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Eyad Abuali

Dr Eyad Abuali

Research Associate in Islamic History and Civilisation

School of History, Archaeology and Religion


I am currently working on the "Legacies of Learning" project at Cardiff. My focus is on the intellectual, social, and cultural history of Sufism and other forms of Islamic mysticism. I am particularly interested in processes of institutionalisation and the formation of Sufi communities in the medieval period. As well as analysing the production and transmission of knowledge in Sufi contexts, my research also engages with theories of embodiment, emotions, and material culture, as well as sensory history.



“Bodies, Things, Doings: A Practice Theory Approach to the Study of Islam.” In New Methods in the Study of Islam, edited by Aaron Hughes and Abbas Aghdassi. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2022. (With Ayse Almila Akca and Aydin Suer)

“I Tasted Sweetness and I Tasted Affliction: Pleasure, Pain, and Body in Medieval Sufi Food Practices." Senses and Society 17, (2022): 52-67.

“Visualising the Soul: Diagrams and the Subtle Body (Jism laṭif) in Shams al-Dīn al-Daylamī’s The Mirror of Souls (Mirʾāt al-arwāḥ).” Critical Research on Religion 9, (2021): 157-174.

“Dreams and Visions as Diagnosis in Medieval Sufism: The Emergence of Kubrawī Oneirology.” Journal of Sufi Studies 8, (2020): 1-29.

“Clothing and Investiture in Medieval Sufism.” In Routledge Handbook of Sufism, edited by Lloyd Ridgeon. New York: Routledge, 2020.

“Words Clothed in Light: Dhikr (Recollection), Colour and Synaesthesia in Early Kubrawī Sufism.” Iran 8, (2019):279-292.

“Majd al-Dīn al-Baghdādī.” Encyclopaedia of Islam, Three, (2019):


I received a BA in Religious Studies from King's College London 2009 and an MA in Medieval Studies from King's College London in 2011. I then completed my PhD in Middle Eastern Studies at SOAS in 2017.

From 2017-2020 I was a researcher on the SENSIS project at Utrecht University. As part of the project I have presented and published papers on the senses in medieval Sufi thought and practice, highlighting how particular sensory regimes are related to the organisation of Sufi communities and medieval identity-making.

Before my position at Cardiff, between 2020-2023, I was a junior research group leader at the Berlin Institute of Islamic Theology (BIT), where my research focused on the history of emotions and the body.