BRAIS 2017 Full Programme


The BRAIS Conference Committee are proud to announce the provisional programme for BRAIS 2017 which will be hosted at the University of Chester on the 11th, 12th and 13th April 2017.

We would like to stress that this is very much a provisional programme which is subject to change.

Information on how to register as a delegate for BRAIS 2017 can be found HERE. Remember, BRAIS members receive significant discounts on delegate fees. To sign-up as a member of BRAIS, please click HERE.

If you have any questions at all about BRAIS 2017, please visit our conference FAQs page HERE. If you do not find an answer to your question, you can contact the BRAIS Administrator on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


BRAIS 2017: Provisional Programme

5pm Tuesday 11th - 5pm Thursday 13th April, 2017

University of Chester, Parkgate Road Campus



Day 1: Tuesday 11th April

14.30 – 17.30: Conference Registration

17.30 – 19.00: Welcome and Session One: Plenary


The Future of Islamic Studies in the UK

Hugh Goddard (University of Edinburgh)

Lecture Theatre, Chair Shuruq Naguib (University of Lancaster), with welcome from Oliver Scharbrodt (University of Chester)


19.00 – 20.00 Dinner (for residential delegates only)

Whites Dining Hall


20.00 – 21.30 Session Two: 6 Parallel panels


Panel 1: Mystical and Esoteric Approaches to the Qur’an 

Seminar Room 1, Chair: Ahmad Achtar (Heythrop College, University of London)

Maria De Cillis (The Institute of Ismaili Studies ) Al-Kirmānī’s Perspective on Spiritual Assistance and the Accomplishment of Prophethood in the Story of Moses and Shuʿayb

Ali Ashraf Emami (Ferdowsi University of Mashhad ) A study into the concept of ‘canopies of clouds’ in the Qur’an

Shadaab Rahemtulla (University of Wales Trinity Saint David) Mainstreaming Marginal Methods: Social Justice, the Qur’an, and (Auto-) Hermeneutics


Panel 2: Muslim Minorities across the Globe: Legal and Anthropological Perspectives

Seminar Room 2, Chair: Jorgen Nielsen (University of Birmingham)

Joshua Roose (Australian Catholic University) Islamic Law in Western Courts: Testing the Seperability Thesis

Caroline Tee (University of Cambridge) Qur’anic Miracles in the Lab: anthropological reflections on navigating the incommensurability of science and scripture

Hizer Mir (University of Leeds) Horizonism: Managing Difference in Islam

Alireza Bhojani (Al -Mahdi Institute) A Justice-orientated ‘Liberal Inclusivism’: Mirza Qummi on the Soteriological Implications of False Belief in Matters of Fundamental Doctrine


Panel 3: Orthodoxy, Modernity and the Contested Construction of the ‘Islamic’

Seminar Room 3, Chair: Gudrun Krämer (Freie Universität Berlin)

Conor Meleady (Oxford University) The meanings of Islamic ‘orthodoxy’ in the nineteenth century ‘official mind’

Josef Sebastian Linnhoff (University of Edinburgh) Sulayman ibn ‘Abdul Wahhāb on his brother & takfīr

Farangis Ghaderi (independent scholar) Islam and Kurdish Nationalism: Marginalization of Religious Voices

Elisa Orofino (University of Melbourne) Hizb ut-Tahrir and the Western system: the challenge of intellectual Islamists

Nicholas Gjorvad (Free University Berlin) What is an Islamic Economy?: Contested Views after the Egyptian Uprising


Panel 4: Anthropology of Islam

Seminar Room 4, Chair: Caroline Ackley (University College London)

Muhammed Ahmed (SOAS) Everyday ethics: journeys of selfhood in Bradford, UK

Caroline Ackley (SOAS) Poetic Destiny: Journeys of Moral Becoming in Somaliland

Amir Massoumian (University College London) Ethnomusicology in Islam

Stefan Williamson Fa (University College London) Voices of Regret: Sound, Performance and Listening in Contemporary Shī’ism in Turkey)


Panel 5: British Muslims: Local Contexts and Transnational Dimensions

Seminar Room 5, Chair: Humayun Ansari (Royal Holloway)

Stefano Bonino (University of Birmingham) Muslims in Scotland: The Making of Community in a Post-9/11 World

Sarah Hackett (Bath Spa University) Rethinking Muslim Integration in Britain: A Rural Perspective

Sufyan Abid (University of Chester) Purifying and multiplying the profits: Analysing local and global dimensions of Muslim charity practices in Birmingham, UK

Riyaz Timol (Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK) Islamic Revivalism and Europe’ s Secular “Sacred Canopy”

Jenny Norton-Wright (Manchester Museum) Exploring Islamic art in Manchester


Panel 6: Islamic Studies: Global and Local

Lecture Theatre, Chair: Hugh Goddard (University of Edinburgh)

David Warren (University of Edinburgh) For the Good of the Nation? Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Ali Gomaa’s Arguments Over the Egyptian Counter Revolutions 2011-13.

Alistair Hunter (University of Edinburgh) Negotiating faith and space in contexts of death and diaspora: funerary practices of British and French Muslims.

Khadijah Elshayyal (University of Edinburgh) Scottish Muslims and the 2011 Census: an integration success story?


Day 2: Wednesday 12th April


09.00 – 10.30 Session Three: Plenary

Muslims in Britain and Britishness in Islam: Historical and Religious Perspectives on British Muslim Past(s)

Ron Geaves (Cardiff University) and Humayun Ansari (Royal Holloway)

Lecture Theatre, Chaired by Oliver Scharbrodt (University of Chester)


10.30 – 11.00 Tea and Coffee

Small Hall


11.00 – 12.30 Session Four: 4 Parallel panels


Panel 1: Hadith: Textual Intersections and Reconfigurations

Seminar Room 1, Chair: Omar Anchassi (University of Exeter)

Yasmin Amin (University of Exeter) A Laughing God, between Sunni Approval and Shi’ite Rejection

Muhammed Abed (University of Leeds) Textual Analysis of Hadiths of ‘al-Mahdī’ in al-Kāfī and the Six Books

Muhammad Fawwaz Bin Muhammad Yusoff (University of Glasgow) A Study of Ibn Ḥibbān al-Bustī’s (d. 354/965) Transmitter Evaluation

Dzenita Karic (SOAS) The Ḥadīṯh as an Argument: Shaping the Image of Medina in the Ottoman Context


Panel 2: Islamic Philosophy and Theology: The Divine and the Human

Seminar Room 2, Chair: Everett Rowson (NYU)

Ibrahim Aksu (Marmara University) Al -Fârâbî On Temperament

Hannah Erlwein (SOAS) The Problem of God’s Existence in al-Ghazālī (d. 505/1111)

Ayman Shihadeh (SOAS) Essence in Mu‘tazilī Theology

William Stevenson (University of St. Thomas) The Meaning of the Imamate in the Monistic Eschatology of Nasir al-Din Tusi


Panel 3: New Directions in Research on Islamic Gender and Medical Ethics

Seminar Room 3, Chair: Anna Piela (Leeds Trinity University)

Anna Piela (Leeds Trinity University) Women-led mosques in the UK, the USA and Denmark as spaces of women’s citizenship – a comparative online study

Naaz Rashid (University of Surrey) Veiled Threats? Representing the Muslim woman in the UK's counter terrorism agenda

Zahra Tizro (York St John University) and Farhad Gohardani, Iranian conceptions of masculinities

Abdul-Hussain Mahdiyah (Royal Holloway) Exploring the permissibility of organ donation in contemporary Shi’ite jurisprudence


Panel 4: Islam and European States: Nationalist Frameworks in Comparative Perspective

Seminar Room 4, Chair: Caroline Tee (University of Cambridge)

Tobias Müller (University of Cambridge) Creating the Islam that belongs to Germany: State intervention and local contestation

Matteo Benussi (University of Cambridge) Crescent and Red Star: The Russian State and Islam between late Socialism and now

Elsa Pirenne (Université du Luxembourg and Université catholique de Louvain) Islam in Luxembourg: how Muslim actors play a balancing act to institutionalise Islam


12.30 – 13.30 Lunch

Small Hall


13.30 – 15.00 Session Five: 6 Parallel panels


Panel 1: Muslims and the Notion of Islamic Education

Seminar Room 1, Chair: Thijl Sunier (Free University of Amsterdam)

Farid Panjwani and Lynn Revell (Institute of Education, Canterbury Christ Church Canterbury) Hermeneutics and Religious Education: the case of teaching and learning about ‘Islam’

Jenny Berglund and Bill Gent (Södertörn University, Stockholm and the University of Warwick) The Muslim student experience of moving between two educational traditions

Youcef Sai (Independent Researcher) "Arabic is not my language...Arabic is for Arabian people”- An Exploration into the Content of and Views Towards Arabic as Part of Islamic Religious Education [IRE] in Irish Muslim schools.

 Ziauddin Sardar (The Muslim Institute) Higher Education: A Mutually Assured Approach


Panel 2: Development and Change in Islamic Legal History

Seminar Room 2, Chair: Joshua Roose (Australian Catholic University)

Amr Osman (Qatar University) Theft in Islamic Legal History

Omar Anchassi (University of Exeter) Ghāyat al-Amānī fi al-Istimtā` bi al-Jawārī Or, Sexual Pleasure and Slave Concubinage: Nazar, Mass and Wat’ in Islamic Law from the Formative Period to ISIS

Eva Kepplinger (University College of Teacher Education of Christian Churches in Vienna) Developments in the Formulation of Islamic International Law by the Example of Naṣrid Granada


Panel 3: Islamic Philosophy and Theology: Medieval Debates

Seminar Room 3, Chair: Ayman Shihadeh (SOAS)

Mohammed Reza Moini (Seminary School of Qom) The Imamī - Muʿtazelī Theology in Medieval Ages; al-Muḥaqqiq al-Ḥillī as a Case

Ramon Harvey (Ebrahim College) Trope Theory in Islamic Theology: Prospects in Metaphysics and Ethics

Daryoush Mohammad Poor (Institute of Islmaili Studies) Ismaili Philosophy and Neo-Platonism: Myths and Realities

Nuha Alshaar (American University of Sharjah) The System of Adab and its Components in Four Abbasid Foundational Writers (Ibn Qutayba, al-Jāḥiẓ, al-Qālī, and al-Mubarrad)


Panel 4: Contested Categories: Formulating and Negotiating Modernity in the Nahḍah and in the Twenty-First Century Ummah

Seminar Room 4, Chair: Shuruq Naguib (University of Lancaster)

Florian Zemmin (University of Bern) Modernity in Islamic Tradition. The Concept of ‘Society’ in the Journal al-Manar (Cairo, 1898–1940)

Stephen Jones (Newman University) Science, faith and the ‘clash of civilisations’: what interview narratives about Islam and science reveal about anti-Muslim prejudice

Glen Moran (Newman University) British Muslim perceptions of biological evolution

Walaa Quisay (University of Oxford) Neo-Traditionalists and Disenchanment: Critiques of Modernity and Secularity


Panel 5: Shi’ism in Various Contexts: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives

Seminar Room 5, Chair: Oliver Scharbrodt (University of Chester)

Samer El-Karanshawy (University of Tufts) Victor Turner Textuality and Variation: on Anthropological Approaches to Imam Husayn’s Memory.

Robert Langer (University of Bayreuth) German Shia? – German Speaking Communities and Their Rituals in the Shiite Field in Germany

Dagikhudo Dagiev (Institute of Ismaili Studies) The Ismaili Hierarchy in the Context of Central Asia


Panel 6: British Islam: Historical and Contemporary Issues

Lecture Theatre, Chair: Ron Geaves (Cardiff University)

Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor (Coventry University) Muslim Women in Britain c. 1890 to 1948: Historical Grounding for Modern Debates

Shahnaz Akhter (University of Warwick) The Search for Muslim Identity: Defining British Islam

Asma Khan (Cardiff University) Experiences of Second Generation British Muslim Women in Education in the 70’s and 80’s

Kartina Choong (University of Central Lancashire) End-of-Life Care: When Religion and Law Collide


15.00 – 15.30 Tea and Coffee

Small Hall


15.30 – 17.00 Session Six: 5 Parallel panels


Panel 1: The Qur’an: Theology, Logic and Exegesis

Seminar Room 1, Chair: Shuruq Naguib (Lancaster University)

Ahmad Achtar (Heythrop College, University of London) The use of Q (3:7) as a foundation for theological hermeneutics of the Qur’an

Safaruk Chowdhury (King Fahd Academy) The Lord of the Excluded Middle”: The Qur’an, Logic and Arguments


Panel 2: Emerging Perspectives  in Islamic Legal Theory  

Seminar Room 2, Chair: Amr Osman  (Qatar University)

Samer Dajani (Cambridge Muslim College) A Flexible Sharīʿa: A Sufi Approach to Scholarly Disagreement

Hakime Reyyan Yasar (Heythrop College, University of London) The Relationship Between Majāz and Mind in Usul al-Fiqh: Searching for the Cognitive Traces in the Chapter of Majāz in the Uṣūl al-Fiqh of Ibn Malak and al-Sighnāqī (14th Century)

Sayed Hossein Qazwini (Islamic Seminary of Karbala) The History and Evolution of the Principle of Istishab in Shiite Usal al Fiqh

Miyase Yavuz (SOAS) The Mastermind of the Moroccan Family Law Reforms of 2004: Aḥmed al-Khamlīchī’s Conception and Practice of Ijtihād

Saba Kareemi (Qatar University) Religion and the Corporate State: Is There Space for Fictitious Persons in Islamic Political Theory?


Panel 3: Between Texts and Networks: Visualizing thirteenth through sixteenth Century Islamicate Intellectual Landscapes

Seminar Room 3, Chair: Judith Pfeiffer (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn)

Giovanni Maria Martini (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn) Visual Sufism. A Case Study from 14th Century Tabriz: Shīrīn Maghribī’s Short Metaphysical Treatises.

Walter Edward Young (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn) Marginal Munāẓara: Dialectical Pedagogy in the Scholia and Glosses of al-Kīlānī’s Sharḥ al-Risāla fī Ādāb al-Baḥth.

Talal Al-Azem (Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies) (title tbc) Damascus and the Scholarly Economy of the Long Fifteenth Century

Mohammad Gharaibeh (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn) Commentaries read horizontally – Towards a sociological approach to the study of commentaries on Ibn aṣ-Ṣalāḥ’s Muqaddima fī ʿulūm al-ḥadīṯ.

Judith Pfeiffer (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn) Gathering the ideal library: Müeyyedzade Abdurrahman Efendi (d. 922/1516) and the quest for universal knowledge


Panel 4: Inter-Religious Relations A

Seminar Room 4, Chair: Hugh Goddard (University of Edinburgh)

Owed Al-Nahee (University of Birmingham) Polytheism in Najrān; from the Holy Trinity Planetary to Imaged Idols worship               

Nathan Gibson (Vanderbilt University) Interreligious Contacts among Abbasid Scholars: a Digital Approach using Network Analysis

Ravza Aydin (Sakarya University) The Effect of Islamic Thought on Rambam’s Articles of Faith

Yazid Said (Liverpool Hope University) Ali al-Munayyar’s Seventeenth Century Polemical Work against Egyptian Jews and Christians

Rana Abu-Mounes (Al-Maktoum College) The Role of Rumours in the 1860CE Riot of Damascus, an Exacerbating Factor in the Events


Panel 5: Marrying in Europe: Topography of Muslim Marriage Practices Today

Seiminar Room 5, Chair: Yafa Shanneik (University of South Wales)

Iman Lechkar (VUB Free University Brussels) Why do Female Belgian converts marry Islamically?

Yafa Shanneik (University of South Wales) Shia Marriage Practices: Karbala as Erinnerungsort in London?

Farida Belkacem (European University Institute, Florence) How do “Western Vocal Muslims” respond to the society debates on same-sex marriage?


17.30 – 18.30 Session Seven: Plenary Session Sponsored by Brill


An Encyclopaedia of Islam for the Twenty-First Century: What, How, and For Whom?

Everett Rowson (New York University) and Gudrun Krämer (Freie Universität Berlin)

Lecture Theatre, Chaired by Maurits van den Boogert (Brill)


19.00 – 20.00 Dinner (for residential delegates only)

Whites Dining Hall


20:15 - 21:00 Consultation session with representatives of the new International Indonesian Islamic University

Seminar Room 1, Chair Muhaimin Syamsuddin (British Council)

In September 2016, President Joko Widodo of Indonesia announced plans to establish a leading International Indonesian Islamic University in Jakarta, Indonesia (IIIU). Thanks to support from the British Council, two key figures from the IIIU task force, Dr Fuad Jabali and Dr Jamhari Makruf, will be attending BRAIS 2017. In this evening consultation, Dr Jabali and Dr Makruf will present their plans for this major new institution and seek advice from BRAIS delegates concerning governance, course structure and how to build links with HE institutions in the UK and Europe. Please do come along and offer your input.


Day 3: Thursday 13th April


09.00 – 10.00 Session Eight: Plenary (Lecture Room)

BRAIS Annual General Meeting

Lecture Theatre, Chaired by Ayman Shihaden (SOAS) and Shuruq Naguib (University of Lancaster)


10:00 – 10:30 Session Nine: Plenary (Lecture Room)

BRAIS - De Gruyter Prize Award Ceremony

Lecture Theatre, Introduction by Ayman Shihaden (SOAS) and chaired by Judith Pfeiffer (University of Bonn)


10.30 – 11.00 Tea and Coffee

Small Hall


11.00 – 12.30 Session Ten: 5 Parallel panels


Panel 1: Contemporary  Debates in South-East Asia

Seminar Room 1, Chair: Hugh Goddard (University of Edinburgh)

Siti Syamsiyatun (Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies)  Muslim Women shaping Humane Community in Indonesia: Aisyiyah’s contributions and challenges

Leonard Chrysostomos (Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies) Visualising Piety: Muslim Comics in Contemporary Indonesia

Moch Fakhuroji (State Islamic University, Bandung) Islam in Play Store: Islamic Apps and Religious Engagement in Contemporary Indonesia


Panel 2: Exploring Conceptual and Experiential Dimensions of Sufism

Seminar Room 2, Chair: Roy Jackson (University of Gloucestershire)

Cennet Ceren Cavus (Marmara University) The “Eternal Feminine”: Feminine Aspect of God according to Ibn Arabi and Frithjof Schuon                       

Eyad Abu Ali (SOAS): The Development of Sufi Dream Theory in the 12th and 13th century: The Emergence of a Systematic Oneirology in Kubrawi Sufism

Jason Welle (The Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies): Mind the Gap: The Spiritual Progress of Early Ṣūfī Women

Richard Saville-Smith (University of Edinburgh), The labels of druggists and the origins of Sufism


Panel 3: Shiite ‘ulama’, the State, and Discourses of Orthodoxy

Seminar Room 3, Chair: Shuruq Naguib (University of Lancaster)

Oliver Scharbrodt (University of Chester) Anti-Sufism in Early Qajar Iran: Aqa Muhammad Bihbahani (d.1801) and his Risala-yi khayratiyya

Mohammadreza Kalantari (Royal Holloway University of London) Protecting the Citadel of Islam (Hefz-e Bayza-ye Eslam): a Case of Shiite Clergy and Najaf Seminary in early Hashemite Iraq

Elvire Corboz (Aarhus University, Denmark) Muhsin al-Hakim and Iranian Politics: The Transnational Interventions of a Marja’ on the Rise


Panel 4: Gendered Articulations of Pilgrimage to Mecca: Anthropological Approaches

Seminar Room 4, Chair: Marjo Buitelaar (University of Groningen)

Kholoud Al-Ajarma (University of Groningen) Mecca in Morocco: the role of the Hajj in the lives of contemporary Moroccan women

Khadija Kadrouch-Outmany (University of Groningen)  Claiming Female Space during the Hajj

Marjo Buitelaar (University of Groningen) Empowerment through Hajj performance. Asra Nomani’s memoir Standing Alone

Anwar Al-Khaldy, (Freie Universität Berlin/ University of Groningen) Reconceptualizing the Hajj as an instrument for women’s self-transformation


Panel 5: Islamic Law in Britain

Seminar Room 5, Chair: Sufyan Abid (University of Chester)

Amin Al-Astewani (Lancaster University) The Dynamic Role of Islamic Tribunals in the Modern English Legal System

Naheed Ghauri (Birkbeck College) The Qur’anic model Interaction and Navigation of Islamic Heterogeneous Autonomous Legal Orders with State Law: A Case Study of Muslim Religious Tribunals in the UK

Zainab Naqvi (University of Birmingham) Women’s Experiences and Views of Unregistered Muslim Polygamous and Monogamous Marriages in the UK


12.30 – 13.30 Lunch

Small Hall


13.30 – 15.00 Session Eleven: 4 Parallel panels


Panel 1: Fiqhi Perspectives on Contemporary Issues

Seminar Room 1, Chair: Muhammad Mesbahi (The Islamic College)

Ali Paya (The Islamic College) The Epistemic Status of Fiqh and Shari’a Law

Nehad Khanfar (The Islamic College) What Your Right Hand Possesses: The Islamic legal concept of “Mulk al-yameen” between Family Law and the Law on War and Slavery

Ali Al-Hakim (The Islamic College) The Media: An assessment of being Modern and Islamic, a Fiqhi approach

Amina Inloes (The Islamic College) Virgin Mary in Shi’i hadith and the Struggle over “The Divine Feminine”


Panel 2: Approaches to the Virtues in the Arabic Tradition

Seminar Room 2, Chair: Sophia Vasalou (University of Birmingham)

Neelam Hussain (University of Birmingham) Kitāb Sirr al-Asrār and the Virtues of a Ruler”

Sophia Vasalou (University of Birmingham) Greatness of spirit (iẓam al-himma) in the Arabic tradition

Feriel Bouhafa (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg) Averroes’ Moral Theory in the Bidāyat al-mujtahid


Panel 3: Inter-Religious Relations B: modern Asia and Africa

Seminar Room 3, Chair: Hugh Goddard (University of Edinburgh)

Amit Sampat (Leiden University) Perceptions of Islam and Muslims by a Hindu Mystic: A Systematic Study of Thanwardas Lilaram Vaswani’s Thought on Islam and Muslims

Amar Sohal (University of Oxford) Maulana Azad and the Idea of Parity: A Muslim Argument for Indian Nationalism, 1930-51

Dicky Sofjan (Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies) Thorn in the Flesh: Islam and Religious Othering in Southeast Asia

Dena Fakhro (SOAS) Blood vengeance as a theme in the classical Arabic poetic tradition and its legacy


Panel 4: Reformulations of Religious Authority in Diasporic Contexts

Seminar Room 4, Chair: Jorgen Nielsen (University of Birmingham)

Amine El Yousfi (University of Cambridge) Local Muslim Leaders in Paris and London: Re-examining religious authority

Zulfiqar Khimani (University of Cambridge) Transformation of a Community’s Perception of Religious Authority: A Case of Nizari Ismaili Muslims in the United Kingdom

Tazeen Ali (Boston University) Rethinking Interpretative Authority: The Women’s Mosque of America

Jesper Petersen (Lund University) Collective reinterpretation of Islam in the women led Mariam Mosque in Copenhagen


15.00 – 15.30 Tea and Coffee

Small Hall


15.30 – 17.00 Session Twelve: Plenary and Close (Lecture Room)


When East meets West: cultural contacts across the Mediterranean

Jaakko Hameen-Anttila (University of Edinburgh)

Lecture Theatre, Chaired by Ayman Shihadeh (SOAS)