Dr M. Afifi al-Akiti

Senior Consultant Scholar
Dr. Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti is University Research Lecturer in Islamic Studies at Oxford University; KFAS Fellow in Islamic Studies at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies; and Fellow of Worcester College. He is the first ever Malay to be appointed to such a position at Oxford. Dr al-Akiti completed his DPhil in Medieval Arabic Philosophy from Oxford University as a Clarendon Scholar in 2008. His thesis identifies and systematically considers for the first time a group of philosophical writings, called the Madnun corpus, attributed to Islam’s greatest theologian, al-Ghazali—his discoveries are based on an extensive survey of nearly 50 medieval Arabic manuscripts. Besides acquainting scholars with this remarkable new body of source material, his three-volume study presents a critical edition of the most advanced and technical work of this corpus, the manual on metaphysics and natural philosophy called the Major Madnun. Dr al-Akiti, who comes from Malaysia, is trained as a theologian and philologist in both the Islamic and Western traditions: educated originally with the traditional ulema of the Muslim world, he subsequently received a First Class degree in Scholastic Philosophy and History of Science from the Queen’s University Belfast, where he was awarded various scholarships to read for his Masters and Doctoral degrees at Oxford.His current areas of research preparing the edition of the manuscripts of the Problemata component of al-Ghazali’s Madnun corpus and also preparation of an edition and translation of a unique Arabic manuscript, attributable to Nastulus (fl. ca. 890-925), concerning a lunar-solar mathematical gearing of Byzantine origin. His publications include: “Negotiating Modernity in Muslim Philosophical Discourse: The Neo-Ghazalian, Attasian Perspective ” (in W.M.N. Daud and M.Z. Uthman (eds.), Knowledge, Language, Thought and the Civilization of Islam: Essays in Honor of Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, Kuala Lumpur, 2010); “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Falsafa: Al-Ghazali’s Madnun, Tahafut and Maqasid with Particular Attention to their Falsafi Treatments of God’s Knowledge of Temporal Events” (in Y.T. Langermann (ed.), Avicenna and His Legacy: A Golden Age of Science and Philosophy, Brepols, 2009); and “The Three Properties of Prophethood in Certain Works of Avicenna and al-Ghazali” (in J. McGinnis (ed.), Interpreting Avicenna: Science and Philosophy in Medieval Islam, Leiden, 2004).

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