I. K. A. Howard, who died in March 2013, was a distinguished scholar of Islamic studies, and one of the few Western scholars to devote themselves the study of Shi’ah Islam. He translated a number of important Shiah texts and wrote a series of articles on Shiah Islam at a time when there was little other work being undertaken on this important subject in Western universities, as such he can be seen as a pioneer in the field. For many years he held a senior lectureship at the University of Edinburgh where he taught Arabic and Islamic studies. His exactitude and scholarly rigour were unfailing, as his students had cause to note, but this was tempered by an encouraging and generous approach to their endeavours. He came to Islamic studies through a circuitous route, but none the worse for that, beginning with a degree in Greek from the University of Wales in 1961.