Timothy Winter

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Timothy Winter
Dr Timothy Winter.jpg
Winter in August 2017
Timothy John Winter

(1960-05-15) 15 May 1960 (age 63)
Religion Islam
Denomination Sunni [1]
Jurisprudence Hanafi [2]
Creed Ash'ari
Movement Neo-Traditionalism [3]
Alma mater

Timothy John Winter; 15 May 1960 (also known as Abdal Hakim Murad) is an English academic, theologian and Islamic scholar [6] [7] who is a proponent of Islamic neo-traditionalism. His work includes publications on Islamic theology, modernity, and Anglo-Muslim relations, [8] [9] and he has translated several Islamic texts.


He is the Founder and Dean of the Cambridge Muslim College, [10] Aziz Foundation Professor of Islamic Studies at both Cambridge Muslim College and Ebrahim College, [11] Director of Studies (Theology and Religious Studies) at Wolfson College [12] [13] and the Shaykh Zayed Lecturer of Islamic Studies in the Faculty of Divinity at University of Cambridge. [14] [15] [16]

In 2008 he started the Cambridge Mosque Project which raised money for the construction of a purpose-built mosque. The Cambridge Central Mosque opened on 24 April 2019 as the first purpose-built Mosque in Cambridge, and the first eco-mosque in Europe.

Background and education

Murad is the son of an architect and an artist. [17] [18] He became Muslim in 1979. He was educated at Westminster School and graduated with a double-first in Arabic from Pembroke College, Cambridge in 1983. [17] He then went on to study at Al Azhar University in Cairo [5] [17] but did not graduate with any formal qualification. He also engages in private study with individual scholars in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. [5] [19] After returning to England, he studied Turkish and Persian at the University of London. [20] In 2015, he received a PhD at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, with his dissertation entitled "An assessment of Islamic-Christian dichotomies in the light of Scriptural Reasoning"; it is embargoed until 2050. [21]

Major work and projects

In 2009 Murad helped to open the Cambridge Muslim College, an institute designed to train British imams. [22] [23] [24] Murad also directs the Anglo-Muslim Fellowship for Eastern Europe, and the Sunna Project which has published the foremost scholarly Arabic editions of the major Sunni Hadith collections. [19] [17] He serves as the secretary of the Muslim Academic Trust. [17] Murad is active in translating key Islamic texts into English [4] including a translation of two volumes of the Islamic scholar al-Ghazali's Ihya Ulum al-Din. [5] His academic publications include many articles on Islamic theology and Muslim-Christian relations as well as two books in Turkish on political theology. His book reviews sometimes appear in the Times Literary Supplement. He is also the editor of the Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology (2008) and author of Bombing without Moonlight, which in 2007 was awarded the King Abdullah I Prize for Islamic Thought. [25] Murad is also a contributor to BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day. [26] [27] Additionally, Murad is one of the signatories of A Common Word Between Us and You, an open letter by Islamic scholars to Christian leaders, calling for peace and understanding. [28]

Cambridge Mosque Project

Murad is the founder and leader of the Cambridge Central Mosque project [29] which has developed a new purpose built mosque in Cambridge to cater for up to 1,000 worshipers. [27] [30] The mosque is an "eco-mosque" with substantial reliance on green energy and an almost-zero carbon footprint. [29] Regarding the project, Murad stated, "This will be a very substantial world class landmark building in what is considered by some to be a down-at-heel part of Cambridge." [30]

Political views

Views on Islamophobia

Murad has criticized the term "Islamophobia" for its implication that hostility to Islam and Muslims is based on race or tribalistic fear rather than enmity against their religion itself. [31] Nonetheless, he has decried the rising hostility to Islam in Europe, and suggested that it is fueled by the loss of faith and tradition within Europe itself, which he says results in Europeans formulating their identity by contrasting themselves with a Muslim Other. [32]

Views on extremism

Murad is a traditionalist and considers the views of extremists like al-Qaeda as religiously illegitimate and inauthentic. He decries the failure of extremists to adhere to the classical canons of Islamic law and theology and denounces their fatwas. [33] He unequivocally rejects suicide bombing and considers the killing of noncombatants as always forbidden, noting that some sources consider it worse than murder. According to Murad, Osama bin Laden and his right-hand man Ayman al-Zawahiri were un-Islamic, unqualified vigilantes who violate basic Islamic teachings. [33]

Murad is critical of Western foreign policy for fueling anger and resentment in the Muslim world. [34] He is equally critical of Saudi Arabia's Wahhabi ideology, which he believes gives extremists a theological pretext for their extremism and violence. [34]

Personal life

Murad's younger brother is football writer Henry Winter. [18]

Awards and nominations

In 2003, he was awarded the Pilkington Teaching Prize by Cambridge University and in 2007 he was awarded the King Abdullah I Prize for Islamic Thought for his short booklet Bombing Without Moonlight. [14] [13] He has consistently been included in The 500 Most Influential Muslims list published annually by the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought and was ranked in 2012 as the 50th most influential. [19] In January 2015, Winter was nominated for the Services to Education award at the British Muslim Awards. [35] Most recently in the 2022 Edition of The 500 Most Influential Muslims, Winter was ranked the 45th most influential Muslim in the world. [36]


Books written

Books edited



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  1. "Timothy Winter: British Muslim scholar Tim Winter reflects on Ramadan under lockdown". The National.
  2. "Timothy Winter: Britain's most influential Muslim - and it was all down to a peach". Independent.
  3. Quisay, Walaa (2019). Neo-traditionalism in the West: navigating modernity, tradition, and politics (PhD thesis). University of Oxford.
  4. 1 2 Ridgeon, Lloyd (2001). Islamic Interpretations of Christianity. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 225. ISBN   0312238541.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Geaves, Ron (2013). Sufism in Britain. London, United Kingdom: Bloomsbury Academic. p. 182. ISBN   978-1441112613.
  6. Winter, Dr Timothy (22 July 2013). "Dr Timothy Winter". www.divinity.cam.ac.uk. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  7. Mannan, Salam (28 March 2020). "PEOPLE". Cambridge Muslim College . Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  8. "Sh. Abdal Hakim Murad | masud.co.uk". masud.co.uk. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  9. Murad, Abdal-Hakim. "Abdal-Hakim Murad - Articles". masud.co.uk. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  10. "People | Cambridge Muslim College". www.cambridgemuslimcollege.org. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  11. "Dr Abdal Hakim Murad – Ebrahim College". Ebrahim College. 28 January 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  12. "Dr Timothy Winter — Faculty of Divinity". www.divinity.cam.ac.uk. 22 July 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  13. 1 2 "People | Wolfson".
  14. 1 2 Dr Timothy Winter, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge: People.
  15. Wolfson College.
  16. "BBC - Religions - Islam: Muslim Spain (711-1492)". www.bbc.co.uk.
  17. 1 2 3 4 5 Peck, Tom (20 August 2010). "Timothy Winter: Britain's most influential Muslim – and it was all down to a peach" . The Independent . Archived from the original on 21 June 2022. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
  18. 1 2 Hasan, Mehdi (10 March 2015). "How Islamic is Islamic State?". New Statesman . Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  19. 1 2 3 Schleifer, Abdallah (2011). The Muslim 500: The World's 500 Most Influential Muslims, 2012. Amman, Jordan: The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre. p. 98. ISBN   978-9957-428-37-2.
  20. Razavian, Christopher Pooya (2018). "Chapter 2: The Neo-Traditionalism of Tim Winter". In Bano, Masooda (ed.). Modern Islamic Authority and Social Change, Volume 2. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 72–74. ISBN   9781474433280.
  21. Winter, Timothy (2015). An assessment of Islamic-Christian dichotomies in the light of Scriptural Reasoning (PhD). Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
  22. Muslim Integration College.
  23. H. Jones, Stephen (2013). New Labour and the Re-making of British Islam: The Case of the Radical Middle Way and the "Reclamation" of the Classical Islamic Tradition, 2013. Bristol, United Kingdom: Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship. p. 560.
  24. De Freytas-Tamura, Kimiko (24 August 2014). "Britain Appeals to Anti-Extremist Imams in Effort to Uproot Seeds of Radicalization". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  25. "People | Wolfson". www.wolfson.cam.ac.uk.
  26. "Search results for abdal hakim murad". BBC.
  27. 1 2 Butt, Riazat (3 October 2011). "Cambridge mosque wins support from local non-Muslims". The Guardian . Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  28. MacFARQUHAR, NEIL (12 October 2007). "In Open Letter, Muslims Seek Cooperation With Christians as a Step Toward Peace". The New York Times . New York. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  29. 1 2 Habriri, Najlaa (29 September 2014). "Europe's first "Eco-Mosque" to open in Cambridge". Asharq Al-Awsat . Archived from the original on 27 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  30. 1 2 "Cambridge £15m mosque plans approved for Mill Road site". BBC . 22 August 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  31. Murad, Abdal Hakim (2020). Travelling Home. Cambridge, United Kingdom: The Quilliam Press. p. 36. ISBN   978-1872038209.
  32. Murad, Abdal Hakim (2020). Travelling Home. Cambridge, United Kingdom: The Quilliam Press. p. 49. ISBN   978-1872038209.
  33. 1 2 L. Esposito, John (2010). The Future of Islam . Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. p.  99. ISBN   978-0199745968.
  34. 1 2 L. Esposito, John (2010). The Future of Islam . Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. p.  101. ISBN   978-0199745968.
  35. "British Muslim Awards 2015 finalists unveiled". Asian Image. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  36. Schleifer, Abdullah (2019). "The Muslim 500: The World's 500 Most Influential Muslims, 2022" (PDF). The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre: 103.