The CEO of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), Professor Omar Kasule and Professor Fathi Hasan Malkawi, the Regional Director of the IIIT arrived in Male’, Maldives on 26th February 2016. The purpose of the trip was to begin the initial discussions about possible avenues of academic and professional collaborations between IUM and IIIT.
On July 20, 2016, IIIT held its very first Fiqh Forum entitled “Reaching Consensus on Organ Donation: A Call to the Muslim American Community,” in collaboration with the Washington Regional Transplant Community (WRTC). The purpose of this event was to create more awareness and better understanding of concerns related to organ donation and to explore ways of bringing medical professionals, community leaders, religious scholars, and social scientists together to discuss issues of concern to the American Muslim community. The day-long event consisted of four panels, each of which was followed by a robust Question and Answer session.
The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) on Wednesday, July 20, 2016. The two organizations agreed to collaborate on issues relevant to the Muslim American community.
Dr. Fathi Malkawi contributed to the first Winter School in Johannesburg, South Africa from 11-16 July 2016. He presented six topics ranging from "Theory of Knowledge" to "Intellectual Building: Concepts, Levels and Map".
It is with immense grief, we announce the sudden passing of Hamza Barzinji, a colleague and friend of IIIT as well as the son of Afeefa Syed and Suhaib Barzinji and the grandson of Dr. Sayyid Syeed and the late Dr. Jamal Barzinji. May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala forgive him and grant him a place in Paradise. Ameen.
Hamza's passing is a great loss not only for his immediate family, but for the larger IIIT family as well. He was only 20 years old, but he had many talents and goals and a passion for life.
We ask Allah, subhanahu wa ta'ala, for sabr and strength in this time of grief for his family, friends, and his IIIT colleagues. Please remember him in your du'as.
The Institution of Waqf published online its second edition of the booklet WAQF - A Sustainable Development Institution for Muslim Communities by Imtiaz B. Ali. The first edition was published in 2009.
Link to the booklet is here.
The International Hijri Calendar Union Congress wrapped up on Monday May 30th in Istanbul, hopefully marking the end of a long-standing conflict dividing the world's Muslims. Scholars from across the globe convening for an event hosted by Turkey's state-run Presidency of Religious Affairs (DİB) agreed to adopt a single Islamic lunar calendar.
On Monday, July 11, 2016, The Fairfax Institute and the International Institute of Islamic Thought initiated Opening Day of the annual Summer Student in the Al-Faruqi Library. Students prepared for an intense 5-week program in Islamic Studies, with world-class faculty at their fingertips! The opening session included words by Dr. Hisham Altalib, Dr. Ermin Sinanovic, and Dr. John Voll. Dr. Younus Mirza participated in welcoming events, along with IIIT and TFI staff members, Obay Altalib (Director of Marketing). Saber AlKilany (Library Director), and Shazia Farook (TFI Program Manager).
By SEIFUDEIN ADEM
With a sponsorship from IIIT, Cordoba House, in partnership with Hartford Seminary, has successfully launched the Muslim Leadership Training Program in New York City in spring 2016. The vision for the program is to train moderate, forward-thinking and spiritually well-versed leaders. The program provides a foundation of practical skills and the knowledge required for individuals to confidently guide and lead within their communities. Through five Saturday workshops the attendees learned to conduct religious services, address challenges and provide relevant solutions for Muslims living in contemporary America. In addition, attendees gained the skills to serve as bridge-builders with other faith traditions.
The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) held its eleventh annual Al-Faruqi Memorial Lecture and Friends of IIIT Iftar Dinner on Wednesday June 15, 2016, hosting more than ninety guests. The ultimate goal of the yearly IIIT Iftar dinner is to provide an inside look on IIIT’s objectives and principles as well as celebrating the holy month of Ramadan with IIIT’s friends and affiliates.
The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) held a series of panels at the 41st annual convention of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) in Baltimore, MD, on Sunday, May 29, 2016.
The first panel, “Maqasid al-Shariah as a Philosophy of Islamic Law,” featured Prof. Jasser Auda, Al-Shatibi Chair of Maqasid Studies at the International Peace College, South Africa, , and Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool, Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Georgetown University’s Edmund A Walsh School for Foreign Service and former ambassador of South Africa to the United States, with Dr. Ermin Sinanović as moderator. Dr. Sinanović, IIIT’s Director of Research and Academic Programs, began by introducing IIIT to the diverse audience.
Vibrant energy and smiles filled a classroom on Saturday May 21st as The Fairfax Institute, in partnership with the Indonesian Muslim Society of America, co-hosted the first ever leadership training program for Indonesian Muslim leaders from around the United States.
The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) hosted their first annual workshop for Junior Faculty of Islamic Studies on May 25 and May 26, 2016, at the IIIT office in Herndon, VA. The workshop was designed to provide a forum and support for junior faculty in Islamic Studies and related disciplines, and to help them navigate the straits of tenure-track and junior faculty life - both personally and professionally. Dr. Ermin Sinanović, IIIT’s Director of Research and Academic Programs, and former IIIT Resident Fellow, SherAli Tareen, coordinated the workshop. There were four faculty mentors who provided support and suggestions for the junior faculty through their academic journeys. The faculty mentors were: Dr. Asma Sayeed, Associate Professor at UCLA, Dr. Jamillah Karim, former Associate Professor at Spelman College, Dr. Jonathan Brown, Associate Professor at Georgetown University, and Dr. Abdulaziz Sachedina, IIIT Chair in Islamic Studies at George Mason University.
A posthumous Honorary Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, was awarded to Dr. Jamal Barzinji, who passed away in 2015, at Hartford Seminary’s graduation on May 13, 2016.
DDr. Barzinji was a pioneer in Muslim American circles. Born in Iraq, he had a PhD. and MSc. in Chemical Engineering, with a minor in Management, from Louisiana State University and a BSc. in Chemical Engineering & Fuel Technology from the University of Sheffield, England. Among many accomplishments, he served as President of the Muslim Students Association, was on the board of the Islamic Society of North America, and was a founding member of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), where he was a Trustee and previously Vice President for Research and Publications. He was also the founding general manager of North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), and a founding member of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS) as well as the Association of Muslim Scientists and Engineers (AMSE).
International Institute of Islamic Thought and Its Role in Promoting Islamic Studies at Theological Seminaries
An essay on IIIT's role in promoting Islamic studies at theological seminaries by Dr. Ermin Sinanovic, Director of Research at IIIT, has been included in the latest issues of "Spotlight on Theological Education," a newsletter published by Theological Education section of the American Academy of Religion (AAR). The essays in this issue are a product of the very successful panel IIIT organized at last year's annual AAR convention.
For the essay: http://rsn.aarweb.org/spotlight-on/theo-ed/islamic-theology/international-institute-islamic-thought-and-its-role-promoting-islamic-studies
Full newsletter is available here: http://rsn.aarweb.org/sites/default/files/PDFs/SOTE/April%202016%20Spotlight%20on%20Theological%20Education.pdf
In early May 2016, The Fairfax Institute, in partnership with ICNAB (Islamic Community of North American Bosniaks) co-hosted the first ever leadership training program for Bosnian Imams from around the United States. The seminar took place from May 3 to May 4 at IIIT headquarters.Topics included, amongst others:
Dr. Asaad Al-Saleh, of Indiana University, delivered a talk titled, “ISIS and Islam: How a Terrorist Ideology Twists Religion,” on Tuesday, May 3, 2016. Dr. Al-Saleh is currently a Resident Fellow at IIIT, working on a book in Arabic on the same topic.
Dr. Al-Saleh is Assistant Professor of Arabic Literature, Comparative Literature, and Cultural Studies in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Indiana University. He teaches Arabic Literature courses and classical Islamic texts in Arabic and English, with expertise in Arab Spring, Autobiography, and Literary Theory. In addition to scholarly writing, he contributes opinion pieces in Arabic on political, cultural, and religious issues in war-torn Syria, where he was born and raised.
The Hartford Seminary Board of Trustees approved unanimously to grant the late Dr. Jamal Barzinji the Honorary Doctor of Ministry degree (DMin) in recognition of his contributions to the enhancement of Christian -Muslim relations and his support for Hartford Seminary programs. The award will be presented during the May 2016 graduation at the Hartford Seminary, Hartford, CT.
On Wednesday, March 30, 2016, Union Theological Seminary (UTS) launched Islam, Social Justice and Interreligious Engagement (ISJIE) program in New York City with a panel discussion on Muslim women leadership. Ermin Sinanović, IIIT’s Director of Research and Academic Programs, attended the event on behalf of IIIT and delivered introductory welcoming remarks. He stressed the importance of social justice and interfaith engagement in Islam, and remarked on IIIT’s support for the program. ISJIE is co-funded by Union Theological Seminary, the Luce Foundation, and the IIIT.