Islamic Garden

Islamic Garden
Islamic Garden in Lausanne, Switzerland

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

In memoriam to a Shia scholar of Islam.

If you scroll down to the end of this post, you will find a quotation from William James, the American psychologist renowned for his work "The Varieties of Religious Experience." From his essay "Is Life Worth Living?" James' thoughts are offered in memoriam to the recent loss of a Shia scholar of Islam, Shaykh Abd al-Hakeem Carney:


He completed his BA in Social Sciences at Providence College in 1999, where his course-work focused on political science and military history. He did his MA work at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and was a Ph.D candidate there. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on early Shi'ite hadith literature, focusing on the mystical doctrines contained in the texts written before or shortly after the period of the occultation of the Twelfth Imam. He studied the Arabic language in Egypt and in London, and completed his studies in the Shi'ite hawzah with scholars in London, completing the levels of muqaddimah, sutuh, as well as studying dars al-kharij, the highest level of study in the Shi'ite hawzah. He was entered into the Shi'ite clergy by Ayatullah Bahr al-Ulum in London in 2001.

Academic work

His published academic work includes:
"The Desacralisation of Power in Islam", published in the Keston Journal of Religion, Society, and the State
"What is Political Islam? Towards a New Taxonomy", published in the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe Yearbook
"Imamate and Love: The Discourse of the Divine in Islamic Mysticism" in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion;
"The Personal Imam: Imamate and Epistemology in the Thought of Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i", published in the Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies
"Theos Agnostos: Shaykhi and Ismaili Perspectives," published in the Journal for Islamic Studies.
He was working to publish a dars al-kharij level work in Arabic on the theory of wilayat al-faqih, entitled 'Wilayat al-Faqih al-Mutlaqaha fi al-Mizan al-Fiqhi', as well as a partial translation of the book `Fiqh al-Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq' of Ayatullah Muhammad Jawad Mughniyya. He has also translated the work of 'Mantiq al-Muzhafr', an important introductory text on formal logic that is used in the Shi'ite seminary.


Shaykh 'Abd al-Hakeem taught philosophy and logic at the Islamic College for Advanced Studies in London, Islamic and Religious Studies at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, and at Wayne State University in Detroit.

Shaykh 'Abd al-Hakeem has spoken at Islamic Centers throughout the United States and the United Kingdom, including the Imam Khu'i Centre in London and New York, the Islamic Centre of America in Dearborn, Michigan, the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, the Grand Mosque of Parma outside of Cleveland, Ohio, and many other smaller centers throughout the United States and the UK.

May his soul rest in Eternal Peace and be guided, surrounded and protected by the Light of Ali.

Retrieved from ""


"If this life be not a real fight, in which something is eternally gained for the universe by success, it is no better than a game of private theatricals from which one may withdraw at will. But it feels like a real fight - as if there were something really wild in the universe which we, with all our idealities and faithfulnesses, are needed to redeem; and first of all to redeem our own hearts from atheisms and fears. For such a half-wild, half-saved universe our nature is adapted.

The deepest thing in our nature is this Binnenleben (hidden life, hidden self)...this dumb region of the heart in which we dwell alone with our willingnesses and unwillingnesses, our faiths and fears. As through the cracks and crannies of caverns those waters exude from the earth's bosom which then form the fountain-heads of springs, so in these crepuscular depths of personality the sources of all our outer deeds and decisions take their rise. Here is our deepest organ of communication with the nature of things." (William James, April 1895)

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