Virani, Shafique

Associate Professor

Department of Historical Studies

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Shafique N. Virani’s research focuses on Ithna-‘ashari and Ismaili Shi‘ism, Quranic studies, Islamic history, philosophy, mysticism, and pluralism, and Muslim literatures in Arabic, Persian, and South Asian languages. Educated at Harvard and McGill, he has lived, taught, and researched across Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. His work has been translated into over 20 languages and has received awards and recognition from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the American Academy of Religion, the Middle East Studies Association, the Foundation for Iranian Studies, Farabi International, the British Society for Middle East Studies, and two Iranian presidents. He has served on the faculties of Harvard, Zayed and the University of Toronto, including in senior leadership positions, and received the title of Distinguished Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Toronto. He is the author of The Ismailis in the Middle Ages: A History of Survival, A Search for Salvation, published by Oxford University Press, and delivered a TEDx Talk entitled “Islamophobia and the Clash of Ignorance.” An avid volunteer around the world, he has consulted for projects by Cirque du Soleil, the History Channel, Lord Cultural Resources, Google, the Unicode Consortium, and many governmental and other organizations. Describing him as “a visionary,” the United Nations honored him for dedicating his efforts “to the cause of extending the frontiers of knowledge and the welfare of humankind.”