UM-Flint Hosts Second Iqbal Symposium on Islamic Thought and Civilization

The University of Michigan continues to explore Islamic history and narratives throughout the Allama Muhammad Iqbal Symposium on Islamic Thought and Civilization.

UM-Flint is hosting the second annual Iqbal Symposium on Thursday, March 10 at 5:30 p.m. in the Northbank Center Grand Ballroom. The event has a hybrid format with a limited number of in-person seats and a virtual program.

Dr. Celene Ibrahim, Groton School, Faculty of Religious Studies and Philosophy and Muslim chaplain and faculty member of the Islamic Seminary of Boston, is the keynote speaker for the symposium. Ibrahim holds a Ph.D. in Arab and Islamic Civilizations and an MA in Women’s and Gender Studies and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, an MA in Divinity from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree with highest honors from Princeton University. She has published several books, including “Women and Gender in the Qur’anfrom Oxford University Press.

The Iqbal Symposium is an effort to foster a deeper understanding of the rich history and living tradition of Islamic thought and civilization and its impact on the world. The symposium is named after Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938), widely known as Allama Iqbal, an extraordinary poet and philosopher from South Asia, now Pakistan.

“By hosting the Iqbal Symposium, the University of Michigan-Flint offers our faculty, staff, students, and our greater Flint community the opportunity to learn and grow together in our understanding of the contributions of Islam to our society,” said Dr. David Luke, UM-Flint’s Chief Diversity Officer. “We recognize that our historical narratives are shaped by those in power, and therefore some contributions are more widely recognized than others. The Iqbal Symposium is one way we hope to elevate stories that may have been overlooked.”

Dr Ibrahim’s discussion will focus on the subject of one of her books, “Women and Gender in the Quran”, in which she highlights all of the female characters in the Quran, explores the themes of sex and sexuality, speech, and more. Her work will provide nuance and context to an understanding of gender in the Quran and in Islam.

“Any time the university can work with the wider community to develop programming that is intellectually rich and that addresses broader issues important to living in a democratic society, that’s a good thing,” said Daniel Andrew Birchok, UM-Flint Assistant Professor of Anthropology. “Islam, which like all religious traditions is incredibly diverse and speaks to its practitioners in different ways, is often misunderstood in the American public sphere.”

The Iqbal symposium will explore a new aspect of Islam and Islamic societies each year, he said.

Last year, more than 120 people attended the inaugural symposium, and event organizers hope to build on that momentum in 2022.

UM-Flint is asking for a donation of $50 for in-person attendance and $25 for virtual attendance to be donated to the endowment supporting the annual symposium. You can make your donation by clicking here. Students wishing to attend do not need to make any financial contribution.

Register for the Allama Muhammad Iqbal Symposium on Islamic Thought and Civilization.