Dr. Fathi Osman (1928-2010) was a world-renowned scholar on Islam, Muslim intellectual developments and contemporary Muslim societies. He studied history and law in Egypt and obtained his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University. He taught at several universities around the world, and was invited as a visiting professor to prominent academic institutions in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the USA. He wrote over 30 books in Arabic and English that represent new approaches in Islamic contemporary thought, examining topics such as social change and history, human rights, women’s issues, and pluralism. His “Reflections” in Arabia, the Islamic World Review, published in English from London, U.K. between 1981 and 87, have been translated into several languages. His pioneering work has been recognized and honored on numerous occasions both in the US and abroad.


In 1996, at the Islam and Modernity Forum at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London University, prominent Muslim scholars from all over the world presented him with an award in recognition of his great contributions to contemporary Islamic thought. His magnum opus, the one thousand-page plus ground-breaking Concepts of the Quran: A Topical Reading, has become a key reference for scholars and researchers. His final work, The Permanent and the Transitional in Islamic Sources: A Study of Jihad and Hudud, edited by his daughter Dr. Ghada Osman, was published by Pharos Foundation in 2016.