The Ihsan Academy, a month-long intensive summer course on Islamic sciences by the Istanbul Ibn Khaldun University, concluded late on Friday. To celebrate the end of the course, students from 16 different countries were taken on a tour of the Bosporus.
The course, which took place at the Yenikapı Mevlevi Lodge, saw prominent scholars instructing the students and some cultural trips to various sights in Turkey.
Ella Linskens from Netherlands said, "It was a very spiritual experience. And my relationship with God deepened so much."
Ihsan Academy, offering its participants several classes on classical Islamic sources as well as brainstorming possibilities on contemporary challenges under the title , "Living Islam in the 21st Century," aimed to bring young and educated Muslims together from around the world and provide them with the opportunity to listen to distinguished scholars as well as enjoy the rich cultural heritage of Istanbul.
"One of the most important things about learning Islam is to have a space to cultivate that practice and Turkey is one of these places. When you walk around you see a living, breathing example of Islam," says Anika Ferdoush Sayed, who studied Finance at Marymount University and attended to Ihsan Academy to further pursue her interest in learning about Islamic Sciences. "I think I've built more than lifelong friendships here."
"Istanbul has been wonderful in terms of hospitality," added Shafat Maqbool Wani, who came from Indian-administrated Kashmir. "And Ihsan Academy is the great venture for the intellectual awakenings of Muslim ummah."
Ibn Khaldun University President Professor Recep Şentürk said the course was a first for Turkey and aimed to bring together Muslim students for them to better understand Islam.
"In the scope of the academy, covering the Islamic classics, thinking and talking about modern issues and allowing our participants to breathe Istanbul, which is a museum of cultural history itself, we've had very positive feedback," he said.