Dr. Liyakat Takim  

Sharjah Chair in Global Islam

McMaster University, Religious Studies

University Hall, Room 116

1280 Main Street West

Hamilton, Ontario Canada, L8S 41


Telephone: 905-525-9140 ext 20521

Fax: (905) 525-8161



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October 22, 2017





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.


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”


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

Sessional Lecturer, University of Toronto

1998 - 2000

Sessional Lecturer, Queen’s University and McMaster University

1996 - 1997

Visiting Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt University

1990 - 1996

Director of Religious Studies, Toronto  




Current Research:

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

Submitted for Publication

“From Ijtihad to Post-Ijtihad: Evolution of Shi‘i Law in Contemporary Times,” in Post-Islamism Unbound: Transformation of Religion and Politics in Muslim Societies,  ed. Forough Jahanbakhsh, Mojtaba Mahdavi, Mehmet Karabela, (OUP, 2018).

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

“Urf and Fiqh: The Interfacing of Custom and Islamic Law in America” Journal of the American Academy of Religion

‘The Role of Custom in Shaping Shi‘i Law” in Studies in Religion

“Diasporic Shi‘ism and the Challenges of Modernity” Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs

Journal Articles:

“The Marja‘iyya and the Juristic Challenges of the Diaspora” in Journal of Muslims in Europe (forthcoming 2017)

“The Study of Shi?i Islam in Western Academia” in Journal of Shi'a Islamic Studies, 9, no. 1 (2016): 17-37.  

 “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'ism 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:

“Violence and the Deobandi Movement” in “'Faith Based Violence and Deobandi militancy in Pakistan” eds. Syed Jawad, Tahir Kamran and Prof Edwina Pio” (Palgrave: 2016): 481-503.

“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 2017)

"Maqasid al-Shari’a in Contemporary Shi'i Jurisprudence" in Maqasid al-Shari’a in Contemporary Reformist Thought: An Examination, edited by Adis Duderija, Palgrave, (2014): 101-126. (assisted by Dr. Mavani)

"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. (assisted by Dr. Mavani)

"Shi'i Islam in the African-American Community" in The [Oxford] Handbook of African American Islam, edited by Amina McCloud, Oxford University Press (2015):

“Shi’ite Muslims,” in The [Oxford] Handbook of American Islam, edited by Yvonne Haddad and Jane Smith (2013): 100 – 118.

“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”

Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion, (2nd Ed.), Springer, 2014

 S.v. "Muslim Shiites." Vol. 2, pgs. 1661-1664

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 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  The Emergence of Modern Shi‘ism: Islamic Reform in Iraq and Iran. American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences (2017)

Review of Religious Authority and Political Thought in Twelver Shi‘ism: From ‘Ali to Post-Khomeini. American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences 32, no. 2 (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).


2017: “Sectarianism and Pluralism in the Canadian Context” Pluralism and Islam:

Muslim Citizenship in Western Liberal Democracies Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, Massey College, Munk School (Islam and Global Affairs Initiative)

2017: “Peace and Justice in Islam” International Conference on Justice and Ethics

(ICJECA) Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Faculty of Theology Mashhad, Iran

2017: “Islam and Globalization” International Conference on Globalization and the

      Social Sciences. University of Tehran

2017 “The Qur’an and Islamophobia” 10th International Conference on Quranic Researches” Qum, Iran

2017: “The many Faces of Shi’ism in the American Diaspora,” The Unthought in Islam,

      Edinburgh University, Scotland

2017: “African American Shi‘ism in the American Context,” Conference on Shi‘i

      Studies, Islamic College for Advanced Studies, London, England

2017: “Salvation and Religious Pluralism in Islam” The 1973 Constitution of Pakistan:

      Representation, Empowerment and Social Integration, University of Peshawar

2017   “Sectarianism in the Muslim World North American Association of Islamic and

Muslim Studies (NAAIMS) “Muslims and the City” Cosponsored By: Islamic Civilizations and Societies Program, Boston College

2017: “Ziyarat and Shrine Rituals at the Holy Places” Beyond Karbala: Theorizing Shi?i

      Materiality”, Marburg, Sept 2017

2017: “The Study of Diasporic Shi’ism” Shii Studies: The State of the Art International

      Conference: The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton NJ, USA

2016:  “Textual and Charismatic Authority in Early Islam” Nanyang Technological University, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore

2016:  “Convergence or Divergence: The Qur’an and Juristic Texts on Human Dignity and

Human Rights” Conference on Exploring the Meaning and Application of Human Dignity in Islam, Imam al-Hasan Center, Sydney, Australia

2016:  “The Interfacing of Customary and Shi‘i Law” Keynote Speaker at

Conference on Shia Minorities in the Contemporary World:  Migration, Transnationalism and Multilocality, Chester University, England

2016:  “Ijtihad and the Changing Face of Islamic Legal Theory” Conference on Shia

Muslim Communities in Europe I and II: Local and Transnational Dimensions’ EASR Conference in Helsinki, Finland

2016:  “Shi‘ism and the Law in the Diaspora” Conference on Shi‘i studies, Islamic       College for Advanced Studies, London, England”

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,


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 at Hartford 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


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


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,


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-


2006   “The Indigenization of American Islam: Muslims in the American Diaspora.” USNorthcom 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

PUBLIC LECTURES (Non Peer-Reviewed Presentations)_

2016: Islam and Reform (Islamic Center, Singapore) – 10 lectures

2016: Human Dignity in the Qur’an (Ahl al-bayt Center, Sydney, Australia)

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, Bait al-‘Ilm Islamic Center,” Chicago (3 Lectures)

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

2015: “Islam in the Diaspora” KSI Jamaat Center 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 (10 lectures)

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 (10 lectures)

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 (2014-2017)

Graduate Affairs Committee          (2017 – 2018)

Faculty Council          (2017 – 2018)

Undergraduate Affairs Committee        (2014-2016)

Bookstore representative                   (2013-2016)

Tenure and Promotion committee            (2012-2016)

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

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


Ahmed Ismail, “The Harvest of Secession: A Study of the Dynamics of Ethnic Boundaries between Southern and Northern Sudanese Canadians” (Ph. D Thesis, McMaster University 2017)

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

Liyakat Takim

McMaster University

Department of Religious Studies,

University Hall 116

1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON,

Canada L8S 4K1

Contact Info:

Telephone Work 905-525-9140 ext 20521



Place of Birth: Zanzibar, Tanzania

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