Aziz Foundation is pleased to fund the first Professorial Chair in a British Muslim higher education institution. Professor Timothy Winter (also known as Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad) delivered a distinguished lecture entitled: How Islamic is ‘Islamic Studies’? The Troubled History of an Academic Discipline on Monday 19 November 2018 at Senate House, University of London.
The lecture outlined the challenge facing young British Muslims who wish to embark on the path of religious scholarship. Through a meandering journey across continents and institutions, peppered with metaphors from Islamic and British intellectual traditions, the professor unpacked for the audience the various challenges facing the student of knowledge setting out on this path. He demonstrated how woefully lacking contemporary higher educational programmes are in meeting the needs of Muslim students seeking theological understanding; and the challenges facing secular faculties of Islamic or Oriental studies when Muslim students with a confessional outlook enrol on to their courses.
How can educational institutions address the needs of Muslim students, whilst developing the critical thinking essential to rigorous scholarship? How do we deliver an education that draws on our British and Islamic heritage to produce scholarship that provides a renewal of Islamic ideas for our contemporary context? In posing these questions, the professor demonstrated how institutions such as Cambridge Muslim College and Ebrahim College are at the cutting edge of innovative educational curricula and practices, thereby leading the way through the fog of confusion that permeates British Islamic scholarship. Aziz Foundation is looking forward to the fruits of its strengthening seminaries programme in elevating British Islamic scholarship.