Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Dr Sabah Khan

Dr Sabah Khan was a Visiting Research Fellow in 2023-24

Dr Sabah Khan is an Assistant Professor at Ambedkar University Delhi in India. She graduated from Delhi University and completed her PhD in Sociology at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Her PhD research focused on the South Asian Muslim diaspora in Britain. During her doctoral research, she was an associate researcher at the University of Roehampton, London. She is publishing a book on the Muslim diaspora in Britain with Routledge which delves into the identification and transnational connections of Muslims in Britain. Her research on Muslims in Europe has also been recently published with the University of Cambridge. Her research interests include religion and diaspora, migration, women in the Islamic revival and minorities in India.

She has researched on women in the transport sector in South Asia and was a consultant on the project ‘Violence and Sexual Harassment: A Study of Transport Sector Workers in South Asia’ at the International Transport Workers’ Federation. As a contributor to the Global Research Forum on Diaspora and Transnationalism, she has been involved in writing papers on the issues of migrants and refugees in South Asia, indentured migrants, climate-induced migration, etc. 

Project Description

At the IAS, Dr Khan explored the formation of diasporic identities and dynamics of transnationalism among the South Asian Muslim diaspora in Britain. There are processes of de-traditionalisation and trans-ethnicisation among Muslim communities across Europe, striving for a reformulation of Muslim faith and practice in more universalistic terms. The discourse of the ‘clash of civilisations’, the ‘war on terror’ as well as the geo-political scenario have acted as ‘curiosity trigger’ for many young Muslims to explore religion and understand their Muslim identity. A prioritisation of religious identity, specifically Islamic identities among younger generations of Muslims, has been observed and Dr Khan explored the ways in which religious identity, practices and experiences may instigate diasporas.

This research investigates the transnational links maintained through organisations run by Dawoodi Bohras, Ahmadiyya Muslims and ethno-cultural organisation run by Bangladeshis in East London. The question of how young Muslims actively engaging in their community organisations make sense of their ethnic as well as their religious identity is pertinent.

Her research aims to engage with the concept of de-territorialised diaspora in reference to Muslim diaspora, critically analysing notions of community, ummah and the ontology of being Muslim