Khalid Blankinship

Khalid-2010Associate Professor
(215) 204-5543
629 Anderson Hall
1114 W. Berks St.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19004


History of Islam, Early Muslim History, Muslim Law


Born in Seattle, WA, Khalid Yahya Blankinship obtained his BA in History in 1973 from the University of Washington, an MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language in 1975 from the American University in Cairo, and an MA in Islamic History in 1983 from Cairo University. His Ph.D. in History is from the University of Washington in 1988.

After traveling extensively in Europe and the Middle East, Blankinship long resided in Egypt and in Saudi Arabia at Makkah, becoming fluent in both classical and colloquial Arabic. He taught English for several years at the American University in Cairo, and then History at the University of Washington. In 1990, Blankinship moved to Philadelphia, where he was appointed in the Department of Religion at Temple University. Promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 1996, he has served as Chair of the Department of Religion 1998-2002, Departmental Graduate Director 2003-2013, and Chair again from 2013.

He is active in lecturing and research on religion in general and Islam in particular. In addition to courses on Islam, he regularly teaches Religion in the World as well as Religion and Science. He has regularly presented papers at the annual meetings of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and the American Oriental Society (AOS), and has also participated in meetings of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA). He has delivered lectures in many places, including Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, India, and Malaysia.

Also, Blankinship studied with a number of Muslim religious scholars, especially Shaykh Ismâ‘îl Sâdiq al-‘Adawî (1934-1998), the Imâm of Masjid al-Azhar in Cairo, and he has made the acquaintance of many well-known scholars of the Muslim world. He has posted a number of his responses to questions on Muslim law on-line. He participated in the series of religious lectures in the Arabic language called al-Durûs al-Hasaniyyah (Hasanian Lectures) presented before the king in Morocco during Ramadân 1989-2000.

Selected Publications

  • The End of the Jihâd State: The Reign of Hishâm ibn ‘Abd al-Malik (724-743 CE) and the Collapse of the Umayyads, Albany: SUNY Press, 1994.
  • The History of al-Tabarî, Vol. XI, The Challenge to the Empires: A.D. 633-635/A.H. 12-13, a translation including introduction, commentary, and notes. Albany: SUNY Press, 1993.
  • The History of al-Tabarî, Vol. XXV, The End of Expansion: The Caliphate of Hishâm A.D. 724-738/A.H. 105-120, a translation including introduction, commentary, and notes, Albany: SUNY Press, 1989.
  • “Muslim ‘Fundamentalism,’ Salafism, Sufism, and Other Trends.” In Fundamentalism: Perspectives on a Contested History. Ed. by Simon A. Wood and David Harrington Watt. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, in press, 2013.
  • “Parity of Muslim and Western Concepts of Just War.” The Muslim World, 101 (2011), No. 3, pp. 412-426.
  • “Imârah, Khilâfah, and Imâmah: The Origins of the Succession to the Prophet Muhammad.” In Shî‘ite Heritage: Essays on Classical and Modern Traditions. Ed. by L. Clarke. Binghamton: Global Publications, 2001, pp. 19-43.
  • “The Tribal Factor in the ‘Abbâsid Revolution: an Analysis of the Betrayal of the Imam Ibrâhîm b. Muhammad,” Journal of the American Oriental Society, 108 (1988), 589-603.

Courses Taught

Graduate Courses

  • Rel. 5601, Foundations in Islam
  • Rel. 8600, Topics in Islamic History
  • Rel. 8601, Islamic Jurisprudence
  • Rel. 8602, Islamic Mysticism

Undergraduate Courses

  • Rel. 0863, Religion in the World
  • Rel. 2606, Introduction to Islam
  • Rel. 3004, Religion and Science
  • Rel. 3602, Islamic Mysticism
  • Rel. 4096, Capstone Seminar: Theories of Religion & Secularism