The International Institute of Qur’anic Studies seeks to facilitate an intellectual, cultural, social, political, legal and spiritual transformation of the Muslim world, by meticulously researching—and systematically disseminating—the pre-dogmatic original message of Islam as a true blessing for all creation, in which reason and faith in Holy Scriptures (‘aql and naql) peacefully coexist in a state of Divine Illumination (‘irfan and/or ishraq).
Its Arabic name (Al-Ma‘had al-Dawali lil-Dirasaat al-Qur’aniyya) means “The International Center for Mutual Support and Faithful Commitment to Qur’anic Studies.” Its Arabic acronym, MDQ, is pronounced “medaq” and signifies a trail through the desert.
The IIQS endeavors to provide a secure path for humanity to traverse the desert of spiritual ignorance (jahiliyya) and attain a self-transcendent state of awareness in which the individual ego poses no barrier to apprehension of, and surrender to, God’s will. This state of divine illumination (tanwir), characterized by the abandonment of selfish calculation (isqat al-tadbir), is more commonly known as islam.
The mission of the IIQS is to:
Help restore Islam to the pristine beauty and truth of its original message, as revealed by the Qur’an and the life of the Prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace
Develop schools of Qur’anic interpretation that combine the best of classical exegetical methodologies with those of modern scholarship
Ground this scholarship in a profoundly spiritual understanding of Islam, which is capable of deepening and broadening—rather than destroying—Muslims’ faith
Propagate free thought and expand the bounds of debate within the Muslim world, while undermining extremists—who seek to limit the scope of acceptable speech/thought through the use of blasphemy and apostasy laws
Support and defend reformers and reform initiatives against organized radical opposition
Research, develop and articulate the theological grounds for constitutional guarantees of freedom of conscience and the separation of religion and state, in order to prevent the political instrumentalization of religion, and its subordination to a falsely divinized human understanding of God’s will (ghurur)
Establish a lasting foundation for a renaissance of Islamic pluralism, tolerance and critical thinking
Foster the necessary conditions for the development of just societies and the protection of universal human rights throughout the Muslim world, so that Islam may truly function as rahmatan lil ‘alamin, or “a blessing for all creation”
IIQS: Birth of a Movement:
opening credits and Scene One, “The Vision”