AMI has hosted a diverse range of Visiting fellows in the past who have all contributed to teaching and research work at the Institute. Below are details of our previous Visiting fellows;
Dr Syed Jaafar Fadlallah
Dr Sayyed Jaafar Fadhlallah, son of late Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadhlallah visited AMI between 26th September and 1st December 2017 during which he was actively involved in AMI’s events and activities whilst also teaching on the Hawza programme. During his stay, Sayyid Fadhallah has taught a variety of Fiqh and Usul modules to year 2 and 3 students and facilitated regular mubahitha (discussion) sessions with students to assist with their research work.Read More
Dr Syed Jaafar Fadlallah
On a visiting research fellowship at Al-Mahdi Institute between 26th September and 1st December; Dr Sayyed Jaafar Fadhlallah, son of late Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadhlallah, has been actively involved in AMI’s events and activities whilst also teaching on the Four-year Hawza programme. During his stay, Sayyid Fadhallah has been teaching a variety of Fiqh and Usul modules to our year 2 and 3 students and has also been facilitating regular mubahitha (discussion) sessions with students to assist with their research work.
Aside from this, he delivered a Friday sermon at AMI (see video below) on the relationship between man and is Lord. He also participated in the Shia Scholars Forum’s discussion on ‘Karbala in the midst of History and Narrative: Typology of Genres of Maqatil’ at AMI on 14th October 2017.
Sayyid Jaafer Fadhlallah was born in Beirut on June 24th 1974. He holds a Master’s certificate in Sociology from the Lebanese University (2001) and has also recently obtained a PhD in Sociology in 2016. He has been a lecturer of jurisprudence at the Islamic Shar’i Institute, Lebanon since 1999 and currently holds the position of General Religious Supervisor to a benevolent charitable organisation. He has also participated in AMI’s 3rd Annual contemporary fiqhi issues workshop on ‘Family law in Islam; between the demands of fiqh and society’ in 2015, presenting a paper on the ‘Qur’anic Precepts for Family Relations’
Ayatollah Dr Nobahar
During his visit to AMI in August 2015, Ayatollah Dr Nobahar participated in a Q&A session with Shaykh Arif Abdulhussain on the topic of; ‘Practicing Islam in the Contemporary World.’ He also taught advanced level modules in Fiqh and Usul-fiqh to year 3 and 4 students and assisted in supervising their research work. Ayatollah Dr. Rahim Nobahar is a senior Shiite cleric and holds the highest degree of Islamic Jurisprudence, Ijtihad, from the seminaries in Qom. He has served as Senior professor at Shahid Beheshti University Law School in Tehran, Iran, since 2001.
Dr Jaafar Morvarid
During his stay in AMI between 1st March to 13th April 2017, Dr Jaafar Morvarid carried out research on the “Theology of Shi‘ite Ziyārah: the Case for a Norm-Sensitive Approach to Religion” and also taught classical texts in fiqh and its principles. He also lectured with Shaykh Arif and Dr. Ali-Reza Bhojani on the ‘Hermeneutic Elements in the Methodology of Shii Ijtihad: Agreement with the Spirit of the Book, and Derivation of Justice as the Purpose of Sharia’Read More
Dr Jaafar Morvarid
On a visiting research fellowship at Al-Mahdi Institute between 1st March and 13th April 2017 and again from 17th May to 7th July 2017; Dr Jafar Morvarid, assistant professor of philosophy and Islamic Theology at Ferdowsi University in Iran, has been actively involved in AMI’s events and activities whilst also teaching on the Four-year Hawza programme. In a statement on his experience at AMI Dr Morvarid wrote;
”I find my presence in AMI a unique, inspiring and inventive experience. Indeed, I have already had experiences with Christian institutions mainly applying interdisciplinary and intercultural methodologies for teaching and research. But, it was the first time I was involved in teaching and research practice in an institute characterized by a Shii identity and offering and understanding Shii teachings in a response to and correspondence with the contemporary world and the cultural plurality of its societies.
I could observe the vibrant and thriving Shii spirit, i.e. the Shii Ijtihad methodology, in all of the activities in AMI. I was impressed by the way classical texts in areas of fiqh and its principles (Osool Fiqh), kalam, and philosophy are taught and reread in light of contemporary issues.
In my view, AMI is an example for the strength of Shii thought in the contemporary world as it seeks – in the midst of radicalism and dogmatism on the one hand and the chaos of relativism and reductionism on the other – to pave the moderate way for an original religious intellectualism through the reconstruction of religious thought and thus introduce a unique model for collective Ijtihad and the peaceful coexistence of various religions and Islamic sects.
During my stay in AMI, I carried my research about “Theology of Shi‘ite Ziyārah: the Case for a Norm-Sensitive Approach to Religion” (click for more info) and practiced teaching classical texts in fiqh and its principle (Osool Fiqh). In a seminar, I presented a number of findings from my own research. In a different event, I lectured, together with Dr. Shaykh Arif and Dr. Ali-Reza Bhojani, a talk titled ‘Hermeneutic Elements in the Methodology of Shii Ijtihad: Agreement with the Spirit of the Book, and Derivation of Justice as the Purpose of Sharia’. Moreover, I participated in classes run by other professors in order to get familiar with their teaching methodologies in a modern English-speaking society.
The way students in my class encountered classical seminary texts indicated their hermeneutical thought and reasoning as well as their hermeneutical circles between a traditional text and the questions of a modern mind. This method can be seen as a ‘modern seminary’. The elite structure of this established but evolving ‘modern seminary’ is another characteristic providing space for young theologians and mujtahids – including Dr. Ali-Reza Bhojani, Dr. Wahid Amin and Dr. Hashim Bata.
A key advantage of AMI is its vast academic and social relationships with standard and leading international universities as well as Muslim and Christian cultural communities, examples of which I managed to observe frequently and abundantly in intercultural and plural meetings and sessions. In the end, I would like to mention the effective and unique role that AMI is playing; a great work that could not have been realized without patience and openness, as well as broad perspectives and academic and managerial spirits.”
Dr Jafar Morvarid is an assistant professor of philosophy and Islamic Theology at Ferdowsi University in Iran and Dean of Institute of Short-Term Educations & Sabbaticals, Almustafa University of Mashhad, where he operates different interfaith projects. He has given several lectures on “Interreligious Dialogue: Requirements and Obstacles,” “The Third Interreligious Dialogue between Shi’a Islam and Orthodox Christianity,” and “Interfaith Dialogue between Benedict Christianity and Shi’a” in various universities and communities.
Professor Abdulaziz Sachedina
During his stay at AMI as a Visiting Fellow in January 2015, Professor Abdulaziz Sachedina participated in a panel discussion with Shaykh Arif Abdulhussain on “Euthanasia and end of life decisions” in which he spoke about the Ethical and Legal dimensions regarding end of life decisions. Aside from this, he also delivered lectures and discussion circles with the year 4 students on the Hawza programme. Professor Abdulaziz Sachedina is a Professor of Islamic Studies at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.