Shafique N. Virani (PhD, Harvard University) is Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Toronto, founding Director of the Centre for South Asian Civilizations, and past chair of the Department of Historical Studies. He was previously on the faculty of the Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies at Harvard and was the Head of World Humanities at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates.
Professor Virani’s research focuses on Islamic history, philosophy, Sufism, Shiʿism (Twelver and Ismaili), Bhakti, and Muslim literatures in Arabic, Persian and South Asian languages. He is the author of The Ismailis in the Middle Ages: A History of Survival, A Search for Salvation, published by Oxford University Press, as well as of articles published in scholarly venues such the Journal of the American Oriental Society, the Journal of Asian Studies, the Journal of Iranian Studies, the Shii Studies Review, the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Iran and the Caucasus, the MESA Review of Middle East Studies, the Encyclopaedia of Religion, the Encyclopaedia of Islam, Hamsa: Journal of Judaic and Islamic Studies, The Annual of Urdu Studies, Majallah-yi muṭālaʿāt-i taʾrīkh-i Islām, Tāʾrīkh-nāmah-yi Khwārazmī, Perla, Religiovedenie, Beharistan: Časopis za iranistiku i islamsku kulturu and others.
Professor Virani’s current course offerings are:
RLG204: Introduction to Islam and Muslim Civilizations
RLG453: Researching Islam: Entering the World of Scholarly Investigation
RLG3528: Tools of the Craft: Research Fluency in Islamic Studies
He also welcomes mentoring both undergraduate and graduate students through avenues such as the Research Opportunity Program (299, 399 & 499), as well as Independent Studies and Readings courses.
Professor Virani is a well-known public speaker, and has delivered a TEDx Talk entitled “The Clash of Ignorance.” His work has been translated into Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Croatian-Bosnian, French, German, Gujarati, Hindi, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, European Portuguese, Persian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swahili, Tajik and Urdu, and has received awards and recognition from UNESCO, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Middle East Studies Association, the Foundation for Iranian Studies, Harvard University, Farabi International and the British Society for Middle East Studies. The government of Iran named him the recipient of its International Book of the Year prize and the American Academy of Religion, the world’s largest association of scholars in the field of Religious Studies, awarded him its highest pedagogical honor. At the University of Toronto, he has received the titles of both “Distinguished Professor” for his research and “Member of the President’s Teaching Academy” for his teaching and mentorship of students.