Shaykh Arif Abdulhussain founded the Al-Mahdi Institute in 1993, and currently serves as its Director and Senior Lecturer in Usul al-Fiqh and Muslim Philosophy. For over twenty years, Shaykh Arif has been at the forefront of developing and delivering advanced Islamic studies, tailored toward training students capable of addressing the needs of contemporary societies.
During this time he has continuously been committed to sharing the human face of Islam at various levels of society through a combination of inspirational and thought provoking public lectures together with a long-term commitment to intra and inter faith dialogue. He also continues his dedication in encouraging the development of indigenous expressions of Islam throughout the world which contribute to the pursuit of human development in its fullest sense.
Shaykh Arif was educated at the Madrassah Syed al-Khoei, London from 1985 and graduated with Honours in 1988 where he also taught Grammar, Logic, Islamic Law and Usul al-Fiqh. He then furthered his studies in the Islamic Seminary in Qum, carrying out traditional Post-Graduate Islamic studies between 1989-93. He also attended private training and research studies with leading scholars of Qum between 1990 and 1994. Alongside these studies, he also taught in Qum across a wide spectrum of the traditional Muslim scholarly disciplines. On his return to the U.K. after founding the Al-Mahdi Institute he continued his graduate (kharij) training in Usul al-Fiqh and Fiqh from 1994 until 2008 under Ayatullah H. Amini, a student of Ayatullah Khoei.
- Taught various subjects in the Islamic Seminary of Qum including Grammar, Logic, Islamic Law and Usul al-Fiqh
- Taught at Islamic College, London subjects including Sciences of the Quran & Hadith
- Taught at Al-Mahdi Institute a variety of subjects including Philosophy, Mysticism, Jurisprudence, Principles of Jurisprudence
- Imam at Birmingham Shia Community for six years
- Main Imam for Hajj for over twenty years
- Presenting academic papers for over twenty years at universities at both national & international levels
- Among the advisers to the government on the contextualisation of Islam in Britain at Cambridge University
- Part of an advisory committee to the G7 on Citizenship in Islam for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)
Current Position and Activities
- Director, Senior Lecturer, and Researcher at Al-Mahdi Institute Birmingham
- Co-director of CIMS (Centre for Intra Muslim Studies)
- Active contributor in Interfaith dialogue
- Writing academic articles on various Islamic topics and translating works
Ijazas of Ijtihad
Acquired from Muslim Jurists including
- Late Ayatollah Hussain Amini
- Ayatollah Professor Sayyed Mustafa Muhaqqiq Damad