College of Islamic Studies - HBKU
مجالات البحث
Call for Papers "Religion as a Changing Category of Muslim Practice"

Two-day workshop: When and Where

24-25 April 2019 at Islamic University of Applied Sciences Rotterdam, The Netherlands.



Deadline for proposals

11th March 2019.



Dr Hossam Mohamed ( and Ertugrul Gokcekuyu (



This workshop will focus on:

Islamic Reform and Modernity

Participants are invited to share papers from their research as a basis for discussion of the possible insights to be gained by bringing critical approaches to the category ‘religion’ to bear on our study of Islam. With the rise of modernity in Europe and its spread to the other constituents of the world, Muslim scholars felt a dire need of Islamic reform and renewal although to a limited extent, which went on growing in the later times. The type of responses addressed toward modernity were varied, some betrayed traditional attitude of rejection, while some others accepted the modernity with no scrutiny, and this group were mostly from elite class of society, somehow involved with political institutions who tried to conform Islamic institutions with western models.

Not to mention, there a third group of religious scholars was seen to step forward towards all challenges with selective approach.  However, it is noteworthy that Islamic scholars dedicated their efforts time to time with a view to reform their society from different angles notwithstanding of facing multitudes of problems from inside as well as outside of their society. The focus was not given merely to the analysis of traditions and adopting the changes of realities. Rather, immense dedications were put simultaneously to Islamize human sciences and to structure theories combine the unchangeable Islamic principles of creeds and jurisprudence,  effective from old and the useful from new. (القديم الصالح و الجديد النافع)”



It is very imperative as well as controversial question at the same time, do we need Islamic reform and renewal or not? This very question bred ample controversies in the later time among the scholarly circles. From a general understanding, it could be argued that reform simply is an integral part of human society and civilization. Islam is conceived in its broad understanding as a world view, as a complete code of life. It indicates undoubtedly to that Islam is compatible with modernity and is not against of accepting change and diversity.  Hence, the dynamism of Islam stands directly in support of renewal.

However, we need to bear in mind that, Islamic reform is not meant for the unchangeable (ثوابت) facts in Islam, rather, it always touches the changeable (متغيرات) secondary facts, and that is why there remains no contradiction of Islam with reform. To sum up, the greatness of Islam, the beauty of its rulings and the compatibility of its applications will not be sustained and maintained if Islam comes in contrast with the advancement of life. Hence, with a view to prove the dynamism of Islam, the door of Islamic reform and renewal must be opened.



  1. What do we mean by Islamic reform (Islah) (إصلاح) and Renewal (Tajdid) (تجديد) in Islamic Thought?
  2. Is Islamic reform mandatory or a choice? Is there a need of civilizational renaissance for Muslims?
  3. Why many of religious text and traditions need to be revisited or restudied and contextualized in terms of changeable realities?
  4. What are the fields required to be reformed for Islamic Revival?
  5. Is Islamic renaissance possible in 21st century? if yes, what are the primary prerequisites for Islamic Renaissance?
  6. What are the gaps evident between the early renaissance and the required one?
  7. What are the probable challenges Islamic Renaissance might face from Western civilization and modernity? And how we can solve the problems related to these challenges.


Submission guidelines

Paper proposals are to be sent to primarily to Dr Hossam Mohamed including Mr Ertugrul Gokcekuyu in the CC by 11th march 2019 including; Paper title - abstract up to 300 words.

Please do not forget to include a one page bio including relevant publications.


Travel and Accommodation

The IUR (Bergsingel 135 Rotterdam, The Netherlands) will be able to offer a room for accommodation at our dormitory. Breakfast and lunch will be included. Yet, we will not be able to fund travel costs to the venue in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Please do take these conditions into account.

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