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Congratulations to Institute alumnus Selim Argun who has recently joined the University of Istanbul as a full-time faculty member

Dr. Argun successfully defended his McGill PhD thesis, entitled “Elite configurations and clusters of power: the Ulema, Waqf and Ottoman State 1789-1839”, on March 21, 2013.

Congratulations to PhD Student Zahra Sabri who was awarded the Zubeida Mustafa Award

The Zubeida Mustafa Award is awarded for Journalistic Excellence. Ms. Zabri won for her article entitled "A Textbook Case". 

Please take a moment to review her article: http://herald.dawn.com/2012/12/16/a-textbook-case-2.html

Congratulations to PhD candidate Faika Celik on her successful oral defense

Oral Defense of Faika Celik

Faika Celik defended her thesis, entitled “Community in motion”: Gypsies in Ottoman imperial state policy, public morality and the Sharia court of Uskudar (1530s-1585s), on Thursday, November 14th.

Congratulations to PhD candidate Fatima Seedat on her successful oral defense

Oral Defense of Fatima Seedat

Fatima Seedat defended her thesis, entitled "Sex and the Legal Subject: Women and Legal Capacity in Hanafi Law", on Tuesday, October 22nd.

Professor Mohamad Pasha Khan appointed Chair in Urdu Language & Culture

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Mohamad Pasha Khan, on his appointment to the Chair in Urdu Language & Culture. Professor Khan’s appointment as Chair comes following his appointment as a tenure track Assistant Professor on 01 August 2013. Professor Khan is the second person to occupy the Chair, following the retirement in 2010 of Dr. Sajida Alvi, Professor Emerita of the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University.

The Chair in Urdu Language and Culture was established in 1987 and funded from monies raised by the Institute. The occupant of the Chair will be responsible for teaching Urdu Language courses, conducting courses and seminars, and performing research in the history and literature of the Urdu speaking people of Pakistan, the Indian sub-continent, and other areas, including Canada.

The Institute looks forward to Professor Khan’s work at continuing the expansion of its successful teaching and research program in Urdu language and culture, that has been recognized as a leader in Urdu language education in Canada and around the globe. A series of special events in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Institute will take place during the 2013-2014 academic year, as well as in Fall 2014, and will include an event to celebrate Professor Khan’s assumption of the Chair in Urdu Language Culture.

Congratulations to PhD candidate Mr. Syed Junaid Ahmed Quadri on his successful oral defense

Mr. Syed Junaid Ahmed Quadri

Mr. Quadri defended his thesis, entitled "Transformations of tradition: modernity in the thought of Muhammad Bakhit Al-Muti'i", on Monday, September 23rd.

Congratulations to PhD candidate Mr. Kamran Karimullah on his successful oral defense

Mr. Kamran Karimullah

Mr. Karimullah defended his thesis, entitled "Avicenna (d. 1037), logical theory, and the Aristotelian tradition", on Friday, September 6th.

Islamic Manuscripts Exhibition booklet now available online

The descriptive booklet to accompany “Strokes and Hairlines, Elegant Writing and its Place in Muslim Book Culture” was put together by Mr. Adam Gacek, the exhibit's curator.

Congratulations to Professor Robert Wisnovsky

The Institute extends our congratulations to Professor Robert Wisnovsky who has recently been promoted to full professor and has also been appointed to a James McGill professorship

The RaSI (Rational Sciences in Islam) project has been featured in an article by Le Devoir.

This complex project is made up of three components: the Islamic Scientific Manuscripts Initiative (ISMI), the Post-classical Islamic Philosophy Database Initiative (PIPDI), and Scientific Traditions in Islamic Societies (STIS) project.

Congratulations to our most recent PhD Graduates! 

The Institute would like to extend our congratulations to our most recent PhD graduates, who convocated on May 30, 2013: Dr. Selim Argun, Dr. Carl El-Tobgui, Dr. Bilal Ibrahim, Dr. Gregory Mack, Dr. Nadira Mustapha, Dr. Nathan Spannaus, Dr. Emre Unlucayakli. 


 From Left to Right: Dr. Bilal Ibrahim, Dr. Carl El-Tobgui, Dr. Selim Argun, Dr. Nathan Spannaus.


Tehran Branch Website and Publications

This week, we were honoured to have Prof. Mehdi Mohaghegh, the current director of the Institute of Islamic Studies’ Tehran Branch, launch the new Tehran Branch and Tehran Branch Publications pages on the Institute site. These pages contain a history of the Tehran Branch, and also house 10 of their publications which have been digitized by the Islamic Studies Library at McGill.

We are proud to share that Emeritus Professor Issa J. Boullata will be presenting the 2013 Arab Prize at this year’s Blue Metropolis Festival.

Professor Boullata has been a Programming Consultant for Arabic at the Blue Metropolis Foundation since 2006, and will be presenting the 2013 Arab Prize to Libyan novelist Hisham Matar.

More information about this event, taking place on April 26th, can be found on the Blue Metropolis website.

Congratulations to Professor Ahmed F. Ibrahim on his most recent publication!

“Al-Shaʿrānī’s Response to Legal Purism: A Theory of Legal Pluralism” Islamic Law and Society, April, 2013.

This publication can be found in PDF form on Professor Ahmed F. Ibrahim's faculty page.

Congratulations to all of our recent PhD candidates who passed their oral defenses!


Photo from Fachrizal Halim's successful PhD Thesis DefenseFachrizal Halim successfully defended his thesis, entitled "The Axis of Authority in the Later Shafi'i School of Law: Yahya b. Sharaf al-Nawawi (631-76/1233-77)", on May 27, 2013



Photo from Selim Argun’s successful PhD Thesis DefenseSelim Argun successfully defended his thesis, entitled “Elite configurations and clusters of power: the Ulema, Waqf and Ottoman State 1789-1839”, on March 21, 2013.


Carl El-Tobgui successfully defended his thesis, entitled "Reason, revelation & the reconstitution of rationality: Taqī al-Dīn Ibn Taymiyya's (d. 728/1328) Dar'Ta 'ārud al- 'Aql wa-l-Naql or 'The refutation of the contradiction of reason and revelation", on March 12, 2013.
Photo from Gregory Mack's successful PhD Thesis DefenseGregory Mack successfully defended his thesis, entitled “The Modern Muhtasib: Religious Policing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”, on January 24, 2013.


Nadira Mustapha successfully defended her thesis, entitled “Islamic Legal Theory and Practice in the North American Context: An Epistemological and Methodological Analysis of the Fiqh Council of North America”, on December 6, 2012.

Photo from Bilal Ibrahim's successful PhD Thesis Defense
Bilal Ibrahim successfully defended his thesis, entitled “Freeing Philosophy from Metaphysics: Fakhr al-Din al-Razi’s Philosophical Approach to the Study of Natural Phenomena” on December 4, 2012.

Prof. A.J. Racy has been featured in the McGill Reporters Four Burning Questions

Please see the complete article: Four Burning Questions for A.J. Racy, visiting Musician-in-Residence, McGill Institute of Islamic Studies.


March 26, 2012

State of Qatar donates $1.25 million to the Institute of Islamic Studies


His excellency Salem Al-Shafi, the first ambassador from Qatar to Canada, and PrOn March 26, 2012, it was announced by His Excellency Salem Al-Shafi, the first Ambassador from Qatar to Canada, that the Institute of Islamic Studies would receive a generous gift of $1.25 million from the State of Qatar, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Institute. As part of the 60th anniversary, this gift will be used towards a series of lectures, visiting scholars, conferences, and exhibits. “We believe this contribution will further assist the Institute in carrying on the distinguished role it has played, since its establishment in 1952, in advancing research related to Islam and the history and civilization of the Islamic world,” said His Excellency Al-Shafi. “We also believe that the Institute shares our vision that knowledge and education are key to meet the challenges of our changing world and provide the tools to better understand the ever-evolving relationship between religion and mankind and how it has contributed to our well-being and the coexistence of peoples.”