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Ammar Nakshawani is an intellectual scholar and author.[2] He was listed as one of The 500 Most Influential Muslims in 2014.[3] Nakshawani was a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University's Middle East Institute and University of Cambridge Centre of Islamic Studies. He previously held the Imam Ali Chair for Shi’i Studies and Dialogue among Islamic Legal Schools at Hartford Seminary.

Ammar Nakshawani
Born1981 (age 37–38)
Years active2003–present
Academic background
Alma materUniversity College London (BSc)
Shahid Beheshti University (MA)
University of Exeter (PhD)
Academic work
InstitutionsUniversity of Cambridge
Hartford Seminary
Harvard University
Notable worksThe 14 Infallibles
Islam : Liberté, égalité, fraternité,[1]

Early life and educationEdit

Nakshwani, who is of Iraqi-Azerbaijani[citation needed] origin, was born in 1981 and is the grandson of Murtadha Nakshawani, who served as a representative of Grand Ayatollah Abu al-Qasim al-Khoei in the holy city of Najaf in Iraq. In 1987, his family migrated to England, United Kingdom. He claims descent from Muhammad through Musa al-Kadhim, the seventh Twelver Shia Imam[4].[citation needed]

Nakshawani attended University College London and obtained his BSc in Psychology and Law in 2003, while also studying a one-year diploma course at the London School of Economics.[5] He thereafter obtained his MA from Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran and his doctorate from the University of Exeter.

He has taught courses on Islam and Human Rights, Islam and Pluralism, and Gender Studies through a Quranic Perspective.


Nakshawani serves as the Special Representative to the United Nations for the Universal Muslim Association of America (UMAA). In this role, he promotes women's rights initiatives, social development, and religious tolerance. Nakshawani uses this position to speak out for the preservation of cultural heritage, historical art and architecture, and ancient literature.

Prior to joining UMAA, Nakshawani served as the Visiting Scholar of Islamic Studies, at the University of Cambridge in England. In this position, he performed extensive research and academic analysis of ancient Islamic texts, which he has discussed at a number of academic forums.


In 2014, Nakshawani was included in the list of The 500 Most Influential Muslims (also known as The Muslim 500, an annual publication first published in 2009) in the "Preachers and Spiritual Guides" section.[6]

University of Cambridge

Nakshawani served as a Visiting Scholar of Islamic Studies and performed advanced research and academic analysis of Shia historic texts.

Hartford Seminary

Nakshawani served as the inaugural chair of the Imam Ali Chair in Shi'a Studies at Hartford Seminary.

Columbia University

In 2016, Columbia University announced that Dr. Nakshawani would serve as a Visiting Scholar.

Harvard University

Dr. Nakshawani is an Associate of the Iran Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. His focus is on Islamic politics as well as conflict and peace building in the Middle East.

Professional affiliationsEdit


  • Hujr Ibn Adi: A Victim of Terror. Birmingham: Sun Behind the Cloud Publications. 14 June 2013. ASIN B00KNAX64E.

After the destruction of an important shrine in Syria, Nakshawani wrote in the above book, "Hujr ibn 'Adi al-Kindi (died 660 CE) was a companion of Muhammad. He was sentenced to death by the Umayyad Caliph Muawiyah I for his unwavering support and praise for Ali, the first Imam of the Shias."

  • Islam : liberté, égalité, fraternité [Islam : Liberty, Equality, Fraternity] (in French). Translated by Malécka Nassor. Beyrouth: Albouraq. 31 August 2013. ISBN 9782841619764.CS1 maint: others (link)
  • Ramadan Sermons: A Compilation of Speeches and Lectures. Birmingham: Sun Behind the Cloud Publications. 24 April 2014. ISBN 9781908110039.
  • The Fourteen Infallibles: A Compilation of Speeches and Lectures. Birmingham: Sun Behind the Cloud Publications. 24 April 2014. ISBN 1908110058.
  • The Ten Granted Paradise. Universal Muslim Association of America. 20 May 2014. ASIN B00KHBEWVU.


External linksEdit