Cambridge Muslim College Public Lecture
Wednesday 11th March, 6.30pm
Gandhi, Islam and the Principles of Non-Violence (Ahimsa) and Attachment to Truth (Satyagraha)
Dr Karim Lahham
This lecture will mainly explore the influence of Islamic practices on the nature and development of Gandhi’s satyagraha movement, and his own avowed appropriation of the Prophet of Islam’s exercise of patience and righteousness in the face of overwhelming odds during the pre-Hijra Meccan period. Gandhi’s partnership furthermore with the Pathan leader, Badshah Khan, cemented the presence of Muslim satyagrahis at the heart of the Indian independence struggle. The first organised army committed to non-violence was a Muslim one, known as the Khudai Khitmatgar, personifying the true nature of Gandhi’s understanding of ahimsa. This is contrary to the popular understanding and image that Gandhi’s struggle was mainly Hindu in character and origin, and that the Muslims were but part players in the wider movement implemented and set in motion by him. This will be looked at in the context of Gandhi’s notion of satyagraha (attachment to truth) which was widely implemented in the differing spheres of craftsmanship, agriculture and social service exemplifying that the independence movement was not political in nature alone but incorporated all spheres of the human condition in an attempt to bring back dignity, self-reliance and above all integrity to the human soul.
Dr Karim Lahham, Barrister of the Inner Temple, London, read law at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, and completed a doctorate in Islamic Studies at Pembroke College, Cambridge. He also has a Masters from the Royal College of Art.
Venue: Cambridge Muslim College 14 St Paul’s Road, Cambridge, CB1 2EZ
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