challenges of Pluralism”, 23rd August – 7th September 2014, Sarajevo, BiH. Paper: “Maslaha and the Intellectual History of Islamic Economics”.
  • NISIS autumn School, Nijmegen, “Between Secular and Religious Divide” (21st-24th October 2014). Discussant at the Workshop.
  • Leiden University, Graduate class with Prof. Dr. Jonathan Brown, “The Challenge of Equity and Justice in the Shariah”, 30th October 2014.
  • University of Exeter, Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies and Islamic reformulations project, “Reforming Islamic Legal Thought”. Paper: “Reforming Economic and Legal Thought in Iqtiṣādunā by Muḥammad Bāqir al-Ṣadr”, 25th November 2014.
  • NISIS Islamic Studies Network Day, Leiden University. Poster presentation:  “Deconstructing Islamic Economics Discourse”, 5th June 2015.
  • ADSAM Studienförderung für Islamisches Denken, DITIB Akademie 4. Forschungswerkstatt/Workshop, 25.11.2015 - 27.11.2015, Cologne/Köln.
  • 4th International Conference on Comparative Perspectives: Islam, Confucianism and Buddhism, Ljubljana, 11th – 13th December 2015. Paper: “Toshihiko Izutsu – Japanese Islamic Studies and Economic Thought in Islam”.

Grants and awards

  • Zois Stipend for talented students for double-major BA degree in Sociology of  Culture, and Comparative Literature, 2006-2011
  • Slovene Human Resource, Development, and Scholarship Fund: Grant for language acquisition within BA studies at Markez Dawd, Cairo, Egypt, March – July 2010
  • Ad Futura, Slovene Human Resource, Development, and Scholarship Fund: Full Stipend and Tuition fee Waiver for the Research MA in Middle East Studies at Leiden University, 1st September 2011 – 31st August 2013
  • Basileus Mobility Project: Full Stipend for MA in Arabic Language and Culture at Faculty of Philosophy, University of Sarajevo (2011 – 2013) (declined)
  • Travel grant for NEPAS Project, University of Minho – Braga, Portugal, Summer School on Democratization and Political Transitions in the Arab World: Actors, Challenges, and Policy Options for the EU, (16th – 19th July 2013)
  • LUSTRA Travel Grant for Arabic language Acquisition in Rabat, Leiden University (June – August 2012)
  • Outbound Study Grant, Leiden University Funds, Curator funds, Leiden University: Grant for graduate exchange programme at McGill University (January – May)
  • Full Stipend for PhD in Islamic Studies at Leiden Univerity/WWU Münster (2013-2017)
  • LUF, Leiden University, PhD research stipend for MESAAS, Columbia University (Jan 2015 – Sept 2016)


  • Junior Member of the Netherlands Interuniversity School for Islamic Studies (NISIS).
  • Member of Leiden University Centre for the Study of Islam and Society (LUCIS).
  • Founder and President of the Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Postgraduate Student Association “Hikma”, Leiden, The Netherlands (November 2011 – present).
  • Member of the Educational Committee, Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University (September 2011 – 2012).

PhD candidate

  • Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies
  • LUCSoR

Work address

Matthias de Vrieshof
Matthias de Vrieshof 1
2311 BZ Leiden
Room number 205C



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