Academic and intellectual pursuits have the power to transform the world. The modern era pays testimony to their impact. Ideas are the lifeblood of civilization and they begin the moment ink has been spilled. However, thoughts are not imprisoned on the paper they are written on, they penetrate the hearts and minds of people, subsequently changing their behaviour. A cursory glance at the history of ideas is enough to show how powerful they are.
Ideas take time to develop and filter down to the general population. They require inspired minds and liberated hearts to share them to all levels of society. In the perennial war of ideas, they also require defending. Sapience Institute was created to dedicate itself to articulate message of Islam using intellectual and academic methods, with a focus on developing and creating intellectual and academic activists and leaders to engage in this important work.
Sapience is dedicated in living up its values of compassion, truth and tolerance.
Sapience means wisdom, insight, great intelligence or knowledge. The name is inspired by the following Qur'anic verse: Say, “This is my way; I invite to God with deep insight, I and those who follow me. And exalted is God; and I am not of those who associate others with Him.” The Qur’an, Chapter 12, Verse 108
A world that receives the message of Islam and where people can academically share the faith.
To provide a compelling, convincing case for Islam; to empower, educate and mentor others to share the faith academically.
Integrity. Compassion. God-consciousness. Tolerance. Forbearance. Fairness. Truth.
Shakyh Mohammad Idrissi began his Islamic studies in Morocco and completed them at the Institute of Islamic Education in England in 2013. He completed the memorization of the Quran and graduated in Arabic and Islamic Studies, specializing in Fiqh. He received Ijazah in the authentic books of Hadith and in the Seven Qira’at. He acquired his teacher's endorsement from Bradford College in England.
Upon returning to Seville in 2014, he founded Al-Andalusia Education, which is the first center for Arabic and Islamic Studies and Dawah in Andalusia.
He is an imam in the Al-Hidaya Mosque in Seville and in Rociana. He has written several books related to learning Arabic and Islam, designing a methodology for Islamic schools. Among his books are ‘Al-Qurtubia’ and ‘Essential Guide for a Muslim’.
Dr. Uthman Lateef is Senior Researcher and Instructor at Sapience Institute. He has a BA in History, an MA in Crusader Studies, and has completed a PhD in the 'Place of Fada'il al-Quds (Merits of Jerusalem) and Religious Poetry in the Muslim effort to recapture Jerusalem in the Crusades'. He has delivered many papers in the UK and internationally at renowned academic institutions. His book on the crusades, ‘The Cutting Edge of the Poet’s Sword: Muslim Poetic Responses to the Crusades’ was published by Brill in 2018. He has also written and continues to write academic articles and book chapters in the field of history.
Further to his PhD he conducted post-doctorate research in Politics and International Relations ('The effect of war media iconography on US identity: disruptive images, counter hegemony and political syncretism') - considering bottom-up, grassroots humanistic values and affective principles of empathy and syncretism, and the power of the visual dimension in war and conflict. His second book, on the place of empathy in challenging attitudes of otherness in human societies, entitled ‘On Being Human: How Islam addresses othering, dehumanisation and empathy’ was published in February 2020 and launched in Christchurch New Zealand on the anniversary of the Christchurch mosque shootings (2019). His most recent work, ‘Navigating War, Dissent and Empathy in Arab/U.S relations: Seeing Our Others in Darkened Spaces’ (Springer, 2021) is a comparative, multimodal study that helps to explain shifting self-identities within the U.S and relationally through the representation of an Arab 'other'.
Dr. Lateef is a lecturer and teacher at Jamia Masjid and Islamic Centre, Slough, and is a regular speaker at mosques and universities in the UK and internationally.
Yusuf Ponders has a 1st class B.A. in Philosophy. His focus has mainly been on Nihilism and the meaning of life, for which he wrote a dissertation on and made many videos about discussing this subject.
He runs a Youtube channel called "Pondering Soul", which focuses on Philosophy and Theology. He is also a co-host on the up and coming Youtube channel "Thought Adventure Podcast", as well as regularly featuring on many other da'wah channels.
Yusuf took embraced Islam in 2014, and has since then studied Islam formerly with a qualified shaykh, and hopes to continue these studies along side his studies into Philosophy.
Yusuf is a researcher and Sapience Institute's Lighthouse Mentoring manager.
Imran Hussein is the author of the forthcoming book, "Dying to Believe". He is a public speaker, instructor and writer. He focuses on engaging new atheism and presenting a positive case for Islam. He travels across the UK addressing local communities and delivers outreach training courses across university campuses.
Imran's specific focus is on facilitating an understanding of atheism and its existential implications, a topic he has formally debated. He also seeks to bring a Quranic-centric discourse in the Islamic outreach. Imran regularly delivers talks on various topics, including God's existence, the purpose of life, the existential implications of atheism and the miracle of the Qur'an. Imran has a BSc in Engineering and is pursuing further studies in Quranic arabic.
Fahad Tasleem holds a BA in Economics, Graduate Studies in Middle Eastern Studies with a focus on Islamic Theology and an MSc in Business. He is a student, researcher and teacher of various Islamic sciences.
His areas of interest include Islamic Theology, Dawah, History, Economics, Entrepreneurship and Quranic Studies. Fahad studied Arabic at Georgetown University and the University of Texas at Austin.
All of our personnel are committed to the well-being of all people and adhere to, and agree, a set of principles and ethics that have been detailed in Sapience Institute's Code of Conduct. This is available upon request.