Dr Ali Reza Bhojani

Research Fellow

Dr Ali-Reza Bhojani is a lecturer at the Al-Mahdi Institute, co-director of the Centre for Intra-Muslim Studies and a research affiliate at the University of Oxford. A graduate of the Al-Mahdi Institute, his research, teaching and writing focuses on intersections between Islamic legal theory, theology and ethics. His doctoral study, conducted at Durham University, was published as Moral Rationalism and Shari’a (Routledge, 2015) and he has held academic posts at the University of Nottingham, the University of Oxford and the Markfield Institute of Higher Education. His recent publications include the co-edited volume Visions of Sharīʿa (Brill, 2020).

Dr Bhojani is an elected council member of the British Association of Islamic Studies and also regularly contributes to a range of knowledge exchange activities within Muslim communities, inter-faith settings and beyond. This work was recognised in 2016 when he was honoured as the Religious Advocate of the Year at the British Muslim Awards. Beyond his scholarly work, Ali-Reza is a family man, father to three boys, and a practicing Optometrist.




Peer reviewed papers & book chapters;

Other Articles;

  • ‘Rationality in Shi‘a Belief and Practice’,CISS Journal,  2 (2015) pp. 10-12
  • ‘Moral rationalism, Shari’a and the Common Good’ Ethics and the Law; Muslim-Christian Encounters, Oxford centre for Muslim-Christian Studies, Research briefing No 3. Spring 2015
  • The critical ethic of the intellectual believer, A Bigger Society, September 2012
  • ‘The significance of the theological and philosophical foundations of human rights’, Al-Mahdi Institute Working Papers, December 2010



  • PhD Moral Rationalism and Sharia, Durham University, 2013
  • MA Research Methods (International Relations & Politics), Durham University, 2009 (distinction)
  • Hawza Programme in Islamic Studies and Arabic (4 year full time) Al-Mahdi Institute 2008 (distinction)
  • MCOptom; College of Optometrists 2004
  • BSc (hons) Optometry, Bradford University 2003 (2:1)


Membership and special appointments

  • British Association of Islamic Studies (BRAIS); elected councillor (2014-present)
  • ‘Islam, Law and Modernity (ILM)’ Research Cluster, Durham Law School- member
  • School of Oriental and African Studies, Special consultant on Shi’ism for AHRC project ‘Re/presenting Islam on campus project’, (2016- 2019)
  • Advisory board member for AHRC project ‘Re/presenting Islam on campus project’, (2015-2018)



  • British Muslim awards; ‘Religious advocate of the year’ winner (2016)
  • Durham University faculty award for excellence; in recognition of achievements as a postgraduate student in the School of Government & International Affairs (2010)
  • Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World 1+3 ESRC PhD studentship at Durham University (2008-2012), worth approximately £60,000.
  • Stidwell Award in Binocular Vision, Bradford University (2003)

Other Members