Seeking Sacred Knowledge: Zaytuna College and the Education of American Muslims
Maryam Kashani

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



University of Texas at Austin

Primary Discipline

In a time when "traditional" Islam and Islamic education are seen as incommensurable with American society and ideals, American Muslims are using "traditional" Islamic scholarship to articulate the future possibilities of Islam and being Muslim in America. This research shows how Islamic tradition is mobilized by scholars and students to craft an American Islam based on a shared moral and ethical system that draws from the heterogeneous experiences of diverse Muslims and their material circumstances. Based on 18 months of ethnographic research at Zaytuna College in Berkeley and the Ta'leef Collective in Fremont, California, this study is shaped by oral histories, participant-observation, and visual ethnography. This dissertation provides empirical data about two institutions at the forefront of a growing phenomena of primary, secondary, and tertiary Islamic education in the US, while also contributing an Islamic example to the study of faith-based institutions of higher learning.
About Maryam Kashani

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