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The Centre for Islamic Shi‘a Studies (CISS)

Vision statement:
Inspiring humanity and innovating research with the values of the Shi’a Islamic tradition.

Mission statement:
The Centre for Islamic Shi‘a Studies (CISS) is a research centre that specialises in the Shi’a Muslim faith. It aims to offer a scholarly Shi’a perspective on traditional and contemporary issues that affect Muslims and humanity as a whole.
By contextualising the Shi’a tradition and valuing both seminary and wider academic thinking, the CISS endeavours to offer original analysis on a wide range of fields from religious heritage and philosophy to politics and bioethics.
The ethos of the CISS is to highlight the various aspects of the Shi’a faith and its peoples to academic, civil society and international communities.
Our research is decidedly practical and as part of our centre, we assist educational and charitable causes that benefit grassroots communities worldwide. We produce research reports on disenfranchised communities, assist teaching of religious education, support the donation of books and help relief agencies that focus on improving the literacy of societies that are impoverished and oppressed.
The centre hopes its research and activities contribute to the betterment of Muslims and humanity at large.

Our goals:
To produce research on traditional and contemporary issues specifically from the Shi’a perspective
To promote a greater understanding of the Shi’a faith, its people and heritage in academia and society
To encourage originality and diversity within Shi’a scholarship
To support educational and charitable causes for the benefit of grassroots communities
To raise awareness of the rights of oppressed and disenfranchised communities
To work with fellow faiths and organisations on mutual research projects
75 Brondesbury Park,
NW6 7AX,
United Kingdom

Sayed Fadhil Bahrululum [BEng, MSc, PhD Candidate]
Position: Director
Interests: Jurisprudence (Fiqh), Theology, Political History
Born in Baghdad to a family of renowned religious scholars, Sayed Fadhil is the current Director of the Board. He obtained a BEng from Kingston University in Civil Engineering in 1990 and completed his MSc in Transport Engineering at ImperialCollege in 1997. He is currently writing his PhD in '20th Century Political Thought in Twelver Shi'ism' at The School of Oriental and African Studies [SOAS]. Since 2003, Sayed Fadhil has been pursuing higher studies at the Islamic Seminary in Qum. He also serves as the Director for the Alulbayt Foundation in London.

Ahab Bdaiwi: Researcher
Ahab’s work mainly focuses on:
Medieval Shi’i philosophy, theology, and mysticism
Contemporary Shi’i religious authority in Iraq
Safavid studies
Contemporary debates in Iranian and Iraqi Shi’ism
Broader political issues of the Middle East
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8451 3322
Email: a.bdaiwi@shiastudies.org.uk
Ahab joined the CISS in 2010 after heading an academic research unit in an international charitable organisation. He is currently a final year doctoral candidate in Arabic and Islamic Philosophy at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter.
He regularly participates in academic workshops and international conferences in the UK and abroad, in the past he presented papers at the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), Durham University, The Centre for Middle East Studies (Lund University), and the British Society for Middle Easter Studies (BRISMES).
Ahab holds degrees from Queen Mary University of London (BSc), University of Exeter (BA and MPhil), and a diploma in Arabic and Islamic studies from Al-Mahdi Institute.

Current projects:
Preparing a monograph on Contemporary Debates in Muslim Epistemologies;
Board Member of Contextualising Islam in Britain project with the University of Cambridge (www.cis.cam.ac.uk);
Editor, Online Shi’i Encyclopaedia;
Grant recipient and researcher on the Clerical Authority in Shi'i Islam Project (http://www.thehawzaproject.net/).

Selected Publications:
‘The Role of Shi’i Philosophy in the Modern Seminary of Qom’ in, Shi’ite and Christian Seminary Training, London: Routledge, 2011 (expected);
Reviw of Kalin, Knowledge in Later Islamic Philosophy, in Journal of Islamic Philosophy, 7 (2011);
‘Iran and the Myth of the Shia Crescent,’ Shia Affairs Journal, vol. 1, No. 2, 2009;
‘The Role of Faith Schools in the UK,’ The Middle East in London, Vol. 6, No. 8, 2010.

Hadia Saad: Office Manager
Hadia’s work mainly focuses on:
Running the day-to-day office
Events manager and coordinator
Human Resources Desk Manager
General Administrative Work
Tel: +44 (0) 208451 3322
Email: h.saad@shiastudies.org.uk
Prior to joining CISS, Hadia was head of the English department at the International School of Choueifat, Lebanon.
Hadia holds a BA (Hons) in Humanities from the University of Greenwich and an Adult English Language Teaching certificate from Cambridge University.

Current projects:
Organising the Second Advisory Board Meeting for 2011;
Organising the CISS international annual conference in March 2011.

Imranali Panjwani: Researcher
Imranali’s work mainly focuses on:
Classical Islamic Sciences (fiqh, kalam, hadith etc…)
International Human Rights
Islamic Law and Bioethics
Applied Metaphysics and Comparative
Western Philosophical Tradition
Tel: +44 (0) 208451 3322
Email: i.panjwani@shiastudies.org.uk
Prior to joining CISS, Imranali studied traditional Islamic studies at the Al-Mahdi Institute in Birmingham. He worked closely with a number of renowned scholars of Islamic law and ethics in order to develop a new interpretation of Muslim law and ethics in relation to the international bill of human rights.
Imranali holds an LLB in Law from Sheffield University, BA and MA from Al-Mahdi Institute, and is currently a doctoral candidate in Theology and Religious Studies at King’s College University of London.

Current projects:
Editing Online Shi’i Encyclopaedia;
Preparing and organising CISS’ forthcoming annual international conference in March 2011.

Selected Publications:

editor of, The Shi’a of Samarra: The Heritage and Politics of a Community in Iraq, London: I.B. Tauris, 2011;
with Sibtain Panjwani, Islamic Metaphysics in Bioethics: Animal-Human Experimentations, London: CISS Press, 2010.

How Muslims & Christians understand concepts of faith today’ in Max Farrar (ed.), The Study of Islam within Social Science Curricula in UK Universities, London: Higher Academy Institute, 2010;
Rights to One’s Self – The Internal Human Contract as a Primary Source of Law in International Law in Pauline Kollontai (ed.), Embracing the displaced: shaping theories for sustainable peace, York: St John University Press, forthcoming.

Mohammed Ali Musawi: Researcher
Mohammed Ali’s work mainly focuses on:
Principles of Islamic jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh)
Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh)
Political Islam and Islamist groups
Current trends in Muslim societies
Broader political issues of the Middle East
Tel: +44 (0) 208451 3322
Email: ma.musawi@shiastudies.org.uk
Prior to joining CISS, Mohammed Ali was a Research Fellow at a counter extremism think tank. There, he researched trends in Jihadist ideology, jurisprudential arguments employed by Jihadist groups and Internet Jihadism. Mohammed Ali is fluent in Arabic.
Mohammed Ali holds a BA and MA in Islamic Studies. He has also studied the level of muqaddimāt in a traditional Shī‘ī seminary in Damascus, Syria.

Current projects:
Researching and producing articles for an online Shī‘ī encyclopaedia
Preparing a monograph on the Usuli revival in the 18th century

Selected Publications:

Cheering for Osama: How Jihadists use Internet Discussion Forums, London: Quilliam, 2010.
A Selected Translation of the LIFG Recantation Document, London: Quilliam, 2009.

Sajad Jiyad: Head of Research
Sajad’s work mainly focuses on:
Politics of the Middle East
The formative period of Shi’a Islam
Islamic jurisprudence and theology
Contemporary Iraq
Tel: +44 (0) 208451 3322
Email: s.jiyad@shiastudies.org.uk
In his role as head of research at CISS, Sajad has helped build the centre’s resources, especially the library, and contribute to the portfolio of CISS. He regularly attends and presents at conferences and is aiming to increase the public’s awareness of the centre’s work.
Previously studying at medical school in King’s College London, Sajad moved onto Hawza studies at Qum before returning to Queen Mary, University of London to read Economics and Politics. He completed his MA in Islamic Studies at the Islamic College, London and is looking to continue onto a PhD. Sajad is fluent in Arabic and English.

Current projects:
Compiling entries in a new encyclopaedia on Shi’a Islam
Preparing a monograph on Shaykh Tusi and the Hawza of Najaf

Selected Publications:
‘Samarra: Shi’i Heritage and Culture’ in Imranali Panjwani (ed.), The Shi’a of Samarra: The Heritage and Politics of a Community in Iraq Samarra, London: I.B. Tauris, 2011).

Yahya Seymour: Researcher
Yahya’s work mainly focuses on:
Early Imami Hadith Literature
Classical and Contemporary discussions on Imamology
The Development of The Science of the Narrators of Hadith in Imami Shi'ism
Islamic jurisprudence
Tel: +44 (0) 208451 3322
Email: y.seymour@shiastudies.org.uk
Prior to joining CISS, Yahya was a student at the Islamic College, London, where he studied for his bachelor's degree in Islamic Studies, as well as at the Hawza 'Ilmiyyah in London. Yahya is fluent in Arabic, both classical and modern standard.
Yahya holds a BA degree in Islamic Studies and a Diploma in Arabic Language. He is preparing to start his MA degree in Islamic Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.

Current projects:
Contributor, Online Shi’i Encyclopaedia;
Preparing a translation of Fihrist al-Najashi

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