Learn More About the Members of Our Academic Organization

Board of Directors

NAAIMS is a 501 (c) (3) Tax-Exempt Organization

Run by a Board of Directors Elected Every Two Years
(Term from 2024-2026)

North American Association of Islamic and Muslim studies.


Dr. Mohammad Hassan Khalil 
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 

Mohammad Hassan Khalil is professor of religious studies, adjunct professor of law, and director of the Muslim Studies Program at Michigan State University. Before returning to his hometown of East Lansing, Michigan, he was an assistant professor of religion and visiting professor of law at the University of Illinois. He specializes in Islamic thought and is author of Islam and the Fate of Others: The Salvation Question (Oxford University Press, 2012) and Jihad, Radicalism, and the New Atheism (Cambridge University Press, 2018); and editor of Between Heaven and Hell: Islam, Salvation, and the Fate of Others (Oxford University Press, 2013) and Muslims and US Politics Today: A Defining Moment (Harvard University Press and ILEX, 2019); lead investigator of the Muslims of the Midwest digital archive (muslimsofthemidwest.org); and co-producer of the documentary film, American Jedi: The Salman Hamdani Story (Alexander Street, 2023). Khalil has presented papers at various national and international conferences and has published peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on various topics, from early Islamic historiography to bioethics. He serves on multiple editorial boards, including the Journal of Islamic and Muslim Studies (JIMS), and has served on the board of directors of the Society for the Study of Muslim Ethics. In 2015 he received the Michigan State University Teacher-Scholar Award. 


North American Association of Islamic and Muslim studies.

Vice President

Dr. Sarra Tlili
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Sarra Tlili is associate professor of Arabic literature and language at the University of Florida. She obtained her Masters and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Department. Before joining the University of Florida she taught at the American Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute in Tunis, the Middlebury Arabic Language Summer Program, and the NELC Department at the University of Pennsylvania. Her main research areas are animal and environmental ethics in Islam and Qur’anic stylistics. Tlili serves on the editorial board of NAAIMS bi-annual double-blind peer-reviewed publication, the Journal oInf Islamic and Muslim Studies (JIMS). Her recent publications include “The Canine Companion of the Cave: The Place of the Dog in Qur’anic Taxonomy” (Journal of Islamic and Muslim Studies, 2018, 3.2), “Animal Ethics in Islam: A Review Article,” (Religions 2018, 9, 269, https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090269), “From Breath to Soul: The Qur’anic Word  and its (Mis)interpretations,” (in Joseph Lowry, Shawkat Toorawa, eds. Arabic Humanities, Islamic Thought: Essays in Honor of Everett K. Rowson. Leiden: Brill, 2017. 1-21), and “I Invoke God Therefore I am: Creation’s Spirituality and its Ecologic Impact in Islamic Texts,” (in John Parham and Louise Westling, eds. A Global History of Literature and the Environment.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017. 107-122). She is also the author of Animals in the Qur’an, (Cambridge University Press, 2012). 



North American Association of Islamic and Muslim studies.


Dr. Aisha Y. Musa 
Independent Scholar – Islamic and Qur’anic Studies
Tigard, OR 

Aisha Y. Musa holds a Ph.D. in Arabic and Islamic studies from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University. My research and teaching interests include Hadith and Sunna, translation of classical Arabic texts, Qur’anic interpretation, women’s issues, Islamic Law, and modern-day reformist and neo-traditionalist movements. My publications include Hadith as Scripture: Discussions on the Authority of Prophetic Traditions in Islam (Palgrave, 2008); “And Muhammad is His Messenger: The Role of Sunna and Hadith in the Formation of Islamic Identity,” in Non Sola Scriptura: Essays on the Qur’an and Islam in Honor of William Graham. Edited by Bruce Fudge et al. (Routledge, 2022) “Love and Marriage in Medieval Muslim Thought” Journal of Islamic and Muslim Studies (Indiana University Press, 2019) Vol 4 No 2, 1-17; “Freedom of Conscience in the Qur’an and Hadith” Journal of Islamic and Muslim Studies (Indiana University Press, 2019), Vol 4 No 1, 129-134; “Beyond East and West: Rethinking Islam in the Digital Age” Journal of Islamic and Muslim Studies (Indiana University Press, 2018) Vol 3 No 2, 109-16; “The Relationship of al-ma‘qùl and al-manqùl in Mullā Khusraw’s Conceptualization of Sunna” in the Proceedings of International Symposium on Mullā Khusraw (Bursa, Turkey, 2013); “Jizya: Toward a more Qur’anically based Understanding of an Historically Problematic Term,” in Transcendent Thought (November, 2011), Al-Mostafa Center for Islamic Research, Manila, Philippines; “The Qur’anists,” (Religion Compass, 2010), 4/1; Securing Knowledge: A translation and analysis of al-Khaīb al-Baghdādī’s Taqyīd al-ʿIlm (Leiden: Brill, 2016); I have made presentations at conferences nationally and globally. My presentation at NAAIMS 42nd Annual Conference in 2013, highlighted “Jizya: An Example of Continual Reinterpretation and Reform with a Contemporary Qur’ānic Reinterpretation.” I currently serve as Secretary on the NAAIMS Board of Directors, and editorial board member of NAAIMS’s bi-annual double-blind peer-reviewed publication, the Journal of Islamic and Muslim Studies (JIMS). 


North American Association of Islamic and Muslim studies.


Aila A. Ghori

Aila A. Ghori received her B.S. in information sciences and accounting from University of Maryland, College Park, MD. She is a member of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). Ghori worked for Accounting, Tax and Financial Services, LLC (ATNF), Gaithersburg, MD, as an assistant accountant which included payroll, auditing, and bookkeeping services. As an internal IT Auditor for Marriott International, Bethesda, MD, she participated in the planning/risk-assessment, fieldwork, and report writing stages of internal audits of the company’s global network operations. Ghori performed general computer and application controls reviews. As a Technology Risk Consultant for Arthur Andersen LLP, Baltimore, MD she performed reviews of client’s information systems by creating test plans and conducted testing. She consulted with financial auditors regarding potential information technology risks related to financial statements. She served as NAAIMS Treasurer in the last term (2021-2023) and maintained the accounting of NAAIMS books and financial transparency. 


North American Association of Islamic and Muslim studies.

Member at Large

Dr. Heba Arafa Abdelfattah 
Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Yale University, New Haven, CT 

Heba Arafa Abdelfattah received her Ph.D. (2017) in Arabic and Islamic studies from Georgetown University, Washington, DC. She recently served as a Postdoctoral fellow at Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Yale University, and an assistant professor in the Division of Humanities at Grinnell College, IA. Her research brings the fields of religion, history, and popular culture into conversation. She is interested in the history and philosophy of religion and the arts as articulated in Arabic and Islamic thought in all its expressions from the 7th to the 21st century. Her main goal is to research paradigms used in Arabic and Islamic thought to better understand the relationship between the sacred and the secular, the role of religion in public life, and the history of empire-building concerning knowledge production. To that end, Abdelfattah operates as an intellectual and cultural historian of Islam both in the modern and classical periods; she works with sacred scripture, manuscripts, archival documents, films, literary texts, and other forms of cultural production to understand how, among Muslims, creative experiences survive in the context of censorship. In almost all aspects of her research, she tries to understand how creative minds (be they filmmakers or exegetes) understand the relationship between the scriptures as a source of religious law, philosophy, and creative expression in Islam while paying closer attention to how classical Islamic literature influence modern social experiences. She has conducted archival research on the reception of films by the colonial state, the nationalist elite, and the Muslim clergy in twentieth-century Egypt. She has published articles in such peer-reviewed journals as the Review of Middle East Studies, the International Journal of Communication, and the Journal of Islamic and Muslim Studies (JIMS). She is the author of Filming Modernity and Islam in Colonial Egypt, published in October 2023 by Edinburgh University Press (EUP). She is currently working on two projects. One project focuses on studying the Arabic genre of “Islamic Hymns” (ibtihalat) as an exemplar of a popular cultural approach to studying Islam as a lived experience based on the inclusion, not the elimination, of difference. The other is a project on the epistemological history of Qur’anic exegesis. 

North American Association of Islamic and Muslim studies.

Member at Large

Dr. Salah D. Hassan
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Salah D. Hassan is the director of global studies in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing. He is associate professor in the Department of English and a core faculty member in MSU’s Muslim Studies Program. He is associate editor of the NAAIMS Journal of Islamic and Muslim Studies (JIMS). Hassan teaches courses that focus on the Middle East, anticolonialism and culture, literatures of empire, and Arab and Muslim American cultural production. He served as the associate editor of The New Centennial Review and edited several special issues with the following titles: “The Origins of Postmodern Cuba,” “Terror Wars,” “Cultures of Occupation,” and “The Palestine Issue.” His recent publications include “Radical Revisions: Barbara Harlow and Criticism Beyond Partition” in Race and Class (SAGE Journals) January-March 2019), “Mapping anti-Muslim Politics in the US” in Muslims and Contemporary US Politics, edited by Mohammad Khalil (Harvard University Press and ILEX, 2019), and a revised reprint of “Passing Away: Despair, Eulogies, and Millennial Palestine” in The Edinburgh Companion to the Postcolonial Middle East, edited by Karim Mattar and Anna Ball (University of Edinburgh Press, 2019). He is currently completing a book manuscript tentatively titled Arabs/America: Essays on Race, Representation, and Resistance. 

Manuela Ceballos - JPEG(1)

Member at Large

Dr. Manuela Ceballos    
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 

Manuela Ceballos is assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She received her Ph.D. (2016) from the Graduate Division of Religion, Emory University, Atlanta, GA. Her area of research brings together methods and theories from a variety of academic disciplines to the study of Sufism and Christian sainthood in early modern North Africa and Iberia. Her research also covers concepts of purity and the body in Islam and Christianity; the relationship between ritual and the production/reception of material culture; the place of language, multilingualism, and translation in the history and literatures of Islam; and the history of interreligious relations in Iberia and North Africa, including issues of coexistence and violence and the concept of convivencia in Muslim Iberia. Ceballos recently completed a book-length annotated translation of Moroccan author and literary critic Abdelfattah Kilito’s La langue d’Adam et autres essais into Spanish, which has been published as La lengua de Adán y otros relatos (Sílaba, 2023) and am co-editor, with Alison Vacca and Antoine Borrut, of the forthcoming volume Navigating Language in the Early Islamic World (Brepols, forthcoming). She is in the last stages of completing a monograph tentatively titled Between Dung and Blood: Ritual Purity, Sainthood, and Power in the early modern Western Mediterranean, a project for which I received an NEH fellowship in the academic year 2023–2024.