The Centre for the Study of the Philosophy of Islamic Law, in partnership with the Islamic Cultural Centre in London, organised the eleventh Training Course on the philosophy of Islamic law (Maqāṣid al-Sharī‘ah), under the title: “Applying the objectives of Islamic law (Maqāṣid) in Daʿwah work”, on 5-7 September 2015, at the Islamic Cultural Centre in London.
A group of experts in the area of Islamic law (Sharīʿah) conducted the lectures; among them were leading scholars, such as Dr Mohammad Salim al-Awwa, Dr Issam al-Bashir, Dr Hasan Jabir, Dr Ibrahim al-Bayoumi Ghanem, Dr Jasir Awdah, Dr Muhammad bin Ibrahim al-Namlah, Dr Ahmad bin Mohammad Al Dubayan, Dr Hiba Rauf Izzet, Dr Abdul-Hamid Ashaq, and Dr Wanis al-Mabruk, while Dr Nour al-Din bin Mokhtar al-Khadimi and Dr Wasfi Ashur Abu Zayd were notably missed.
Over 100 delegates participated in the course; some of whom were specialists in the field. Others were students engaged in further studies at British universities in different areas of specialisation, Islamic preachers, mosque leaders, and media professionals.
The course lectures discussed the general and specific objectives (maqāṣid) of Islamic Law, the foundations and specifications of daʿwah work, and the pressing need for the application of maqāṣid in this domain. It addressed renewal of the daʿwah discourse, and understanding maqāṣid in the sphere of development and community work. The lectures also focused on clearly defining the concept of daʿwah, establishing deep knowledge and an instructive framework to develop competence in the discipline of maqāṣid particularly among professional preachers and in general among the elite leadership in the Muslim Ummah.
In the evening of the first day, a public lecture titled “The Daʿwah discourse in the West: Obstacles and challenges” was delivered by Dr Mohammad Salim al-Awwa. He addressed the most important challenges faced by Muslim preachers, and the search for effective methods to resolve them.
The training course was launched on Saturday morning, 5 September 2015 in the lecture hall of the Islamic Centre in London. Following the recitation of verses from the Noble Qurʾān, the Director of the Islamic Centre, Dr Ahmad Al Dubayan, gave a speech in which he welcomed the attendees, and expressed his great pleasure in co-operating with Al-Furqān Foundation to organise this second course. Next, the Managing Director of Al-Furqān, Mr Sali Shahsivari, welcomed the lecturers and delegates, praising the co-operation with the Islamic Centre, and its Director, Dr Ahmad Al Dubayan, for hosting the training course, and explaining the importance of the course topic, and its significance for the Muslim communities in the West which are facing many challenges.
The first session was a background and theoretical introduction by Dr Issam al-Bashir, who stressed the relevance and sensitivity of the topic. He also explained that the course would focus on formulating the philosophical, knowledge-based, methodological, and procedural framework for daʿwah in the West; grounded in reality. He said that the course would pose problems and questions, present diagnosis and correct resolutions, as well as defining concepts and methods, and consider modern approaches and future projects that would contribute to the success of daʿwah work. The course sought to educate to the values of purification, citizenship, mutual exchange of knowledge, peaceful co-existence, and human fraternal bonding. It would frame daʿwah—individually and collectively—within a knowledge-based, objective, and strategically-planned working method. It also provided effective techniques, to respond to the challenges on the path to becoming a specialised preacher, competent speaker, proficient Imam, and adviser. Those challenges included working on spontaneity, emotionalism, subjective bias, and repetition; and expressing oneself in the native tongue of the audience, considering their citizenship, place of residence and cultural background, or furthering life’s interests.
The training course was crowned with a special session led by Dr Mohammad Salim al-Awwa and Dr Issam al-Bashir, who encouraged the participants to take interest in this honourable vocation; followed by an open debate with a group of lecturers. In conclusion, the Director of the Islamic Centre, Dr Ahmad Al Dubayan expressed his gratitude to participants and lecturers, followed by the words of the Managing Director of Al-Furqān, who praised the efforts of the lecturers, and the participating delegates, who had honoured both organisations by their attendance, not forgetting to thank the management of the Islamic Centre for this fruitful co-operation, generous hospitality, and very warm welcome. Certificates were then presented to the delegates and lecturers.