Asma Afsaruddin is a Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at Indiana University in Bloomington. She was an associate professor in Arabic and Islamic studies at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. She has previously taught at Harvard University and the Johns Hopkins University, from which she received her PhD in 1993. Her fields of specialization include the religious and political thought of Islam, study of the primary Islamic texts (Qur'an and hadith), as well as gender studies. Afsaruddin has been an editorial board member for the Middle East Studies Association Bulletin, published by Cambridge University Press. She was an editor of the Routledge Encyclopedia of Medieval Islamic Civilization and a consultant for The Oxford Dictionary of Islam (2002). Afsaruddin chairs the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy board of directors. She also sits on advisory committees for the Muslim World Initiative of the United States Institute of Peace and the human rights organization Karamah. In 2015 she was presented the Jayezeh Jahani (World Book Prize) for the best new book in Islamic studies by the Iranian president Hassan Rouhani for her book Striving in the Path of God: Jihad and Martyrdom in Islamic Thought. The book was also a runner-up for the British-Kuwaiti Friendship Society Book Prize in 2014.