Imams are the largest group of Muslim religious professionals in Britain who work principally within mosques leading prayers, delivering sermons and providing guidance to their congregations. However, there is growing evidence to suggest that this role is being expanded to encompass pastoral care, chaplaincy, charity work or wider community projects such as inter-faith activity or civic events. Yet, the British imam has only rarely been the subject of in-depth ethnographic research.
Understanding British Imams is a three-year research project, based at Cardiff University’s Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK, that aims to fill this gap. The project calls upon British Muslims from all walks of life and backgrounds (whether you regularly attend a mosque or not), to fill their community survey: https://cardiff.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/imams-community-survey.
This survey will be crucial in addressing many issues relevant to the future of British Muslim religious leadership, and asks important questions including: What do you think the role of imams should be? How much should an imam be paid? How important is it for the imam to engage with the wider society? Have you ever approached an imam for help or guidance? If so, what was your experience?
As a community, we would love to hear your views on these topics.