Iqbal Centre for the Study of Contemporary Islam


New Islam and Feminism CRG

The Iqbal Centre is proud to announce the launch of its new Islam & Feminism Critical Reading Group. The CRG aims to serve as a bridge between the academy and the community and will be a chance to discuss issues pertaining to gender and Islam within the safe space of the university. The CRG will run from November 2018 – July 2019. Participants will be provided with a full reading list outlining core required reading and recommended texts for those wishing to further explore areas of interest. Whilst the CRG is aimed primarily at Muslim women, it is also open to women of other faith traditions and none, and to staff and students of the University of Leeds. There are no academic prerequisites however spaces are very limited (max of 15 places) so budding participants are asked to register their interest by setting out briefly how participation in the CRG will be of benefit to them (in terms of work, education, personal/spiritual development, etc.). This can be done by completing the enquiry form available here

The CRG is organized and facilitated by Sofia Rehman, Phd Candidate at the University of Leeds. Visit the Critical Madrasa Studies page of the Iqbal Centre website for more information.

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Iqbal Centre supporting BRISMES 2019

The Iqbal Centre is suppporting the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies and the University of Leeds’ Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (AIMES) department in the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies conference 2019. The invitation is now open for paper and panel proposals in any field related to Middle Eastern Studies, including Islamic Studies. The theme is ‘Joining the Dots: Interdisciplinarity in Middle East Studies’. More information can be found here:

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New Co-Director of the Iqbal Centre

Iqbal Centre Co-Directors, Dr Mustapha Sheikh and Dr Tajul Islam, wish to announce that Professor Salman Sayyid has been appointed as a third Co-Director with immediate effect. Professor Sayyid holds the Chair of Social Theory and Decolonial Thought at the University of Leeds, is author of numerous works on Islamism, Islamophobia, critical Muslim studies and decolonial thought and founding editor of Reorient: The Journal of Critical Muslim Studies. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to his role and his appointment will allow the incorporation of critical Muslim studies into the existing priorities of the Centre.

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Critical Muslim Studies Workshop

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Co-Directors Meet the Vice Chancellor

Co-Directors of the Iqbal Centre, Dr Mustapha Sheikh and Dr Tajul Islam, met with the Vice Chancellor of the University of Leeds, Sir Alan Langlands, on 27 February 2018 to discuss, among other things, Centre related activities, future research plans, and the growing importance of interdisciplinary Islamic Studies in UK academia. The invaluable work of the Leeds Humanities Research Institute, under the directorship of Professor Alison Fell, was also highlighted, especially with respect to the LHRI’s fostering of a vibrant research culture within the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies.


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A Theology of Tolerance recording now available

Video recording of the event “A Theology of Tolerance: Amimul Ehsan’s Ecumenism” is now available for viewing on the Iqbal Centre media page.

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Amimiyya Seminars relaunched for academic year 2017/18

This is a unique opportunity for students of Islamic Studies, as well as other Arabists from within the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies and beyond to experience a teaching method which is normally only ever accessible at elite religious institutions. The seminars run throughout semesters 2 and are a wonderful opportunity to develop skills in the reading of medieval/classical Arabic texts. These seminars are aimed at Level 2 and Level 3 students although students from other levels are welcome if they possess the requisite language skills. Learn more about the curriculum here. Contact Dr Tajul Islam ( for more information and for expressions of interest.

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Sadler Seminars 2016/17


In the scheme’s second year, the LHRI is supporting the Iqbal Centre’s Schooling Islam: Criticality, Identity and Change seminar series.

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Public launch of the Iqbal Centre for the Study of Contemporary Islam

The public launch of the new Iqbal Centre for the Study of Contemporary Islam will take place at the Being Human 2016 event, Canon to critique: the future of Islamic education, which takes place on Saturday 19 November 2016, 11.00-13.00 at the Bait ul Aman Mosque, Bradford, West Yorkshire.

The event details are below:

For at least a decade there has been a growing movement of young Muslims across all regions of the UK who choose to travel abroad to study at religious seminaries (madrasa) across the Muslim world. However, the madrasa system is controversial as, on the one hand, it is perceived in the West as a conduit of extremism and, on the other, an institution lacking pedagogic criticality. In a lecture by Dr Tajul Islam, followed by a one-to-one conversation between Dr Tajul Islam and Dr Mustapha Sheikh, probing questions will be asked about the classical madrasa model and the ways that canonical texts are taught within it; the problems associated with non-critical engagement with canonical texts in pedagogic settings; and ways of approaching the texts from a position of both critical engagement and sensitivity/respect.

For more, visit


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