Previous Years Events

The Global Debt Problem: The Islamic Solution

Is boom and bust inevitable? Why does the value of money keep on failing? Why is the whole world now in debt?
In this lecture, Tarek El Diwany proposes an alternative monetary and financial system that eradicates the problems of indebtedness.

Tarek is the senior member at Zest Advisory LLP. He graduated in Accounting and Finance from the University of Lancaster in 1985.

Since 1998 he has worked as a consultant and researcher in the field of Islamic finance for a variety of professional and private clients across the world. Tarek is the author of “The Problem With Interest”, a work on Islamic monetary economics now available in four language editions. In 1997 he founded, the world’s first website dedicated to the field.

Tarek makes regular appearances in the broadcast and print media on the subject of Islamic banking and finance, and has addressed meetings in both Houses of Parliament in London on the topic. He has delivered numerous conference papers on the wider economic context of Islamic banking.

Tarek has been closely involved in the development and promotion of Islamic home finance for several years, and has presented his ideas to various institutions including the Ar-Riyadh Development Authority and the United Kingdom Treasury.

The Golden Rule: Can We Live By It?

Festival Lecture

What would our politics, our economics, our business practice, our religion look like if we lived by the Golden Rule?

Azeem Ibrahim, voted Scottish Muslim of the Year launches the festival drawing on his wide experience as a financier, a philanthropist, an academic, a community activist, a columnist, an advisor to governments and a soldier…

Muslim Women: Images and Realities

Rehana Saddiq shares her experience as a Muslim woman, and analyses the various challenges faced in contemporary Muslim and secular societies.

3-Day Course: Conversational Arabic

Get to grips with one of the world’s most important languages in these classes aimed at beginners.



Workshop: Art of Islamic Patterns

By Adam Williamson

Geometry and Arabesque are two of the three distinct disciplines that underpin Islamic Art (the other one being Calligraphy).

Using the traditional tools of compass and straight edge, you will delve into the exploration of an exciting range of classical Islamic designs as well as investigating the different systems of proportion and consider the role of symbolism.

Arabesque (Islimi)
Islimi (Arabesque), is one of the three distinct disciplines that underpins Islamic art (the other two being Calligraphy and Geometry). Islimi designs are biomorphic, floral patterns representing the underlying order and unity of nature.
This fascinating practical module aims to introduce you to the various families of motifs and styles and gives a wonderful insight into their historic origins and symbolism.

Courtesy of Adam Williamson ©

Adam Sulieman Williamson is a skilled stone/wood carver and practising artist in many media. He undertakes interior, architectural and sculptural commissions.

He has been commissioned by among others HRH the Prince of Wales, Oxford University, Shakespeare’s Globe London, Kew Gardens, Westminster Abbey, Pakistan Embassy, Foreign Office in Vienna and London Zoo.

Adam has travelled around the world to work with artists, including Mount Athos, Greece, Spain, Morocco and Turkey. He was the subject of a documentary when he travelled to Malaysia and Indonesia looking at woodcarving and biomorphic art in that area. He currently works from his studio in Hackney Wick, East London.

Adam is a leading specialist in Islimi (Arabesque/biomorphic art), he is a sessional lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London and has taught in schools and museums across London, including the British Library, V&A, British Museum and PSTA

Islam, Beyond Misconceptions

It is one of the world’s most populous religions, yet perhaps the most misunderstood.

Abdu’r-Raheem Green discusses and clarifies various misconceptions and stereotypes about Islam in our society, often amplified by the media.

Abdu’r-Raheem Green is a British convert to Islam and a world-famous lecturer. He runs a consultancy, Green and Chambers Consulting, as well as making regular appearances on digital television.




Women, Islam and Liberation

Farkhanda Chaudhry explains the position of Muslim women in societies and illustrates how they negotiate faith expectations in their personal and civic spheres.

Farkhanda is the first female Muslim Justice of the Peace in Scotland. She has led in the field of equalities, human rights and community development. Over the years she has developed and delivered training at an international level.




The Sacred Art of the Pen in Islam: From Past to Present

This presentation will highlight the beauty and principles of this traditional Arabic art form.

By Soraya Syed Sanders (

Soraya is a renowned artist who spent seven years studying the art and received the “Ijazah” (Islamic Calligraphy Diploma) in Istanbul, Turkey.

She attended the Arts Foundation at Central St. Martin’s, London and graduated in 2001 from The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, London.


Courtesy of Peter Sanders Photography©


Courtesy of Art of the Pen ©



Islamic Calligraphy Workshop

Learn about the basics of Islamic calligraphy and the principles of geometric proportions that govern the letter forms. Create a beautiful unique artwork using traditional tools, inks and materials.

This afternoon workshop with Soraya Syed Sanders will offer you a rare opportunity to discover the art of Islamic calligraphy.

Soraya is a renowned artist who spent seven years studying the art and received the “Ijazah” (Islamic Calligraphy Diploma) in Istanbul, Turkey. She attended the Arts Foundation at Central St. Martin’s, London and graduated in 2001 from The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, London.

calligraphy_workshop soraya_writing

Courtesy of Art of the Pen ©



The Qur’an and Modern Scientific Discoveries

Has religion been made irrelevant in this age of scientific exploration?

In his lecture, Dr Jamal Badawi explains how in Islam sees religion and science as going hand in hand.

He also explores several cases where the Qur’an, revealed fourteen centuries ago, anticipated modern scientific discoveries such as in human embryology.

Dr. Jamal Badawi is Professor Emeritus at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, where he served as Professor of both Management and Religious Studies. During its May 2008 Convocation, the University granted him an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law in recognition of his promotion of “a better understanding of Islam” and contribution “to civil society around the world”.
He is also the author of several works on Islam, including books, chapters in books and articles, and the audio “Islamic Teachings Series” available online.




Is Jesus the Son of God?

British writer Idris Tawfiq was a Roman Catholic priest before becoming a Muslim nine years ago.

In this talk, he will explain how he has come to reconcile his former beliefs with what he believes today as a Muslim and why, in his opinion, Jesus came to be regarded by Christians as divine.


A Journey to the Qur’an

The Qur’an! A unique revelation with an eternal and universal message, it contains guidance on all aspects of life.

The Qur’anic text remains unaltered, guiding people today as it did over 1400 years ago. Its beautiful recitation and eloquent language provides its audience with a heart-rending experience.

Sheikh Ahmed Sa’ad, who will be speaking and reciting, graduated from the prestigious Al-Azhar University in Cairo and is the Imam of North London Central Mosque. He is an expert on the Qur’an and its recitation, having multiple certified chains of narration to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).


What’s Holy About War? The Real Meaning of Jihad

A question/answer session

Does the Qur’an teach hate and violence against innocent, peacefully co-existing non-Muslims?

In recent years, a lot has been said and written about the supposed connection between the text of the Qur’an and the recent wave of violence involving a handful of Muslims.

In this Q/A session, Dr Jamal Badawi clarifies the concept of Jihad and answers all your questions.

Whose Holy Land? Islam’s View on Jerusalem

Jerusalem and the Holy Land are at the heart of the three monotheistic religions; Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Khalid El-Awaisi and Idris Tawfiq explore Islamicjerusalem’s rich history and explain why the Holy Land is significant to Muslims.

Khalid El-Awaisi is the Director of the Centre for Islamicjerusalem Studies at Al-Maktoum Institute – University of Aberdeen.
His latest book is “Geographical Dimensions of Islamicjerusalem”.

Idris Tawfiq is the author of eight books about Islam, his latest being “Looking for Peace in the Land of the Prophets”. (


Fasting in Ramadan:

Exploring the significance of an age-old rite in today’s world

An interactive discussion with Professor Aziz Sheikh marking the beginning of the month of Ramadan.Aziz Sheikh is professor of Primary Care Research and Development (Division of Community Health Sciences at the University of Edinburgh). His personal and professional experience will allow him to shed both a practical and spiritual light on the concept of Ramadan.


You Already Speak Arabic!

A Visual Gallery/Presentation of Islam’s Contribution to European Languages

The talk aims to provide an informative cultural and linguistic insight and understanding of a collection of commonly-used English words of Arabic origins.The Arabic language has had a great and long-lasting impact on many European languages, namely Spanish and English. This presentation aims to act as a reminder to us all of one of the many incredible contributions of Islam to the West.

The speaker will be using a selection of high-quality inspiring visuals to illustrate that we all already speak some Arabic!

Mourad Diouri is an award-winning e-Learning lecturer in Arabic studies at CASAW (Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World), University of Edinburgh. He has travelled across the UK giving lectures and conference presentations in his areas of expertise. He is also currently in the process of authoring a number of books on Islam and Arabic language learning and  teaching.



One Response to Previous Years Events

  1. Rebekah Gronowski says:

    This is now a well-established part of Edinburgh life during the bigger festival The Islam Festival offers some wonderful opportunities to learn about this very rich culture.

    Thank you/shukran

    Asalaam aleycom/Shalom aleichem/Peace be to you


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: