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
“Contemporary Ijtihad and the Reform Movement in Islam” (working title)
“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
“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
“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.
“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.
Islam: A Worldwide Encyclopedia - ABC-CLIO, ed. Cenap Cakmak, forthcoming 2016
Encyclopedia of Islam (Infobase/Facts on File,) ed. Juan Campo, forthcoming 2016
Encyclopedia of Islamic Bioethics, ed. Ayman Shabana, forthcoming 2016
World Book Encyclopedia, ed. Dawn Krajcik, forthcoming 2016
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.”
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
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.”
World Book Encyclopedia, ed. Dawn Krajcik, 2011
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
Encyclopedia of Islam in America, ed. Jocelyne Cesari. Greenwood Press, 2007.
S. v. “Shi‘a Communities.”
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,”
Encyclopedia of the Qur’an, ed. Jane D. McAuliffe. Leiden: Brill, 2004.
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”
“The Ground Zero Mosque Controversy: Implications for American Islam” 2011 http://www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/2/2/132/pdf
“Women in Judaism, Christianity and Islam: A comparative perspective”
Seminar on "Women in Other Traditions" University of Isfahan, 2006
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). http://www.jcrt.org/archives/02.3/index.html?page=takim.shtml
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
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,
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)
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