Usama Hasan

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Usama Hasan
Usama Hasan speaking at Army and Navy Club, Saint James, London.jpg
Born London, United Kingdom
Citizenship British
Occupation Theologian, author, lecturer
Organization Quilliam

Usama Hasan is a British astronomer and former academic who is currently a senior researcher in Islamic Studies at the Quilliam Foundation.[1]

He is a former senior lecturer in business information systems at Middlesex University,[1][2] and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.[3][4] He has argued in favour of a compatibility between Islam and human evolution.[5]


He has stated that he fought in Afghanistan against the Soviet occupation.[6][7]

Hasan was a member of the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Projecting British Muslims delegations to Egypt in 2008[8] and to Afghanistan (Helmand) in 2010,[9] was a Keynote Speaker at the Anglo-Syrian government-sponsored conference "The Message of Peace in Islam" in Damascus in 2009,[10] and is a Patron of both the Forum for the Discussion of Israel and Palestine (FODIP)[11] and Friends of the Bereaved Families Forum.[12] Usama was also a speaker at the Google Ideas/Council on Foreign Relations Summit Against Violent Extremism (Dublin, 2011).[13]

He is Senior Researcher at the Quilliam Foundation.[1] He has appeared on television programmes, including BBC Hardtalk,[14] CNN,[15] and has also written various columns for The Guardian[16] and The Washington Post.[17]


Evolution controversy[edit]

Hasan has argued that Islam is compatible with the theory of evolution, describing the story of Adam and Eve as "children's madrasa-level understanding" of human origins while pointing to antecedents of the modern theory of evolution among medieval Muslim philosophers like Ibn Khaldun and Ibn Miskawayh.[5] His lectures have been disrupted by hecklers and he claims to have received death threats.[4][18]

Hasan later retracted some of his views on evolution.[4] Several British Muslim writers, including Inayat Bunglawala and Yahya Birt, backed his right to free speech.[19][20] On 5 January 2013, he was featured in a debate against Yasir Qadhi titled Have Muslims Misunderstood Evolution?, in which he argued in favor of human evolution.[21]

Power struggles at the Masjid al-Tawhid[edit]

Hasan has complained about "extremism" at the London Masjid al-Tawhid mosque and in May 2012, as part of the arbitration process, he and all other trustees voluntarily stepped down from their positions as Trustee of the masjid.[22] In June 2012, the new Trustees of the Trust changed the locks of the Mosque doors and employed security guards.[23] According to the website of the Masjid al-Tawhid, the Hasan family "want to ... regain personal control of the mosque".[24][25]

Al-Shabaab video threat[edit]

In October 2013 Hasan was alerted by anti-terrorist police that he and other Muslim figures in the UK who had spoken out against Islamist extremism had been targeted by a propaganda video created by Al-Shabaab, the terrorist group responsible for the attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya.[26] [27]


Fatwa against ISIS[edit]

In 2014 he and others issued a fatwa condemning British Muslims fighting for the "oppressive and tyrannical" Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Their fatwa "religiously prohibits" would-be British jihadists from joining the Islamic State and orders all Muslims to oppose ISIS' "poisonous ideology".[28][29]

Summer fasting times[edit]

Usama believes that Muslims in the UK should fast shorter hours — rather than the dawn-to-sunset hours that most Muslims do — as summer days at such latitudes can run for up to 19 hours.[30]


  1. ^ a b c Quilliam. Usama Hasan: Senior Researcher
  2. ^ Middlesex University Staff directory. Usama Hasan. |accessdate=2012-07-15 Archived 19 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Muslim academic forced to retract evolution claim - The First Post Accessed 15 July 2012}
  4. ^ a b c "Imam fears 'nutters' could kill him for preaching evolution - London Evening Standard". Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  5. ^ a b Hasan, Usama (11 September 2008). "Knowledge regained - Guardian". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  6. ^ "Hardtalk - Usama Hasan". BBC News. 30 August 2007. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  7. ^ Dr Mathew Guest, Dr Elisabeth Arweck, Religion and Knowledge: Sociological Perspectives, p 36. ISBN 1409471160
  8. ^ Dina Rabie (10 July 2008). "Projecting British Muslims". OnIslam. Retrieved 7 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "British Muslims visit Afghanistan". Gov.UK. 6 September 2010. Retrieved 7 November 2013. 
  10. ^ Usama Hasan. The Balance of Islam in Challenging Extremism Archived 2 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine.. Quilliam, 2012: p. 4
  11. ^ "What is FODIP?". FODIP. Retrieved 7 November 2013. 
  12. ^ "Contact UKFBFF". Friends of the Bereaved Families Forum. Retrieved 7 November 2013. 
  13. ^ "Summit Against Violent Extremism (SAVE)". Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 7 November 2013. 
  14. ^ BBC Hardtalk
  15. ^ CNN
  16. ^ The Guardian
  17. ^ The Washington Post
  18. ^ Rowenna Davis. Sunday 6 March 2011 "London imam subjected to death threats for supporting evolution. Mosque suspends engineering lecturer Usama Hasan for 'antagonising' community and backing women's rights" Check |url= value (help). 
  19. ^ |accessdate=2011-03-13
  20. ^ Inayat Bunglawala. Wednesday 9 March 2011 "Islam must engage with science, not deny it. Pressure put on a London imam to retract statements supporting the theory of evolution does Muslims a disservice" Check |url= value (help). 
  21. ^ Dr Usama Hasan featured on the panel of The Deen Institute event "Have Muslims Misunderstood Evolution?" retrieved 7 January 2013
  22. ^ Arbitration Report May 2012. MUSLIM ARBITRATION SERVICE Masjid & Madrasah al-Tawhid Trust accessed 15 July 2012
  23. ^ Masjid & Madrasah al-Tawhid Trust. Trust asserts control over the Mosque. Statement on events of Monday 18 June 2012. accessed 15 July 2012
  24. ^ A Response to the Statement of Sr Nazima Sheikh. Masjid & Madrasah al-Tawhid Trust accessed 15 July 2012
  25. ^ End of Arbitration, WFCOM Meeting, Disruption of Friday Announcement Masjid & Madrasah al-Tawhid Trust accessed 15 July 2012
  26. ^ Shiv Malik; Duncan Gardham & Vikram Dodd (17 October 2013). "Prominent UK Muslims under police protection after al-Shabaab threats". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 November 2013. 
  27. ^ Simon Hooper (26 October 2013). "British Muslims defiant over al-Shabab threat". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  28. ^ Isis terror threat: Leading British Muslims issue fatwa condemning terror group. Zachary Davies Boren. The Independent 31 August 2014. Accessed 31 August 2014. [1]
  30. ^ "Ramadan fast in UK 'should be shortened' says scholar". BBC. Retrieved 11 June 2016. 

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