Joseph E.B. Lumbard is currently a professor at The American University of Sharjah in the Department of Arabic and Translation Studies. A translator, commentary author and general editor for the Study Quran, he is also a former Advisor for Interfaith Affairs to King Abdullah II of Jordan and the author, editor, and translator of several articles and books on topics of Islamic philosophy, Sufism, and Quranic Studies. Lumbard is a frequent lecturer and has taken part in several Interfaith dialogues, among them the Common Word initiative.


Born and raised in Washington D.C., Lumbard was brought up within the Episcopal Church, serving as an altar boy. In his teenage years he lost interest and he was introduced to Islam when a sophomore at George Washington University. He converted to Islam a year and a half later.

“ I realized that everything that I had been searching for within Christianity was also available within Islam...and that I would be following the message of Jesus just as fully within the Islamic tradition.”

He received a Ph.D. and M.Phil. in Islamic Studies from Yale University, an M.A. in Religious Studies and a B.A. from the George Washington University.[3] In order to complement his Western university training, he studied Qur´an, Hadìth, Sufism, and Islamic philosophy with traditional teachers in Morocco, Egypt, Yemen, and Iran. Before returning to the United States, Lumbard worked as Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at the American University in Cairo.

A proponent of cross-cultural understanding, Dr. Lumbard has published several articles on comparative mysticism, Sufism, and Islamic philosophy, has lectured in academic arenas around the world, participated in inter-faith dialogues, and appeared on several radio and television programs. He is also the founder and first director of the Islamic Research Institute.


    The Study Quran, General Editor (HarperOne: Forthcoming, Fall 2015)

    Love and Remebrance: The Life and Teachings of Aḥmad al-Ghazālī (SUNY Press, Forthcoming 2016)

    "Seyyed Hossein Nasr on Tradition and Modernity" in Tradition and Modernity ed. David Marshall (Georgetown University Press, 2014)

    "What of the Word is Common" in Muslim and Christian Understanding: Theory and Application of "A common Word" ed. Waleed El-Ansary and David K. Linnan (Praeger, 2012)

    From Hubb to 'Ishq: The Development of Love in Early Sufism, (Oxford Journal of Islamic Studies, 2008).

    Submission, Faith and Beauty: The Religion of Islam., (Hayward, 2007, Zaytuna Institute, 2008)

    Prophets and Messengers of God, "Voices of Islam", (Praeger Pub Text, 2007)

    "The Function of Dhikrullāh in Sufi Psychology" in Knowledge is Light: Essays in Islamic Studies ed. Zaylan Morris (Kazi Publications: 2003)

    Islam, Fundamentalism, and the Betrayal of Tradition, (World Wisdom, 2004)