Category : Media

The Shīʿah Institute Symposium 2017 ‘Nahj al-Balāghah: The Word of ʿAlī’

On 14th and 15th December 2017, the Shīʿah Institute hosted its third symposium on the subject of ‘Nahj al-Balāghah: The Word of ʿAlī’, at The Warburg Institute, University of London.

“As the Paramount source for the word of the Prince of the Believers (amīr al-muʾminīn) ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib, the Nahj al-Balāghah—compiled by al-Sharīf al-Raḍī in 400 AH/ 1010 CE—is a foundational text of Arabic literature and an enduring font of the spiritual and intellectual life of Islam. There is no doubt that the words of of Imām ʿAlī, have exercised as profound and formative impact on the development of the Arabic language, as Shakespeare, the King James’ Bible, and Milton, have had on English”.

The symposium, a first of its kind on this subject saw leading scholars from around the world explore key themes pertaining to the ‘Nahj al-Balāghah: The Word of ʿAlī’.

The Shīʿah Institute Symposium 2017 – Programme

We are pleased to announce the programme for the Shīʿah Institute’s third symposium, on the subject of ‘Nahj al-Balāghah: The Word of ʿAlī’. This two-day symposium will examine, explore, and contextualise this enduring masterpiece of Arabic literature—an indispensable member of the canon of world religious and spiritual texts.

Attendance to The Shīʿah Institute’s symposia is by invitation only. If you would like to attend please register your interest via the contact page.

Welcome Speech – The Shīʿah Institute Annual Symposium 2016 ‘Lamenting Karbala: Commemoration, Mourning, and Memory’

From the 31st of August to the 2nd of September 2016, the Shīʿah Institute held its second Annual Symposium on the subject of ‘Lamenting Karbala: Commemoration, Mourning, and Memory’, at the Warburg Institute, University of London. The Symposium was an international event, attended by renowned scholars from the four corners of the world. The welcome note was delivered by the Dean of the Shīʿah Institute, Sayyid Amjad H. Shah Naqavi.


Book Launch Event – The Mystery of Prayer

On the 9th of October 2015, the Shīʿah Institute held the book launch for The Mystery of Prayer by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Macmillan Hall at Senate House, University of London. At the event, Riyaz Dhalla gave his reflections on the life and thought of Ayatullah Khomeini, Sayyid Ali Kazimi spoke on the importance of The Mystery of Prayer, and the Dean of the Shīʿah Institute, Sayyid Amjad H. Shah Naqavi discussed the challenges and theories involved in authentically translating the work. The event commenced at 6.30 pm and concluded at 9 pm with a food and beverage reception. The Shīʿah Institute would like to thank all our guests for their attendance and our speakers for their talks.

The Mystery of Prayer

The Mystery of Prayer by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, completed in June 1939, represents the author’s most original contribution to modern Shīʿī philosophy (ḥikmah) and gnosticism (ʿirfān), a work that draws upon scriptural sources and the Shīʿah intellectual and mystical traditions to engage with the understanding of the higher pursuits of mankind’s reconnection with God. Taking the ritual of prayer as a vehicle for comprehending the nature of reality as a reflection, manifestation, and determination of the divine, The Mystery of Prayer elucidates upon the esoteric dimensions of each stage of the ritual prayer as the wayfarer ascends through degrees and theophanies to arrive in the presence of God.

The first work in the Modern Shīʿah Library, published in June 2015 in partnership with Brill, Sayyid Amjad H. Shah Naqavi’s English translation includes extensive explanatory footnotes and a twenty-eight-page introduction that explores the sources, influences, and development of Khomeini’s gnostic concepts and taxonomies in his intellectual milieu.

The Shīʿah Institute’s Annual Symposium 2015: Philosophy and the Intellectual Life in Shīʿah Islam

On the 2nd to the 4th of September 2015, the Shīʿah Institute held its first Annual Symposium at the Warburg Institute, University of London. This year’s Annual Symposium was themed around the subject of ‘Philosophy and the Intellectual Life in Shīʿah Islam’.

The Dean of the Shīʿah Institute, Sayyid Amjad H. Shah Naqavi, delivers a welcome note to those convened for the Shīʿah Institute’s Annual Symposium 2015

A look at the papers presented as part of the Shīʿah Institute’s Annual Symposium 2015 on ‘Philosophy and the Intellectual Life in Shīʿah Islam’

The following papers were delivered at this year’s Annual Symposium:

  • Sajjad Rizvi (University of Exeter) – The Problematic of Shīʿī Philosophy: Between Philosophical Analysis and Intellectual History
  • Wilferd Madelung (University of Oxford) – Shīʿah Islam and Universality in the Encyclopaedia of the Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʾ
  • Hussein Abdulsater (American University of Beirut) – The Theory of States from al-Mufīd to al-Murtaḍā
  • Saiyad Nizamuddin Ahmad (American University in Cairo) – ‘Imāmate by Any Other Name would Smell as Sweet’: Ibn ʿArabī, his Fuṣūṣ al-Ḥikam, and the Doctrine of al-Insān al-Kāmil in Shīʿī Philosophy
  • Elizabeth R. Alexandrin (University of Manitoba) – Breaking Open the Seal: Ḥaydar Āmulī, Saʿd al-Dīn Ḥamūye, and Messianic Expectations
  • Seyed Salman Safavi (London Academy of Iranian Studies) – The Safavid Order and the Importance of Shaykh Ṣafī al-Dīn Ardabīlī in Shīʿī Thought
  • Mohammed Rustom (Carleton University, Ottawa) – Ḥaydar Āmulī on Imām ʿAlī as the Seal of Walāyah
  • Ahab Bdaiwi (University of St Andrews) – The Epistemic Value of Shīʿah Islam in Mediaeval and Early-Modern Philosophical Traditions in the Islamic East: from al-Dashtakī (d. 1498) to al-Shīrāzī (d. 1636)
  • Reza Pourjavady (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt) – The Assemblies of the Believers: Nūr Allāh Shūshtarī’s Compendium on the Legacy of the Shīʿah
  • Matthew Melvin-Koushki (University of South Carolina) – Mīr Dāmād and the Neopythagoreanisation of Philosophy in Safavid Iran
  • Mohammed Redha al-Lawati (al-Raʾy, Muscat, Oman) – Linking the Contingent to the Eternal and the Material to the Abstract in the Horizons of the Substantial Motion of Ṣadr al-Dīn al-Shīrāzī
  • Cyrus Ali Zargar (Augustana College, Illinois) – The Imām’s Ethical Body: Embodied Virtue and the Human Constitution according to Mullā Ṣadrā and Fayḍ Kāshānī
  • Sayyid Amjad H. Shah Naqavi (The Shīʿah Institute, London) – ‘I am the Prayer of the Believers and their Fast’: Ḥakīm-i Kuchik’s Concept of the Holy Mystery
  • Hasan Ali Khan (Habib University, Karachi) – The Role of Astrology in the Celebration of Nawruz Through the Wilāyat of ʿAlī at Ghadir-Khumm
  • Jari Kaukua (University of Jyväskylä) – Mullā Ṣadrā on the Uṣūl al-Kāfī
  • Sumeyye Parildar (Istanbul University) – Applying Gradational Ontology onto Logic: Mullā Ṣadrā on Propositions, Conception, and Assent
  • Mathieu Terrier (École pratique des hautes études, Paris) – Between Theology, Historiography, and Philosophy: The Concept of Badāʾ in Mīr Dāmād’s Nibrās al-Ḍiyāʾ, its Sources, and its Extensions
  • Emann Allebban (McGill University, Montreal) – Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī’s Reception of Avicenna’s Metaphysics of Causation
  • Hossein Kamaly (Barnard College, Columbia, NY) – On Knowledge by Presence and the Epistemological Turn in Ḥikmah
  • Pooya Razavian (University of Oxford) – A Gadamerian Critique of Shabestarī’s Philosophical Anthropology
  • Robert Gleave (University of Exeter) – Twelver Uṣūlī Debates in the Philosophy of Language after Ākhund al-Khurasānī