"Muslims are like family - You don’t have to like them, but you are obliged to love them. ”
Shaykh Hamza Wald Maqbul
Bursa, the first capital of the Ottoman Empire, the Green City on the skirt of Uludağ, a grand mountain. Bursa is the city of numerous awliyā including spiritual giants such as Emir Sultan and Üftade Hazretleri. The city is the place where the ghāzi spirit of early Ottoman Turks was infused with the ‘ilm and ‘irfan of great scholars and awliyā. Our participants will have a chance to relax at the famed Ulu Cami (Grand Mosque), and to visit among others, the Yeşil (The Green), Orhan, and Muradiye Mosques and discover the vibrant markets and bazaars of the city.
Our last trip was for our retreat with scholars to Abant in Bolu. Abant is located in the lush and mountainous Bolu Province in the Black Sea Region of Turkey. We stayed at Lake Abant and devoted our time to student presentations and discussions on key concepts of Islam and modernity, outdoor activities, and to dhikr and tafakkur.
From Our Ihsan Participants
In Istanbul, Bursa, and Abant, each mosque captured a unique experience that changed with the melody of the Imam’s voice, the directions of the breeze, the smiles of the people, and the art that spoke of our Beloved. I carry pieces of each mosque and smile and melody with me. In these atmospheres too, there was that which was beyond words which I will also carry. - Noor from the US
It shows that the glory of our civilisation is not something to be boxed into the past where we tear over history papers and live schizophrenically in the present, totally disconnected from that heritage. Istanbul presents the opportunity to re-insert ourselves into our historical process and claim time and history for our own for the first time in two hundred years. - Ahmed from the UK
I enjoyed every moment of the classes at Ihsan Academy and the exposure that it offered in various fields of Islamic learning from traditional studies of Aqidah, to Islam in relation to politics, economics, psychology, urban studies and more. - Faiza from the US
What distinguishes great teachers is the sense of purpose they give to their students. As one of the instructors at Ihsan Academy said: “If you read, you will learn. If you read in the name of Allah ﷻ , you will succeed”. - Amir from Moldova
As a graduate of engineering and a student always enchanted with theological, philosophical
Trips to Bosporous only affirmed what sky had to say to me. The colossal nature of these bodies, as they appear to meet far away on the horizon, spoke to me of freedom. I could only conclude that this programme on the whole was my personal escape to Freedom. - Rabe’a from Kashmir
I found Ihsan academy is one of the advanced platforms from that city of hope where it encourage us to keep Muslimness/Iman/Islam/Ihsan at our heart wherever the political and historical destiny of Muslims take direction. - Roshan from India
What made the course especially fecund intellectually is that organisers, teachers and participants share certain methodological principles, including a commitment to judiciously filtering terminology and metaphysical assumptions borrowed from Western intellectual history—which the introductory lecture discussed. - Sameer from the UK
Talking about Istanbul, this was the third time I‟ve been here in just 3 years, but the experience with Ihsan Academy this time around was so special that I sometimes felt I have never been here before. - Anis from Malaysia
We have learned not just from books and classes but also living spirits showing us the history of Iman and Ihsan. - Fuga from Japan
Shaykh Hamzah Wald Maqbul went to Syria and Egypt where he studied the Arabic language, Morocco, Mauritania, and UAE, where he studied the madhab of Imam Malik, grammar, usul al-hadith, and the two renditions of the qira’ah of Imam Nafi’, Warsh and Qalun, and finally Pakistan where he studied tafsir, usul al-hadith, hadith, ‘ilm al-rijal and Hanafi fiqh.
Dr Yakoob Ahmed is a PhD graduate from SOAS, University of London. An Ottoman historian, he is currently teaching Islamic history at Istanbul University and was a visiting fellow at the Modern Turkish Studies Centre at Istanbul Şehir University. His research focuses are Muslim intellectual thought in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Islamic constitutionalism, identity, nationalism and collective memory construction.
Ismail Yaylaci is an assistant professor at Istanbul Sehir University in the department of political science and international relations. He received his PhD from University of Minnesota Social Sciences Institute Political Science in 2014. His research interests are: international relations theory, critical social and political theory, Islamism, and Middle Eastern politics.
Dr. Recep Şentürk is the President of Ibn Khaldun University (IHU) in Istanbul, Turkey. Professor Şentürk holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University, Department of Sociology, and specializes in civilization studies, sociology and Islamic studies with a focus on social networks, human rights, and modernization in the Muslim world.
Samy Ayoub specializes in Islamic law, modern Middle East law, and law and religion in contemporary Muslim societies. He has legal training in Egypt and in the United States, and in Islamic studies. Dr. Ayoub is currently serving as the president of the Islamic Law Section at the Associaton of American Law Schools (AALS).
Hooman Keshavarzi is a Licensed Psychotherapist in Illinois, completed his Psy.D (to be conferred), holds a Masters of Clinical Psychology and a Bachelors of Science – specialist psychology track/minor in Islamic Studies. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Argosy University Chicago, American Islamic College, Hartford Seminary, instructor of psychology at Islamic Online University and founding director of Khalil Center.