Azizur Rahman Patel
Azizur Rahman was born in South Africa, where he completed his initial schooling. At a tender young age he went to Pakistan to memorize the Qurʾān and study Arabic grammar and language. He then spent another five years at a dār al-ʿūlūm (seminary) in India where he completed his licentiate in Islamic theology, law, Qurʾānic exegesis, ḥadīth (the Prophetic traditions), logic and Qirāʾah (the art of Qurʾānic recitation) in 1981. Subsequent to graduating from the seminary, Aziz served at various mosques as Imām, where he delivered public sermons, and taught Arabic and Islamic studies at madrasahs (Islamic schools).
In 1993 he enrolled at the University of Cape Town to study for a Master’s degree in religious studies. The title of his MA thesis is: “A Critique of Contemporary Islamist Political Philosophy with Specific Regard to the Concept of Islamic State” (1995). In this thesis, he critiqued the concept of Islamic state as held by Mawdudi of Pakistan, and Sayyid Qutb of Egypt.
His research interests lie in: the study of Islamic fundamentalisms and their impact on political, social, and cultural areas of Muslim life; issues pertaining to tradition and modernity, and conceptions pertaining to sacred and secular.
Within the context of RIMA, Aziz will focus his attention on the North African region, from Egypt to Morocco, in terms of Islamist ideology, within the broader context of the rest of the Muslim world in general, and the Arab world in particular.
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