Dean of HBKU’s CIS Meets Pope Francis

Dean of HBKU’s College of Islamic Studies Meets Pope Francis

09 Jul 2024

Head of the Catholic Church presented with CIS book on the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Dr. Recep Şentürk meets Pope Francis. © Vatican Media
Dr. Recep Şentürk meets Pope Francis. © Vatican Media

Dr. Recep Şentürk,  Dean of Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) College of Islamic Studies (CIS), was recently welcomed in an audience with Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church, Bishop of Rome, and sovereign of the Vatican City State.

Held May 15, the audience provided Dr. Şentürk with an opportunity to present the Pope with a copy of The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad: Historical Legacy & Contemporary Human Rights. Written by Dr. Ibrahim Mohamed Zain, Professor of Islamic Studies and Comparative Religion, CIS, and Ahmed El-Wakil, Researcher, CIS, the book highlights the significance of these covenants for contemporary Muslim-Christian relations. Dr. Şentürk stressed the need for continued relations and dialogue between Muslims and Christians concerning topics common to both religions and humanity at large.

The following day, Dr. Şentürk and Dr. Zain delivered speeches at the Pontificio Istituto di Studi Arabi e d’Islamistica as part of the annual “Georgetown Lecture on Contemporary Islam.” Dr. Zain further summarized the findings of The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad, while Dr. Şentürk  delivered a speech titled “Humanity as a Ground for Universal Human Rights in Islam.” Proceedings were moderated by Dr. John Borelli, a historian of religions and theologian at Georgetown University, Washington D.C. 

Commenting on the audience, Dr. Şentürk said: “It was an honor to meet and converse with the Pope, as well as present him with Dr. Zain’s publication. Our meeting reflected that, despite conceptual differences, Islam and Christianity share an enduring commitment to universal human rights. For this reason alone, open dialogue between both faiths remains essential and should not be defined by current global affairs.” 

HBKU’s College of Islamic Studies (CIS) provides a unique platform that contributes to critical intellectual debates on Islam in a global context, through its blended academic programs, immersive learning experience, and distinguished research division, which includes several research centers and clusters.