Shaykh Salih Ekinci al-Ghursi (Konya) [visiting]
Born in 1953 in Mardin, Turkey, Shaykh Salih al-Ghursi is one of the greatest living heirs of the Kurdish Islamic intellectual tradition of Diyarbakır. Shaykh Salih was born in a scholarly family and began his studies at an early age under his late father Shaykh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz al-Ghursī. He studied under the leading scholars of his day in Diyarbakir, Turkey and the Middle East before receiving his full Ijāza from one of his primary teachers, Shaykh Muḥammad el-Arabkendi (d. 1987). Upon Shaykh el-Arbakendi’s passing, Shaykh al-Ghursī took his place teaching in his madrasa in Arabkend. He later founded the Falāḥ madrasa in Konya, where he continues to serve as lead scholar. He has written over two dozen books, most of which are on the topic of theology and the rational sciences and are hailed among the most exacting and sophisticated treatments of the rational sciences written in the 20th century.
Dr. Recep Şentürk (İstanbul)
Dr. Recep Şentürk is the President of Ibn Haldun University (IHU) in Istanbul, Turkey. He is also Director of EDEP and İSM institutes in Istanbul. He holds a PhD from Columbia University, Department of Sociology (1998), and specializes in the sociology of knowledge, human rights and Islamic studies with a focus on the Ottoman Empire, Egypt and Turkey. He was a visiting research fellow at Emory University Law School during the academic year 2002–2003 as part of Islam and Human Rights Project. Dr. Recep has also studied the Islamic sciences extensively, and he received his Ijāza in the religious sciences from the late Shaykh Muhammad Emin Er. He has also authored widely in English and Turkish, including Narrative Social Structure: Hadith Transmission Network, 610-1505 (Stanford University Press, 2005); Islam and Human Rights: Sociological and Legal Perspectives (2007); Malcolm X: Struggle for Human Rights (2006); Modernization and Social Science in the Muslim World: A Comparison between Turkey and Egypt (2006); and, Open Civilization: Cultural Foundations of Pluralism (2010).
Shaykh Dr. Mahmoud al-Misri (Syria)
Born in 1961, Shaykh Mahmoud studied the religious sciences with some of the most prominent scholars of Syria, including Shaykh Abdurrahman al-Shaghouri, Imam Abdullah Sirajuddin and Dr. Nureddin ʿIṭr. In addition to completing his medical degree in pediatric medicine, he completed his BA and MA in Hadith Sciences at the University of Damascus before receiving his PhD from Aleppo University in the History of Science. He practiced as a pediatrician in Aleppo while sitting on the board of Aleppo University’s board for the Faculty of Sharīʿa and training students in the religious and spiritual sciences. He is currently teaching at Fatih Sultan Mehmed University and İSAR in İstanbul. He has written widely in diverse fields including the history of science, medicine, theology and sufism and has worked extensively in manuscript editing and publication.
Dr. Ahmad Snobar (Amman/İstanbul)
Dr. Snobar received his MA (2004) and PhD (2009) in Hadith Sciences from the from University of Jordan. He graduated first in his class in the Masters program, and placed second in the nation for the Ph.D. entrance exam. He is thoroughly grounded in both traditional Islamic scholarship and modern teaching and research methods. He taught and developed Qasid Institute’s upper-level Classical Arabic curriculum for over a decade. He now lives in İstanbul, where he serves as Chair of the Department of Classical Arabic at 29 Mayis University and heads the Arabic program at İSAR and EDEP. He is a solid researcher with an uncanny ability to access, analyze, and summarize classical texts, and has gained a reputation among students for his charismatic and engaging lecture style.
Dr. Bilal Aybakan (Istanbul)
Dr. Bilal Aybakan is the founder dean of Ibn Haldun University (IHU) School of Islamic Studies. Born in Urfa (1963), Dr. Bilal completed his MA (1990) and PhD (1997) at Marmara University, one of the top departments of Theology in Turkey. While trained as a Ḥanafī jurist, Dr. Aybakan’s research and teaching focus on Fiqh of Muamalat, Uṣūl al-fiqh and history of Shāfiʿī madhhab. He has taught many courses regarding different aspects of Islamic Law in undergraduate and graduate programs for 20 years, and supervised many graduate dissertations. He has written various academic works about different aspects of Islamic Jurisprudence in Turkish and English. Some of his books include “Fulfillment of Obligation in Islamic Law”, “Ijmāʿ in the Formative Period of Islamic Law”; “Imām al-Shāfiʿī and the Formation of the Shāfiʿī School of Law”.
Dr. İhsan Kahveci (Istanbul)
He was born in Sakarya in 1967. In 1986 he completed Sarıyer İmam Hatip High School. In 1992 he graduated from al-Azhar University, the Faculty of Arabic Language and Literature. In 1993, he became a research assistant at in Sakarya University, Faculty of Theology. In 2008 he graduated from Ankara University, Faculty of Theology. In 1995, he received his master’s degree from Marmara University, with his dissertation on “The Concept and Dimensions of Remembrance in the Qur’an”. In 2001, he completed his doctorate in Sakarya University with his thesis entitled “Ulûm Al-Qur’an in Fakhr al-Din al-Razi’s work named ‘Mafâtîh Al-gayb’”.
Between 2009-2017 he gave lectures at the undergraduate and graduate level in the field of exegesis at the Faculty of Theology in Sakarya University. In 2015-2016 academic year, he worked as a faculty member and vice-dean for one year at the Faculty of Theology of Near East University, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.As of April 03, 2017, he started to work as a faculty member in the Faculty of Islamic Sciences of Ibn Haldun University. History of the Qur’an, Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsîr, History of Tafsîr is his main research area. He is currently a lecturer at the Faculty of Islamic Studies in Ibn Haldun University. He speaks Arabic and English fluently.
Dr. Ahmet Murat Özel (Istanbul)
He studied in Faculty of Usul ad-din (al-Azhar University, 1992-1994) and graduated from Faculty of Divinity, Marmara University (Istanbul) (1997). He received his MA and PhD in Islamic philosophy and sufi studies from Selçuk University (Konya). Dr. Özel taught history of Sufism and sufi literature in FSMV University (Istanbul), Üsküdar University (Istanbul) and Yalova University (Yalova). And now he is working at School of Islamic Studies in Ibn Haldun University. He wrote several books, articles and papers in history of sufism, Shadiliyya sufi order and sufi orders in Anatolia.
Dr. İbrahim Özdemir (Bingöl)
Dr. İbrahim Özdemir was born in 1961 in the province of Elazığ in Turkey. He completed his primary education in Bingöl, taking private courses in Arabic and the foundational Islamic sciences. Graduating from Mardin Imam Hatip High School in 1989, he went on to give private lessons in Arabic and Islamic studies for some time. In 2001, he graduated from Fırat University’s Department of Theology at the top of his class. He went on to receive his Master’s from the Institute of Social Sciences at the same university, this time in the Department of the Foundational Islamic Sciences, with a focus on Arabic Language and Rhetoric. In 2013, he completed his Ph.D. in Islamic Law at the Department of the Foundational Islamic Sciences at Dicle University in Diyarbakır. He taught in the Department of Theology at the University of Dicle from 2013 to 2014, and is currently an assistant professor at Bingöl University, teaching Fiqh in the Department of Theology. In addition to this, he worked as an imam, khatib, and mufti between 1990 and 2012 and has had various duties in the Turkish Ministry of Religious Affairs. His expertise spans the fields of fiqh, usul al-fiqh, kalam, mantiq, and Arabic language. Some of his publications include: Discussions on Taʿlīl in Usūl al-Fiqh, Language and its Evolution in Islamic Thought, the Legal Significance of the Prophet’s Actions and Abstentions, “Taʿlīl in Ashʿarī Kalām,” “A Different Approach to Change in Rulings,” and “The Issue of Humanity in Fiqh or the Religious Significance of Rulings Derived on the Basis of Ijtihād.”
Dr. Hamza Bekrî (Istanbul)
Born in Jordan in 1982, Dr. Hamza Muhammed Wasim Bekri completed his BA (2004) at al-Balqa Applied University, where he graduated from the Department of the Methodology of Religion with honors. He went on to complete his MA and PhD at the University of Jordan’s Department of Hadith. He has published many beneficial articles and works and is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Islamic Sciences at Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakif University. In addition to this, he has taught and continues to teach kalam, aqidah, fiqh, usul al-fiqh, and hadith at such institutions as Fatih Sultan Mehmet, EDEP, ISM, and ISAM.