IIIT Intellectual Panels

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Hadeel Elaradi



The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) held a series of panels at
the 42st annual convention of the Islamic Circle of North America-Muslim
American Society (ICNA-MAS) in Baltimore, MD, on Saturday, April 15,
2017. This year, the convention’s theme was “The Quest for True Success:
The Divine Message of Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad.”
IIIT’s intellectual panels dealt with a variety of topics. The first session,
“The Concept of Madrasa: Context and Reform,” revolved around Ebrahim
Moosa’s What Is a Madrasa? (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina
Press, 2015). Moosa (professor, Islamic studies, University of Notre Dame)
reminisced about his time as a madrasa student in India, stating: “The way I
came into India was in a very pietistic orientation, that Islam was all about piety. India and the madrasas taught me that Islam is about thinking ... piety
... goodness ... making a contribution to the world.” However, he continued,
the “madrasas have done a good job in preserving the identity of traditional
Islam, but it’s unable to make that identity actually work in the real world. ...
and that modern knowledge has been closed off from the lived experience of
Muslims.” ...

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