Organizing the two-day workshop on ‘God-talk’ was a fulfilling endeavor for the IFMT, marking the second in a series of workshops aimed at bringing God back to the center of all human concerns. The event, held between the 1st and 3rd December, 2023, at Yarnfield Park, Staffordshire, was designed to contribute to the revival of the lost tradition of ‘God-talk’ in Muslim lives.
Our mission at the IFMT is to facilitate discussions about God, both at the academic level and in everyday life. The workshop focused on uncovering the ‘Hidden Treasure of the Universe’, with a dozen participants from diverse backgrounds, united by their deep desire to better understand their Creator and their own place in the cosmic scheme. The overarching theme was the significance of the human ‘I’, which, as part of the Divine trust, is a key which helps us to unlock the mysteries of the universe.
Throughout the workshop, participants engaged in lectures, debates and discussions, exploring the meaning of the Trust as outlined in Surah Al-Ahzab, 72: “Indeed, We offered the trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they declined to bear it, being fearful of it. But humanity assumed it, ˹for˺ they are truly wrongful and ignorant.”
Day One emphasized the importance of reading the Divine signs in creation in our day-to-day lives, utilizing concepts like such as mana-i ismi (seeing things as being self-referential only) and mana-i harfi (seeing things as Other-indicative) in order to stay connected to the Creator. On Day Two, attention shifted to the quiddity of the human ‘I’ as part of the Divine trust mentioned in the Qur’an, recognizing its complexity as a challenge to understanding the mysteries of existence. On both days we were enlightened by insightful presentations by various attendees, over and above the lectures and seminars convened by the IFMT convenors themselves.
Feedback from participants was positive and encouraging, and we are excited about the impact of the event as a whole. The next session is already planned for May 2024, insha’Allah, and we eagerly anticipate further exploration and dialogue on other profound aspects of ‘God-talk.’ The commitment of participants to revive this tradition is truly inspiring, and we look forward to continuing this spiritual journey together.