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The Lectures

Lecture Schedule

Dates Speaker Title
Thursday 21st September to Sunday 24th September Shaykh Luqman Ali and Eleanor Martin Imam Husayn in the Eye of Intimacy, Conversation and Divine Love
Monday 25th September Shaykh Shafi Chowdhury Reflections on the sacrifices of Imam Al Husayn and the Noble House of the Messenger; lessons in faith, selflessness and hope in darkness for our lives and times.
Tuesday 26th September Shaykh Fazl e Mohammed Karbala: A clash of political dynasties or the struggle between good and evil? A Sunni Perspective.
Wednesday 27th September Dr. Arzina Lalani The Historical Legacy of Imam Husayn
Thursday 28th September to Sunday 1st October Professor Seyed Mohammad Ghari Fatemi Three approaches to understanding Islamic teachings: Deontic, Purposive and Virtue Shari'a

Shaykh Luqman Ali and Eleanor Martin - Thursday 21st September to Sunday 24th September

Imam Hussain in the Eye of Divine Intimacy
Peace be upon You O Heir of Ibrahim, the Intimate Friend of Allah (a.s)
We explore the formative impact and legacy of the story of Prophet Ibrahim on the life and martyrdom of Imam Hussain through dramatic storytellingby Eleanor Martin and reflections by Luqman Ali.

Imam Hussain in the Eye of Divine Conversation, Pt 1
Peace be upon You O Heir of Musa, the Interlocutor of Allah (a.s)
We explore the formative impact and legacy of the story of Prophet Musa on the life and martyrdom of Imam Hussain through dramatic storytelling by Eleanor Martin and reflections by Luqman Ali.

Imam Hussain in the Eye of Divine Conversation, Pt 2
Peace be upon You O Heir of Musa, the Interlocutor of Allah (a.s)
We explore the formative impact and legacy of the story of Prophet Musa on the life and martyrdom of Imam Hussain through dramatic storytelling by Eleanor Martin and reflections by Luqman Ali.

Imam Hussain in the Eye of Divine Love
Peace be upon You O Heir of Muhammad, the Intimate Friend of Allah (a.s)
We explore the formative impact and legacy of the story of the Isra and Mi'raj on the life and martyrdom of Imam Hussain through dramatic storytelling by Eleanor Martin and reflections by Luqman Ali.

Format of Proceedings:

  • Introductory talk by Luqman Ali (10 mins)
  • Dramatic storytelling by Eleanor Martin (25 mins)
  • Reflections by Luqman Ali (10 mins)

Shaykh Shafi Chowdhury - Monday 25th September

Shaykh Shafi will be speaking about Reflections on the sacrifices of Imam Al Husayn and the Noble House of the Messenger; lessons in faith, selflessness and hope in darkness for our lives and times.

Shaykh Fazl e Mohammed - Tuesday 26th September

Karbala: A clash of political dynasties or the struggle between good and evil? A Sunni Perspective.

Dr. Arzina Lalani - Wednesday 27th September

During this talk, we hope to unravel the legacy of this formidable historic personality and perceive the circumstances leading to his tragic end at Karbala. For all Muslims, this event impacted not only their conscience, scrutinising their scruples of right and wrong, it also changed the whole course of Islamic history. What happened at Karbala is irreversible, but it befits us all to draw lessons from it and comprehend with wisdom, the subtle significance of this struggle.

Professor Seyed Mohammad Ghari S Fatemi - Thursday 28th September - Sunday 1st October

The topic of the first night’s lecture is “deontic shari’ah” which its main concern is with human actions. According to this understanding of Islam, people characterised as duty-holders (mukallaffin) are obliged to perform certain actions as divine commands requires so. Shari’ah in this reading is mainly about ‘what one must, must not, should, should not do, or is that individual free to act as s/he wishes’? We should not however hastily jump to an oversimplified conclusion that Islamic shari’ah is not concerned with any virtue spirit. The conditionality of the sincere intention (qasd-u al-qurbat) for achieving proximity to God, even with regard to non ritual acts, is a shining survival of virtue Islam in legal shari’ah. Yet, it is evident that virtues are not the focal point of the Islamic legal shari’ah.

The topic of the second night’s lecture will be purposive approach to Islamic teachings. Notwithstanding its hermeneutical attraction, maqasid theory has never been considered by Muslim jurists as a serious rival to mainstream deontic usul al-fiqh. As a hermeneutical legal theory, maqasid al-Shariah, albeit, has never lost its impetus. We shall first discuss the al-Ghazli and al-Shatebi’s version of maqasid al-Shari’ah, highlighting their claim of the universality of the fundamental purposes of Shari’ah. Dealing with the ethical shortcomings of the theory is next part of the second night lecture.

The topic of the third night’s lecture is virtue understanding of the Islamic teaching as my own alternative proposal to the deontic and purposive approach. Similar to virtue ethics, virtue Islam’s main concern is ‘what kind of person Islam expects one to be’? Its focal concern is thus the divine virtues that make up religiously good character. Yet, it should be noted virtue Islam cares no less than deontic shari’ah for man’s actions. Their main difference is not even the fact that virtue Islam places more value to man’s intention than deontic shari’ah; rather it is that it ultimately refers to the origin and basis of the action. While the origin and basis of the action for a virtuous Muslim is their psychological character, for deontologists the origin is obedience to divine command, and hence to be discharged of the religious duties.

In the day of Ashuara Imam Husain’s Will to his brother Muhammad al-Hanafiyya shall be analysed. This Will is a historical document reported in rather later Shiite and Sunni sources, (Bihar al-Anwar of al-Majlisi vol 44 p. 330, Maqtal-u al-Husain of al-Kharzmi, vol 1 p. 188, Al-Futuh of ibn A`tham al-Kufi vol. 5 p. 21). In this very short Will, Imam Husain(sa) demonstrates the religious, political and social motives of his move. This historical document is extremely rich from the spiritual as well as theological points of view.