ISDEV RESEARCH DISCOURSE
APPROACHING KNOWLEDGE: SECULAR AND RELIGIOUS
DR. MUHAMMAD AFIFI AL-AKITI
[Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford]
28 DECEMBER 2010 (TUESDAY)
9.30 AM – 12.00 PM
CO5 MEETING ROOM, ISDEV, SCHOOL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES
All Are Cordially Invited!
BIODATA OF THE SPEAKER
Dr Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti BA (Queen’s), MA (Oxon), MSt (Oxon), DPhil (Oxon), also known as Shaykh Afifi – is a Fellow in Islamic Studies at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, a Lecturer in Islamic Studies at the Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford and a Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford. He is the first ever Malay to be appointed to such a position in this world famous University.
Shaykh Afifi completed his DPhil in Medieval Arabic Philosophy from Oxford University as a Clarendon Scholar in 2008. His thesis identifies and systematically considers for the first time a group of philosophical writings, called the Madnun corpus, attributed to Islam’s greatest theologian, al-Ghazali (d. 505/1111). His discoveries are based on a painstaking survey of nearly 50 medieval Arabic manuscripts. Besides acquainting scholars with this remarkable new body of source material, his three-volume study presents a critical edition of the most advanced and technical work of this corpus, the manual on metaphysics and natural philosophy called the Major Madnun.
Shaykh Afifi, who comes from Malaysia, is trained as a theologian and philologist in both the Islamic and Western traditions: educated originally at the feet of the ulema of the Muslim world, he subsequently received a First Class degree in Scholastic Philosophy and History of Science from the Queen’s University Belfast, where he was awarded various scholarships to read for his Masters and Doctoral degrees at Oxford. His areas of expertise are Islamic theology, philosophy and science.
In 2009, along with Professor Muhammad Abdel Haleem and the IIIT, Shaykh Afifi was shortlisted for the Annual UK Muslim Awards, in one of its 15 coveted Awards for Excellence, the Allama Iqbal Award for Creativity in Islamic Thought.
In 2010, Shaykh Afifi was appointed Privy Councillor to the State of Perak, Malaysia, by the Crown Prince of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah.