Guest Scholars

Dr Aref Ali Nayed

Dr Aref Ali Nayed is the former Ambassador of Libya to the United Arab Emirates and is the Chairman of Kalam Research & Media (KRM) and Chairman of the Libya Institute for Advanced Studies (LIAS). He has taught and lectured Islamic Theology, Logic, and Spirituality at the restored Uthman Pasha Madrasa in Tripoli, Libya. He is Senior Advisor to the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme; Fellow of the Royal Aal Al-Bayt Institute in Jordan; and a member of the Board of Advisors of the John Templeton Foundation. He was Professor at the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies (Rome), and the International Institute for Islamic Thought and Civilization (Malaysia). He received his BSc in Engineering, MA in the Philosophy of Science, and a PhD in Hermeneutics from the University of Guelph (Canada).

He also studied at the University of Toronto and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. His published works include Vatican Engagements: A Muslim Theologian’s Journey in Muslim-Catholic Dialogue (KRM, 2016); Operational Hermeneutics: Interpretation as the Engagement of Operational Artifacts (KRM, 2011); co-authored with Jeff Mitscherling and Tanya Ditommaso, The Author’s Intention (Lexington Books, 2004); ISIS in Libya: Winning the Propaganda War (KRM, 2015); Beyond Fascism (KRM, 2013); Growing Ecologies of Peace, Compassion and Blessing: A Muslim Response to ‘A Muscat Manifesto’ (KRM, 2010); and Duties of Proximity: Towards a Theology of Neighborliness (KRM, 2010). His recent book is a collection of essays, Radical Engagements: Essays on Religion, Extremism, Politics, and Libya (KRM, 2017).

Dr Saeed Foudeh

Dr Saeed Foudeh is the Chief Theology and Philosophy Advisor to the Imam Al Razi Chair at the King Hussein bin Talal Mosque in Amman, Jordan. He is a leading Kalam scholar who has authored and edited over sixty books and articles on almost every topic of Islamic systematic theology. Some of his notable publications include, Averroes’ Philosophical Position on Kalam and His Influence on Modern Philosophical Debates (2009); In Defense of Logic: A Critique of Its Opponents in the Islamic Tradition; Imam Ghazali on the Science of Kalam; The Transcendence of God: A Critique of Ibn Taymiyya; and An Exhaustive Commentary on the Creed of Tahawi (2015).

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Jordan University of Science and Technology, as well as a BA and MA from the University of Jordan, and PhD in Islamic theology from the World Islamic Sciences and Education University (WISE), Jordan. His PhD dissertation was entitled “A Comparative Study on the Arguments for the Exis-tence of God between Kalam and Philosophy,” where he engages in an unprecedented study of the various approaches of Islamic philosophy and Western philosophy on the existence of God, beginning from Ash‘ari to the modern period.

Dr Khalid Zahri

Dr Khalid Zahri is Assistant Director, Curator, and researcher for the manuscript collection of the Hassania Royal Library in Morocco. He travels widely to share his expertise in manuscript preservation and publication of glosses and commentaries. He has presented lectures and facilitated workshops across the Arab world, Southeast Asia, and Western Europe. He is an established expert in Muslim theology (kalām), Sufism, and the methodology of Islamic law (uṣūl al-fiqh).

He has published close to 100 academic works in Arabic and French on a range of topics including “Kalām”, “Uṣūl al-Fiqh”, ‘Taṣawwuf”, “Bibliography”, “Cataloguing” (Fahrasah) and “Codicological and Philological studies”, among them more than 20 books, including Maghribī Ashʿarī Sources (2017); From ʿIlm al-Kalām to Fiqh al-Kalām (2017), The Arabic Manuscrip : New Horizons in Codicology, Philology, and Cataloging within the Islamic Manuscript Tradition (2017). He received his MA (1995) and his PhD (2001) from Muhammad V University in Rabat at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He has worked at the Hassania Royal Library from 2002-present, and at the National Library in years prior (1999-2002).

Professor Dr Mohammed Basil Altaie

Professor Mohammed Basil Altaie is a professor of Quantum Cosmology at Yarmouk University, Jordan. He has obtained his Ph.D. from Manchester University (UK) in 1978. Since then he worked on research problems in Quantum Cosmology and published about two dozens of papers in peer reviewed journals like Physical Review and the Institute of Physics journals. Over the last 30 years he has taught many courses on physics at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, these include: Quantum Field Theory, Quantum Mechanics, Classical Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Classical Electrodynamics, Quantum Electrodynamics, Scientific Thinking, Mathematical Physics. History and Philosophy of Science. He has published 9 books in Arabic mostly in science and some in science and religion. Recently he published his novel work Daqiq al-Kalām: the Islamic Philosophy of Nature in Arabic which will be published in English also soon. Some chapters from the book are being taught in Turkish and Algerian universities.

Professor Altaie is a member of the British Science and Religion Forum and has contributed several papers to conferences held by the Forum. Some of his papers on topics in the philosophy of science have been translated into Turkish and published in Turkish journals. His most recent book God, Nature and Cause is published by Kalam Research & Media.

Dr Umar Faruq Abd-Allah

Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah (Wymann-Landgraf) is an American Muslim, born to a Protestant family in Columbus, Nebraska. He grew up in Athens, Georgia, where both of his parents taught at the University of Georgia. He did his undergraduate work at the University of Missouri with dual majors in history and English literature. In his last year there, he won a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and entrance to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York to pursue a Ph.D. program in English literature. Shortly after coming to Cornell, Dr. Abd-Allah read The Autobiography of Malcolm X, which inspired him to embrace Islam. He subsequently altered his field of study and transferred to the University of Chicago, where he studied Arabic and Islamic studies and received his doctorate with honors for a dissertation on the origins of Islamic law, “Malik’s Concept of ‘Amal in the Light of Maliki Legal Theory.” He taught at the Universities of Windsor (Ontario), Temple, and Michigan. He then went to Spain to teach Arabic in Granada. In 1984, he was appointed to the Department of Islamic Studies at King Abdul-Aziz University in Jeddah, where he taught Islamic studies and comparative religions for several years. During the time he spent in Jeddah, Dr. Abd-Allah was able to study with a number of traditional scholars.

He returned to the United States in 2000 to work with the Nawawi Foundation (Chicago), where he remained for more than a decade. He then taught Islamic Studies at Darul Qasim Institute (Chicago) from 2012 to 2013. He currently works under the auspices of The Oasis Initiative (Chicago). He is engaged in independent research, writing, lecturing, and teaching across the United States, Canada, Europe, West Africa, and elsewhere with a focus on Islamic theology, spirituality, law and legal theory, and history.

Dr Abdal Hakim Murad

Timothy John Winter (born 1960), also known as Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, is an English Sunni Muslim scholar, researcher, writer and academic. He is the Dean of the Cambridge Muslim College, Aziz Foundation Professor of Islamic Studies at both Cambridge Muslim College and Ebrahim College, Director of Studies (Theology and Religious Studies) at Wolfson College and the Shaykh Zayed Lecturer in Islamic Studies at Cambridge University. His work includes publications on Islamic theology and Muslim-Christian relations. In 2003 he was awarded the Pilkington Teaching Prize by Cambridge University and in 2007 he was awarded the King Abdullah I Prize for Islamic Thought for his short booklet Bombing Without Moonlight. He has consistently been included in the “500 Most Influential Muslims” list published annually by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre and was ranked in 2012 as the 50th most influential.