On Friday 21st August 2015, Al-Mahdi Institute held a Q&A session with Ayatullah Dr Rahim Nobahar & Shaykh Arif Abdulhussain on the topic of; ‘Practicing Islam in the Contemporary World.’ The aim of the event was to facilitate for an informal gathering of discussions and dialogue with renowned scholars from both the east and west to provide different perspectives on the topic. Participants had the chance to ask questions openly or remain anonymous. The event received a turnout of around 50 people and was also streamed live on Youtube.
The evening commenced with the recitation of the holy Qur’an by brother Shabbir Abdulhussein, followed by brief talks by Ayatollah Dr Nobahar and Shaykh Arif Abdulhussain on the practicalities and pitfalls faced by Muslims practicing Islam in the modern day, along with possible solutions to common concerns.
Questions asked ranged from Hijab, in relation to the recent ban in France, rulings regarding organ donation, the current political situation, the differences between Zakat and Khums and their purpose, Marja’iyah and several other topics which both speakers eloquently answered with refernces to hadith and the holy Qur’an.
The Q&A was followed by congregational prayer and refreshments. The session resumed thereafter to allow participants to reap the benefits of being in the presence of such scholars.
Ayatollah Dr. Rahim Nobahar (b. 1961) is a Shiite cleric. He holds the highest degree of Islamic Jurisprudence, Ijtihad, from the seminaries (hawzah) in Qom, Iran. From 1980-2001 he attended religious seminaries (hawzah) in Qom, Iran, studying Arabic Literature, Logic, Theology, Islamic Philosophy, Islamic Hermeneutics, Jurisprudence, and Qur’anic Studies, subjects which he later taught for several years. In addition he obtained his Ph.D. in Criminal Law and Criminology from Shahid Beheshti University Law School in Tehran, Iran. He has two JD degrees from Mofid University, in Law and Criminal Law and Criminology. From 1994-2000, he taught courses including Islamic Law, Qur’anic Exegesis, and Philosophy of Law for undergraduate and graduate students in Mofid University. He has served as professor at Shahid Beheshti University Law School in Tehran, Iran, since 2001 teaching Islamic studies courses and philosophy of Law for graduate and undergraduate students.
Shakykh Arif founded the Al-Mahdi Institute in 1993, and currently serves as its Director and as Senior Lecturer in uṣūl al-fiqh and Muslim Philosophy. Shaykh Arif has been at the forefront of developing and delivering Advanced Islamic studies, tailored toward training students capable of addressing the needs of contemporary societies, for over twenty years. During this time he has also never ceased in his commitment to sharing the Human face of Islam at all levels of society through a combination of his world renowned inspirational and thought provoking public lectures, a long-term commitment to intra and inter faith dialogue and a dedication to encouraging the development of indigenous expressions of Islam throughout the world that can contribute to the pursuit of human development in its fullest sense.
To view more images from the event, please click here.