Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Professor Asani attended Harvard College with a concentration in the Comparative Study of Religion, graduating summa cum laude in 1977. Upon completion of his doctorate in Indo-Muslim Culture from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, he joined Harvard’s faculty. He offers instruction on various aspects of the Islamic tradition, including introductory courses in the general education program. He is particularly interested in the interaction between religion, literature and the arts in Muslim societies. He also teaches various South Asian and African languages. The author of several books and articles on Muslim devotional life, he is a recipient of many grants and awards. In 2002, he was awarded the Harvard Foundation medal for his outstanding contributions to improving intercultural and race relations by promoting a better understanding of Islam. More recently, he was awarded the Petra C. Shattuck Prize for Excellence in Teaching.
Murray A. Albertson Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures