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Dr. Arif Abdulah

  • Islam
  • Bulgaria
  • Male
  • Bulgaria
  • Eastern Europe
  • KAICIID Fellows

Biography Narrative

Director, the Research Center at the Higher Islamic Institute in Sofia, Bulgaria; Lecturer, New Bulgarian University, Sofia

Dr. Arif Abdullah is a specialist in Arabic and Islamic studies (Islamic theology and Quranic Studies), and graduated from the University of Jordan, and received his PhD from the University of Aberdeen, UK. He also specialised in religious pluralism at Temple University, U.S.

He is currently the director of the Research Center at the Higher Islamic Institute in Sofia, Bulgaria and lecturer at New Bulgarian University, Sofia.

His academic interests lie in classical and modern approaches to Qur’anic exegesis, philosophy of Quranic hermeneutics, history of the Qur’an, philosophy of Islamic law and religious pluralism.

He is the author of the book The Quran and Normative Religious Pluralism and has also delivered conference papers in different academic events including Doha interfaith dialogue conference.

His motto is: “Act so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of another, always as an end and never as a means only”.

Interreligious Activities and Initiatives

Interfaith Workshop: Faith Leaders Meeting
The initiative was about gathering together Christian priests and imams in an attempt to initiate mutual understanding among them. It will not be exaggerated if I say that the initiative was practically seen as something new. Yes, we have seen many initiatives on the level of bishops and muftis as well as between followers of different religions, but on the level of priest and imams it is still a rare case in Bulgaria. Our meetings started first with sharing the spiritual experience of the participants. Second, there were sessions on identifying common grounds between spiritual and moral wealth of religions. Finally, we had a seminar on theories and practices of mercy in different religious traditions.