• About

    In 2009, Zaytuna College was founded in Berkeley, California, with a mission that called for grounding students in the Islamic scholarly tradition as well as in the cultural currents and critical ideas shaping modern society.

  • Academics

    As a Muslim liberal arts college in the West, Zaytuna offers a curriculum that provides its students with a foundation in the intellectual heritage of two major world civilizations: the Islamic and the Western.

  • Admissions & Aid

    Our mission is to educate students to become morally, intellectually, and spiritually accomplished individuals ready to contribute to our contemporary world in ways that are proportionate to their gifts and to the needs of human society.

  • Campus Life

    Zaytuna’s campus is on Holy Hill and students enter the College as part of a cohort, a community of learners that travel together through the curriculum.

Harun Sencal

Associate Professor

Harun Sencal


Email: harun.sencal@zaytuna.edu

Office Hours: By appointment

Dr. Harun Sencal is a scholar of Islamic finance, with a specialized interest in the areas of Islamic political economy and the Shari'ah regulation of Islamic financial entities. His research encompasses an analysis of economic institutions from both a political and moral economy perspective with an in-depth examination of how capitalist social formation has influenced and transformed the economic institutions within Muslim societies. His research also explores the intricate relationship between economics and law. It investigates how economic practices influence legal frameworks, and how these, in turn, shape economic activities.

His work seeks to broaden the interpretation of Islamic economics and finance, fostering a shift from a narrowly defined discipline to an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach. Within this research, Dr. Sencal places significant importance on ontological and epistemological issues, seeking to deepen the understanding of the inherent characteristics of ‘Islamic Economics’, as well as the methodologies employed to acquire knowledge in this field.

His PhD thesis, titled "Essays on the Shari'ah Governance System in Islamic Banks: Disclosure Performance of Shari'ah Boards and Historical Evolution of the Roles of Shari'ah Scholars," offers a comprehensive examination of the historical evolution and contemporary operation of Shari'ah boards in Islamic banks. It presents a critical evaluation of their disclosure performance and explores the diverse roles of Shari'ah scholars.

Dr. Sencal earned his BSc in Computer Engineering and MBA from Yeditepe University. He then pursued Master's degree in Computer Sciences from Jordan University of Science and Technology. He successfully completed his PhD in Islamic Finance at Durham University in 2018.

He joined Zaytuna College as an associate professor in Islamic finance in 2023.

Dr. Sencal is a native Turkish speaker and reads and writes Arabic.


  • B.Sc in Computer Engineering and MBA from Yeditepe University, 2007

  • MBA from Yeditepe University, MBA, 2009

  • M.Sc in n Computer Sciences from Jordan University of Science and Technology, 2010

  • PhD in Islamic Finance, Durham University, UK,  2018

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles:

  • Şencal, H. (2022). İslam Ekonomisine Dair Görüşlerin Eleştirel Bir Değerlendirmesi [A Critical Evaluation of Views on Islamic Economics]. Adam Academy Journal of Social Sciences, 12(1), 131-152.

  • Bayraktar, O., & Şencal, H. (2022). Evaluation of Zakat as a Public Finance Instrument. International Journal of Public Finance, 7(2), 429-446.

  • Topal, A., & Şencal, H. (2022). The Transformation of the Concept of Capital: A Critical Exploration Through Islamic Economics. Current Research in Social Sciences, 8(1), 49-59.

  • Şencal, H. (2021). Ticari İşletmelerin Tüzel Kişiliğe Sahip Olmasının Sonuçları: İslam Ekonomisi Açısından Bir Değerlendirme [Consequences of the Legal Personality of Commercial Entities: An Evaluation from the Perspective of Islamic Economics]. İstanbul İktisat Dergisi, 71(2), 367-394.

  • Şencal, H. (2021). Toplumsal İlişkilerin Kurumsallaşmasının İslam Ekonomisi Açısından Analizi [An Analysis of Institutionalization of Societal Relationships from the Perspective of Islamic Economics]. Cumhuriyet İlahiyat Dergisi, 25(2), 661-677.

  • Şencal, H., & Ekinci, M. R. (2021). Refah Devleti: İslam Ekonomisi Açısından Bir Eleştiri [The Welfare State: A Criticism from the perspective of Islamic Economics]. International Journal of Islamic Economics and Finance Studies, 7(3), 264-285.

  • Soylu, M., & Şencal, H. (2021). Cemaatçilik ve Bireycilik Arasında Piyasa İlişkileri [Market Relations between Communitarianism and Individualism]. Akademik İncelemeler Dergisi, 16(2), 140-155.

  • Şencal, H. (2021). İslam Ekonomisi Açısından Beşeri ve Sosyal Sermaye Kavramlarının Eleştirel Bir Analizi [A Critical Analysis of Human and Social Capital Concepts from the Perspective of Islamic Economics]. Adam Academy Journal of Social Sciences, 11(1), 89-110.

  • Şencal, H. (2021). Helal Gıda ve Helal Turizm Sektörlerinin Eleştirel Bir Değerlendirmesi [A Critical Evaluation of Halal Food and Halal Tourism Sectors]. International Journal of Islamic Economics and Finance Studies, 7(1), 100-119.

  • Şencal, H., & Asutay, M. (2020). Examining Ethical Disclosure in the Shari’ah Annual Reports of Islamic Banks and Exploring its Determinants. Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society.

  • Şencal, H., & Asutay, M. (2019). The Emergence of New Islamic Economic and Business Moralities. Thunderbird International Business Review, 61(5), 765-775.

Book Chapters:

  • Şencal, H., & Yılmaz, İ. (2023). Morality of Finance: An Islamic Economics Approach. In The Islamic Finance Industry (pp. 117-133). Routledge.

  • Şencal, H., & Asutay, M. (2021). Rethinking Ḥalāl: Hegemony, Agency, and Process. In A. U. Yakin & L. L. Christians (Eds.), Rethinking Halal: Genealogy, Current Trends, and New Interpretations (pp. 25-55). Leiden: Brill.

Book Reviews:

  • Şencal, H. (2021). [Review of the book Islamicity Indices: The Seed for Change]. Turkish Journal of Islamic Economics, 8(2).

  • Şencal, H. (2019). [Review of the book Prophecy, Piety, and Profits: A Conceptual and Comparative History of Islamic Economic Thought]. Turkish Journal of Islamic Economics, 6(2).