Dr. Sayed Ammar Nakshawani

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Dr. Sayed Ammar Nakshawani is a British Iraqi Islamic historian, lecturer and author regarded by many as the most powerful speaker in the Muslim World.

He has been listed as one of The 500 Most Influential Muslims, and was the youngest person on the list at the age of 32.

He has served as the Visiting Scholar of Islamic Studies at the University of Cambridge, and is professor and the Imam Ali Chair of Shia studies at Hartford Seminary, the oldest seminary in the United States.

Dr. Nakshawani is a direct descendant of Muhammad through Musa al-Kadhim, the seventh Twelver Shia Imam. He is also the nephew of Sheikh Baqir al-Irawani, one of the highest ranking Shiite jurists of the 21st century. Dr. Nakshawani is the first ever academic chair in the U.S. devoted to the study of Shi’ism.

Humanitarian causes

Dr. Nakshawani is acclaimed for his inter- and intra-faith unity efforts and has met a plethora of faith leaders to further these objectives. He is also a philanthropist, committing financial resources to social and humanitarian causes.

He also 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. He uses this position to speak out for the preservation of cultural heritage, historical art and architecture, and ancient literature.

As Special Representative, he engages in interfaith dialogue with leaders of multiple faith communities, and advocates on behalf of Islam to NGO leaders, governments, elected officials, think tanks and policy institutes.

Opposing terror

Dr. Nakshawani has been a strong verbal opponent of ISIS, insisting that world powers unite to directly address the threat posed by the terrorist organisation. He has also held large symposiums decrying violence in Ferguson, USA, the 2015 Chapel Hill shooting, the Charlie Hebdo shooting, and was interviewed on British media about the Woolwich killing of Fusilier Lee Rigby, which he denounced as an act of extremism.

New generation

In 2014, Dr. Nakshawani was included in the list of The 500 Most Influential Muslims (also known as The Muslim 500, an annual publication) in the “Preachers and Spiritual Guides” section.

A 2009 report by the Change Institute said that at the age of 27, Dr. Nakshawani represented the arrival of a new generation of persuasive and articulate Muslim intellectuals and personalities able to gain leverage amongst young Muslim audiences because they speak in a language that appeals to them … an increasingly significant figure amongst Shi’a youth both in the UK and internationally.

Cambridge University

Previously as the Visiting Scholar of Islamic Studies at Cambridge University he performed extensive research and academic analysis of ancient Islamic texts, which he has discussed at a number of academic forums. He is a member of the International Qurʾanic Studies Association and a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University’s Middle East Institute.