Muslim Religious Scholars


Muslim Religious Scholars


Muslim religious scholars study the Quran and other holy texts, conduct research on the history of Islam, publish research papers and books, teach students about Islam, and study current issues in Islam (such as Islamic finance, public policy, and the religion’s relationship with the West). Some very experienced and learned scholars interpret Sharia (Islamic law) and issue fatwas, which are religious rulings on an aspect of Sharia.  

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

Bachelor's Degree



Five years in lower-level research positions



Foreign Language


Personality Traits



Religion professors earned median annual salaries of $71,890 in May 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Earnings ranged from less than $38,860 to $135,170 or more. A religious scholar who also works as an imam at a mosque might earn between $20,000 and $50,000, with an average of about $30,000. Religious scholars who work at colleges and universities receive fringe benefits such as...

Work Environment

A typical workday for an Islamic religious scholar involves many hours of study and research, as well as discussions with other scholars and historians. Some scholars also work as college professors, and their days involve time in the classroom providing instruction to students, office hours to work with students after class, departmental meetings, and time to grade homework and prepare for the...


The U.S. Department of Labor does not provide an employment outlook for Muslim religious scholars, but it does report that job opportunities for college religion and philosophy professors (a similar career category) will increase by about 10 percent, faster than the average for all careers, through 2028.

Demand for religious scholars will increase because the number of people who practic...