Liyakat Takim
McMaster University
Department of Religious Studies,
University Hall 116
1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4K1

H  289-752-8909 
W 905-525-9140 ext 20521

Place of Birth: Zanzibar, Tanzania





Current Research

Submitted For Publication

Journal Articles

Book Articles

Articles in Encyclopedias

Articles on Internet

Book reviews

Conference Papers



1990       Ph.D. History of Religions, Department of History, School of Oriental and African Studies, London

Ph.D. Dissertation: “The Rijal of the Shi'i Imams as Depicted in Imami Biographical Literature"

 1983-85  Qum Seminary, Qum, Iran

Extended research work in Islamic jurisprudence, biographical and hadith literature, Qur’anic exegesis, Arabic, and principles of extrapolating Islamic law.

 1983       M.A. History of Religions, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

M.A. Thesis: “A Study of the Doctrine of Messianism in Islam”

 1978       B.Sc., Economics, Dept. of Economics, City University, London



2009 - Present Professor, Sharjah Chair in Global Islam, McMaster University, Canada

2005 - 2009 Associate Professor, University of Denver

2001-2004 Assistant Professor, University of Denver

1999–2001 Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Miami

1999–2000 Adjunct Professor, University of Toronto

1998–2000 Adjunct Professor, Queen’s University and McMaster University

1996–1997 Visiting Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt University

1990–1996 Director of Religious Studies, Toronto


  • Sunni-Shi’i Encounters
  • Qur’an in a Global Context
  • Global Islam
  • The Varieties of Islamic Experience
  • Introduction to Islamic Civilizations
  • Islam in Modern Times
  • Islam in the American Mosaic
  •  Islamic Fundamentalism
  • Judaism, Christianity & Islam  
  • Christian-Muslim Fundamentalisms
  • Classical Islam
  • Islamic Mysticism
  • Qur’an and Hadith Literature
  • Jewish-Muslim Encounters
  • Clash of Civilizations 
  • The Sacred Quest
  • Islam in the Medieval Era
  • World Religions
  • Classical Arabic




Shi‘ism in America. New York: New York University Press, September 2009.

Shi’i Islam in North America: United States of America and Canada. Dix Hills: 2012.

The Heirs of the Prophet: Charisma and Religious Authority in Shi‘ite Islam. Albany: State University of New York, 2006.

Translation of Ziyarat Guide: Selected Supplications. Toronto: MEBS, 2000.

Translation of Pilgrims’ Guide: Selected Supplications. Toronto: Hydery Press, 1998.

Translation of Questions of Jurisprudence: A Comparative Study of Muslim Ritual Practices, by Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi. Toronto: Hydery Press, 1996.

Translation of Ask Those Who Know: An Exposition of the Shi'ite Creed, by Muhammad al-Tijani al-Samawi. Toronto: Hydery Press, 1995.




Current Research:

“Contemporary Ijtihad and the Reform Movement in Islam” (working title)



“Black or White? The Turbanization of Islam” Studia Islamica



Journal Articles:

“Shi‘ism and the Challenges of Daispora” in Journal of Muslims in Europe (forthcoming 2016)

 “Shi‘i Studies in the West” in Journal of Shi'a Islamic Studies (forthcoming 2016)

 “Idealization or Realization: The Methodology of Ayatullah al-Khu'i in his Mujam al-Rijal” in Journal of Contemporary Islamic Studies (forthcoming in 2016)

 “Western Studies of Shi‘i Islam” American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, 33, no. 2 (2016): 133-144.

 “The Applicability of the Shari‘a in Modern Times” Asia-Pacific Studies, 1, no. 1 (2014).

"Giving Voice to the Voiceless: Female Converts to Shi‘ism in the United States and Canada" co-authored with Amina Inloes, Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses, 43, no. 1 (2014): 3-24.

"Shi'i Islam in the Western Academia." Rahnomoon journal (2013)

"The Qur'anic Vision: Unity or Uniformity?" Al-Bayan: Journal of Qur'an and Hadith Studies, 10, no. 1 (2012): 17-24.

“American Shi’ism and the Media.” The Bright Future, 6 (2011): 23-34.

"The Ground Zero Mosque Controversy: Implications for American Islam." Religions, 2 (2011): 132-144. 

“Peace and War in the Qur’an and Juridical Literature: A Comparative Perspective.” The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, 28, no. 2 (2011): 137-158.

"The Indigenization and Politicization of American Islam." Politics and Religion Journal, 5, no. 1 (2011): 115-127.

"The Ten Commandments and the Tablets in Shi‘i and Sunni Tafsir Literature: A Comparative Perspective." The Muslim World, 101, no. 1 (2011): 94-109.

"War and Peace in the Islamic Sacred Sources." Journal of Shi'a Islamic Studies, 4, no. 1 (2011): 5-22. 

“Preserving or Extending Boundaries? The Black Shi‘is of America.” The Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 30, no. 2 (2010): 237-249.

"Reinterpretation or Reformation: Shi‘i Law in the West." Journal of Shi'a Islamic Studies,  3, no. 2 (2010): 141-165.

"From Pacifism to Activism: Engaging the Muslim Other in America." Shi'a Affairs Journal, 2 (2009): 1-20.

“A Minority with Diversity: The Shi‘i Community in America.” The Journal of Islamic Law and Culture, 10, no. 3 (2008): 326-341.

“Revivalism or Reformation: The Reinterpretation of Islamic Law in Modern Times.” American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, 25, no. 3 (2008): 61-81.

“Holy Peace or Holy War: Tolerance and Co-existence in the Islamic Juridical Tradition.”       Islam and Muslim Societies, 3, no. 2 (2007): 295-307.

“The Origins of and Authentications in Shi‘i Biographical Literature.” American Journal of      Islamic Social Sciences, 24, no. 4 (2007):  26-49.

“Offering Complete or Shortened Prayers? The Traveler’s Salat at the Holy Places.” The Muslim World, 96, no. 3 (2006):  401-422.

“Charismatic Appeal or Communitas? Visitation to the Shrines of the Imams.” Journal of Ritual Studies 18, no. 2 (2004):  106-120.

“From Conversion to Conversation: Interfaith Dialogue in Post-911 America.”  The Muslim World 94, no. 3 (2004):  343-55.

“Combining the Two Prayers: Sectarian Polemics in the Juridical Literature.”  International Journal of Shi‘i Studies 1, no. 2 (2004):  95-129.

“Authority Construction in Biographical Texts: The Cases of Humran b. A‘yan and Mu’min al-Taq.” International Journal of Shi‘i Studies 1, no. 1 (2003):  125-55.

“Adoration in Islamic Mystical Tradition.”  Prabuddha Bharata (“Awakened India”) (2002):  43-45.

“From Bid‘a to Sunna: The Wilaya of ‘Ali in the Shi‘i Adhan.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 120, no. 2 (2000):  66-77.

“Foreign Influences on American Shi‘ism.” The Muslim World 90 (2000):  459-77.



Book Articles:


“The Interfacing of Custom and Islamic Law in the Diaspora” in “Contemporary Discussions on Shi ?i Legal Theory” ed. Alireza Bhojani (Brill: forthcoming 2016)

 “Violence and the Deobandi Movement” in “'Faith Based Violence and Deobandi militancy in Pakistan” ed. Syed Jawad, Tahir Kamran and Prof Edwina Pio” (Palgrave: forthcoming 2016)

 “Privileging the Qur’an: Divorce and the Hermeneutics of Ayatullah Sane‘i” in Approaches to the Quran in Contemporary Iran ed. Alessandro Cancian (Oxford Univ. Press, forthcoming 2016)

"Maqasid al-Shari’a in Contemporary Shi'i Jurisprudence" in Maqasid al-Shari’a in Contemporary Reformist Thought: An Examination, edited by Adis Duderija, Taurus (2014)

"Western Depictions of Muhammad" in Mohammed in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God (2 volumes), Fitzpatrick, C. & Walker, A. (Eds.), ABC-CLIO (2014)

"A Brief History of Ijtihad in Twelver Shi’ism" in Shia Tradition and Iran: Contemporary Global Perspectives, edited by Mohsen Eslami, Global Scholarly Publications (2013)

“Ijtihad and the derivation of new jurisprudence in contemporary Shi’ism: the Rulings of Ayatollah Bujnurdi,” in Alternative Islamic Discourses and Religious Authority ed. Carool Kersten & Susanna Olsson, Ashgate, (2013), 17-34.

"Shi'i Islam in the African-American Community" in The [Oxford] Handbook of African American Islam, edited by Amina McCloud, Oxford University Press (forthcoming in 2014)

“Shi’ite Muslims,” in The [Oxford] Handbook of American Islam, edited by Yvonne Haddad and Jane Smith (2013).

“Then and Now: A History of Ijtihad in Twelver Shi’ism,” in Shi’ism: Belief and Practices, ed. Abbas Ahmadvand, Palgrave, MacMillan (forthcoming in 2015).

“The Concepts of the Absolute and Perfect Man in Mulla Fayd al-Kashani” in Fayd e Kashani, ed. Naqibi and Abbas Ahmadvand, Ansariyan (2013), 33-45.

“The Shi‘ite Tradition in Islam,” in World Religions: Communities and Cultures, ed. Jacob Neusner, Abingdon Press, 2010.

"The Prophet Muhammad: Exemplary Model," In Great Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) Eternal Light, ed. Imtiyaz Yusuf, Bangkok: Islamic Cultural Center, 2009.

"The Concepts of the Absolute and Perfect Man in Mulla Fayd al-Kashani," Tehran Conference on Mulla Fayd Kashani, 2009.

“To Vote or not to Vote: The Politicization of American Islam,” In Politics and Religion in France and the United States, eds. John Kelsay, Alec Hargreaves and Sumner B. Twiss. Lexington: Lexington Books, 2007.

“From Bid‘a to Sunna: The Wilaya of ‘Ali in the Shi‘i Adhan.” In Shi’ism: Critical Concepts in Islamic Studies, ed. Paul Luft and Colin Turner. Routeledge, 2007.

“Peace and Conflict Resolution in the Islamic Tradition.”  In Religion, Terrorism and Globalization, Nonviolence: A New Agenda, ed. K. Kuriakose. New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2006.

“Charismatic Appeal or Communitas?  Visitation to the Shrines of the Imams.”  In Contesting Rituals: Islam and Practices of Identity-Making, ed. Pamela J. Stewart and Andrew Strathern.  Durham, NC:  Carolina Academic Press, 2005. 

“Multiple Identities in a Pluralistic World:  Shi‘ism in America.” In Muslims in the West: From Sojourners to Citizens, ed. Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad, 218-32.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

“Evolution in the Biographical Profiles of Two Hadith Transmitters.”  In The Shi‘ite Heritage, ed. Lynda Clarke, 285-99.  Binghamton, NY: Global Press, 2001.

“Shi‘i Institutes in North America.” In Ahlul Bayt Assembly of America: Abstract of Proceedings Convention of 1996, ed. Sayyed M. Hejazi & A. Hashim, 103-09. Beltsville, MD: International Graphics, 1997.




Articles in Encyclopedias:


Islam: A Worldwide Encyclopedia - ABC-CLIO, ed. Cenap Cakmak, forthcoming 2016

            S.v. “Adoration”


Encyclopedia of Islam (Infobase/Facts on File,) ed. Juan Campo, forthcoming 2016

            S.v. “al-Majlisi”

                     “Ibn Babawayh”


Encyclopedia of Islamic Bioethics, ed. Ayman Shabana, forthcoming 2016

            S.v. “Taklif”



World Book Encyclopedia, ed. Dawn Krajcik, forthcoming 2016

            S.v.  “Ramadan”


Religion and American Cultures: An Encyclopedia of Traditions, Diversity, and Popular Expression, ed. Gary Laderman and Luis Léon.  Santa Barbara, CA:  ABC-CLIO, forthcoming 2016.

S.v. “Shi‘ite Thought and History.”


The Islamic World: An Encyclopedia of History, Culture and Society, ed. Gordon Newby & J. Ciment, forthcoming 2016.

S.v. “Ali ibn Abu Talib.”

     “Fatima bint Muhammad.”

     “Khomeini, Ayatollah.”


Encyclopedia Islamica,

S.v. “Sahil”


The [Oxford] Encyclopedia of Islam and Women, ed. Natana DeLong-Bas, Oxford, 2013

S.v.  "Judgement, Final."


Encyclopedia of Indian Religions, Springer, 2013

S.v. "Khojas."



Encyclopedia Iranica, ed. Ahmad Ashraf, 2012

S.v. " Kassi, Abu Amr Mohammad." Fascicle 1 of volume XV1, 2012


Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion, (2nd Ed.), Springer, 2013

S.v. "Muslim Shiites."


Encyclopedia of the Islamic World, Tehran, 2012

S.v.  “Imami Khojas.”

        “Dar al-Salaam.”



World Book Encyclopedia, ed. Dawn Krajcik, 2011

S.v. “Islam.”



Encyclopedia of Muslim-American History ed. I Curtis. Facts on File, 2010

S.v. “Shi‘a American Muslims.”


World Book Encyclopedia ed. Dawn Krajcik. 2009

S.v. “Ashura.”

     “Agha Khan.”



Encyclopedia of Islam in America, ed. Jocelyne Cesari. Greenwood Press, 2007.

S. v. “Shi‘a Communities.”

         “Khomeini, Ayatollah.”

         “Seestani, Ayatollah.”


Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures, ed. Suad Joseph.  Koninklijke:  Brill, 2004.

S.v. “Women, Gender and Islamic Law,”

      “Women, Gender and Islamic Law – Additional Schools.”


Encyclopedia of Holy People, ed. Phyllis Jestice.  Santa Barbara, CA:  ABC-CLIO, 2004. 

S.v. “‘Ali b. Husayn Zayn al-‘Abidin,”

         “Hasan b. ‘Ali,”

         “Husayn b. ‘Ali,”

         “Ja‘far al-Sadiq.”


Encyclopedia of the Qur’an, ed. Jane D. McAuliffe. Leiden:  Brill, 2004.

S.v. “Samson”



Encyclopedia of Religion and War, ed. Gabriel Palmer-Fernandez.  New York:  Routledge, 2004. 

S.v. “Islam - Shi‘a.”


Religion and American Cultures: An Encyclopedia of Traditions, Diversity, and Popular Expression, ed. Gary Laderman and Luis Léon.  Santa Barbara, CA:  ABC-CLIO, 2003.  S.v. “Shi‘ite Movements.”


The Oxford Dictionary of Islam, ed. John Esposito. New York:  Oxford University, 2003.       S.v. “Banu al-Nadir,” “Banu Isra‘il,” “Banu Qurayza,” “Quraysh,” “Qusayy,”  “Sujud,” “Tashahhud,” “Thamud,” “Wajib.”


Encyclopedia of Islam and the Modern World, ed. Richard C. Martin.  New York:  Macmillan Reference USA, 2003. 

S.v. “An-Nafs al-Zakiyya”

      “Ja‘far al-Sadiq.” 



 Articles on Internet

“The Ground Zero Mosque Controversy: Implications for American Islam” 2011

“Women in Judaism, Christianity and Islam: A comparative perspective”

Seminar on "Women in Other Traditions" University of Isfahan, 2006

Book reviews:


Review of Religious Authority and Political Thought in Twelver Shi‘ism: From ‘Ali to Post-Khomeini. American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, forthcoming 2015.


Review of The Shi'a of Samara: the Heritage and Politics of the Community in Iraq. edited by Imranali Panjwani. Journal of Anthropology of the Middle East and Central Eurasia (2014)


Review of Islam in the Hinterlands: Exploring Muslim Cultural Politics in Canada, edited by Jasmin Zine. American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences 31, no. 2 (2014)


Review of Scripturalist Islam: The History and Doctrines of the Akhbari Shi'i School, by Robert Gleave. Journal of Shi'a Islamic Studies, 3, no. 4 (2010)


Review of British Muslim Converts: Choosing Alternative Lives, by Kate Zebiri. Journal of  Shi'a Islamic Studies, 2, no.3 (2009)


Review of Reliving Karbala, by Syed Hyder. American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, 26, no. 3 (2009)


Review of The Shi‘is of Iraq, by Yitzhak Nakash. The Muslim World, 97, no. 3 (2007)


Review of The Twelver Shi‘a as a Muslim Minority in India: Pulpit of Tears, by Toby

Howarth. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 70. no. 2 (2007).


Review of Islam: Its History, Teaching, and Practices, by S. A. Nigosian. Journal of the American Academy of Religion 74, no. 2 (2006).


Review of The Crisis of Muslim History, by Mahmoud Ayoub.  Journal of the American Academy of Religion 73, no. 3 (2005).


Review of Muslims: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, by Andrew Rippin.  Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory 2, no. 3 (2001).





2016:  “Reformation or Transformation: Shi‘i Law in the West” Keynote Speaker at Conference on Shia Minorities in the Contemporary World:  Migration, Transnationalism and Multilocality, Chester University, England

 2016:  “The Changing Face of North American Shi‘ism” Conference on Shia Muslim Communities in Europe I and II: Local and Transnational Dimensions’ EASR Conference in Helsinki, Finland

2016:   “Fiqh for Minorities: Islamic Law in the Diaspora” Speech at Harford Seminary, Connecticut

 2016:  “Rahma as an Ethical Term in Muslim-Catholic Dialogue” Conference at the University of St Michael's College,  University of Toronto commemorating 50 years of Muslim-Catholic dialogue.

 2016: “The Other Within the Other: Demystifying American Muslims” Symposium on Islam in North America: History and Contemporary Manifestations”, McMaster University


2015: “Shi‘ism in the Diaspora” Conference on “Lines of Identity: Middle Eastern Diasporas in North America” University of Manitoba, Winnipeg

 2015: “Charismatic Appeal or Communitas? Visitation to the Shrines of the Imams.” University of Houston, Centre for International and Comparative Studies

2015: “The Khoja Community in the Diaspora” Florida International University,  Western Indian Ocean Studies Workshop

 2015: “Western Studies of Shi‘ite Islam” Conference on Shi‘i Studies: Past and Present, Islamic College, London

2015: “’Urf in Islamic Law: The Case of the Guardianship of Women, 'Family law in Islam: Between Fiqh and society" 3rd Annual contemporary Fiqhi issues workshop, Birmingham, England

 2015: “Between Theory and Practice: The Clash of Authority between the Imams and their Disciples” Shi‘i Studies Symposium, Chicago


2015: “The Role of Custom (‘Urf) as a Source of Islamic Law” British Association for Islamic Studies Annual Conference, London, England


2015: “Post-Islamism and the Religious: Islamic Law in Modern Times” Islamism and Post-Islamism: Religious and Political transformations in Muslim Societies, Queen’s University, Kingston


2015: “The Development of Islamic Law in the Diaspora”, Global Halal: an International Conference on Muslims and the Cultural Politics of the Permissible, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan


2014: “Muharram Rituals in the Khoja Shi’i Community” Fourth World Congress for Middle East Studies (WOCMES), Ankara, Turkey


2014: “Classical Shari’ah and Its Applicability in Modern Times” North American Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies (NAAIMS) 43rd Annual Conference on “The Concept of Authority in Muslim Societies: Political, Religious, Social and Literary” New York


2014: “Sociology of Islamic Economy” Asia-Canada: Transnational Collaborative Research Conference, McMaster University, Canada


2014: “Female Transmitters in Biographical Literature”, Conference on “The Past and Present of Female Religious Authority in Shi‘i Islam”, Princeton, New Jersey


2013:   “Reformation in the Qur’an” London, England.


2013: “Islam and the Classical Law: Conflict or Confluence” Hawaii International Conference on Social Sciences” Honolulu


2012: "Diasporic Jurisprudence and Shi'i Law in America" Williams College, Williamstown


2012: "Qur'anic Interpretation in Modern Times," International Society for Iranian Studies,     Istanbul, Turkey


2012: The Islamic Response to Arab Shi'i Thought," Texas A&M University, College Station


2011:  "Myth or Reality: Ayatullah al-Khu'i and the Ten Readers of the Qur'an," Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, San Francisco


2011: "The Study of Shi'ite Islam in North American Universities," Conference held atHartford Seminary, Connecticut


2011: “Shi’ism in the Post-911 World” London Middle East Institute, Conference held at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, England


2011: “The Shi’i Minority in the American Diaspora” Conference held at the University of Isfahan


2011: "The Qur'an in the West," Universal Muslim Association of America, Toronto


2011: "Islamic Pluralism and the Challenge of Human Rights," Carleton University,Ottawa


2011:“Idealization or Realization; The Methodology of Ayatullah al-Khu’i in Mu’jam al-Rijal," Conference held at the School of Oriental and African Studies  (SOAS), London, England


2011: "Islam and the Challenge of Human Rights," University of Mary Washington


2011: "Islam in the American Diaspora: A Minority Perspective," McMaster University


2010: "Religion in Diaspora," University of Edinburgh, Scotland


2010:  "Reformation or Reinterpretation: Rethinking Shi‘i Jurisprudence and Legal       Methodology," al-Khoei Foundation, London, England


2010: “Imamology and the Shrine Culture in Twelver Shi’ism,” Liminal Deities of South Asia, Conference held at Niagara on the Lake, Canada


2010: "9/11 and the Shi'i Image," Universal Muslim Association of America, Washington


2010:  "Messianism in the Monotheistic Traditions," Sixth Mahdiism Conference, Bright Future Institute, Tehran


2010:  "Revival of Religious Thought: Ijtihad and the Re-evaluation of Classical Texts in Modern Times," 20th World Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR), University of Toronto


2010: “The Meta-Minority Complex: The Shi’i Experience in America” McMaster University


2009:  "A Minority with Diversity: The Shi‘i Experience in America" Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University


2008: “Islam in the American University” Project on “Religion in the Academy” (RITA) Sponsored by the Lilly Foundation, Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Chicago


2008: “Revival of Religious Thought: The Re-evaluation of Classical Texts by Contemporary Shi‘i Jurists” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Chicago


2008: “Teaching Islam in a post 9/11 world” Symposium on Religion on the Secular University Campus, University of Denver


2008: “Musa al-Sadr and the Impact of Modernity on Shi‘i Jurisprudence” Conference on: “The Shia, Modernity, and the Legacy of Musa al-Sadr.” University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


2008: “Reformation or Reinterpretation: Islamic Law in America” AAR Great Plains Region Conference, Denver


2008: “From Conflict to Co-existence: The Application of Islamic Law in a Minority  Context” Symposium at Carthage College


2007: “Preserving or Extending Boundaries: The Black Shi‘is of America” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, San Diego


2007:  “Islamic Fundamentalism in America” Institute of Oriental Studies, Azerbaijan


2007: “Muslim Women in America” Islamic University, Baku, Azerbaijan


2007: “Muslim Life in America” American Studies Center of the Foreign Languages University, Baku, Azerbaijan


2007: “Institutionalization and the Politicization of American Islam,” Baku State University, Baku, Azerbaijan


2007: “Interpretation of Islamic Sacred Texts in the American Diaspora,” Khazar University, Baku, Azerbaijan


2007: “A Minority within a Minority: The Black Shi‘is of America” Breaking Apart the Monolith: The Many Ways of Being Muslim - A Conference Exploring the Dynamics of Muslim Identity in Today’s World held at Princeton University


2007: “Revival of Religious Thought: Ijtihad and the Re-evaluation of Classical Texts in Modern Times” American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies


2006:  “Gender and Islamic Civilization: The Contribution of Muslim Women to Islamic Sciences and Civilization” University of Isfahan, Tehran


2006:  “The Religious Other in America: The Deterritorialization and Deculturation of American Muslims,” Symposium held at Colorado College, Colorado Springs


2006: “The Danish Cartoons in Islamic Hadith Literature.” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Washington


2006:  “Closing the Interpretive Process: Toward a New Qur’anic Hermeneutic.” University of Nevada, Las Vegas


2006 “Women in the three Monotheistic Traditions and in Islamic Law,” Conference held in Tehran, Iran


2006 “Conversion and Proselytizing: Balancing Religious Freedom and Respect.” Symposium, University of Denver


2006  “Islam, the West and the Cartoon Controversy: Religious Sensitivities vs. Secular Liberties.” Symposium, University of Denver


2006   “The Ten Commandments in Islamic Exegetical Literature: A Comparative Perspective.” Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions at UW-Madison


2006 “The Indigenization of American Islam: Muslims in the American Diaspora.” US Northcom Academic Conference


2005  “The Politicization of American Islam.” Politics and Religion in France and the United States, International Conference, Winthrop-King Institute for Contemporary French and Francophone Studies in association with the Department of Religion, Florida State University


2005 “American Muslims or Muslims in America: Muslims as the ‘Other’.” Eighth Annual Honors Conference, Metro State College, Denver


2005 “The Power of Islamic Sacred Texts Today.” Religious Leadership Conference, Iliff School of Theology, Denver


2004 “Discovering the Hidden Treasure: Creation in the Islamic Tradition.” Third Furlong Memorial Lecture, “Creation in Judaism, Christianity and Islam” symposium, St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto, Canada


2004 “Human Rights in the Qur’an and Shari‘a: A Comparative Perspective.” University of Nevada, Las Vegas


2004 “Muslim Youth at the Crossroads: Advancing into the Twenty-First Century.”  Islamic Social Services Association Conference, Toronto, Canada


2004 “Revival of Religious Thought: The Thoughts and Contribution of Ayatullah Mutahhari.”  International Conference, Tehran, Iran


2004 “The Mental Jihad: Reason and Revelation in the Islamic Tradition.”  Seminar held at the Iliff School of Theology, Denver, CO


2004  “Holy Peace in the Islamic Tradition.” Columbia University, NY


2003  “Muslim-Christian Dialogue: Past, Present and Future.”  Macdonald Center Lecturers in Christian-Muslim Understanding, Hartford Seminary, Hartford, CT


2003 “Challenging the Authority of Tradition and Texts: Ijtihad and Taqlid in Modern Times.”  American Academy of Religion regional meeting, Boulder, CO


2002  “Biography as Literary Genre: The Struggle for Authority in Shi‘i Rijal Texts.” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Toronto, Canada


2002 “Re-evaluation of the Shari‘a Post-September 11: Islam and Modernity.”  Furlong Memorial Lecture, “Understanding Islam” symposium, St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto, Canada


2002 “Violence and Healing: Facing the Ongoing Challenges of September 11.”  Colloquium held at the Iliff School of Theology, Denver, CO


2002 “Aging in the Islamic Tradition.” The National Council on the Aging, Denver, CO


2001  “Islam in America after September 11.” Kanuga Conference on Christian-Muslim Understanding, Ashville, NC


2001  “Islam in the Context of American Religious Diversity.” Res Publica Conference, Aspen, CO


2000 “Promise & Peril: Religion at the Millenium.” Conference on The Many Faces of God, New Hampshire Humanities Council, Manchester, NH


2000 “Preserving or Extending Religious Boundaries? Muslim Proselytization in America.” Islamic Education Council, Washington, D.C.


1998  “Acculturation and Assimilation – Muslims in the Diaspora.” Colloquium held at Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada.


1998 “Religious Pluralism and Human Rights: An Islamic Perspective.” Grinnell College, Iowa


1997 “Acculturation and Assimilation – Muslims in the West,” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, San Francisco


1997 “Contemporary Muslim Polemics.” MESA Conference, San Francisco


1997 “Exclusivism or Inclusivism? Salvation History in the Qur’an.” Agnes Scott College, Atlanta, GA


1997   “External Influences on American Muslims.” Presented at a conference on Jews and Muslims in the American context, The Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Hartford Seminary, Hartford, CT


1996  “From Bid‘a to Sunna: The Case of the Wilaya of ‘Ali in the Shi‘i adhan.” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, New Orleans, LA


1995 “The Origins of Islamic Biographical Literature” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Philadelphia, PA


1994 “Religious Pluralism in the Qur’an.” Eastern International Region of the American Academy of Religion, University of Quebec at Montreal, Canada


1994 “The Case of the Holy Disciples. Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Chicago


1993  “Authority and the Struggle for Legitimacy.” University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA


1993 “The Ethics of Self Realization: an Islamic Perspective.” Institute of Global Cultural Studies, State University of New York, Binghamton, NY


1990 “The Origins and Development of Imami Biographical Texts.” School of Oriental & African Studies, London






2015: “Social Justice and Activism in the Islamic Tradition” in Faith in Social Action panel held by McMaster Student's Union Diversity Services

 2015: The Problem of Theodicy in Islam, Islamic Center,” Chicago

 2015: “Worshipper and the Worshipped: Spirituality in Islam,” Islamic Center, Arizona

 2015: “Islam in the Diaspora” Jamaat of Los Angeles (10 lectures)

2014: “Living Islam” Ahl al-Bayt Center, Auckland New Zealand (10 Lectures)


2012:  "Spirituality in the Nahj al-Balagha" Conference on Nahj al-Balagha, Peterborough


2010:  "Diversity and Change: An Islamic Dilemma" Organization for Islamic Learning, Toronto, Canada


2010:  “Mammetry and Mahomet: Depiction of the Prophet in Western European Literature” Bait al-ilm, Chicago


2008:  "Reformation or Transformation: Islamic Law in Transition" Shi'a Ithna'aseri Community of Middlesex, London, England


2008  “Teaching Islam in a Post-9/11 World” Muslim Student Association, University of Colorado


2008  “From Majority to Minority: The Jurisprudence of Muslim Minority Communities” Islamic Center, Los Angeles


2007 “The Islamization of American Immigrant Islam” Muslim Student Association, University of Denver


2007  “History and Narratives in Qur’anic Exegesis” Islamic Center, Nairobi, Kenya


2006  “Reformation in Islamic Jurisprudence: The Question of Punishment in Islamic Law,” Universal Muslim Association of America, Virginia


2005  “From Muslims in America to American Muslims.”  Universal Muslim Association of America, Washington, D.C.


2005  “Is Islam Synonymous with Terrorism?” The City Club, Denver


2005  “Progressive Muslims in the American Milieu.” Bates College, Maine


2004  “The Cool Dudes: Muslim Youth in Transition.”  Universal Muslim Association of America, Washington, D.C.


2004  “Reflecting Black: Islam in Africa and Antebellum America.”  University of Toronto, Canada


2004  “The Shi‘i Vision: Reason and Reformation in Shi‘ism.”  University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus, Canada


2004  “Faith and Belief: An Islamic Perspective.”  Ja‘faria Islamic Center, Burtonsville, MD


2003  “Re-evaluation of Islamic Law post September 11: Islam and Modernity.”  Faculty Luncheon, University of Denver, Denver, CO


2003  “From 911 to 711: The Islamic Experience in the West.”  Orientation Lecture, University of Denver, Denver, CO


2003  “Unity or Uniformity: Islam and the Question of Reformation.”  al-Iman Islamic Center, Seattle, WA


2002  “A Minority within a Minority: The Muslim Youth Culture in Contemporary America.”  Ja‘fariya Islamic Center, Burtonsville, MD


2000  “Integration, Isolation, or Insulation? The Muslims of America.”  University of Miami, Miami, FL


2000  “A Viable Qur’anic Hermeneutic for Muslims in the New Millennium.”  Auckland, New Zealand


1999  “Qur’anic Exegesis and Women’s Right to Divorce.”  Islamic House of Wisdom, Detroit, MI


1997  “The Muslims as the ‘Other’ in North America.”  Conference on Muslims in America, Ja‘fariya Islamic Center, Burtonsville, MD


1997  “Drawing Boundaries in America: The Muslim Identity.”  Islamic Society of North America, Indianapolis, IN


1996  “Ethno-cultural Identity: Muslim Institutes in America.”  Islamic Center, Washington, D.C.


1993  “Child Custody and Family Support: A Re-evaluation of Traditional Islamic Sources.”  Conference held by the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, Toronto, Canada






2014   McMaster Incentive Grant


2007   CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title for “The Heirs of the Prophet: Charisma and Religious Authority in Shi‘ite Islam”


2006   Professional Research Opportunity for Faculty (PROF) grant, University of Denver


2006   Internationalization Small Grants, University of Denver


2005  Research Grant, Denver Foundation


2004   Internationalization Small Grants, University of Denver


2003   Faculty Research Fund, University of Denver


1990   Central Research Fund and Scholarships Committee, School of Oriental & African Studies 






  • The Center for Global Understanding - Board Member

  • American Academy of Religion

  • Theta Alpha Kappa (National Honor Society for Religious Studies and Theology)


Editorial Board

  • Society for the Study of Muslim Ethics

  • Muslim Societies Journal

  • The Journal of Shi'a Islamic Studies

  • Shi'a Affairs Journal: International Dialogue Series

  • Tarikh vaTamaddon-i- Islami




  • Native Speaker: English, Swahili and Gujarati

  • Classical Languages: Arabic, Urdu and Persian




 Supervisor of several Ph.D candidates, McMaster University

  • Faculty of Business Committee Member (2014-2016)
  • Undergraduate Affairs Committee (2014-2016)

  • Bookstore representative             (2013-16)

  • Tenure and Promotion committee (2012-2013)

  • Elected Faculty Committee (Advisory Board to the Dean, University of Denver)

  • Supervised thesis of several doctoral students

  • Professional Research Opportunity for Faculty (PROF) Grant Committee

  • Member of pre-Tenure committee - Religious Studies, University of Denver - 2008-9

  • Member of Search Committee, lecturer in Arabic, University of Denver -  2008-9

  • Tenure and Promotion Committee, University of Denver 2006 - 2009

  • Director of Master’s Program in the Department of Religious Studies, 2004 - 2006

  • Committee member for the DU/Iliff Joint Ph.D Program, Autumn 2004 - 2006

  • Member of five Ph.D. dissertation committees for the DU/Iliff Joint Ph.D. Program, Spring 2004 - present

  • Committee member, “Bridges to the Future —The American Dream Revisited” 2002-2005

  • Member of search committee for position in Judaic/Religious Studies Program, Fall/Winter 2004-05





Ali-Ahmed Rasekh, “Agents of the Hidden Imam: Shiite Juristic Authority in Light of the Doctrine of Deputyship”  (Ph. D Thesis, Concordia University, 2015)


May Al-Fartousi, "Unveiling Shi'i Religious Identities: Case Studies of Hijab in Culturally Homogeneous Canadian Schools," (Ph. D Thesis, Brock University, 2012)


Wendy Jane Isaaac-Martin, “A Violent Origin: A Girardian Analysis of the Scapegoating of Ali ibn Abu Talib in Shi’ite Tradition," (Ph. D Thesis, University of Cape Town, 2008)


Linda Darwish “Texts of Tension, Spaces of Empowerment: Migrant Muslims and the Limits of Shi’ite Legal Discourse” (Ph. D Thesis, Concordia University, 2009)




  • Member of Human Services Committee of the Denver Foundation 2003 - 2007

  • Member of Denver’s Faith Community Initiative to End Homelessness (Mayor John Hickenlooper’s Faith Based Initiative) 2005 - 2010

  • Chairman of the Islamic Education Board of North America 1996 - 2004

  • Member of Council of ‘Ulama (Muslim Scholars) of North America 1997 - present

  • Advisor to the Imams’ Council of Toronto 1994 – 2004





Professor Vernon Schubel:

Professor Lynda Clarke:

Professor John Kelsay




Dr. Liyakat Takim
Sharjah Chair in Global Islam
McMaster University, Religious Studies
University Hall, Room 116
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario
Canada, L8S 4K1

Telephone: 905-525-9140 ext 20521
Fax: (905) 525-8161









Dr. Liyakat Takim
Sharjah Chair in Global Islam
McMaster University, Religious Studies
University Hall, Room 116
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario
Canada, L8S 4K1

Telephone: 905-525-9140 ext 20521
Fax: (905) 525-8161