Embrace the social teachings of Islam by rethinking modern individualism.

Embrace the social teachings of Islam by rethinking modern individualism.

A Call to Devotion: Reading the Qur’an as a Modern Muslim

Are modern Muslims more concerned with understanding the meanings of the Qur’an than Muslims of the past? Join us for this month’s Not-a-Whole-Book club session on A Call to Devotion: Reading the Quran as a Modern Muslim with author Dr. Fareeha Khan and discussants Haaj Idris Mears and Dr. Sumayya Ahmed. Our guests this month include an experienced book publisher and a scholar of manuscripts and archives.



Haaj Idris Mears (Discussant)

Idris Mears was born in 1951 and studied English at Oxford University. He entered Islam in 1973 and attended Al Azhar University. He has been a publisher with Diwan Press and an educator with various Islamic education projects. He was director of the Association of Muslim Schools 2002 – 2008 and remained on its board as fundraiser until 2018. Now back in the world of books, Haaj Idris has been attending book fairs in the Middle East with his company Blackstone & Holywell. He has launched a bookshop cum cultural encounter zone called the Book Quarter, in the Alserkal Cultural Foundation in Dubai.

Dr. Sumayya Ahmad (Discussant)

Sumayya Ahmed, born and raised in Chicago, IL USA ,converted to Islam in 1995 after meeting Muslims who were very generous of spirit. She holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University in Sociology and African American Studies, an M.A. from Georgetown University in Arab Studies, and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Information Science with a focus on Archives and Documentary Heritage in North Africa. Dr. Sumayya was the co-editor of the 2016 De Gruyter volume, “Library and Information Science in the Middle East and North Africa.” She is a professor of archives and lives in Boston with her husband and children.

Dr. Fareeha Khan (Host)

Dr. Fareeha Khan is an intellectual historian and a founding member of the Sila Initiative. She holds an MA from the University of Chicago in Middle Eastern Studies and a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Michigan. She has also studied with Muslim scholars in Jordan, the US and Canada. Born and raised in Chicago, she now lives with her husband Ibrahim Mansoor in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where she continues to write and conduct research.


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The Sila Initiative helps you embrace the social teachings of Islam by rethinking modern individualism.