Nada Moumtaz

Assistant Professor
Jackman Humanities Building, Room 315, 170 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5R 2M8


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

  • Anthropology of Islam
  • Religion and law
  • Religion and economy


I received my PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. My research stands at the intersection of Islamic legal studies, the anthropology of Islam, and studies of capitalism, and spans the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries in the Levant. Throughout my work I address how, beginning in the nineteenth century, Islamic tradition has transformed while continuing to challenge and provide alternatives to dominant sensibilities, conceptions, and institutions of the modern world. I am currently finishing my book manuscript, tentatively entitled Reviving the Waqf: Property, Law, and Religion in Modern Beirut, where I examine the contemporary Islamic revival of a centuries-old charitable practice of pious endowment under global capitalism and a regime of modern nation-states. I argue that these attempts to rekindle the practice of waqf reorder key concepts in the Islamic tradition, namely public benefit, family, and intent.


  • RLG352 Postcolonial Islam
  • RLG353 Politics of Charity
  • RLG355 Anthropology of Islam/ Living Islam
  • NMC241 Anthropology of the Middle East
  • RLG3516 Islamic Law and Society: Islam, Law, Anthropology
  • RLG 3527 Anthropology of Islam
  • NMC2081 Anthropology of the Middle East


Moumtaz, N. 2021. God’s Property: Islam, Charity, and the Modern State. Oakland: University of California Press.

Moumtaz, N. 2018. “From Forgiveness to Foreclosure: Waqf, Debt, and the Remaking the Islamic Legal Subject in Late Ottoman Mount Lebanon,” in special issue “Muslim Endowments in Asia,” edited by Amelia Fauzia, Till Mostowlansky, and Nurfadzilah Yahaya, The Muslim World, 108(4): 593-612

Moumtaz, N. 2018. “‘Is the Family Waqf a Religious Institution?’ Charity, Economy, and Religion in French Mandate Lebanon,” Islamic Law and Society 25(1-2): 37-77

Moumtaz, N. and Fawaz, M. 2017. “Of Property and Planning,” Special section of Planning Theory and Practice 18 (3): 345-404

Moumtaz, N. 2015. “Chapter 7: Refiguring Islam,” in The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the Anthropology of the Middle East, edited by Soraya Altorki, 125-150. Malden, MA & Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.


PhD, The City University of New York