top of page
Screen Shot 2019-12-25 at 11.16.40



2012 Ph.D. Music and Religious Studies, University of Alberta. “Dissertation entitled: “Sounds and Recitation of Khoja Ismaili Ginans: Tradition and Transformation”.

2005 MA in Music and Religious Studies, University of Alberta.


2002 Graduate program in Islamic Studies and Humanities (GPISH) The Institute of

Ismaili Studies (IIS), UK


1999 Masters of Business Administration, MBA, Hamdard Institute of Management

Sciences (HIMS), Pakistan


1998 Bachelor of Business Administration (Hon), BBA, Hamdard Institute of Management

Sciences (HIMS), Pakistan


July 2019 - Current: Academic and Research Advisor, Canada.

  • Developing a book manuscript entitled "Sound and Recitation of Ismaili Ginans: Tradition and Transformation".

  • Preparing an article for edited volume on Qawwali (Oxford) and a peer reviewed article on the theme of sound and migration (Indian Ocean Journal).

2016 – June 2019: Academic Director: ITREB, Kenya.

  • Redesigned new curriculum of ECD, Talim, STEP, Youth, Adult and Jamati Programs.

  • Successfully implemented new programs and modules for various segments of Adult and Youth members of our Jamat.

  • Restructured various interactive episodic camps for all segments of the Jamat and increase the quality of access hours.

  • Started a new series for Adult Jamati interactive sessions entitled “Pearls of Wisdom”.

  • Redesigned new methods of providing training, mentorship and development for the REC voluntary teachers and mentors.

  • Implementation of regularly monitoring and supporting the REC quality Access hours.

  • Developed material for mixed family, non-Ismaili families and spouses.

  • Introduced teacher’s retreat once a year for the advancement of Talim teachers.

  • Started a new program entitled “TEAM” (Teachers Empowerment, Appreciation and Mentorship Program) for teachers in all jurisdiction include (Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda).


2011- 2016: Sessional Instructor: Department of Music and Religious Studies, University of Alberta, 

Taught and designed a range of courses for undergraduate and graduate students. Supervised various field research projects and received excellent evaluations from students and faculty.

2015-2016: Summer Camp Director: Music and Art in the Muslim World

led and designed the youth camps for Aga Khan Museum and the University of Alberta, Department of Music summer camp for aged 10-12 and 13-15.

2012-2013: Conference Manager: University of Alberta

Successfully organized and managed the international conference in partnership with the Aga Khan University, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the University of Alberta titled “I am a Bird from Heaven’s Garden: Music, Sound and Architecture in the Muslim World”. Led and managed the entire team of more than two hundred professionals and volunteers. Created and implemented a process checklist for each and every item including program design, conference booklet, flight bookings, accommodations, transportation, venues, invitations, publicity material, designed and maintained website, developed and implemented fund raising campaigns.

2012-2013: Ethnomusicology Research Consultant, Museums and Collection Services, University of Alberta

Preserved and documented musical instruments in the Ethnomusicology collection, prepared and maintained educational material for the website, created database accession for the diverse objects, digitized various formats of audio and video field research materials.

2012-2013: Academic Research Consultant: The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London, UK

Provided academic research to develop the STEP module on “Faith and Practice in Islamic Tradition” in consultation with Dr. Shainool Jiwa. Conducted ethnographic field research data and interviews with various Ismaili youths, BUI teachers regarding the role and identity of the Ismaili Muslim in the 21st Century. Prepared research materials along with religious education tools, activities and presentations on various Ismaili youth forums.

2011-2012: Ethnomusicology Research Consultant: Museums and Collection Services, University of Alberta.

2010-2011: Conference Lead and Manager: University of Alberta

Organized and international conference titled “Sound and Recitation of Muslim Piety: Tradition and Transformation”.

2006-2007: Research Consultant: University of Alberta

Provided support to build the South Asian music website titled “Heritage, Adaptation and Transformation” with the Canadian Centre for Ethnomusicology and Folkways Alive!

1998-2000: Education Marketing Executive: Jang Group of Newspaper, Karachi.


  • Preservation of Oral Heritage and Culture: Traditional Ismaili Muslim Hymns (Chants), Government of Alberta, Canada, 2016.

  • Edmonton Arts Council, Sufi music album titled “Raah-e-Ishq: The Path of Love” 2013.

  • Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship, University of Alberta, September 2009.

  • Alwaez Hasan and Rashida Nazarali Scholarship in Ethnomusicology: September 2009.

  • Pamela Farmer Graduate Scholarship: University of Alberta, September 2006.

  • The Institute of Ismaili Studies, IIS, Doctoral scholarship, 2005-2009.

  • Jean Isabel Soper Memorial Graduate Scholarship in Music, University of Alberta, 2004.

  • Provost Doctoral Entrance Award, University of Alberta, 2004.

  • The Institute of Ismaili Studies, IIS, Graduate program in Islamic Studies and Humanities Scholarship, 2000-2003.

  • Hamdard University BBA, MBA scholarship, 1997-1999

  • The Aga Khan Education Board scholarships, 1996-1999


Oral History and Transmission of Ismaili Hymns Ginan from Indian Subcontinent and East-Africa: Diaspora and Migration”, Us and Them: Diaspora for Others in the Indian Ocean, Martin Luther University, Halle-Saale, Germany, September, 16-18, 2019.

“Rethinking Ginans: Sound, Recitation and Migration”, the Second International Ismaili Studies Conference, Carleton University on March 9-10, 2017.

“Songs of Survival: Islam, Music and Identity in South Asian Community” Centre for Studies in India and South Asia, School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences. Thursday 15 December 2016.

“The Contestation of Indic Khoja Oral Literature (Ginans) as Islamic”, American Academy of Religion’s Annual Meetings, Atlanta, USA, November 21-14, 2015.

“Music Moves Religion: Khoja Ginans, Migration and Transmission”, The 44th Annual Conference on South Asia, Madison, Wisconsin, USA, October 22-25, 2015.

Music review “ Cachemire: Le Sufyana kalam de Srinagar”, Yearbook for Traditional Music, January 1st, 2014.

“Exploring ‘ginan’ hymns within the Indo-Muslim cultural and musical contexts”, Ismaili Studies conference, University of Chicago, USA, October 16th -17th, 2014.

“Cultural Connections”, IIS Alumni Newsletter December 2013, UK.

“Importance of music in different Faith Traditions: Music and Islam” at University of Alberta, Edmonton Committee for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, May 2, 2013.

“Diversity within Tradition: Case Study of the Transmission of Ismaili Ginan” at University of Alberta, at the conference entitled “Sounds and Spaces of Muslim Piety: Tradition and Transformation” Edmonton, May 1st, 2011.

“Music beyond borders, Ismaili Ginan, Migration and Transmission” at the Association for the Study of Ginans, in London, UK, on 24th and 25th October, 2009.

“New Sufi Trends in the Popular Music of India and Pakistan” at the Society for Ethnomusicology’s annual conference in Mexico City, November 19- 22, 2009.

“Recreating new Identity of Pakistani Music: A War against Islamic Extremism through Popular Sufi music” at Society for Ethnomusicology at Ohio, Columbus, October 2007.

“Message of Islam in the sacred songs of Ismaili Ginan: Contemporary Challenges, Transmission, and Standardization” at Society for Ethnomusicology in Hawaii, November, 2006.

“Musical and Religious Contexts of Ismaili Muslim Ginan” at the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London, UK, 2004.

Gillani, Karim, December 2004, “The Ismaili Ginan Tradition from Indian Subcontinent”. Middle East Studies Association, Volume 38, and Number 2.

“Muslim Journey: Music and Islam”, Keynote address and live performance at Lakewood
Public Library, Ohio, October 20th, 2013.

“Performing Islam: Sufi music and Ritual Practices in South Asia”, Keynote address and live performance at the College of Wooster, Ohio, October 23, 2012.


TEDx Calgary: The Path of Love Not War: Sufi Music and Peace, 2016:


“Music, Islam and Spirituality”, keynote speak at the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, Canada, July 21st, 2016. gillani

“Exploring the Tradition and Continuity of Ismaili Ginan”, keynote speaker at the ITREB annual symposium, Edmonton, February 23rd, 2016.

“Islam, Music and Spirituality” keynote speaker at the Institute of Ismaili Studies annual meeting in Ismaili Centre, Toronto, June 21, 2015.

“From Roots to Routes: (Re) construction) of Sufi music in the world of sounds”, keynote speaker, Ismaili Arts and Culture, The Ismaili Centre, Vancouver, Nov 1st, 2014.

“Muslim Journey: Music and Islam”, Keynote address and live performance at Lakewood Public Library, Ohio, October 20, 2013.

“Performing Islam: Sufi music and Ritual Practices in South Asia”, Keynote address and live performance at The College of Wooster, Ohio, October 23, 2012.


Excellent communication, verbal and written skills in English, Urdu and intermediate level in Arabic, Persian, Sindhi, Punjabi, and Gujarati languages.



“Masti-e-Tariqat: The Path of Ecstasy” released as part of H.H. Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee in Canada 2017-2018.

“Voice of the Soul: Ruh ki Awaaz” released as part of Diamond Jubilee celebrations of H.H.

Aga Khan in Kenya, 2017-2018.

“Raah-e-Ishq: The Path of Love”, Sufi music album, comprised of original compositions based on the classical Sufi poets from Central and South Asia, released on June 07, 2014.

“Jhoom Jhoom: Celebration of A Life time! Comprised of original compositions, released during the Golden Jubilee of H. H Aga Khan in Canada 2007-2008.


Provide assistance in designing the University of Alberta, department of music, International conference’s website entitled “Sounds and Spaces of Muslim Piety: Tradition and Transformation”, March-April, 2011.

Provided background music score for the short documentary film titled “Advancing the Islamic Intellectual Tradition”, directed and produced by Aleem Karmali, Crescent productions, Edmonton, Canada, 2009.

Written and provided music for a short documentary film titled “Introduction to Sufism”, directed and produced by Aleem Karmali, Crescent Productions, Edmonton, Canada, 2005.

Written a short documentary film titled “Satpanth Ismaili Muslim and Ginan”, directed and produced by Aleem Karmali, Crescent Productions, Edmonton, Canada, 2004.

Written, produced and directed a documentary, based on my own extensive ethnographic field research in Pakistan, titled “Sufi Music of Multan: A City of Saints” London, UK, 2003.

  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
bottom of page