Mohammad Hassan Khalil

Professor of Religious Studies
Director of the Muslim Studies Program
Adjunct Professor of Law


Ph.D., University of Michigan 2007
M.A., University of Michigan 2004
B.A. with High Distinction, University of Michigan 2001


Dr. Mohammad Hassan Khalil specializes in Islamic thought and much of his research revolves around the theme of “Islam and the Other.” His first book, Islam and the Fate of Others: The Salvation Question (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), examines the writings of some of the most prominent medieval and modern Muslim scholars on the question of whether “Others” (non-Muslims) may be saved in the life to come—a topic with clear and profound theological and practical implications. 

His research encompasses a range of other topics, such as law, ethics, gender, and historiography. His latest book, Jihad, Radicalism, and the New Atheism (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018), compares conflicting interpretations of jihad offered by mainstream Muslim scholars, violent Muslim radicals, and New Atheists.

Research, however, is not his only passion: he loves teaching. He has taught a variety of courses on Islam, including an introductory course on Islam, The Qur’an and Its Interpreters, Modern Muslim Thought, Islamic Law, Salvation in Islamic Thought, and The Islamic Middle East.

Dr. Khalil has always been inspired by the example of scholars whose role as contributors transcends the walls of the classroom and the office. He often gives public lectures and participates in community events. He has served as the editor of the Islam section of Religion Compass and as an advisory board member of multiple scholarly organizations. In April 2010, Dr. Khalil organized an international symposium called “Islam, Salvation, and the Fate of Others.” Participants, representing different and often conflicting positions and orientations, were asked to address a question that is both simple and simplistic: “What does Islam say about the fate of Others?” The fruits of this conference appear in his edited volume Between Heaven and Hell: Islam, Salvation, and the Fate of Others (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013).

Before returning to his hometown of East Lansing, Michigan, Dr. Khalil spent four years as assistant professor of Religion and visiting professor of Law at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign). As a Ph.D. student and candidate at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), he was also an adjunct instructor of Religious Studies at Michigan State University (January 2006-May 2007) and Albion College (August 2005-December 2005).


2017 Michigan State University Excellence in Diversity Award (Category: Emerging Progress): An award given to faculty, staff, and students who have demonstrated their efforts toward a more diverse and inclusive community.

2015 Michigan State University Teacher-Scholar Award: An award given to faculty who exemplify teaching excellence and scholarly activity.

Current Courses

REL 330 Islam
Islam from the time of Muhammad to the present. Pre-modern developments: life of Muhammad. Qur’an, Hadith, Islamic law. Sunnis, Shiites, sects and their rituals. Unity and diversity. Modern movements and trends.

REL 430 The Qur’an and Its Interpreters
The historical setting, types and topics of the Quranic text, and an overview of the history of its interpretation.

REL 432 Modern Muslim Thought
Representative Muslim thinkers and intellectual trends from the 19th century to the present. Focus on issues such as social order, the role of Islamic law, pluralism and gender.

LAW 545F Introduction to Islamic Law
Islamic legal philosophy and jurisprudential systems.