Academic Symposium

The BBSI facilitates inter-disciplinary research on a number of theological, academic, social projects. Research is conducted both within and across several thematic themes, in collaboration with researchers and religious scholars, with colleagues in universities and research institutions throughout the world.

BBSI academic research aims at accomplishing the following objectives:

  1. Preparing Shari’ah oriented researches and studies that address contemporary issues in the West and in particular the UK.
  2. Studying newly developed economic and social situations in order to clarify the Islamic ruling concerning them.
  3. Organising the process of collective Ijtihad (independent interpretive Shari’ah judgment) presented by scholars and experts in different specialties that are related to issues and problems that face Muslim communities. In addition to coming up with a comprehensive system that would regulate Islamic opinions, by combining between professional objectivity, precision in wording, independent intellect, and consideration towards addressing contemporary societies.

The symposiums facilitate a platform wherein the experts and researchers convene to discuss, deliberate, solidify and develop their knowledge on the subject matter.

 A number of private academic symposia have been organised to date, in different locations around the UK, attended by up to 50 scholars of different backgrounds.

It has covered topics such as: the methodology of ijtihad, the role of women in society, Islamic finance in the UK, pluralism, the collection & utilisation of zakat in modern times, the relationship between Islam and politics, adoption and fostering in Islam, Islam and Human Rights, and Domestic and Relationship Abuse.

This informal group of diverse Imams, Scholars and Islamically-literate academics are from various backgrounds and regions of the UK – from Sufi, Tablighi, Deobandi, Salafi, Jamati, Barelwi etc. The participants are from all over the UK and even other international countries. Scholars present were English speaking and included some of the most prominent Imams, Scholars, Muftis, and teachers in the western religious scene.  Since the onset of online discussions in 2013, most of the work carried out thus far has been under informal circumstances, but highly collaborative in nature.  The benefit of such a methodology has been overwhelmingly constructive. Both the process and methodology to produce the end research papers has been enlightening and ground breaking. This is one example of the many that have been done. But the research and its findings have not been publicised. This, along with the various public declarations and statements that have already been made. The benefit of the likes of groups for the community will be many including advocating operational unity as well as reducing perceived misunderstandings and tensions on the ground.

SAMPLE BBSI SYMPOSIA TOPICS

ADOPTION AND FOSTERING A two-day workshop on the issues around adoption and fostering by the Muslim community in the UK, leading to the production of evidenced guidelines and religious encouragement to Muslim families, which is now in use by charities and local authorities.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND ISLAM A weekend academic symposium where a draft PhD thesis on the subject of human rights and Islam was presented for comments and discussion by the ulama present. The ulama were educated and were also able to enrich the research with inputs from the Islamic legal tradition.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE A multi-professional conference, involving male and female scholars, Imams, researchers and social workers looking at the causes, manifestations and consequences of domestic violence and relationship abuse. Guidelines for scholars to lead conversations and seek assistance.