Younus Mirza

Alwaleed Bin Talal Scholar

I grew up in Herndon, Virginia, in the suburbs of Washington DC. It is in Herndon that I meet wife Rehenuma Asmi and we are fortunate to now have two little daughters. My education consists of a joint Bachelors and Masters in International Relations and Arab Studies from Georgetown's School of Foreign Service. I then spent a year abroad studying Arabic and Islamic studies at the University of Qatar. The experience abroad was so positive that I decided to continue my graduate studies and returned to do my PhD at Georgetown, this time in the Department of Arabic of Islamic Studies. I am currently in the final stages of writing my dissertation on the Qur’anic Exegesis of Ibn Kathir (d. 774/1373). I argue that Ibn Kathir’s work must be understood within the theological struggle between the traditionalists and rationalists that occurred during his time rather than simply through his relationship with Ibn Taymiyya (d. 728/ 1328), the forefather many modern Islamic movements. The Alwaleed Scholarship has allowed to me focus the necessary time in researching historical chronicles, legal documents, and theological treatises that relate to Ibn Kathir’s life and major works. The scholarship has put me in a position to realistically defend my dissertation in the upcoming year. I then hope to become a Professor where I can present a deeper, more complex picture of the Islamic tradition.