Al-Mawrid

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Al-Mawrid Institute of Islamic Sciences
Formation 1983
Type Research institute
Headquarters Lahore
Location Pakistan
Official languages Urdu/English
Director Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
Website http://www.al-mawrid.org

Al-Mawrid is an Islamic research institute in Lahore, Pakistan founded in 1983 and then re-established in 1991.[1]

Introduction[edit]

The institute was established by Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, a well-known Pakistani Islamic scholar, who has been inspired by Amin Ahsan Islahi and Hamiduddin Farahi.[2] The basic objective of this institution is facilitation and perpetuation of explanatory and research work on the true understanding of Islam, the publication and mass communication of this understanding through all possible means, and augmentation of people’s knowledge and education through its dissemination.[3]

Organization[edit]

Fellows Al-Mawrid Associate Fellows Assistant Fellows Others
Javed Ahmed Ghamidi, Abdus Sattar Ghauri, Shehzad Saleem, Asif Iftikhar, Talib Mohsin, Ammar Khan Nasir Manzoor ul Hassan, Moiz Amjad, Muhammad Rafi Mufti, Sajid Hameed, Tariq Hashmi Kaukab Shehzad, Naeem Ahmed Baloch M. Farooq Khan, Jhangeer Hanif, Muhammad Bilal, Khalid Zaheer

Projects[edit]

Al-Mawrid (1983–87; 1991- ), a privately sponsored institution in Pakistan, is governed by the members of its board. The institution has, inter alia, been engaged in promoting Islamic research and education for more than two decades now. Al-Mawrid was founded on the idea that there is a dire need in the Muslim community for academic, objective, effective and efficient approaches to Islamic education and research. The official website of al-Mawrid explains the reasons for the foundation of this institution. It points out that, in the opinion of the members of al-Mawrid, the message of the Qur'an and the sunnah has become alien to most Muslims owing to flaws in educational approaches and systems, sectarian biases, and lack of research based on the Qur'an and the sunnah. The main focus in religious seminaries is often on the legal opinions and approaches of various schools and sects instead. Mostly, the selection and interpretation of h*adīth is also not done on the basis of the foundational sources. The site then gives the reason for the establishment of this institution:

Al-Mawrid has been established to redress and reform this state of affairs. Hence, the objectives of the Institute are to conduct and facilitate academic and research work on Islamic Sciences, to educate people on its basis and to publish and disseminate it through all available means.

A brief detail of the current and future projects of the institution is given here:

Research projects[edit]

Abdus Sattar Ghauri (1935- ) is a Bible scholar and a fellow of al-Mawrid. He has been working on the Bible for the last thirty years now. He is presently working on the Urdu translation of the second edition of his book: The Only Son offered for Sacrifice: Isaac or Ishmael? Recently, he finished another one of his numerous ongoing works: Muḥammad Foretold in the Bible by Name.

Jāvēd Aḥmad Ghāmidī (1951- ), a fellow of al-Mawrid, is the founder of this institution, a patron to many of its journals, and a well-known Islamic scholar. He is regarded by many academics as one of the most influential Muslim scholars in Pakistan. In the last 24 years or so, Ghāmidī has done intensive research on various aspects of Islam. Of high legal, social and political import amongst his works are Mīzān (Scale), a treatise on his understanding of Islam, and Burhān (Conclusive Argument), a collection of his critiques on contemporary religious viewpoints. His ongoing annotated translation of the Qur'an, al-Bayān(The Exposition) is indispensable to the understanding of his approach in exegesis.

Moiz Amjad (1962- ) is a prolific author and website writer. As a researcher, Amjad is working on a project of Compilation of Comprehensive Ḥadīth Texts. This work is unique in its approach: it consists of the compilation of variant texts of a narrative on a particular topic in seventeen major compilations of the h*adīth and then the moulding of these texts into one comprehensive narrative to bring out all possible aspects of consistency, veracity and sound meaning on the basis of traditional and new methods and approaches in historiography and hermeneutics – a much needed task that has never been done before. This study is also fully annotated to indicate the placement of the redacted texts in the proper context vis-à-vis the established foundational sources of Islam. Parts of this academic study, compilation and redaction of the h*adīth are regularly published in Urdu and English.

Shehzad Saleem (1966- ) is a fellow of al-Mawrid. Apart from numerous other works of scholarly and academic nature in the last 20 years, Saleem has translated most of Ghāmidī’s work into English. These translations include selections from Ghāmidī’s research on law, exegesis and ethics. For the last few years, Saleem has been researching the History of the Qur'an, a part of which also forms his doctoral dissertation at the University of Wales, UK. His work examines Muslim history pertaining to the revelation, collection and transmission of the Qur'an. The study also addresses various academic questions (including those raised by the Orientalists and other Western scholars and critics) regarding the completeness of the Qur'an, variant readings, chronology of its compilation, order of the sūrahs, manuscript studies, and scribal accuracy.

Asif Iftikhar(1966- ) is a fellow of al-Mawrid and a faculty member of the Lahore University of Management Sciences(LUMS). In the last 18 years, he has taught graduate and undergraduate courses related to Islam, Islamic languages, management, law, and communication at some of the most prestigious educational institutions both in Pakistan and abroad. At al-Mawrid, he is working on the completion of a comparative study of Jāvēd Aḥmad Ghāmidī and Abū al-A‘lā Mawdūdī in relation to their interpretive approaches and worldviews as applied to the theory of jihād and the state. This work is based on Iftikhar’s Master’s thesis at the McGill University, Canada. He is also a PhD candidate at McGill where his dissertation focus is on the history of Islamic legal development in Pakistan.

Literature and academics[edit]

‘Ammār Khān Nāsir (1975- ) is working and supervising work on articles and essays explaining various aspects of Islam, which include a comparative as well as a critical examination of Ghāmidī’s treatise on Islam: Mīzān.

Education[edit]

Al-Mawrid arranges workshops in different cities of Pakistan. The topics cover important religious, philosophical and ethical issues facing Pakistani Muslim society. Teachers include Khalid Zaheer (1958- ), Rafī Muftī, Tālib Muhsin, Samī‘ Muftī (1959- ), Sājid Hamīd (1965- ), Kawkab Shahzād (1963 - ) and Hāfiz Muhammad Ibrāhīm (1968 - ).

In various private and national television channels, Jāvēd Ahmad Ghāmidī, Khalid Zaheer, Munīr Ahmad (1958- ), Sājid Hamīd, Kawkab Shahzād and others participate in various talk shows and discussions on Islam. On various occasions, al-Mawrid scholars regularly give talks at institutes, schools, colleges and universities such as Civil Services Academy, National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA), Pakistan Administrative Staff College, LUMS, and the Punjab University.

Affiliated enterprises[edit]

The website Understanding Islam explains Islam and answers related questions.Two other sites provide visitors with information on the lives and works of Amīn Ahsan Islāhī (1904–1997) and Jāvēd Ahmad Ghāmidī. Khalid Zaheer’s personal website carries his articles and lectures and his answers to various questions. Ham sab dōst is a site for the grooming and entertainment of children.

Ishrāq (in Urdu) is the monthly journal of al-Mawrid. Renaissance is an affiliate Islamic journal in English. A wide range of articles and critiques are published in these journals. A da‘wah edition of Ishrāq is also published by al-Mawrid Centre, Karachi.

Criticism[edit]

Al-Mawrid is criticized for their controversial stand on various issues. Sometimes they are charged with fueling controversial topics, which do not help in improving Islamic concepts of common people, rather it create differences and gaps in Muslim community (like infamous Hudood Law). Javed Ghamdi is also wrongly referred by some as having involvement in the controversial movie 'Khuda kai liay'. Local and orthodox scholars often reject this school of thought and their ideas and perceive them as creating confusion in the masses about Islam. Some also refer to them as 'clean shave mullas'.[4]

Journals[edit]

Renaissance: a monthly Islamic journal  
Discipline Islamic studies
Language English
Publication details
Publisher Danish Sara (Pakistan)
Publication history 1995–present
Indexing
ISSN 1606-9382
Links

The institution publishes two monthly journals. These journals carry advertisements from small merchants, but also from larger businesses.[5]

Websites[edit]

The institution is running its website which is a very useful source of literature on Islam and Muslims. Urdu, English and Arabic resources are available online. The site also has a question-answer service. many other Islamic websites are affiliated to al-Mawrid. Some of these too have question-answer service and are quite popular over the internet.

Projects planned for the future[edit]

Institute of Islamic sciences[edit]

Al-Mawrid plans to set up an institute offering Bachelor’s, Master’s, and, eventually, PhD degrees to students of Islam.

Chain of schools[edit]

There are plans to set up a chain of schools in Pakistan that groom the children to be well-versed in languages and various sciences and/or humanities and to have high morals and values. In other words, the graduates of such schools should have sound knowledge of modern disciplines and should also be legatees of their religious heritage. In the near future, al-Mawrid plans to found one school in Karachi and one in Lahore.

Training institutes[edit]

Al-Mawrid has developed short and medium term courses to train teachers for its schools as well as for other schools, colleges, and universities. The objective is to drive home the basic message of Islam, address their queries and communicate to them the ethics it teaches. Besides training teachers, there are plans to offer courses to other interested individuals, especially women and children. D. Weekend Schools educate and instruct children of various schools, al-Mawrid plan to offer a weekend school programme.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Javed Ahmad Ghamidi's Profile
  2. ^ John Esposito, The Oxford Dictionary of Islam, pp. 93
  3. ^ Al-Mawrid Official Website
  4. ^ Is Javed GHamidi a True Scholar?
  5. ^ Zaman, Muhammad (1998). "Sectarianism in Pakistan: The Radicalization of Shi'i and Sunni Identities". JSTOR 32 (3): 689–716. JSTOR 313163. 
  6. ^ Ciolek, T. Matthew. The first Islamic e-periodical, Renaissance: A Monthly Islamic Journal, Asian Studies Online - a Timeline of Major Developments, Australian National University

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]

Related websites[edit]

These websites are not established or owned by Al-Mawrid, but contributed to directly by some of its members.