Abdulaziz Sachedina

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Abdulaziz Sachedina (1942-) is Frances Myers Ball Professor of Religious Studies, University of Virginia;[1] Adjunct scholar, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding and Senior Associate, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He was born to an Indian Muslim family in Tanzania. Born Shi’a, he has been an imam in the Sunni mosque in Charlottesville, Virginia. [2]

He serves on the Advisory Boards of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Virginia, Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, Bioethics Committee, Aga Khan University, Karachi and COMSTECH, Organization of Islamic Conference; Advisory Committee, Central Virginia Health Ministries Association; Chair, Board of Directors, Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy and on Editorial boards of Studies in Contemporary Islam, Journal of American Academy of Religion, Türkiye Klinikleri Journal of Medical Ethics, Islamic World: Past and Present and Islamic World (Oxford University Press), Journal of Theological Studies, Ferdowsi University, Iran, Journal of Religious Ethics; Director, The Organization for Islamic Learning.

In 1998, Ayatollah Ali Sistani of Iraq issued a fatwa against him, prohibiting him from presenting any lectures or teaching on the subject of Islam. [2] Sistani is a Shi'a authority, and, while Sachedina was born Shi'a, is associated with Sunni practice.

At CSIS, he is part of Preventive Diplomacy Program, part of the which is to reconcile religion to universal human needs and values in the service of peace-building.


  • Bachelor of Arts (BA), Aligarh Muslim University (in Islamic Studies) in Aligarh, India
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA), Persian language and literature, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad (Iran)
  • Studies in Islamic ic jurisprudence at the Madrassa of Ayatollah Milani in Mashhad
  • Master of Arts (MA), Islamic Studies, University of Toronto
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Islamic Studies, University of Toronto; dissertation "The Doctine of Mahdiism in Imami Shi’ism: A Study of Doctrinal Evolution in the 9th and 10th Centuries"