Science and British Muslim Leadership

On Wednesday, 22 February 2023, the University of Birmingham and Al-Mahdi Institute will host the ‘Science and British Muslim Leadership‘ workshop, supported by the Muslims in the Britain Research Network.

Science and Islam is a subject that has attracted the attention of historians and Muslim theologians for many years. However, in recent years the subject’s relevance to a wider spectrum of British Muslim leaders has become increasingly apparent. The most obvious example of this is the COVID pandemic, which necessitated new interactions between religious and scientific authorities.

In the UK it is, though, by no means the only example. British Islamic education has witnessed major changes in recent years, bringing secular and religious educational institutions and ideas into closer contact. Muslim umbrella bodies and ulama have been called on to make judgements about a variety of scientific subjects. A greater number of British Muslims have themselves become prominent scientists in a variety of fields.

The purpose of this workshop is to discuss and debate the ways in which science and British Muslim leadership, in all its forms, interact. It has been organised by Al Mahdi Institute in partnership with the research team of a major research project based at the University of Birmingham, ‘Science and the Transmission of Islamic Knowledge in Britain’.

The event will provide a forum for discussion between leading voices in the Muslim community on all questions about Islam and science, covering themes ranging from organ donation and COVID 19 to ‘big questions’ about interpretation of the Qur’an and the origins of life and the universe. In addition, we will showcase creative new pedagogical approaches in the science and Islam field.

The question of how religious people ought to engage with scientific ideas and forms of authority has often been contentious, and many communities, British Muslims included, have witnessed conflicts over scientific concepts. The purpose of this workshop is to enable contrasting perspectives to be discussed in an open and amicable way.

The panels and presentations that make up the workshop have been designed to facilitate open discussion between speakers and attendees, and between people with different forms of religious and scientific expertise.

Speakers will include:

  • Dr. Hina Shahid, Chair, Muslim Doctors Association
  • Arzoo Ahmed, Head of Ethics, Our Future Health
  • Dr. Mansur Ali, Senior Lecturer in Islamic Studies, Cardiff University
  • Dr. Shoaib Ahmed Malik, author of Islam and Evolution: Al-Ghazālī and the Modern Evolutionary Paradigm
  • Dr. Fella Lahmar, Author, Educator and Independent Researcher
  • Dr. Ali-Reza Bhojani, Teaching Fellow in Islamic Ethics and Theology, University of Birmingham, and Honorary Research Fellow, Al-Mahdi Institute
  • Ustadh Hamid Mahmood, Headteacher and Founder,
  • Fatima Elizabeth Phrontistery
  • Dr. Usama Hasan, Research Consultant, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change

Cambridge Muslim College student presentations by:

  • Hamzah Zahid,
  • Mohd. Imran Khan
  • Saffiya Ghafar

Book your tickets here.