"What is Islam?" A symposium to honor the memory of our friend, colleague and teacher, Shahab Ahmed
Friday April 29, 2016
1:00pm to 6:30pm, Fong Auditorium, Boylston Hall
You are invited to join us on the afternoon of Friday April 29, 2016 for "What is Islam? A Symposium in Memory of Shahab Ahmed." This symposium honors the memory of our friend, colleague and teacher Shahab Ahmed. While Shahab's too-early death robbed all of us of a brilliant scholar, the publication of his groundbreaking and challenging book What Is Islam? The Importance of Being Islamic (Princeton University Press) offers a wonderful opportunity to consider his intellectual legacy from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Those who will reflect on Shahab's book and its impact include Michael Cook, Noah Feldman, Cemal Kafadar, Gülru Necipoğlu, Parimal Patil, and Nicholas Watson. This important event is sponsored by the Standing Committee on Medieval Studies, the Mahindra Humanities Center, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, the Committee on the Study of Religion, with support of the Rabbi Joseph S. Shubow Memorial Fund, the South Asia Initiative, the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program, and the Islamic Legal Studies Program.
For more information, please contact Nora Lessersohn (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For a copy of the event poster, please click here
In Memory of Shahab Ahmed, 1966-2015
We were greatly honored to have Shahab Ahmed as an Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture Associate (2015-2016). He was a leading scholar in Islamic Studies, whose loss leaves a great void in the field. Shahab was a participant in the ongoing Török project, an AKPIA-sponsored publication focusing on a unique manuscript in the Oriental Collection of the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. As one of twenty distinguished scholars working on this collaborative publication project, Shahab presented his findings on “Books on Interpretations of the Qur’an and the Science of Qur’anic Recitation” at the Harvard University workshop called “The Ottoman Palace Library Inventory of 1502-3,” held in Cambridge on April 4-6, 2014. We are grateful to Shahab for his contribution to this project and hope that it will be regarded as an important and lasting part of his intellectual legacy.
Shahab Ahmed in Pakistan. Photo by Rehan Lashari, courtesy Nora Lessersohn
At Harvard, Shahab was a Junior Fellow, Society of Fellows (2000-2003); he subsequently became Associate Professor of Islamic Studies; and Lecturer on Law, and Research Fellow in Islamic Legal Studies at Harvard Law School (2014-15). As an AKPIA Associate, he was to have delivered a lecture on 28 April, 2016, titled "Some Exploratory Thoughts on Ottoman Islamic Aesthetics." We feel great sadness that we will not hear what he had planned to say.
We will miss him greatly, and anticipate his forthcoming publication, What Is Islam? The Importance of Being Islamic (Princeton University Press).
A photo of Shahab Ahmed (middle table) deep in discussion with his colleagues Dimitri Gutas and Khaled Al Rouayhebat, at a luncheon during the MS. Török workshop at Harvard, April 5, 2014.
FORTHCOMING MEMORIAL GATHERINGS:
Shahab's memorial service has been scheduled for Sunday, November 15, 2015, from 4 to 5:30 pm at Memorial Church at Harvard University, to be followed by a reception. A one-day workshop celebrating and discussing Shahab’s book will take place at Harvard, on Friday, April 29, 2016. It will consist of two panels focusing on History/Islamic Studies/Law and on Religion/Anthropology/Art.