Extraterrestrial Intelligence and Islamic Thought

7 June at 9:00 am PDT / 12:00 EDT / 18:00 CEST
Duration: 75min

One of the most influential heavenly messages in the history of humanity has been the Quran. The revelation received by Prophet Muhammad contains many references to intelligent beings from outside our world, including jinn, angels and God himself. This webinar discusses how extraterrestrial intelligence has been understood from an Islamic perspective.


Jörg Matthias Determann

Jörg Matthias Determann is Associate Professor of History at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar. He also serves as an Associate Editor of the Review of Middle East Studies and as Book Review Editor of the Journal of Arabian Studies.

He holds a doctorate from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and two master’s degrees from the University of Vienna. He is the author of four books including Islam, Science Fiction and Extraterrestrial Life and Space Science and the Arab World.

Hamza Karamali

Hamza Karamali has degrees in Computer Engineering and the traditional Islamic sciences.

He is the Founder of Basira Education, where he develops courses and curricula on the intersection of modern science, Islamic theology, and philosophy.

Shoaib Ahmed Malik

Shoaib Ahmed Malik is Assistant Professor in the College of Natural and Health Sciences at Zayed University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where he has been teaching for seven years.

In addition to his PhD in Chemical Engineering, Dr Malik is currently completing his second PhD in Theology at St Mary’s University. He is the author of Islam and Evolution: Al-Ghazālī and the Modern Evolutionary Paradigm, which was chosen as the best academic book by the International Society for Science and Religion in 2022.

Richard Playford

Richard Playford is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Ethics and Religion at Leeds Trinity University. Before that he was a Lecturer in Religious Studies at St Mary's University. He completed a PhD in philosophy at the University of Reading in 2017 where he was employed as a Sessional Lecturer. He also has a master’s in philosophy from the University of Birmingham and a bachelor’s in philosophy with ancient history from the University of Exeter.

Nour Skaf

Nour Skaf recently received her PhD in exoplanet science from Paris Observatory and was based at the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii.

She is a visiting researcher at the University College London. Her PhD work, titled "self-optimization of adaptive optics and characterization of exoplanetary systems", focused on three different projects: the instrumentation development for direct imaging, the study of a circumstellar disk - beta Pictoris, and the atmospheric characterization of transiting exoplanets.

Nour received in 2021 the L'Oréal-UNESCO award for women in science - young talent France category. She is now focusing for a few months on the access to astronomy in emerging countries, before starting a postdoc at UC Santa Cruz. 

Join us on the online (free) platform Discord, where the debate around decoding and interpreting the message is ongoing, with people from all over the world exchanging their thoughts while attempting to discover the signal's content.


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