In this first episode in a four-part series, former Alwaleed Program directors, Professors Roy Mottahedeh, William Graham, and Ali Asani, share reflections on the development of Islamic studies over the course of their careers, first as students and then as faculty at Harvard. Professor Graham discusses the development of Islamic studies within religious studies in the 20th century, the importance of a comparative approach, and the legacy of Orientalism. He and Professor Mottahedeh also speak about the study of Islam within post-World War II area studies and Professor Mottahedeh comments on Islamic studies within the social sciences, including his field of history. Professor Asani, whose interests are primarily in Islam outside the Middle East and especially in South Asia, discusses his passion for the global study of Islam and studying it through literature and the arts. While they have worked with many great scholars, the professors highlight some of their most influential mentors including Sir Hamilton Gibb, Wilfred Cantwell Smith, and Annemarie Schimmel. We also discuss the institutional place of Islamic studies at Harvard, including in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Divinity School, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the broader university curriculum, and the Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program. Finally, Professors Mottahedeh, Graham, and Asani share their hopes for the future of Islamic studies at Harvard. In the next three episodes, we will hear more from each of them about their scholarly journeys.