Prof. Itzchak Weismann
Department of Middle Eastern History
Head of the Jewish-Arab Center

Tel: +9724-8240656

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Islam
  • Trends in Pre-Modern Sufism
  • Radical Islam
  • Between India and the Middle East
  • Society, Culture, Islam
  • Modernity and Islam
  • Mysticism and fundamentalism
  • Power, Communication, and Emotion in the Middle East
  • Islam and State in the Indian Subcontinent  
  • The Holy in Islam
  • Muslim Civilization in Asia
  • Approaches to the Study of Islamic fundamentalism
  • Theories of Resistance in the Global Arena: Marx to Bin Laden
  • The Muslim Brothers' concept of Da'wa
  • Islamic Movements in the Middle East and Beyond     
  • Modern India – Society and Culture

Research Areas

  • Islamic movements
  • Sufism
  • Preaching of Islam (da'wa)
  • Modern Syria
  • Islam in the Indian Subcontinent
  • B.A. cum laude  - History of the Middle East Dept. and B.A. Honor Program. University of Haifa (1987).
  • M.A. cum laude - History of the Middle East dept. University of Haifa (1990).
  • Ph.D. Summa cum Laude - History of the Middle East dept. University of Haifa (1997)
  • Post-doctorate - Princeton University (1998-1999)
  • St. Anthony’s College, Oxford University (2000)

Scholarly Positions

  • Scientific adviser of Islam: An Introduction to the History of Religion, the Israel Open University.
  • Member of the publications committee of the Israeli Society for Middle East and Islamic Studies.
  • Editorial member of the journal ha-Mizrah ha-Hadash (The New East).

Scholarships and Research Grants

  • 1988-1989. Fulver Fellowship for M.A. studies.
  • 1995-1997. Rotenstreich Fellowship for Ph.D. studies.
  • 1998-1999. Rothschild Fellowship.
  • 2000. The British Council.
  • 2000. The Ruth Hermann Prize.
  • 2000-2003. Alon Young Scholars Fellowship.
  • 2003-2005. The Israeli Academy of Sciences: Sufi Orders and Radial Vanguards – Islamic Social Organization in the 20th Century.
  • 2009. Dickinson College, Research & Development Grant: The Collective Hero: Mythologies of Origin in the Globalizing Muslim Public
  • 2010-2013. The Israeli Academy of Sciences: The Rise and Evolution of the Modern Salafi Trend, 1880-Present.



  • Taste of Modernity: Sufism, Salafiyya, and Arabism in Late Ottoman Damascus. Leiden: Brill, 200 1 , 343pp.
  • The Naqshbandiyya: Orthodoxy and Activism in a Worldwide Sufi Tradition. London and New York: Routledge, 2007, xv+208pp.
  • Co. ed Ottoman Reform and Islamic Regeneration. London: I.B. Tauris, 2005, 240 pp.
  • Co. ed. Conversion, Sufism, Revival and Reform in Islam: Essays in Memory of Nehemia Levtzion. Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 2009 (in Hebrew).


  • “Sa‘id Hawwa - The Making of a Radical Muslim Thinker in Modern Syria,” Middle Eastern Studies 29 (1993), 601-623.
  • “The Islamic Opposition in Ba‘thist Syria,” The New East 35 (1996), 83-104 (in Hebrew).
  • “Sa‘id Hawwa and Islamic Revivalism in Ba‘thist Syria,” Studia Islamica 85 (1997), 131-154.
  • “The Political Heritage of Ibn Taymiyya in the Light of the Original Salafiyya,” The New East 42 (2001), 25-42 (in Hebrew).
  • “Between Sufi Reformism and Modernist Rationalism - A Reappraisal of the Origins of the Salafiyya from the Damascene Angle,” Die Welt des Islams 41 (2001), 206-237.
  • “God and the Perfect Man in the Experience of ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jaza’iri,” Journal of the Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi Society 30 (2001), 55-72.
  • “The Forgotten Shaykh: ‘Isa al-Kurdi and the Transformation of the Naqshbandi-Khalidi Order in Twentieth Century Syria,” Die Welt des Islams 43 (2003), 273-293.
  • “Sufi Brotherhoods in Syria and Israel: A Contemporary Overview,” History of Religions 43 (2004), 303-318.
  • “The Naqshbandiyya-Khalidiyya and the Salafi Challenge in Iraq,” Journal of the History of Sufism 4 (2004), 229-240.
  • “The Invention of a Populist Islamic Leader: Badr al-Din al-Hasani, the Religious Educational Movement, and the Great Syrian Revolt,” Arabica 52 (2005), 109-139.
  • “The Politics of Popular Religion: Sufis, Salafis, and Muslim Brothers in Twentieth-Century Hamah,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 37 (2005), 39-58.
  • “Suriye ve İsrail’de Tarikatlar: Günümüzdeki Duruma Toplu Bir Bakış,” Tasavvuf 17 (2006), 267-281 (in Turkish).
  • “The Sociology of ‘Islamic Modernism’: Muhammad ‘Abduh, the National Public Sphere, and the Colonial State,” The Maghreb Review 32 (2007), 104-121.
  • “Abu al-Huda al-Sayyadi and the Rise of Islamic Fundamentalism,” Arabica 54 (2007), 586-592.
  • “The Deviant Dervishes, Sufism, and Muslim Orthodoxy,” Jama‘a 15 (2007), 85-95 (in Hebrew).
  • “The Hidden Hand: The Khalidiyya and the Orthodox–Fundamentalist Nexus in Aleppo,” Journal of the History of Sufism 5 (2007), 41-59.
  • “Dieu et l’Homme Parfait dans la Realisation de ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jaza’iri,” Vers la Tradition 114-115 (2008-2009), 118-133 (in French).
  • “Genealogies of Fundamentalism: Salafi Discourse in Nineteenth-Century Baghdad,” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 36 (2009), 269-282.
  • “Democratic Fundamentalism? – The Practice and Discourse of the Muslim Brothers Movement in Syria,” The Muslim World 100 (2010), 1-16.

Book  Chapters

  • “‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jaza’iri: Reminding the Intellectual, notifying the unmindful,” in Charles Kurzman (ed.), Modernist Islam 1840-1940: A Sourcebook (New York, 2002), 133-137.
  • “Sufismo e confraternite nell’area Siriana: Strategie religiose e implicazioni politiche,” in Marietta Stepanyants (ed.), Sufismo e confraternite nell’islam contemporaneo: Il difficile equilibrio tra mistica e politica (Turin, 2003), 103-121 (in Italian).
  • “Sufi Reformist Diffusion and the Rise of Arabism in Late Ottoman Syria,” in Thomas Philipp and Christoph Schumann (eds.), From the Land of Syria to the Syrian States (Beirut, 2004), 113-125.
  • “Law and Sufism on the Eve of Reform: The Views of Ibn ‘Abidin,” in Itzchak Weismann and Fruma Zachs (eds.), Ottoman Reform and Islamic Regeneration (London, 2005), 69-80.
  • “The Shadhiliyya-Darqawiyya in the Arab East (19th-20th Century),” in Eric Geoffroy (ed.), Une voie soufie dans le monde – La Shadhiliyya (Paris, 2005), 255-269.
  • “Modern Sufi Attitudes toward the West : Four Naqshbandi Cases,” in Meir Litvak (ed.), Middle Eastern Societies and the West: Accommodation or Clash of Civilizations? (Tel-Aviv, 2006), 221-236.
  • “Sufismo contemporano e Occidente, Quattro casi Naqshbandi,” in Stefano Salzani (ed.), Teologie politiche islamiche (Genova and Milano, 2006), 187-204 (in Italian).
  • “Sufi Fundamentalism in India and the Middle East,” in Martin van Bruinessen and Julia Howell (eds.), Sufism and the ‘Modern’ in Islam (London and New York, 2007), 115-128.
  • "Fundamentalisme Sufi Antara India dan Timur Tengah," in Martin van Bruinessen and Julia Howell (eds.), Urban Sufism (Jakarta: Rajawali Pers, 2008), 197-219 (in Indonesian).
  • “L’islam e il Concetto di Modernita,” in Giovanni  Filoramo (ed.), Le religioni e il mondo moderno, vol. 3: Islam (Torino: Giulio Einaudi Editore, 2009), 5-28 (in Italian).
  • “Revival and Reform in the Face of the West: The Sufi Discourse of ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jaza’iri,” in Aharon Layish et. al (eds.), Conversion, Sufism, and Revival and Reform in Islam, forthcoming. (in Hebrew).

Encyclopedia Entries

  • Islamic Modernism, Encyclopedia of Western Colonialism since 1450
  • ‘Abd al-Majid al-Khani, Encyclopedia of Islam, 3rd edition.
  • 'Abd al-Razzaq al-Bitar, Encyclopedia of Islam, 3rd edition.
  • Abu Sa‘id Shah, Encyclopedia of Islam, 3rd edition.
  • Badr al-Din al-Hasani, Encyclopedia of Islam, 3rd edition.
  • Syria, Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, 2nd edition.
  • Hawwa, Sa‘id, Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, 2nd edition.

Book reviews:

  • Vincent Cornell, Realm of the Saint: Power and Authority in Moroccan Sufism (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1998) – Studia Islamica 94 (2002).
  • Elizabeth Sirriyeh, Sufi Visionary of Ottoman Damascus: ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulusi, 1641-1731 (London and New York: Routledge Curzon, 2005) – MESA Bulletin 40/2 (2006).
  • David Commins, The Wahhabi Mission and Saudi Arabia (London and New York: I.B.Tauris, 2006) – Electronic Journal of the Middle East Studies-MIT, 2007.
Dina LeGall, A Culture of Sufism: Naqshbandis in the Ottoman World, 1450-1700 (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005) – Jama‘a 17 (2009), in Hebrew.