Islamic Studies Yusuf al-Qaradawi
Jeffry R. Halverson
  • LAST REVIEWED: 19 May 2017
  • LAST MODIFIED: 24 May 2018
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195390155-0098


Yusuf al-Qaradawi (b. 1926) is an Egyptian-born Sunni alim who graduated from Al-Azhar University in Cairo and a prominent Islamist ideologue affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood (Jamiyat al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin). He is a Qatari national and in the early 21st century serves as the director of the Seerah and Sunnah Center at Qatar University in Doha. He is also a member of the Al-Azhar Islamic Research Council and the founder and chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars. Al-Qaradawi is a prolific writer and skilled poet, having penned as many as one hundred books and booklets in Arabic, and a popular media personality, hosting his own television program, Al-Shariah wal-Hayat, on the Al Jazeera satellite network. A popular website,, issues his fatwas and teachings on an array of subjects, and Muslims around the world can submit their questions online. Several alternative transliterations of his name exist, including Yousef al-Qaradhawi.

General Overviews

Given his prominence, there is a surprising lack of comprehensive studies on al-Qaradawi. Several works, such as Kurzman 1998 and Davis 1997, include al-Qaradawi alongside other significant Muslim scholars and figures. March 2009 and Nafi 2004 examine the work of al-Qaradawi in the context of contemporary thematic debates surrounding citizenship. Kelsay 2016 focuses on al-Qaradawi’s writings on warfare, and Rock-Singer 2016 explores the role of al-Qaradawi in shaping the Muslim Brotherhood’s message. Baker 2003 features al-Qaradawi in a study of contemporary moderate Islamists. Euben and Zaman 2009 presents a translated al-Qaradawi essay along with a short biography. Gräf and Skovgaard-Petersen 2009 is among the few sources devoted exclusively to al-Qaradawi’s scholarship, teachings, and life. Academic journals in the field also have yet to yield sufficient intensive studies of al-Qaradawi and his significance to late-20th- and early-21st-century Islamic thought. A greater number of studies on al-Qaradawi are available in Arabic, such as Khalaf 2008 and Talimah 2001.

  • Baker, Raymond William. Islam without Fear: Egypt and the New Islamists. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003.

    This is a study of late-20th- and early-21st-century “centrist” or moderate Islamists in Egypt covering an array of scholars and thinkers. Al-Qaradawi is prominently featured in the book, and many of his positions and teachings on a range of issues are discussed.

  • Davis, Joyce M. Between Jihad and Salaam: Profiles in Islam. New York: St. Martin’s, 1997.

    A collection of interviews with Muslim scholars, activists, and Islamists throughout the Muslim world, including al-Qaradawi in chapter 12, conducted by an American journalist.

  • Euben, Roxanne L., and Muhammad Qasim Zaman, eds. Princeton Readings in Islamist Thought: Texts and Contexts from Al-Banna to Bin Laden. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009.

    An anthology of translated writings by a wide array of Islamist thinkers and leaders. Chapter 9 contains a short biography of al-Qaradawi along with an essay of his titled “Islam and Democracy.”

  • Gräf, Bettina, and Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen, eds. Global Mufti: The Phenomenon of Yūsuf al-Qaradāwī. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.

    An excellent collection of essays in English on al-Qaradawi’s thinking (on subjects such as women, wasatiyya, and maslaha), activities, and his use of new media to reach a worldwide audience; includes a comprehensive bibliography of al-Qaradawi’s published works.

  • Kelsay, John. “On Fighting as an Individual Duty in Islam.” The Muslim World 106.2 (2016): 374–383.

    DOI: 10.1111/muwo.12147

    An analysis of al-Qaradawi’s Fiqh al-Jihad and the ethics of warfare by an academic scholar of just-war theory in Islam and Christianity.

  • Khalaf, Mujahid. Al-Qaradāwī bayna al-Ikhwān wa-al-Sulṭān. Cairo: Dar al-Jumhuriyah lil-Sihafah, 2008.

    An Arabic biography, originating out of a series of interviews with al-Qaradawi, that focuses on his relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood and several regimes in Egypt and the Middle East, including those of Gamal Nasser, Anwar el-Sādāt, and Hosni Mubarak.

  • Kurzman, Charles, ed. Liberal Islam: A Source Book. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

    A collection of writings by a range of modern Muslim scholars, reformers, and activists arranged under six thematic categories. An essay by al-Qaradawi on extremism is included in the “Freedom of Thought” section of the book.

  • March, Andrew F. Islam and Liberal Citizenship: The Search for an Overlapping Consensus. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.

    DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195330960.001.0001

    A study of Islamic arguments that accept the demands of citizenship in a liberal democracy, including medieval works of Islamic ethics and jurisprudence. Al-Qaradawi is one of several late-20th- and early-21st-century reference points in the book for these ongoing debates in the Muslim world.

  • Nafi, Basheer M. “Fatwā and War: On the Allegiance of the American Muslim Soldiers in the Aftermath of September 11.” Islamic Law and Society 11 (2004): 78–116.

    DOI: 10.1163/156851904772841426

    An analysis of the fatwa issued by a group of ulama that included al-Qaradawi permitting American Muslim soldiers to fight for their country after September 11, even against a Muslim country.

  • Rock-Singer, Aaron. “Scholarly Authority and Lay Mobilization: Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s Vision of da‘wa, 1976–1984.” The Muslim World 106.3 (2016): 588–604.

    DOI: 10.1111/muwo.12135

    An analysis of al-Qaradawi’s role as an ‘alim engaged in the da‘wa of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, an organization dominated by laymen. The article focuses on three books written by al-Qaradawi during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

  • Talimah, ʿIsam. Yūsuf al-Qaraḍāwī: Faqīh al-duʿāh wa-dāʿiyat al-fuqahāʾ. Damascus: Dar al-Qalam, 2001.

    An Arabic biography of al-Qaradawi that includes a section with quotes about al-Qaradawi from various notable scholars and Islamists as well as an interview with al-Qaradawi.

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