Imad Ahmed returns to academia after a career in education policy, teacher training and as a Secondary English teacher. He is currently the Director of New Crescent Society, an organisation which celebrates the relationship between faith, Islam and astronomy. He also delivers the Astronomy and Islam programme together with the Royal Observatory Greenwich.
Imad's research will look at the hotly-contested topic of the Islamic lunar calendar. As it stands, there is no consensus amongst the UK's Muslims about how the Islamic calendar should be properly constructed. This has led to fiery debates across generations, with incidents including Imams being sacked, physical fights in mosques, and frequent cases of family members refusing to celebrate religious festivals together on the same date.
His research asks: why do Muslims differ so strongly in their approach to the Islamic calendar, and what can this tell us about the lived experience of Muslims in the UK?
Imad hopes that his research can be of practical use of Muslims. A comprehensive monograph can engender better mutual respect between all sides of the debate, and perhaps even support the Muslim community in the UK in coming to a resolution on how best to construct their calendar(s).
He holds a BA in History & English, and an MPhil in Islamic Studies and History, both from the University of Oxford.