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22 April 2018 / 6. Shabaan 1439

Imam Ali Chair of Islamic Studies

Updated on 12 March 2018

The Imam Ali Chair of Islamic Studies

We are incredibly proud of the establishment of an Imam Ali (a.s) Chair of Islamic Studies at Hartford Seminary, which is the oldest theological school in the country. It is the first chair of Shia Islamic Studies in the world.

Dr. Sayed Ammar Nakshwani will be the first occupant of the chair. He is an incredibly well-known lecturer and author and was named on of the 500 most influential Muslims in 2015

The establishment of this chair is an incredibly positive step for Shia Islam and allows people to gain a better understanding of Shiaism.

The chair was established for two main reasons:

1. To establish a voice in the academy for Shia Islam

2. To encourage dialogue among the diverse Islamic legal schools, including Shia and Sunni

Doctor Mahmoud Ayoub, who is a Hartford Seminary faculty associate and well-known Muslim Scholar and was instrumental in establishing the chair, said 'The chair is meant to make a real contribution to Islamic unity. I see Hartford Seminary as an important platform for varieties of Christian and Muslim expressions'.

The amount of fundsing needed for this chair was $1.5m and Alhamdullilah, this goal was reached in October at the 5th Executive Council Meeting.

The inagural ceremony of the Imam Ali (a.s) Chair was on Friday 22nd January at Hartford Seminary. Pictures from this event can be seen below. The president of The World Federation, Dr Asgar Moledina, was in attendance alongside the head of our Islamic Education department, Sheikh Kumail Rajani. Dr Mohsin Jaffer and the president of NASIMCO, Gulam Najafi, also attended the event.

InshAllah this will be the start of many more Chairs of Shia Studies in many universities all over the world. We congratulate Dr. Sayed Ammar Nakshwani on his appointment and we are sure that he will do an excellent job of teaching Shia Islam and representing Shias globally.

To read a statement by Hartford Seminary, please click here.


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“God, His angels and all those in Heavens and on Earth, even ants in their hills and fish in the water, call down blessings on those who instruct others in beneficial knowledge.” – The Holy Prophet (s)