On Monday 23 January 2017, Jamia Al-Karam launched its Distinguished Lecture Series with an opening lecture from the respected Allama Dr Muhammad Shahid Raza Na’eemi OBE, on the topic titled ‘In view of the British Muslim community, the significance of Imamat and its approach in a rapidly changing world’.
Allama Dr Muhammad Shahid Raza Na’eemi OBE is a graduate of Jamia Na’eemia of Muradabad as well as the universities of Agra and Meerut, India. His father, Allama Mufti Habibullah Na’eemi, was the Shaykh-ul-Hadith and Principal of Jamia Na’eemia having served it throughout his life, and is today buried within the seminary’s complex in Muradabad, India. Arriving in the UK in 1978, Allama Shahid Raza began his service as Head Imam at the Leicester Central Mosque. He later moved to London in 1984 at the invitation of the influential Sir Dr Zaki Badawi to join the Muslim College focussed on training of Imams and community leaders. Allama Shahid Raza has further served at higher level in numerous organisations and led many projects including the Muslim Food Board UK, the World Islamic Mission, the Muslim Law (Shariah) Council UK, the British Muslim Forum, and the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board. He was awarded the OBE in 2008, and recently awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Leicester.
Allama Shahid Raza was welcomed to Jamia Al-Karam by the Principal, Shaykh Muhammad Imdad Hussain Pirzada. Following a tour of the campus, Allama Shahid Raza met with the students of Jamia Al-Karam and the distinguished lecture began. The Vice-Principal, Bakhtyar Pirzada al-Azhari, formally introduced the series and the opening guest speaker. During his lecture, Allama Shahid Raza provided deep reflection on the theme of the lecture in light of his vast cross-cultural experience, the present societal dynamics, in particular regarding mosques and Imams, as well as the challenges that lie ahead. Following the lecture, Allama Shahid Raza took questions from the audience and an informal discussion continued.
After the lecture as well as having dinner and a meeting with the Principal, Allama Shahid Raza then departed from Jamia Al-Karam. The lecture was thorough, detailed and informative. It provided much food for thought for the students of Jamia Al-Karam as they continue on their journey to #LearnAndServe.