CIS Launches Project to Develop Uniquely Comprehensive Source

CIS Launches Project to Develop Uniquely Comprehensive Source on Islamic Reform

30 Apr 2021

Compilation will highlight major Islamic reform movements and inform academic scholarship

HBKU’s College of Islamic Studies Launches Project to Develop Uniquely Comprehensive Source on Islamic Reform

The College of Islamic Studies (CIS) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) has launched a new mega-project to produce a comprehensive source on Islamic reform. 

In keeping with CIS’ intent to lead in contemporary and applied Islamic studies, the compilation will aim to highlight major Islamic reformers, reform themes, movements, and contemporary reform issues. The project outcomes will include a bibliographic guide as well as a spatial and chronological digital inventory of Islamic reformers. CIS’ objective is to leverage the compilation to reshape the academic teaching of Islamic studies, but also to rekindle the spirit of reform in Muslim societies and contribute meaningfully to designing a better humanity. 

Explaining the overall aims, Dr. Akel Kahera, Professor of Islamic Architecture and Urbanism and the lead focal point for the project at CIS, HBKU, said: “Our intent through this major project is to educate and inform scholars, students, and the general public on the trajectories of Islamic reform throughout Muslim history. We see it as important to demonstrate the relevance of Islamic traditions and Muslim thought to contemporary global challenges. In this regard, the project reflects CIS’ aim of producing reform-oriented future generations that can make tangible contributions to humanity.

“The project will serve the wider academic community, by shedding light on issues of considerable importance to Islamic scholarship. For our part, we will also work toward integrating Islamic reform contributions into teaching and academic courses, in keeping with HBKU’s commitment to excellence in research.”

CIS has put together two task forces with several of its senior faculty members to undertake the mammoth project, which will require meticulous research and scholarship. The first task force will begin by collecting all scholarly works in the field of Islamic reform. Dr. Emad El-Din Shahin, dean of CIS; Dr. Louay Safi, professor of political science and Islamic thought; Dr. Dheen Mohammed, professor of comparative religion; and Dr. Muhammad Modassir Ali, senior researcher at CIS’ Muhammad Bin Hamad Al Thani Center for Muslim Contribution to Civilization (CMCC), will produce a bibliographical guide including key reformist contributions and develop a spatial and chronological digital inventory of Islamic reformers.

The second task force will identify major pressing themes in the contemporary world. Dr. Akel Kahera, professor of architecture and urbanism; Dr. Ibrahim Mohamed Zain, professor of Islamic studies and comparative religion; Dr. Alexandre Caeiro, associate professor of Islamic studies, and Dr. Joseph Lumbard, associate professor of Quranic Studies, will focus on topics such as social justice, environmentalism, political accountability, human dignity, and gender equality, identifying Islamic reform contributions to these debates.

For more information on the work of the College of Islamic Studies, please visit