Dialogue Series, Distingushed Lectures, Race & Society, Regional Studies

Part 2: Imam Yahya Hendi's Journey with Islam

Part 2: Imam Yahya Hendi's Journey with Islam

Imam Yahya Hendi delivered a two-part CIRS Focused Discussion series taking the audience on “A Journey with Islam in the 21st Century.” The lectures were co-sponsored and hosted by the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha. Hendi’s second lecture took place on April 19, 2011, and highlighted “Women and Gender in the Islamic Religious Texts and Culture.” He argued that the Qur’an clearly states the respected place that women occupy within Islam and argued that many current instances of sexism are as a result of misinterpreting religious text for particular instances of social and political control. Hendi explained that gender relations in the Arab world and beyond are often the result of particular cultural settings rather than scriptural interpretations. Finally, he said that one gender can only be understood in relation to the other and so it is important for each to always speak of women in Islam in relation to men.

The first lecture took place on April 18, 2011, and focused on “The Paradigms of Islamic Ethics, Human Rights and Social Justice.”

Imam Hendi is the Muslim chaplain at Georgetown University, the first American University to hire a full-time Muslim chaplain. Imam Hendi is also the Muslim Chaplain at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. He has written numerous publications on many topics, including women in Islam, women and gender relations in Islam, the second coming of the Messiah, Islam and biomedical ethics and religion and Islam in the United States. 

Article by Suzi Mirgani, CIRS Publications Coordinator