Renewal of Islamic Thought: Contemporary Issues

Conference in Honor of Shaykh Dr. Taha Jabir Alwani

International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT)
October 23-24, 2017
Herndon, VA

The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) will hold a two-day academic conference on the theme of “Renewal of Islamic Thought: Contemporary Issues” on October 23-24, 2017, at its office in Herndon, Virginia.

The conference is held in honor of Shaykh Dr. Taha Jabir Alwani (1935-2016), one of the IIIT pioneers and a major Muslim thinker of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The conference will focus on major ideas and issues Dr. Alwani developed and contributed to during his rich academic career. As such, this is not the conference about Dr. Alwani and his work – though such proposals and papers will be considered – but about the major ideas and issues he developed in his writings. We would like to explore current state of research in the areas in which he left a prolific legacy. Of course, we welcome – and even encourage – critical engagement with Dr. Alwani’s thought and ideas.

IIIT invites original, previously unpublished, submissions that would include – but not be limited to – these topics:

  • Renewal of usul al-fiqh
  • Epistemological integration between Revealed knowledge and contemporary humanities/social sciences
  • Objectives of the Qur’an (maqasid Qur’aniyya), including: tawhidtazkiya‘umran, ummah, and da’wah
  • Impact of Dr. Alwani’s ideas on education
  • Legal pluralism and ethics of disagreement in Islam
  • The Sunnah/Hadith methodology and its role in civilizational renewal
  • Authority and primacy of the Qur’an
  • Ijtihad and its role in the renewal of Islamic thought
  • Group ijtihad (al-ijtihad al-jama‘i) as a method of deriving legal rulings
  • Contemporary issues facing Muslim minorities in the West
  • Fiqh of minorities (fiqh al-aqalliyyat), which may include a critical appraisal of the concept
  • Fiqh of citizenship (fiqh al-muwatanah)
  • Freedom of religion and apostasy
  • Critical assessments of Islamic legacy

Keynote lectures
The conference will feature two keynote lectures, by Dr. Azizah al-Hibri (University of Richmond and Al-Hibri Foundation) and Dr. Mohammad Fadel (University of Toronto).

Abstract submission and deadlines
Please submit a 350-word abstract together with a 3-page CV as a single PDF file to with the subject heading, “Renewal of Islamic Thought 2017”.

Deadline for submitting an abstract is May 31, 2017.

Successful applicants will be required to submit a paper that is between 6,000 and 10,000 words by October 1, 2017. Funding is contingent on submitting the paper by this deadline.

Travel and accommodation
IIIT will cover accommodation for accepted participants. Travel grants are available too. Please indicate, in your application, if you would require a travel grant and the amount requested.

The conference and papers will be in English.

Selected papers will be published in an edited volume, after a peer-review and an editing process.

For additional information please contact Saulat Pervez,