"A hub providing scholarly forums dedicated towards reconciling relations amongst Muslims through better understanding the diversity and difference within and across Muslim traditions."
FIND OUT MORE THE CENTRE FOR INTRA-MUSLIM STUDIES
About Us
mutual understanding
honest dialogue
critical engagement
collegiality
shared challenges
thinking together

The work of CIMS goes beyond attempts to polemically defend or ignore historical differences. Instead it encourages mutual understanding, honest dialogue, critical engagement and collegiality as an impetus for new, joined-up, collaborative studies, thinking and teaching which can draw upon, and speak to, a breadth of Muslim traditions beyond the limits of sectarian narratives.

Since its inception in 2015, as a joint initiative of a network of Sunni and Shia scholars, CIMS has been at the forefront of providing a platform for honest, open and critical engagement on issues of historical and theological tension amongst Sunni and Shi’i thought.

Meetings , held at least four times a year, gather scholars to discuss issues historically understood as points of contention and sometimes deep misunderstanding, learning from each other, identifying points of agreement, difference and scope for reconciling relations through scholarly harmony and understanding.

These gatherings have become a platform for CIMS to work beyond the distinction of Sunni and Shia, thinking together, towards addressing shared challenges.

Our Network

Shaykh Atabek Shukurov

Director, Maturidi Institute

Dr Seyfeddin Kara

Fellow, University of Toronto

Shaykh Vinay Khetia

Adjunct Professor, University of Toronto & Academic Director, Shia Research Institute

Syed Naveed Shah

Imam, Keith Lane Mosque

Dr Amra Bone

Muslim Chaplain, University of Portsmouth

Shaykh Abu Jafar

Scholar

Mufti Muhammad Farooq Alwi

Imam and Khatib, Jami Masjid, Birmingham

Ayatollah Mostafa Mohaghegh Damad

Dean, Dep. Islamic Studies & Professor of Law, Tehran University

Maulana Abdul Hadi al-Umari

Head, Markazi Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith Birmingham

Sayed Hossein Qazwini

Public Speaker & Lecturer, Islamic Seminary Karbala

Qari Zahirudin Tahir

Imam, al-Maktoum Mosque

Prof. Iqbal Asaria

Adjunct Professor, INCEIF Malaysia

Mahdiyah Abdul-Hussain

Lecturer, Al-Mahdi Institute

Shaykh Amjad Abbas

Research Fellow. Al-Basirah, Islamabad

Shaykh Ayman Yacoubi

Lecturer, University Birmingham

Syed Hadi Rizvi

Scholar & Lecturer

Shaykh Ramadhan Kamau

Scholar

Mufti Abdul Majeed Nadeem

Imam, Handsworth Mosque

Maulana Abdul Hamid Kusuri

Chaplain, University of Wolverhampton

Dr Amina Inloes

Public Speaker & Lecturer at ICAS, London

Professor Liyakat Takim

Sharjah Chair in Global Islam, McMaster University

Shaykh Wazir Hussain Turabi

Scholar

Shaykh Nuru Mohammed

Public speaker & Imam at KSIMC, Birmingham

Maulana Qiyamuddin

Head: Dar ul Uloom Coventry Road

Shaykh Mahmood Khattab Fawzy

Imam, Smethwick Jamia Masjid

Shaykh Muhammad Shahid Ullah

Imam, Jami Mosque Birmingham

Shaykh Arek Miernik

Scholar

Dr Mohammad Khalid

Director, Centre for Intra-Muslim Studies

Shaykh Ayub Rashid

Lecturer in Islamic studies, ICAS London & Public Speaker

Shaykh Arif Abdulhussain

Senior Lecturer & Director of Al-Mahdi Institute

Rukhsana Bhanji

Team Member, CIMS

Shaykh Mohammed Reza Tajri

Lecturer in Arabic Language, AMI

Dr Ali Reza Bhojani

Co-director, The Centre for Intra-Muslim Studies

Dr Syed Jaafar Fadlallah

Lecturer, Al-Mahdi Institute & Islamic Shar’i Institute

Shaykh Umar Ramadhan

CIMS Fellow

Shaykh Ali R Khaki

CIMS Coordinator

Adrees Sharif

Management, UKIM Paigham e Islam, Birmingham

Shaykh Mahmood Dhalla

Public Speaker

Shaykh Mohammed Sajjad

Imam of Paigham Islam Trust, Birmingham

Shaykh Kumail Rajani

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Exeter

Farooq Mulla

Chaplain, Rampton Hospital

Shaykh Jaffer Ladak

Imam, Bab ul Im, Leeds

Professor Seyed Mohammad Ghari S Fatemi

Lecturer, Shahid Beheshti University & Al-Mahdi Institute

Dr Hashim Bata

Research Fellow & Lecturer in Usul al-Fiqh at AMI

Shaykh Mohammad Amin Evans

Director of Theology at the Association of British Muslims

Shaykh Mohammad Shukri

Lecturer in Qur'an & Hadith Studies

Hafiz Mohammad Saeed

Imam, Handsworth Islamic Centre

Dr Ali Fanaei

Senior Lecturer , Al-Mahdi Institute

Shaykh Mohammad Saeed Bahmanpour

Public Speaker & Scholar

Shaykh Abbas Mirza

Programme Leader for BA Hawza / Foundation at ICAS

Syed Mohammad Naqvi

Public Speaker

Dr Wahid Amin

Research Fellow & Lecturer in Muslim Pholosophy at AMI

Hafiz Abdul Ghafoor

Member of Dawah project at IIPC, Birmingham

Shaykh Mohammad Sarfraz Madani

Deputy head of Al-Hijrah school, Birmingham & EC member at Central Mosque

Hafiz Mohammad Idrees

Advisor for Religious Education in UK schools

Dr Khurram Bashir

Researcher & Scholar

Maulana Mohammad Ashraf Qureshi

Scholar

Maulana Ayaaz Ahmad Ghulam Nabi

Public Speaker

Shaykh Riaz Walji

Lecturer in Philosophy at AMI

Dr Mohammadreza Kalantari

Research Fellow & Deputy Director, CIWAS

Shaykh Atabek Shukurov

Director, Maturidi Institute

Shaykh Atabek is a scholar in Hanafi fiqh who began his religious studies at the tender age of ten, completing his studies at the age of 21 at Jamia Isalmia, Uzbekistan. He furthered his studies in Damascus at the Takhassus Institute which is affiliated to al-Azhar University. The Shaykh is currently the director of the Maturidi Institute where he teaches in the Alamiya progamme and is also a teacher in herbal medicine at the Ibn Sina Institute. The Shaykh can be regularly seen on British TV and is continually involved in writing and researching on various topics.

Dr Seyfeddin Kara

Fellow, University of Toronto

Dr Seyfeddin Kara is Marie Sklodowska-Curie Global Fellow at the University of Toronto and the University of Goettingen. He is also a Board Member at American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies. Dr Kara previously was a Teaching Fellow at the University of Durham, UK and Assistant Professor at Hartford Seminary, US. He has published research articles in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, the Muslim World, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. He is the author of In Search Ali ibn Abi Talib’s Codex: History and Traditions of the Earliest Copy of the Qur’an.

Shaykh Vinay Khetia

Adjunct Professor, University of Toronto & Academic Director, Shia Research Institute

Dr Shaykh Vinay Khetia is a graduate of the Shia Seminary (hawzah) and holds a PhD from McMaster University on ‘History and Philosophy of Shi’i devotional literature’. Shaykh has published numerous academic articles dealing with Islamic Law, Islamic Historiography, Early Islamic History and Tafsir.

Meetings Presented

Syed Naveed Shah

Imam, Keith Lane Mosque

Syed Naveed Shah is an Imam at Keith Lane Mosque and has served various communities in the capacity of Imam for many years. Having studied at Jamia Arabiya Gujranwalla, he also holds an LLB in Sharia law from the International Islamic University Pakistan, and an MA in Islamic Banking from Markfield University.

Meetings Presented

Dr Amra Bone

Muslim Chaplain, University of Portsmouth

Dr Amra has been described as the first female Sharia Council Panel Judge in the UK; helping women to come out of difficult and abusive marriages and promoting 'gender justice’. She has and continues to present in national and international interfaith conferences and has been involved in local and national activities designed to promote community cohesion through education and dialogue.

Shaykh Abu Jafar

Scholar

Shaykh Abu Jafar is a graduate of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, after which he went on to studying further Islamic Studies at the Hawza of Qom, Iran where he attained the level of Bahth al-Khariji. His specialty is in the field of Aqaeed involving theological discussions and Tafseer of the holy Qur'an and Hadith. Shaykh Abu Jaffar also teaches Ulum al-Hadith and Ulum al-Qur'an at various educational institutions in and around Birmingham, UK.

Mufti Muhammad Farooq Alwi

Imam and Khatib, Jami Masjid, Birmingham

Mufti Muhammad Farooq Alwi has pursued traditional seminarian studies for 14 years in Pakistan, studying under notable teachers. He has been awarded multiple ʾijāza (highest level of qualification) certifying his proficiency in hadith, tafsir, and issuing religious edicts (fatawa) from Wafaq ul Madaris Al-Arabia, the largest federation of Islamic Seminaries in Pakistan. Mufti has served as an Imam for many years in the UK & Pakistan and has also held the position of Director of the British Sharia Council. In addition to him writing on various contemporary juristic issues, he currently is the head Imam at Jamia Masjid, Birmingham and is a core member of The Centre for Islamic Decrees & Doctrines .

Ayatollah Mostafa Mohaghegh Damad

Dean, Dep. Islamic Studies & Professor of Law, Tehran University

Ayatollah Mohaghegh Damad completed his seminarian studies at the Fayzieh School in Qom, Iran, where he achieved the status of a mujtahid by the age of 25. Parallel to his seminarian education, he pursued secular academic studies, obtaining a degree in Islamic Philosophy and a Masters in Islamic Jurisprudence, both from Tehran University, before going on to earn his PhD in Law at the University of Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. He is the Dean of the Department of Islamic Studies at The Academy of Sciences of Iran, and a Professor of Law and Islamic Philosophy at Tehran University. He is recognised as one of the world’s most influential Muslims by The Muslim 500 for his scholarly work

Maulana Abdul Hadi al-Umari

Head, Markazi Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith Birmingham

Shaykh Abdul Hadi al-Umri studied under renowned scholars whilst pursuing traditional seminarian studies (Dars-e-Nizami) in India and at the Islamic University of Medina, Saudi Arabia. He specialised in hadith studies and went on to teach hadith and wider Islamic studies in Saudi Arabia, India and the UK. Aside from lecturing in various universities he regularly lectures on international TV channels addressing contemporary issues facing Muslims. Shaykh Umri has published papers on fiqh in English, Urdu, and Arabic and is an editor of the Sirat-e-Mustaqeem journal.

Sayed Hossein Qazwini

Public Speaker & Lecturer, Islamic Seminary Karbala

Sayed Hossein Al-Qazwini studied Islamic studies at an undergraduate level at the University of California, Berkeley, after which he went on to study at the Islamic Seminary in Karbala from 2004-2010, and Seminary of Najaf from 2010-2014 under prominent scholars. He has since been teaching upper level studies (Bahth Kharij) at the Islamic Seminary of Karbala, and has been certified with a licence of ijtihad by his father Ayatollah Murtadha al-Qazwini. In addition to giving lectures at various Islamic centres globally, Sayed also writes extensively and has published books on the topic of jurisprudence in the Arabic language.

Qari Zahirudin Tahir

Imam, al-Maktoum Mosque

Qari Zahiruddin is a graduate of  Jamia Ashrafiya Lahore and Jamia Mansura where he has studied for over 12 years.  He has a wealth of experience serving the community and has served an Imam in the UK since 1991, in Woolwich Mosque, Cambridge mosque and is currently the Imam at al Maktoum Mosque, Newmarket.

Meetings Presented

Mahdiyah Abdul-Hussain

Lecturer, Al-Mahdi Institute

Mahdiyah Abdul-Hussain has a background in both Islamic jurisprudence and an LLM in Medical Law and Bioethics from the University of Birmingham. She conducted her research on Organ Donation in Shi’i Jurisprudence gaining an MRes from Royal Holloway, University of London. She is currently a faculty member at Al-Mahdi Institute teaching theology, legal theory, and jurisprudence.

Shaykh Ayman Yacoubi

Lecturer, University Birmingham

Shaykh Ayman Yacoubi graduated in the field of languages from the world-famous Al Azhar university where he also studied the traditional Islamic sciences. Following this, he completed two master’s degrees in linguistics; first from Marlboro graduate college in the USA and secondly from the University of Birmingham. He also studied teaching and education at the University of Cambridge. Shaykh Yacoubi has taught Arabic at the European Institute of Human sciences and he is currently the teacher of Quran, fiqh and Arabic language at the Bab ul Ilm alim programme in addition to teaching in the Languages programme at the University of Birmingham.

Meetings Presented

Syed Hadi Rizvi

Scholar & Lecturer

Syed Hadi Rizvi is a graduate of the religious Shi’i Seminary of Qum (Hawzah) and former lecturer at the Islamic seminary in London.

Mufti Abdul Majeed Nadeem

Imam, Handsworth Mosque

Mufti Abdul Majid Nadeem is a scholar and researcher. He also the Imam at Handsworth Mosque, lecturer at The Joseph Chamberlain college and holds the position of vice president of Tahrike Kashmir.

Maulana Abdul Hamid Kusuri

Chaplain, University of Wolverhampton

Maulana Abdul Hamid Kusuri completed his MA in Islamic education at Jami al-Ulum Institute in Multan, Pakistan. He later joined Islamabad University to complete his degree in Sharia Law. Moving to Britain, he started his career as an Imam and scholar at his local mosque in Wolverhampton whilst completing a course in chaplaincy from the Markfield Institute for Higher Education. At present, he serves as Imam & Chaplain at University of Wolverhampton.

Professor Liyakat Takim

Sharjah Chair in Global Islam, McMaster University

Professor Liyakat Takim is the Sharjah Chair in Global Islam at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada. In addition to his prolific writing on a wide range of Islamic topics, he regularly presents at various academic conferences and currently teaches a wide range of courses on Islam. 

Meetings Presented

Shaykh Mahmood Khattab Fawzy

Imam, Smethwick Jamia Masjid

Shaykh Mahmood Fawzy Khattab is a graduate from Jamia Al-Azhar in Egypt and well known hafidh of the Quran who memorised the words of Allah from an early age. He currently resides in the UK and is from Egyptian origin.

Dr Mohammad Khalid

Director, Centre for Intra-Muslim Studies

Dr. Khalid holds an MA from the University of Birmingham and a PhD from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He also holds an MA in Islamic Studies from Markez-e-Uloom Islamiyah, Pakistan, and a BA in Islamic Studies from Idara Ishaatul Uloom, Pakistan. For over twenty-years he has been a Minister of Religion in the UK and has been a visiting lecturer in local schools. He also holds a position at  The Center of Decree's and Doctrines (Dār al-iftāʾ wa-l aqāʿid) which brings together scholars, from a cross-section of Islamic schools of thought, to provide unified guidance for the diverse Muslim population living in the West.

Shaykh Ayub Rashid

Lecturer in Islamic studies, ICAS London & Public Speaker

Shaykh Ayub Rashid is a graduate of the Islamic Seminary of Qom, Iran. He holds a BA in Islamic law and MA in Islam and Community Studies and is a qualified Muslim Chaplain. He is currently the Imam at Khairul Amal Trust, East London and is also a lecturer of Advanced Studies in ICAS, London teaching Islamic Law & Jurisprudence.

Shaykh Arif Abdulhussain

Senior Lecturer & Director of Al-Mahdi Institute

Shaykh Arif is the Director of al-Mahdi Institute, co-founder of CIMS and is a Senior Lecturer in Uṣūl al-fiqh and Muslim Philosophy at the Institute. He was educated at the Madrassah Syed Al- Khoei, London and continued his seminarian post-graduate studies in Qom, Iran. Alongside his studies, he also taught in Qom across a wide spectrum of the traditional Muslim scholarly disciplines.

Rukhsana Bhanji

Team Member, CIMS

Rukhsana Bhanji is a member of the team at CIMS and also manages the operations at Al-Mahdi Institute.

Shaykh Mohammed Reza Tajri

Lecturer in Arabic Language, AMI

Shaykh Tajri completed his BA in Islamic Studies at Middlesex University in 2007 whilst simultaneously studying the traditional Islamic Sciences at the Islamic Seminary in London. He then graduated in Arabic Language, Grammar and Poetry at the University of Damascus in 2007, before studying at the Imam Khomeini Islamic Seminary in Syria. He completed an MA in Islamic studies at Middlesex University (2010) and a second MA at Cardiff University (2013) in "Islam in Contemporary Britain". He currently is a lecturer in Arabic Language at Al-Mahdi Institute.

Dr Ali Reza Bhojani

Co-director, The Centre for Intra-Muslim Studies

Dr Ali-Reza Bhojani is a lecturer at the Al-Mahdi Institute, co-director of the Centre for Intra-Muslim Studies and a research affiliate at the University of Oxford. A graduate of the Al-Mahdi Institute, his research, teaching and writing focuses on intersections between Islamic legal theory, theology and ethics.

Dr Syed Jaafar Fadlallah

Lecturer, Al-Mahdi Institute & Islamic Shar’i Institute

Dr Sayyid Jaafer Muhammad Hussayn Fadlallah, is a lecturer of jurisprudence at the Islamic Shari’i Institute in Beirut, Lebanon & Al-Mahdi Institute Birmingham, UK. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the Lebanese University (2015) and is currently a faculty member at the Lebanese University faculty of Social Sciences & a lecturer at Al-Mahdi Institute, Birmingham.

Meetings Presented

Shaykh Umar Ramadhan

CIMS Fellow

Shaykh Muhammad Umar is the Chairman of Ramadhan Foundation, a leading Muslim organisation in the UK working for peaceful co-existence and dialogue for all communities. He is also a senior member of Majlis al-Shura, (consultative council) of Markazi Jamat E Ahle Sunnat (Central Association of Sunni Muslims UK & Overseas) which is the oldest and largest body representing Sunni Muslims in the UK. Shaykh is also a member of The Center of Decree's and Doctrines (Dār al-iftāʾ wa-l aqāʿid) which brings together scholars, from a cross-section of Islamic schools of thought, to provide unified guidance for the diverse Muslim population living in the West

Shaykh Ali R Khaki

CIMS Coordinator

Shaykh Ali is a graduate of Al-Mahdi Institute's seminary programme and has a postgraduate from The University of Birmingham in Islamic Studies. In addition to coordinating CIMS and other outreach events at the Institute, Ali is a lecturer in the traditional seminary sciences teaching Fiqh and Usul al-Fiqh.

Adrees Sharif

Management, UKIM Paigham e Islam, Birmingham

Adrees Sharif is an active member of UK Islamic mission,  involved in youth projects in his local community and is chair of the membership committee at the Muslim Council of Britain. He is also a member of National Education Team and International Relief Team, Mosaic Mentoring (HRH Prince's Trust) and the West Midlands Police Advisory Group.

Shaykh Mahmood Dhalla

Public Speaker

Shaykh Mahmood Dhalla has a MA in Philosophy from the University of Birmingham. He began his traditional hawza studies at Al-Mahdi Institute, Birmingham in 1993 and He has been involved in various roles within the Institute.

Shaykh Mohammed Sajjad

Imam of Paigham Islam Trust, Birmingham

Shaykh Mohammad Sajjad obtained his alim degree from an Jamia al-Arabiyyah in Gojranwala, Pakistan. He completed his MA in Arabic & Islamic studies at the University of Peshawar and obtained his teaching qualification from Agha Khan University in Karachi. Currently, he is the Imam and khatib of the Paigham Islam Trust in Birmingham.

Shaykh Kumail Rajani

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Exeter

Shaykh Dr Kumail Rajani is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Islamic Studies at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, where he completed his doctoral thesis. He is currently working on the Law, Authority and Learning in Shiite Islam project (http://www.lawalisi.eu/) with Professor Robert Gleave. He has undertaken seminary studies in Qum for over 17 years during which he attended the lectures of renowned scholars. He has also taught Islamic Law and Society at the University of Exeter, and Islamic History at Al-Mahdi Institute.

Farooq Mulla

Chaplain, Rampton Hospital

Farooq Mulla is a UK based trained Hafiz and Imam and has developed himself by understanding and working with different cultures. He was appointed as a Chaplain since 1995 in the Rampton hospital and is a consultant advisor for a number of organisations on issues related to Muslim community in the UK and abroad.

Shaykh Jaffer Ladak

Imam, Bab ul Im, Leeds

Sheikh Jafferhas studied at Jaami'a Imam as-Sadiq (a) of Ayatollah al-Qazwini, Hawza Imam al-Jawad (a) of Grand Ayatollah Syed Taqi al-Modarresi in holy Kerbala and Al Mahdi Institute, Birmingham. He has authored two books, The Hidden Treasure (2011) and The Ways of The Righteous (2015) with various other written works in the pipeline.

Professor Seyed Mohammad Ghari S Fatemi

Lecturer, Shahid Beheshti University & Al-Mahdi Institute

Professor Seyed Fatemi pursued seminarian education for over 13 years in the Hawza illmiyya of Qom, Iran, where he studied Islamic Jurisprudence and Legal Theory under the supervision of renowned teachers. He is currently a faculty member at Shahid Beheshti University and Al-Mahdi Institute, supervising PhD candidates and lecturing on the Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights, Islam and Human Rights, and Legal Hermeneutics. He also teaches the Public Governance in Islamic Thought module, as part of Al-Mahdi Institute’s collaborative Masters in Islamic Studies with the University of Birmingham.

Dr Hashim Bata

Research Fellow & Lecturer in Usul al-Fiqh at AMI

After successfully graduating from both the Al-Mahdi Institute's Four-year Hawza programme and the BA (Hons) in Islamic Studies at the Islamic College for Advanced studies, Dr Hashim Bata went on to pursue a MA in ‘Islam in Contemporary Societies’ at the University of Warwick and subsequently his PhD thesis on Shi'ite legal epistomology submitted to the University of Warwick. He currently teaches Islamic legal theory at Al-Mahdi Institute  & The Thematic Study of Shi’ism as part of the collaborative programme with The University of Birmingham.

Shaykh Mohammad Amin Evans

Director of Theology at the Association of British Muslims

Shaykh Muhammad Amin Evans holds a BA (Hons) in Humanities with Religious Studies and an MA in Islamic Studies. In teaching at the Al-Mahdi Institute, ICAS and Queen’s Foundation he has delivered undergraduate courses in Fiqh, Research Methodology, the Comparative Study of Religions, Islam and has also given numerous Islamic lectures in masjids, churches, colleges and television studios.

Hafiz Mohammad Saeed

Imam, Handsworth Islamic Centre

Hafiz Mohammad Saeed graduated from the leading Islamic institute, Markaz Ulum Islamiah Lahore, where he completed his Alim course and also achieved a BA in Islamic education. After settling in England in 2005, he began his career as an Imam and teacher at the Handsworth Islamic Centre in Birmingham.

Dr Ali Fanaei

Senior Lecturer , Al-Mahdi Institute

Dr Fanaei undertook traditional seminarian studies in Qom, Iran for over 17 years under renowned teachers. He obtained a Masters in Islamic Theology from the University of Qom and after relocating to the UK was awarded a Mphil and PhD from the University of Sheffield for his research in moral epistemology. He is currently a faculty member of the Department of Philosophy at Mofid University, Qom, and a senior lecturer at Al-Mahdi Institute in subjects including Islamic jurisprudence, legal theory and hermeneutics. His influential works have been published in both English and Persian through which he is being recognised as an important member of the select group of ‘enlightenment thinkers’ in Iran.

Dr Khurram Bashir

Researcher & Scholar

Latest Meetings
Peace treaty of Hasan & Muawiya
The Battle of Siffin
The Battle of Jamal
The Door of Fatima
Saqifa & The Appointment of the First Caliph
The Context of the Prophet’s will | Shia
The Context of the Prophet’s will | Sunni
The event of Ghadeer
FAQs

A hub providing scholarly forums dedicated towards reconciling relations amongst Muslims through better understanding the diversity and difference within and across Muslim traditions.

Hosting CIMS scholarly meetings and developing the CIMS scholarly network, producing resources and content that can inform the wider Muslim Community

In 2015, a small group of scholars including Dr Mohammad Khalid and Shaykh Arif Abdul Hussain, agreed to hold regular meetings bringing together Sunni and Shi’a scholars to discuss issues of contention and misunderstanding towards increasing mutual understanding and harmony amongst Muslims. The first years activities, a series of meetings and discussions which launched CIMS, were kindly supported by a generous donation from an individual based in South London who wished to remain anonymous. The donor had spent many years working to bridge relationships between Sunni and Shi’a community leaders and activists, and through this work recongised the need and importance of increasing understanding amongst scholars- the core remit of CIMS.

  • CIMS is governed within the structures of the Al-Mahdi Institute, a U.K. registered charity. CIMS has two co-directors, Dr Mohammad Khalid and Dr Ali-Reza Bhojani, that oversee CIMS activities in consultation with CIMS members and the broader CIMS network. CIMS activities are driven by a part-time paid member of staff, Shaykh Ali-Redha Khaki, who combines this work with a wider remit of responsibilities at the Al-Mahdi Institute. CIMS benefits greatly from the broader administrative and infrastructural support of the Al-Mahdi Institute.

The funding for all CIMS activities, through the Al-Mahdi Institute, is sourced from grass roots charitable donations.

If you would like to support the work of CIMS through a charitable donation or endowment contact [email protected] or donate here marking your donation CIMS

CIMS meetings hold a variety of formats, but all share in their commitment to open, honest discussions in a spirit of collegiality towards shared learning. A meeting will typically include presentations on a specific theme from different perspectives (e.g. Sunna and Shi’a) followed by extensive, critical scholarly discussions amongst participants. Videos and resources, such as detailed papers or PowerPoint presentations, are made available after the event. A written summary of the event is always posted online, this often includes agreed outcomes of similarities and differences, sharing the scholarly content of the session with a wider grassroots audience.

CIMS meetings are held at least 4-6 times a year

CIMS has a growing network of scholars from around the world that participate in its regular meetings. This increasingly diverse group has grown organically out of a small group of Sunni and Shia scholars who were the founding members. Participants within meetings are by invitation of the directors. CIMS welcome recommendations for participants who have a commitment to shared learning, despite difference, towards mutual understanding. We particularly welcome recommendations that would help us better reflect the diversity of scholars and scholarship informing the Muslim community around the world.

The co-directors, in consultations with broader CIMS members, invite specific scholars to address the pre-agreed themes identified for each CIMS meetings. These are often existing CIMS members, yet there is a concerted effort to seek to continually broaden the CIMS network through inviting a wide range of diverse Sunni and Shia voices to present at CIMS.

What our scholars say
Shaykh Mohammad Amin Evans

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”

Get in Touch

Drop us a message or Recommend a Scholar