Mohamud Awil Mohamed

Mohamud Headshot

Ph.D. Student

Fontaine Fellow
Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts Researcher

My work interrogates the intersections of migration, religion, ethics, and collective memory. His current project explores the relationship between the sharīʿah and customary law (xeer) in Bilad as-Ṣumal (today known as Somalia, but historically the lands incorporating current-day Djibouti, Eastern Ethiopia, and the NFD region of Kenya). My projects seeks to understand the intersections of anathematization, creedal factionalism/fluidity, and tensions between, inside and beyond the the class of religious elites who dominate this discourse. 

I completed my graduate work in Heritage Studies and Public History at the University of Minnesota where I was an Andrew W. Mellon Graduate Fellow. During my time in the program, I conducted research in Islamic Law on fatāwā related to the emergence and response to COVID-19 with Dr. Hassan Abdelsalam, I was also a graduate fellow with the Islamic Cataloging team at the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library where I archived East African Manuscripts. I completed a FLAS Fellowship at the Arabic Language Institute in Fez where I explored the development and articulation of legal-ethical principles in the thought of the 5th-century Mālikī polymath, Abū al-Walīd al-Bājī (d. 474 AH) as articulated in his treatises Sunan aṣ-Ṣāliḥīn. In my final year, I conducted digital humanities and oral history projects with the University of Minnesota Libraries and MN Transform respectively.

I am a translator of classical Islamic texts from Arabic and poetry in my native language, Somali. 

Advisors: Dr. Lee V. Cassanelli, Dr. Cheikh Anta Babou, Dr. Eve Troutt Powell


M.A., Heritage Studies & Public History, University of Minnesota 

B.A., History, Augsburg University

B.A., Islamic Studies, Abubakar As-Siddique Institute for Islamic Studies

Research Interests

Islamic Law, Hadith Studies, Manuscript Studies, Transnational Networks of Learning, Itinerant scholars, Ulema-State paradigm, Natural Language Processing. 


Selected Publications

Mohamed, Mohamud. “Migration, Digitization, and Preservation - A Case Study of a Somali ManuscriptHill Museum & Manuscript Library (2021)

Mohamed, Mohamud. “Beyond The Specter of The Colossus,” Atmos Earth (2021)

Mohamed, Mohamud. “From Zeila to Futa Jallon: Muslim States and the Colonial Encounter,” Black Muslim Psychology Conference Papers (2020).

Mohamed, Mohamud. “The Dugsi: A Dynamic or Outdated Methodology for Islamic Pedagogy in East Africa,” Black Muslim Psychology Conference Papers (2019).

Mohamed, Mohamud. “Reform, Authority, and Power: The Radical Hermeneutics of Ibn Taymiyyah and Martin Luther,” Augsburg Undergraduate Research Symposium (2018).

Mohamed, Mohamud. “A Bridge for The Sunnah in A Time of Fitnah -Towards a Theology of Mutual Support,” Senior Submission, Council on International Educational Exchange (Spring 2018).

Mohamed, Mohamud “Islam and Blackness: A crossroads" 1 & 2” Huffington Post. (2016)


The Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies

Middle East Studies Association

African Studies Association

The Islamic Manuscript Association

Somali Studies International Association

American Society for Legal History