On the 25th April 2015, Al-Mahdi Institute in cooperation with the Birmingham Council of Faiths; held a study day workshop with Dr Chris Hewer on the topic of ‘Understanding Islam’ to encourage a diverse multi-faith audience to learn more about Islam. With the presence of over 25 attendees from all different faiths and backgrounds, an interactive and thought provoking discussion soon unfolded allowing the dissemination of various thoughts and opinions on Islam.
Dr. Hewer comes from the background in Christian theology, education, Islamic studies and inter-faith studies and has worked in the field of Muslims in Britain and Christian-Muslim relations since 1986. With over thirty years experience in educating people to understand Islam, Dr Chris Hewer has been delivering lectures in person and on Television specifically for adults and has thousands of followers around the UK and in Europe. With experience as an Inter-faith relations advisor for the Bishop of Birmingham, and at countless Institutions in London, his current work is to conduct study days, residential courses and to develop written and electronic resources available for consultations.
Starting from the basics, Dr Hewer explained that Islam is a way of life and a conclusive message passed down from 124,000 prophets through to the holy Messenger of God; Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the holy Qur’an. He mentioned that the holy Qur’an is the last and final definitive book of guidance revealed on to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) from God and is a source of guidance for all Muslims around the globe. He also cleared the air on the definition of Sharia; being a straight path leading you to God and heaven which is a constant struggle (jihad un nafs).
Dr Hewer continued on to elaborate on the different schools of thought with Islam and explained their ideologies and beliefs. He also explained the similarities and differences between the schools and that different schools have their own interpretations and understanding of hadith, which is how the various schools of thought have come about. With the current ‘Islamophobic’ prejudice in some parts of the world, Dr Hewer explained that not all Muslims believe in the same thing due to their diverse cultures, backgrounds etc similar to how Christians and other religions around the world have differing perspectives.
Finally, the study day concluded with an interactive open house session allowing the attendees to ask their questions and clear up any confusion they may have had.
To view the images from the study day, please click here.