No, we’re not advertising a hippie bus-ride to Cape Point.
“The Traveling Light Project” is the brainchild of Shaikh Abdal Hakim Murad, professor of Islamic Studies at Cambridge University. The Shaikh is one of the world’s foremost experts on Imam al-Ghazali, the 12th century colossus of Islam who authored the Ihya ‘Ulum ad-Din (the Revivial of the Religious Sciences) .
Imam al-Ghazali compiled the Ihya whilst staying above Jerusalem’s Golden Gate.
Apart from being an author, translator and publisher, Shaikh Abdal Hakim features on the recent Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre’s list of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims. He is also considered one of the Islamic world’s leading scholars, and was involved in the Common Word Document of 2007.
He visited our shores in April this year as the keynote guest of Dome Publication’s Imam al-Ghazali Conference. He mesmerized audiences with his intellect and eloquence.
Over the weekend Shaikh Abdal Hakim flew into Cape Town to pursue the South African leg of his “Traveling Light Project”.
So what is it?
“The Traveling Light Project” is a series of HD DVD’s shot in various parts of the world. It features local scholars lecturing on the books of Imam al-Ghazali’s Ihya, an astounding work that deals with the inherent potentiality of the human soul.
With episodes having already been shot in Bosnia and Spain, Cape Town is the next destination of its world-wide tour.
With international documentary maker Zakariyyah Whiteman in tow, “The Traveling Light Project” is currently being filmed here with Shaikh Seraj Hendricks of the Azzawia as the featured scholar.
It is indeed a feather in the cap for us that Cape Town has been honoured by such a project.
Shaikh Abdal Hakim explains that whilst exposing the works of Imam Ghazali to an international audience, he also hopes that sales from the DVD can help to fund the Cambridge mosque project.
The university town has seen a major increase in its population, and the community has bought a plot of land upon which it hopes to build a mosque and inter-active community centre.
Shaikh Abdal Hakim will, of course, be appearing on DRIVETIME – and if you miss it, look out for our schedule of DRIVETIME re-broadcasts.
More about the Project
Speakers are chosen for their deep knowledge of the text, and for their continuity with ancient chains of transmission going back from teacher to teacher, to the Imam himself.
The locations chosen represent the diversity and beauty of the settings where the Ihya has been taught. They include historic mosques, tekkes, and khanqahs which are showcases of Islamic art and architecture.
Each lecture begins with a recitation from the Holy Qur’an, and includes songs drawn from the indigenous spiritual culture which has flourished in the lands where the lectures are taking place.
Some of the films include interviews with local experts and scholars who explain the impact of Imam al-Ghazali’s work in their communities.
All proceeds from sale and broadcast of these films are donated to the Cambridge New Mosque Project.