The Review of Religions is extremely pleased to launch a brand new section called ‘Research Connect’.
What Can You Expect?
We are delighted to launch a regular section here at The Review of Religions to showcase the research being undertaken by Ahmadi researchers worldwide. We invite members to contribute short pieces about their research work. Contributions include summaries of interesting projects, cutting-edge research presented at conferences or published in peer-reviewed journals or biographical research profiles. We are also interested in novel insights or interesting research ideas that you have been thinking about and wish to share with the world.
At this inclusive platform, we wish to hear from people of all backgrounds, countries, and ages.
We welcome budding research students to write a summary of their current research projects. We are also keen to accept contributions from established and experienced researchers which showcase their novel discoveries or ongoing research after years of in-depth study in their research areas.
Our mission is to put a spotlight on the diverse research being conducted by members by regularly featuring selected submissions.
We look forward to reading about your secular or religious research.
We also invite submissions on novel research, which will undergo existing reviewing processes we have in place.
If you are a researcher in the natural or social sciences, medicine, humanities, or any other field whatsoever, we invite you to share your research!
How Can Researchers Connect with ‘Research Connect’?
Email us your research ideas, research summaries, research discoveries and profiles at email@example.com
How Did This All Come About?
Syed Amer Safir, Chief Editor of The Review of Religions explains:
‘His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba), the Fifth Caliph and Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, has been constantly guiding The Review of Religions to expand its research scope. It has been quite remarkable and faith-inspiring to witness the vision of the Caliph in this connection. The Caliph desires that The Review of Religions becomes a powerful research body and has given close guidance on a number of research endeavours. I remember once in a team mulaqat [private audience], a team member presented a major and significant research project from Oxford University to His Holiness relating to Islamic history, and asked if we could use some of that research for The Review of Religions. Initially, His Holiness directed the team member to ask this humble one, to enquire the parameters for republishing such works.’
‘However, what was fascinating is what His Holiness said next. After a few moments of deliberation, His Holiness then returned to the team member in question and addressing them and all others in The Review of Religions team present said powerfully: “In any case, if Oxford University can carry out this research, then why can’t The Review of Religions themselves do something similar?’ ” His Holiness continued to explain his vision to the team as a whole, and sometimes His Holiness would call team members’ names and say to them individually “[such and such] – you should step forward and take up the mantle of research!” His Holiness directed The Review of Religions to undertake original research as a priority – and, particularly to the youth, turning to them, said this should be the case.’’
The Review of Religions team members, inspired by the guidance of His Holiness, over the years have conducted novel and in-depth research into a range of important research areas. These have included Is Meat Consumption Needed for a Healthy Diet?, The Lost Tribes of Israel in India – a Genetic Perspective, an archaeological study tracing the origins of the Ka’bah, Wahhabism and the Rise of the Sauds and the Saudi conquest of the Hijaz, a medical perspective on male circumcision to name just a few. The Review of Religions‘Research Desk’ was also established recently to streamline these research endeavours and collaborate more closely with other research bodies, who are doing excellent work in their own right.
He explains further:
‘His Holiness desired for us to connect with a wide body of researchers. ‘Research Connect’, approved by His Holiness, will see us collaborating with various researchers and we invite researchers to connect with us to showcase their research.’
An Insight Into His Holiness’ Inspiration Towards Research
Syed Amer Safir explains further:
‘What has been really incredible is how His Holiness’ vision for research is often far greater than the vision of our leading researchers in relation to their own work. Once, in a team mulaqat (private audience), a senior medical doctor sought guidance from His Holiness for their in-depth research on the negative impacts of alcohol and mentioned some surveys they had cited as part of their research. His Holiness mentioned the latest scientific research about alcohol and cancer by World Cancer Research Fund which had recently been released and directed a medical doctor on our team to review such research. His Holiness graciously guided us to look into cutting-edge medical research and study how these findings concord with Islamic teaching. His Holiness immediately replied that they should not suffice with only citing surveys conducted on a smaller scale; rather, they should look for vast-ranging and very large-scale surveys that have been conducted on people that demonstrate the negative impacts of alcohol upon hundreds of thousands of people, rather than just a few hundred, as this would prove more impactful. Subsequently, this team member adjusted their research and cited surveys on an international scale, and later this article was published and proved to be more impactful. I found this insight from His Holiness inspiring as this was a senior scientist and established professor; however, His Holiness’s vision was at a far higher level. It truly demonstrated the blessings of Khilafat [Caliphate] and how Allah guides His chosen servant.’
Syed Amer Safir mentions an incident that helped to inspire the team further:
‘Once, some research was conducted and submitted to us by non-Review of Religions individuals on the Great Comet of 1882. It included some excellent and well-researched material, and was focused on the sign of the Great Comet in relation to the fulfilment of prophecies relating to the advent of the Promised Messiah (as). However, when I had a private audience with His Holiness to seek guidance, his words were filled with incredible wisdom. His Holiness said we should expand on the scientific data of comets linked to the Promised Messiah (as)’s advent. Whilst focusing on the Great Comet of 1882 and extracting further data relating to it, we should also survey data of the appearance of frequency of comets for the many decades, 30, 40 or more years around the birth and death of the Promised Messiah (as) (which ultimately would cover a period of almost a century). His Holiness said it was crucial to extract as much scientific data as possible because academics and others would be more convinced by strong scientific evidence. Therefore, based on this guidance, our team obtained data and records on comets from 1807 to 1997, consulted with naval records, data from numerous publications from various observatories and about 50-60 original research papers, and collated all the research to discover that the Great Comet of 1882 was the brightest of all the comets. The data also helped us verifying that more comets appeared in this century around the advent of the Promised Messiah (as), than ever before in the history of records of comets. These findings were added to supplement the article and strengthened it immensely.’
These are just a few examples of the interest in research shown by His Holiness. We hope “Research Connect” proves to be a beneficial platform to help fulfil this vision. His Holiness beautifully outlined: “Allah has encouraged us to use our brains, to ponder upon His creation and to search for new roads of human progress and innovation, through research and reflection.” We hope and pray this new feature can help towards showcasing this.
This Wednesday we will begin ‘AMRA INSIGHTS’ – a new series within “Research Connect”. We are pleased to collaborate with AMRA UK to showcase research from their members. Stay tuned for this!
Email us your research ideas, research summaries, research discoveries and profiles at firstname.lastname@example.org.