Sofia Rehman

Profile

I am currently a PhD candidate in Theology and Religious Studies, in the School of Philosophy, Religion, and History of Science. My research engages with the Prophetic tradition in Islam, focussing particulary on female voices within the tradition and the implications of their resurrection on the very epistemological understandings of the faith.

I completed a BSc in Business Management from King’s College London. Whilst doing my degree I took up the opportunity to enrol on the Arabic language module, and upon graduation decided to pursue further study in Arabic and Islamic Studies. I travelled in 2004 to Damascus, Syria, and then to Istanbul, Turkey, in the year 2008-2009,  to further study Arabic and a number of traditional Islamic sciences, including jurisprudence (Fiqh) - particularly rulings regarding women - Qur'anic exegesis (Tafsîr), science of hadith (Mustalah al-hadîth), the art of Qur’anic recitation (Tajwîd) and Sufism (Tasawwuf). I attained a License (Ijazah) in these areas.

In 2015 I undertook an MA in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at the University of Leeds. In between my undergraduate and Masters degrees, I also qualified as a Psychotherapist and worked as a volunteer Doula for the NHS, supporting vulnerable women through pregnancy and childbirth.

 

Awards

In 2016, I was fortunate to secure the PRHS PhD scholarship to pursue my doctorate study at the University of Leeds.

I won the position of  PG Impact Fellow at the Centre of Religion and Public Life, 2017-2018. In this capacity I undertook to deliver a series of seminars for the Muslim Women's Council on key female characters from Islamic history, from a perspective rarely presented. I wrote a blog piece detailing my experience on the CRPL website.

 

Conference Papers

  • 'A'isha, Mother of the Believers: Hidden in Plain Sight, Missing Women Conference, University of Southampton, 2017

 

Other Research and Public Engagement Projects

  • I secured funding from the Copenhagen Business School to be a participant in their two-day Feminism, Activism, and Writing workshop, November 2017.
  • Passionate about bridging the gap between academia and the community, I am collaborating with the Iqbal Centre for the Study of Contemporary Islam to deliver an Islam and Feminism Critical Reading Group, open to both staff and students at the University, as well the general public. The CRG is due to run from November 2018 - July 2019. More information can be found on the Iqbal Centre website.
  • I am a contributor to the upcoming anthology, Cut From The Same Cloth due to be published by Unbound in 2020. This is a collection of essays seeking to platform the interests and experiences of British Muslim women who either wear the hijab or have done so in the past, as a resitance to the narratives surrounding them which rarely centre them.

 

Teaching

I have had a range of teaching experience in both the School of Languages, Cultures, Societies and the School of Philosophy, Religion, and History of Science in the academic year 2017 - 2018.

  • Islam and Modernity (Teaching Cover)
  • Religion and Global Development (Seminar Leader)
  • Introduction to the Study of Islam (Seminar Leader)

Research interests

My doctoral research is a critical study of the hadîth canon in Islam, centring around the statements of ‘A’isha bint Abu Bakr, and her correction of other Companions of the Prophet Muhammad, as recorded by Imam Badr al-Din al-Zarkashi (d.790/1388).

My research constitutes a partial translation of Imam al-Zarkashi’s, al-Ijaba li-iradi ma Istadrakathu 'A’isha ala al-Sahaba and a critical study of the responses of ‘A’isha to mistakes in recalling, interpreting, and/or citing statements of the Prophet Muhammad, by primarily male Companions. I am reconstructing her methodology on the basis of these collected statements, and considering the implications this may have on the study of hadîth itself, and other corollary branches in the study of Islam.

I am interested in the following research areas:

  • Islam 
  • Hadith 
  • Translation
  • Gender Studies 
  • Islamic Feminism

Qualifications

  • BSc Business Management, King's College London
  • MA Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, University of Leeds