New video materials for GCSE RS: Islam

A battery of video clips has been added to the GCSE Religious Studies: Islam section of the website. They are extracts from a distance learning course on which I worked a few years ago together with four leading Muslim scholars, from both Sunni and Shi’a schools, who approved the materials and appear periodically giving in-depth insights into some aspects of the beliefs and practices of Islam.  The material is all loaded onto a YouTube channel and available for use in the normal way.  It is suitable for classroom use at the discretion of the teacher.  Each extract is accompanied by a full transcript, which contains not only references from the Qur’an and Hadith but also those references as footnotes in full in a translation especially made for accuracy and comprehensibility by the four scholars involved.  These transcripts can be downloaded as pdf files.

Due to a technical problem, the visual quality of the extracts on prayer, fasting and pilgrimage is not as good as for the others; it is hoped to remedy this as soon as possible.

Please pass on this information to any teachers and others who might benefit from it.

Training for dialogue with Islam

The Catholic Bishops of Germany have a national information, resource and training centre for dialogue with Islam and Muslims, called CIBEDO, in Frankfurt.  I was invited to lead a seminar there in October 2014 to explore “The training of Christian workers for dialogue with Islam.”  The paper was presented in German and will be published by CIBEDO in their quarterly.  The English original can be downloaded by clicking on the link.

Understanding Islam course complete

The Understanding Islam course, which comprises forty-six parts, each made up of a 30-minute video talk and an accompanying article, is now complete and uploaded to this website for use freely throughout the world.  It is divided into four series and can be accessed by clicking on the “UI Course” button.  The accompanying articles have been compiled into four collections, each called by the name of the appropriate series, which can be downloaded by clicking on the “Written Resources” button and then “Books.”

A Common Word: five years on

In October 2007, an Open Letter (www.acommonword.com) was sent, signed by 138 Muslim religious leaders, to a range of Christian leaders inviting them to come to work together to build peace between Christians and Muslims on the basis of a verse of the Qur’an (Q. 3:64). This was a significant Muslim initiative in Christian-Muslim relations. Five years on, this reading guide is offered to readers to help unpack some of the context, content and complexity of A Common Word and to indicate points on which Christians might like to reflect in thinking of an appropriate response. To read more, click on the link below

ACW five years on

Husayn and Karbala: a role model for humanity

Imam Husayn, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, together with seventy-two of his companions, was brutally massacred on Ashura Day, 680 on the plain of Karbala in Iraq. This event acts as a clarion cry for Shi’a Muslims, that they too should stand for the cause of justice and right. It is marked by deepest mourning and a review of life. What happened? Why is it such a central element of Islam? How might it act as a role-model for all human beings? Husayn role model for humanity