Meet the Author
Prof. Mashal Saif
The ‘Ulama in Contemporary Pakistan: Contesting and Cultivating an Islamic Republic
Friday 4th of March 2022
Zoom ID: 882 0512 9425
7 pm – 8:30 pm (UK Time)
In this book, Mashal Saif explores how contemporary ‘ulama, the guardians of religious knowledge and law, engage with the world’s most populated Islamic nation-state: Pakistan. In mapping these engagements, she weds rigorous textual analysis with fieldwork and offers insight into some of the most significant and politically charged issues in recent Pakistani history. These include debates over the rights of women; the country’s notorious blasphemy laws; the legitimacy of religiously mandated insurrection against the state; sectarian violence; and the place of Shi’as within the Sunni majority nation. These diverse case studies are knit together by the project’s most significant contribution: a theoretical framework that understands the ‘ulama’s complex engagements with their state as a process of both contestation and cultivation of the Islamic Republic by citizen-subjects. This framework provides a new way of assessing state – ‘ulama relations not only in contemporary Pakistan but also across the Muslim world.
Mulla Sadra’s Philosophy: Continuity and Novelty
Professor Mohammad Fanaei Eshkevari studied both at the Qom seminary in Iran as well as McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where he received his PhD in philosophy. For the past two decades, he has been lecturing on comparative philosophy, mysticism and theology in Imam Khomeini Education and Research Institute in Qom. He has published more than fifty books and articles in Persian on different areas of Islamic thought.
Publications in English:
Mohammad Fanaei Eshkevari, An Introduction to Contemporary Islamic Philosophy, translated by Mostafa Hoda’i, London: MIU Press, 2012.
- “Mysticism and Religion: A Shi’i View, ” in On Spirituality, ed. M. D. Bryant S. K. Harrison and A. J. Reimer, (Kitchener, Ontario: Pandora Press, 2010), pp. 87-97.
- “Self-Knowledge and Soul,” in Soul: A Comparative Approach. Eds. Christian Kanzian & Muhammad Lagenhausen, Germany: Ontos Verlag, 2010, pp. 17-24.
- “Reflection on Prayer: A Muslim Perspective,” reprinted in Spiritual Message of Islam, Ed. M.A. Shomali (London: Islamic Centre of England, 2009), pp. 103-112.
- “God in Islamic Mysticism,” in Proofs for the Existence of God, eds. Christian Kanzian & Muhammad Legenhausen (Innsbruck: Innsbruck University Press, 2008), pp. 91-98.
- “Mulla Sadra’s Theory of Substantial Motion,” in Substance and Attribute: Western and Islamic Traditions in Dialogue, eds. Christian Kanzian & Muhammad Legenhausen (Germany: Ontos Verlag, 2007), pp. 25-43.
- “Sohravardi and the Question of Knowledge,” in Plato and Sohravardi (Athens: Hellenic Society for Philosophical Studies, 2007), pp. 48-62.
- “Faith and Morality in Islam and Christianity,” in A Catholic-Shi’a Engagement: Faith and Reason in Theory and Practice, eds. Anthony O’Mahony and others, (London: Melisende, 2006), pp. 170-180.
- “Prayer and Contemplation in Islamic Spirituality,” in Catholics and Shi’a in Dialogue: Studies in Theology and Spirituality, eds. Anthony O’Mahony and others, (London: Melisende, 2004), pp. 256-262.
- “Mysticism and Dialogue among Cultures,” in Peace Office Newsletter, Vol. 36, No. 1, January-March 2006.
- “God’s Inclusive Mercy,” in Peace and Justice: Essays from the Fourth Shi’I Muslim Mennonite Christian Dialogue, Winnipeg: 2011, pp. 120-124.
- “Islamic Philosophy in Contemporary Iran,” in Al-Mustafa Journal of Islamic Studies, Vol. 1, Nu. 1, (Winter 2012), pp. 89-123.H
Professor David Bakewell Burrell is an American educator, theologian, writer and translator. He is the Theodore Hesburgh Professor emeritus in Philosophy and Theology at University of Notre Dame, USA. He has written and published extensively on Judeo-Christian and Islamic traditions.
Here is a selected list of Prof. Burrell’s publications:
Burrell, David (1973). Analogy and Philosophical Language. Yale University Press..
—— (1974). Exercises in Religious Understanding. University of Notre Dame Press.
—— (1979). Aquinas: God and Action. University of Notre Dame Press..
—— (1986). Knowing the Unknowable God: Ibn-Sina, Maimonides, Aquinas. University of Notre Dame Press.
—— (1993). Freedom and Creation in Three Traditions. University of Notre Dame Press.
——; Elena Malits (1997). Original Peace: Restoring God’s Creations. Paulist.
—— (2000). Friendship and Ways to Truth. University of Notre Dame Press.
—— (2004). Faith and Freedom: An Interfaith Perspective. Blackwell.
—— (2008). Deconstructing Theodicy: A Philosophical Commentary on Job. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos..
—— (2009). When Faith and Reason Meet: The Legacy of John Zahm CSC. Notre Dame, IN: Corby Publishing.
—— (2010). Learning to Trust in Freedom: Signs from Jewish, Christian and Muslim Traditions. University of Scranton Press.
—— (2011). Towards a Jewish-Christian-Muslim Theology. Wiley-Blackwell.
Al-Ghazali on the Ninety-Nine Beautiful Names of God (translation from Arabic with Nazih Daher) (Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society, 1992; Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, 1998)
Al-Ghazali on Faith in Divine Unity and Trust in Divine Providence (translation of Bk. 35 of Ihya’ Ulum ad-Din) (Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, 2000)
Roger Arnaldez’s Three Messengers for one God (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1998) – with Mary Louise Gude, C.S.C. and Gerald Schlabach.
Avital Wohlman’s Al-Ghazali, Averroes and the Interpretation of the Qur’an: Common Sense and Philosophy in Islam (London: Routledge, 2009) – translated from Contrepoint entre le sens commun et la philosophy en Islam: Ghazali et Averroès (Paris: Editions du Cerf, 2008)
Ayatollah Abolghasem Alidoust (Qom Seminary, Iran)
A senior Iranian cleric and legal scholar and professor of Fiqh at the Research Institute for Islamic Culture and Thought. He is a recipient of the Iranian Book of the Year Award for his book entitled Fiqh and Maslaha.
Prof. Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im (Emory University, USA)
An internationally recognized scholar of Islam and human rights, Prof. An-Na’im teaches courses in international law, comparative law, human rights, and Islamic law. He is the author of Islam and the Secular State (Harvard University Press, 2008)
Date: Friday 19th November 2021
Time: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm (UK time)
Venue: Muslim Centre of Essess
Address: 874 Eastern Ave, Newbury Park Ilford IG2 7HY
Arabic Language Course
Starting From 21st January 2021
Tuesdays & Thursdays – 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Course Fee: £50/Semester
The Islamic College has organized an Arabic Course for those who want to learn the language of the Islamic revelation. Classical Arabic refers to both the language of the Qur’an and of the various works produced during the early Islamic period.
Studying with us during coronavirus in 2020 to 2021
How you will learn when you start your College Study
We have put everything in place so you will get a great learning experience and lots of support when you start your course in autumn 2020 or spring 2021. We want to do this in a flexible way that works for you and follows government advice around keeping safe.
- We are planning to teach you through a mix of online virtual and face-to-face learning during autumn 2020 and spring 2021 but at present, everything is online.
- This means we can keep everyone safe while aiming to give you some opportunities to come onto campus and use some facilities such as the library.
- You would study on blended learning that starts with fully online virtual learning during the autumn term and small face-to-face classes during the spring term.
- If you cannot make it to campus for whatever reason, we will work to make sure you can start your course fully online.
The Islamic College has evaluated the circumstances in conjunction with Middlesex University in support of students. This would ensure that you have the best education possible, from our student support services going online to virtual social discussions. Based on our experience of delivering distance learning for our Masters programmes, we have been working to introduce online learning to undergraduate students. So we’re well prepared to teach you online this autumn. You will be taught through a blend of online lectures, workshops and problem-solving sessions. These will be supported by online module notes, pre-recorded video content, online classroom discussions and interactive activities.
Virtual Learning at the College
Desire2learn is the Islamic College’s online learning support area for candidates. This is a place where you can find online materials to support your studies together with discussion areas, module information and calendar dates. As a student of the college you would be entitled to access all modules which are supported online through our virtual learning environment. http://islamic-college.desire2learnclient.com/. The VLE is designed for the mobile world—and the platform can be accessed from any mobile device for a true anywhere, anytime, any device learning experience.
The VLE allows learners to learn on their terms, proceed through content at their own pace, and access learning from any device. Students get personalised feedback to keep motivated, on track, and engaged. It makes it easy for learners to connect, participate in forums and discussions, and view each other’s profiles. It gives portfolios to staff to reflect on learning, showcase growth, and celebrate achievements. It also identifies and tracks high-risk learners, proactively alerts the staff to step in and offer help. By engaging with e- learning you will also be developing skills which are essential for your learning and are also highly valued by employers. These include but are not limited to: working flexibly, communication, understanding of IT, team working and creating shared understandings based on quality resources and access to global expertise.
Each student will be assigned a personal tutor through the programme leaders who will meet with students regularly online or face-to-face depending on circumstances to provide them with guidance and support regarding their academic performance, personal growth and development. Students may seek advice from their personal tutor regarding issues and difficulties that may affect their studies during tutorial sessions. Apart from normal class and tutorial time, staff members may be contacted during officially announced office hours.
Student Risk Assessment
As we start our academic year welcoming students to The Islamic College, we realise that some of you may be concerned about having to come onto college and how best to protect yourself against COVID-19. Please be assured that the college is following Public Health England guidance within our approach.
Please note that if you, or someone you share a household with, receive a positive COVID-19 result or instruction to shield, you should inform The Islamic College immediately so that we can advise you on the steps you need to take in relation to your studies and wellbeing. If you need to declare a positive COVID-19 test, please email the registry, if you, or someone you live with, develop symptoms of COVID-19, please self-isolate for 14 days.
The symptoms are a high temperature, a new or continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell. If studying your course means that you have to come onto campus and you have concerns about a personal characteristic or condition that may increase your vulnerability to COVID-19,
Students coming to the college are asked to complete a risk assessment form. Once you have completed the online form you will receive an automated email which assesses your level of risk based on the answers you provide. You may recomplete the risk assessment at any time, if your health or circumstances change. All information provided within this document will remain confidential and secure in line with GDPR. This information will be visible to staff from Student Support, who are available to support you in considering safe access to the college and the library, and to staff at a college.
If you develop COVID-19 symptoms you should get tested.
The main symptoms are:
- Continuous cough
- Temperature or fever
- Loss/change in taste
- Loss/change in smell
If you test positive for COVID-19, please let us know as soon as possible by contacting the Head of Registry on 0208 451 9993 or email email@example.com. The quicker you tell us, the better we can support you by sending you information on next steps and how to look after yourself. You can find out more on what your test results mean via the NHS website, but please make sure you follow any individual advice given to you by the NHS. You may also be contacted by NHS Track and Trace to identify anyone you may have been in contact with recently so they can also be tested. If you’re experiencing mild symptoms, the NHS provide some steps you can take to treat these at home. However, if you’re unable to cope with the symptoms of COVID-19 at home, for example if you feel breathless and it’s getting worse, or your symptoms are getting worse, please use the NHS 111 online Coronavirus service. Try to stay away from people you live with.
If you have symptoms, you should stay away from other people you live with as much as possible.
If you can:
- stay on your own in one room as much as possible and keep the door closed
- avoid using shared spaces (such as the kitchen) at the same time as other people – eat your meals in your room
- use a separate bathroom – otherwise, use the bathroom after everyone else and clean it each time you use it, for example, by wiping the surfaces you’ve touched. Find out more on the NHS website.
Call 999 for an ambulance if you or someone you care for:
- Are struggling to breathe
- Are coughing up blood
- Have blue lips or a blue face
- Feel cold and sweaty, with pale or blotchy skin
- Have a rash that does not fade when you roll a glass over it
- Collapse or faint
- Become confused or very drowsy
- Have stopped peeing or are peeing much less than usual
Tell the operator you might have coronavirus symptoms.
Dr. Tim Orr, a MA Islamic Studies student at the Islamic College and an Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University Purdue University Columbus, will present a paper entitled “The Quran’s Composition: Assessing Andrew Bannister’s Oral Formulaic Study of the Quran” at the American Academy of Religion annual conference in November 2019. The American Academy of Religion is one of the largest association of religious studies scholars in the United States, having over 8,000 members worldwide.
Registration now open for Shi’i Studies Conference
There is no fee but registration is mandatory.