Ghazali Festival Guest Speakers

Aisha Gray-Henry (USA)

Aisha Gray-Henry is the founder and director of the charitable foundation and publishing company Fons Vitae. Fons Vitae is currently engaged in the monumental task of bringing out Ghazali’s Ihya in readable english for parents and teachers as well as adapting it for children with workbooks, school curricula and an instructional DVD. The Book of Knowledge and Book of Creed educational sets are available and in use internationally with Purity and Prayer nearing completion. Included is a children’s interactive website , a pilot school project and prison program. Translations into Urdu, Arabic, and Malay are underway. The Fons Vitae Ghazali Project has been launched with great acclaim in Morocco, Canada, Indonesia, England and the USA so far.


Professor Abu Sway (Palestine)

Professor Abu Sway was appointed as the first holder of the Integral Chair for the Study of Imam Ghazali’s Work at Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa and at Al-Quds University in 2012. He has been Professor of Philosophy and Islamic Studies at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem, Palestine since 1996. He taught at the International Islamic University in Malaysia (1993-96) and was a visiting Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at the Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University, as well as a visiting professor of Islamic Studies at Bard College, NY.


Sheikh Hamzah Maqbul (USA)

Sheikh Hamzah was born in Whittier, California. He pursued a program of traditional Islamic studies. His educational tour took him to several countries, including Syria and Egypt, where he studied the Arabic language; Morocco, Mauritania, and UAE, where he studied the ethical and legal school (madhhab) of Imam Malik, grammar, transmission criticism (usul al-hadith), and the Qur’anic recitation (qira’ah) of Imam Nafi`, according to its two renditions (i.e. those of Imam Warsh and Imam Qalun); and finally, Pakistan, where he had the opportunity to study Qur’anic exegesis (tafsir), transmission criticism (usul al-hadith), Prophetic traditions (hadith), narrator criticism (‘ilm al-rijal) and ethics and law (fiqh) according to the Hanafi madhhab.


Sheikh Sharif al-Banna (UK)

Sheikh Sharif MH al-Banna is the founding director of the Islamic Institute for Development & Research (IIDR) and an Advisory Board Member of the Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (Faculty of Islamic Studies, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar Foundation). In addition to pursuing his postgraduate research at Al-Azhar University in Islamic Jurisprudence, he is a successful entrepreneur and CEO of a global publishing and media company. Sheikh Sharif MH al-Banna has authored and translated over ten works on Islamic history, law, thought and spirituality. His preliminary studies of the classical Islamic sciences were with his father Shaykh Muhammad Abdul Qadir, a renowned scholar specialising in Quranic exegesis (tafsir) and later with other scholars. He holds a BA (Hons) in Arabic & Law (SOAS, University of London) and also studied at the Institute Européen des Sciences Humanities (France) and the University of Alexandria (Egypt). He is the principal instructor of the Journey Through Islamic Knowledge Series organised and delivered by IIDR.