BIMA National Conference 2020

Join BIMA’s first ever virtual national conference from the comfort of your own home!

We are excited to bring to you world-renowned speakers discussing topical issues particularly relevant to all Muslim healthcare professionals.

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We look forward to hosting you at BIMA’s Virtual Online Conference 2020!

Read on for a summary of the programme, (for full details see here!)

This special online conference will provide attendees with:

  • a reminder of how our Ummah handles pandemics, following the teachings of Islam
  • a clinical update on the COVID-19 vaccine by an expert virologist, including efficacy, mechanism of action, statistics and research to date

  • a panel discussion showcasing the work of BIMA and the international community, featuring representatives from Canadian, Turkish and Malaysian Islamic Medical Associations

  • practical guidance from experts on dealing with challenges that have arisen since the pandemic, e.g. the closing of place of worship and end of life care

  • an introduction to Islamic medicine, Islamic bioethics and healing

  • tips on optimising physical, emotional, spiritual and mental health

  • updates on studies that have addressed the need for spirituality for optimal wellbeing

  • a platform to network with peers and colleagues 

  • an opportunity to quiz Muslim healthcare leaders and experts

  • an electronic poster gallery for inspiration and knowledge in the fields of Islamic medical ethics & history, bioethics, and wellbeing on the front line

  • essential CPD points*

*Application for CPD accreditation is in progress. Please note, that in the unlikely event that formal CPD accreditation is not obtained, attendees can still gain CPD points by reflecting on their new knowledge in the relevant Medical appraisal tool.


-All speakers and content are subject to change
-Speaker biographies can be found at the end of this page
Please download the Kahoot app prior to the conference as this will be an interactive conference with quizzes

Conference Programme

For full speaker biographies see here
>1230  Welcome and Quran Recitation

Dr Wajid Akhter


Dr Wajid Akhter

>1300 IMAMS, Doctors and difficult decisions: why islamic scholars and muslim doctors need each other

Dr Rafaqat Rashid, Dr Asim Yusuf, Dr Aasim Padela

>1400 Unity during a Global Pandemic

Prof. Ihsan Karaman, Prof. Musa Nordin, Dr Muhammad Khan

>1445 Asr / break
>1500 need for deen: Spirituality in the context of COVID-19

Dr Rania Awad

>1545 The science behind the COVID-19 vaccine

Dr Muhammad Munir

>1630 MAGHRIB / Break
>1645 Awards and  Prizes: Poster competition

Dr Yusuf Ghumra

>1700 Tips for surviving a pandemic

Maryam Lemu

>1730 Volunteer Appreciation
>1745 Closing dua and post conference networking

Dr Sharif Al-Ghazal

Speaker Biographies


Dr Muhammad Wajid Akhter MBBS MRCGP BSc (Hons) MFMLM PgDip (Cardiology) is a certified GP Principal in Essex and a medical tutor in Social Media and Medicine & History of Medicine at Barts and The London Medical School. He is the Vice President of the British Islamic Medical Association, an Islamic Historian who authors various articles for Muslim Matters and both founder and board member of an organisation close to all of our hearts, Charity Week. Charity Week is a 100% volunteer-led campaign of Islamic Relief that raises money for Orphans & Needy Children following both Islamic and humanitarian principles. Starting from a trial run using a shoebox and a handwritten poster in St Georges Medical School, it is now serving countless families in 6 countries worldwide, and fosters an ultimate vision to become a vehicle to inspire young people to become active, socially engaged and united in the name of Allah.


Dr Karaman graduated from Istanbul Faculty of Medicine in 1986 and completed his residency training in urology in 1991. As a consultant urologic surgeon he worked as a visiting fellow at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, USA for around one year in 1994. He became an Associate Professor of Urology in 1996. He has been appointed as the Chief of Urology Clinic at Haydarpaşa Numune Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul in 2001. He was promoted to Professor of Urology in 2008. He served as the President of Istanbul Medeniyet University between 2014-2018. Besides, he holds the title of Consultant Surgeon in the subspecialty of pediatric urology and a PhD in History of Medicine and Medical Ethics. Currently, he is Director of Urology, Medistate Hospital, Istanbul, and Chairman, Department of Medical Ethics, Istanbul Health and Technology University.

He has edited a scientific book on prostate cancer and another one on pediatric urology; has written a book on sexual health; has contributed to more than 50 book chapters; has more than 300 academic papers published in the national and international journals and his articles have been cited more than 1000 times. Karaman has also participated in the scientific and/or organizational committees of numerous national and international conferences and medical meetings. He has recently been the Congress President of 9th Eurasian Urooncology Congress held in collaboration with Société Internationale d'Urologie in Athens/Greece in October 2019.

Dr. Karaman is one of the founders of Turkish Society for Pediatric Urology and Eurasian Urooncological Association. He is a member of Scientific Programme Council of Société Internationale d'Urologie (SIU).

In addition to his professional activities, Prof. Dr. Karaman is one of the founders of an international medical and humanitarian aid organization called “Doctors Worldwide” as a global civil society initiative and has served as the Chairman of this NGO for 10 years. Currently he is the President of two global civil society organizations, namely Federation of Islamic Medical Associations and International Federation of Green Crescent. Prof. Dr. Karaman is the Immediate Past President of Turkish Green Crescent Society. He speaks English and understands Arabic, and he is married with two children.


A 1982 graduate of Cardiff University (UK), he obtained his Membership from the Royal College of Physicians (UK) in 1985. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh (1995), Academy of Medicine Malaysia (1997) and the Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health (UK).

He is a consultant paediatrician and neonatologist at KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital and Clinical Professor of Paediatrics at the KPJ International University College.

Since 1999, he has served on various international advisory boards related to vaccines & immunisation. He is a founding member of the Asian Strategic Alliance on the Prevention of Pneumococcal Disease (ASAP).

In 2012, he was a recipient of the Outstanding Asian Paediatrician Award from the Asia Pacific Pediatric Associations. He was the first recipient of the Ar-Razi Lifetime Achievement Award from the Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia. Recently, in 2017 he was awarded the FIMA Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the President of Turkey in Istanbul.


Dr. Khan is a graduate of the University of Toronto's internal medicine, respirology and asthma & airways diseases clinical fellowship training programs. He completed an MPH in epidemiology from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and currently works as an academic respirologist in Toronto. He has an interest in airway diseases, public and global respiratory health, tobacco products and health data science. In the community, he is the Co-Director of Education for the Muslim Medical Association of Canada (MMAC) and has been Co-Chair of the Canadian Muslim COVID-19 Task Force (CMCTF) since March 2020.


Dr Munir is a virologist with research experience in virus pathobiology, viral antagonism of immune responses and host factors that limit virus replication.  His laboratory research focuses on understanding molecular mechanisms of inter-species pathogenesis of viruses (i.e zoonotic viruses). Specifically, using influenza viruses and coronaviruses (e.g. SARS-CoV-2, causative agent of CoVID-19), his research aims to explore host and viral RNA biology (sensing – interferon responses, epigenetics and gene regulation) and define structural and functional differences in humans and animals (e.g. birds and bats), which determine the transmission dynamics of animal viruses to human. He also studies differential virus pathobiology, diagnosis and vaccine developments against viruses in different animal hosts with a special focus on Newcastle disease virus, a paramyxovirus causing enormous economic losses in the poultry industry??, and is a well-characterized vaccine vector carrying excellent oncolytic properties.


Shaykh Dr Rafāqat Rashid is a traditional Muslim scholar, General Practitioner, professional trainer and educator. He is the co-founder of Al-Balagh Academy, Bradford, UK and Course Director of many of its courses such as its popular medical fiqh programme. He is one of the senior lecturers at Jamiah Khatamun Nabiyeen (JKN) as the main teacher of Arabic Grammar known for his extraordinary way of teaching Arabic Grammar which attracts students from many different towns. He is a staff writer for Al-Mu’min Magazine known for his articles “Ask a Muslim Doctor” and “Living Islām in Modern Times”. Dr Rashid is an academic in the field of Islamic medical ethics and medical law having obtained his Masters from the University of Manchester on the subject of Muslim scholarly debates on the issue of Organ Transplantation, and also holding the title of honorary lecturer at the University of Leeds.


Shaykh  Dr Asim Yusuf is a practicing NHS Consultant Psychiatrist with a special interest in Islamic Spirituality and Mental Health. He is the chair of the British Board of Scholars and Imams, an ecumenical and diverse fellowship, and has received ijazāt (scholarly authorisations to teach) from senior scholars across the world.

He is currently teaching Islamic metaphysics and psychology, as well as conducting one of the only full read-throughs of the Ihya Ulum al-Din currently being undertaken anywhere in the world.

He has authored books on diverse aspects of Islam, with a focus on classical spirituality and astronomy as well as papers and book chapters on Islamic psychology.

He is the chair of the Nur al-Habib Foundation, which undertakes charitable, educational, cultural and community projects in the U.K.


Dr. Aasim Padela is the Director of the Initiative on Islam and Medicine, Professor and Vice Chair of Research and Scholarship, Department of Emergency Medicine, Professor of Bioethics and Humanities, Institute of Health and Equity at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr. Padela holds an MD from Weill Cornell Medical College, completed residency in emergency medicine at the University of Rochester, and received an MSc in Healthcare Research from the University of Michigan. Prior to that, he received Bachelor’s degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Classical Arabic and Literature from the University of Rochester. His Islamic studies expertise comes from part-time seminary studies during secondary school, and tutorials with traditionally-trained Islamic authorities.

Dr. Padela is a clinician-researcher with scholarly focus at the intersections of healthcare, bioethics, and religion. His scholarship aims at improving health and healthcare through better accommodating religious values in healthcare delivery. Using Muslim Americans and Islam as a model, he studies how (i) religion impacts patient health behaviors and healthcare experiences, (ii) informs the professional identities and workplace experiences of clinicians, and (iii) furnishes bioethical guidance to patients, providers, policy-makers, and religious leaders. This knowledge is subsequently mobilized towards educational and policy interventions. His current projects span behaviors related to cancer screening, organ donation, end-of-life care, and the intersection of religion & science. These projects are funded by the Templeton Foundation, the American Cancer Society, the Health Research and Services Administration, and the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

He has authored over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, serves in an editorial capacity for the Encyclopedia of Islamic Bioethics, American Journal of Bioethics, BMC Medical Ethics, International Journal of Islam, BETIM Journal of Medical Humanities, and TAHFIM Journal of Islam and the Contemporary World. His work and expert commentary has been featured in the New York Times, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, National Public Radio, BBC, and CNN.


Dr. Rania Awaad is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine where she is the Director of the Muslim Mental Health Lab and Wellness Program and Director of the Diversity Clinic. She pursued her psychiatric residency training at Stanford where she also completed a postdoctoral clinical research fellowship with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Her research and clinical work are focused on the mental health needs of Muslims. Her courses at Stanford range from teaching a pioneering course on Islamic Psychology, instructing medical students and residents on implicit bias and integrating culture and religion into medical care to teaching undergraduate and graduate students the psychology of xenophobia. Her most recent academic publications include an edited volume on “Islamophobia and Psychiatry” (Springer, 2019) and upcoming texts on Islamic Psychology (Routledge, 2020) and Muslim Mental Health. She has also produced a toolkit, fact sheet, CME course, and is now editing a clinical textbook on Muslim mental health for the American Psychiatric Association.

Dr. Awaad is particularly passionate about uncovering the historical roots of mental health care in the Islamic intellectual heritage. Through her outreach work at Stanford, she is also the Clinical Director of the San Francisco Bay Area branches of the Khalil Center, a spiritual wellness center pioneering the application of traditional Islamic spiritual healing methods to modern clinical psychology. She has been the recipient of several awards and grants for her work. Prior to studying medicine, she pursued classical Islamic studies in Damascus, Syria and holds certifications (ijaza) in Qur’an, Islamic Law and other branches of the Islamic Sciences. Dr. Awaad has also served as the first female Professor of Islamic Law at Zaytuna College, a Muslim Liberal Arts College in Berkeley, CA where she taught courses on Shafi’i Fiqh and Women’s Fiqh and Qur’anicsciences for nearly a decade. In addition, she serves as the Director of The Rahmah Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating Muslim women and girls. At Rahmah, she oversees the Murbiyyah spiritual mentoring program for girls. Dr. Awaad is a nationally recognized speaker, award-winning teacher, researcher and author in both the Islamic and medical sciences.


With a career spanning over 3 decades, Mrs. Maryam Lemu is an international speaker and an adept seminar and workshop facilitator. She is currently the Head of Administration and Resource Management at New Horizons College Minna, Nigeria, a faith based school. She is also one of the Directors of ProStart Consultants, a capacity building consultancy firm based in Nigeria. Mrs. Lemu has travelled around the world delivering seminars on a wide range of topics including team building, leadership and personal development. She is passionate about human development and character building and helps her audience identify a sense of purpose and direction in life and the positive impact it exerts on both work and personal life. Also, she delivers engaging public talks on Muslim Identity, Living a life of purpose, marital and pre-marital topics and particularly enjoys relationship coaching and counselling.

She is a known face with regular television appearances in Nigeria. She is the host of the popular Islamic talk show Sisterly on Alif TV, and Ramadan shows on several networks. She also produces YouTube video series and has a large social media following, as well. Mrs. Lemu has a broad range of expertise including Public Speaking, Mentoring and Coaching, Leadership, Management, Communication and Negotiation to name a few. She also provides consultancy to Islamic schools based on her strong commitment to character development, social responsibility and values-driven leadership.

Dr. Sharif Kaf Al-Ghazal

Dr Al-Ghazal is a Consultant Plastic, Reconstructive and Hand surgeon and the Plastic Surgery Lead at Bradford Teaching Hospitals in West Yorkshire, England; and also an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Medical School at the University of Leeds. Dr Al-Ghazal has published many papers and articles on plastic surgery. He is a member of Bradford / Leeds Research Ethics Committee.

He is one of the founders and the President of the British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) and the Editor in Chief of JBIMA (the Journal of the British Islamic Medical Association). Dr Al-Ghazal has a significant interest in the History of Islamic Medicine and has published several articles on this topic. He is the founder and an executive member of the International Society for History of Islamic Medicine (ISHIM), and one of the Editorial Board of the Journal published regularly by ISHIM in Turkey.

Dr Al-Ghazal was recently elected as Chairman of the Board of 1001 Cures Ltd, Manchester, UK; a new organisation owned by the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC), established to oversee developments in 1001cures an initiative to promote inter-cultural respect and appreciation through the history of medicine and health in Muslim and other civilisations.