Lent and Ramadan

Islam works on the lunar year, which is shorter than the solar year, and so everything timed by it appears to move forward by about eleven days annually when compared to the solar calendar. This means that Ramadan will be moving through the Christian season of Lent for the next few years.

Both have in common the practice of fasting but with significant differences in approach and rigour. They share much more when we think of the additional dimensions to both seasons beyond physical fasting, but each has particular aspects not shared by the other.

The following article explores some of these similarities and differences: Lent and Ramadan – PDF


Husayn, the grandson of Muhammad: contemporary reflections on the struggle for justice

A conference was planned by the Islamic Centre of England, the Iranian administered mosque in London, for the summer of 2020 to make known the life and example of Husayn, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, the third Imam in Shi’a understanding. The aim was to make his struggle for justice known to the widest possible audience of people who are not Muslims. To this end, I was asked to write a short book to be distributed at the conference re-telling the story from authentic Shi’a sources with introductory paragraphs giving reflections for today’s human society.

The conference did not take place due to restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus but the book was written and completed. It has now been printed by the Islamic Centre through their imprint Contemporary Thoughts Press under the title Hussain and the Struggle for Justice (isbn 978-1-914282-03-4). My text can be accessed as a pdf document: Husayn, the grandson of Muhammad: contemporary reflections on the struggle for justice.

Understanding Islam courses: autumn 2019

Understanding Islam courses: autumn 2019

11-13 September: 0930-1600: The three-day course is available in SW London

8-17 November: Various Basics and Follow-up days will be held in Sheffield and surrounding towns

18 November: 0930-1600: One-day ‘Basics’ course held at Kingston Guildhall, SW London

20 November: 1000-1600: Annual SW London Follow-up Day: “Muslim views of Christianity”, Richmond Library Annex, Quadrant Road, Richmond, TW9 1DH

Please note the change of location for 20th November

For more details and to register for any courses, please contact Chris Hewer at [email protected]

Offers to host courses in other locations always most welcome.

Exploring a Christian incarnational approach

Many Christian people have told me that they know in their hearts that people of other faiths and those who profess no faith live godly lives and that their relationship with the one and only God is manifest in their lives. There is almost a sense of guilt: “But how can I believe that as a Christian? How can I make sense of what I know to be true whilst being faithful to my Christian belief?”  One way to work with this question is contained in ‘Exploring a Christian incarnational approach to the human condition in the context of a theology of followers of other faiths and none’.