Lifelong Learning Articles

The selection of articles presented in this section is aimed to facilitate access to secondary literature on Islam, and the related fields, by a general non-academic readership, with particular focus on students and individuals who may have personal or professional interest in studying aspects of Muslim cultures and societies.

These articles reflect the views of individual authors on the basis of their research, reflection, and experience and should not be seen as necessarily reflecting the Institute's thinking or perspectives.

Muslim Spaces of Worship and Gathering
Eplore a photo album featuring diverse historical and contemporary Muslim Spaces of Worship and Gathering that reflect the rich intellectual, cultural, spiritual and institutional pluralism of the worldwide Muslim community, Umma. let us knwo what you think here.
IIS’ Philosophy
The Institute of Ismaili Studies (IIS) was established in 1977 with the objective of promoting scholarship and learning on Muslim cultures and societies, historical as well as contemporary, and encouraging a better understanding of their relationship with other societies and faiths.
Pluralism: Beyond Ethnic and Sectarian Identities
Many societies of the Muslim world, for all their rich traditions of diversity and generosity, have lately fallen prey to ugly sectarian division. Communities that have long been part of the larger Islamic world and its heritage — Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, and various minority Muslim...
Social Legislation in Surat al-Ahzab
In this article Prof. Madelung examines Surat 33 of the Qur’an, al-Ahzab, in the context of circumstances in Prophet Muhammad’s life at the time of its revelation. Pivotal issues such as the roots of the Muslim perspective on adoption, succession of women, and who was referred to by the term ...
Governing Diverse Communities: A Medieval Muslim Illustration
The unfolding of the recent, people-led demonstrations across the Middle East brings to the fore the perennial question of what constitutes good governance and how the quest for good order is to be fulfilled. One way to respond to this question is to examine models of authority and leadership...
Whose Memory? Re-thinking Orientalist and Occidental Conceptualisations of ‘Islamic Art’.
In this reflective piece the author utilises a quote by cultural historian James Clifford to deconstruct the orientalist bias in museums when curating exhibitions of ‘Islamic Art’. He asks important questions about the generic term ‘Islamic art,’ and how narrow or broad this is in scope....
Ethics in Action: The Role of Waqf in Early Muslim Society
In this article the author references certain key hadiths of Prophet Muhammad, Qur’anic verses and examples from the Prophet’s sunna to highlight the importance in Islam of an ethical standpoint in all walks of life including giving charity, helping the poor and needy, and aiding those who are...
Nasir al-Din al-Tusi and Astronomy
This article provides a short informative history of Nasir al-Din Tusi’s life, education and works. Nasir al-Din al-Tusi’s contribution to the post-13th century intellectual history of Islam is monumental, and many of his works became the standard in a variety of disciplines up to modern times...