Did you know Shura is an Arabic term often translated as mutual consultation?
In the Quran people are guided to make decisions only after consulting one another. We know that consultation not only surfaces the wisdom of groups but also builds trust in the decisions that are taken and strengthens relationships. Despite this, there is a scarcity of literature on when, how and with whom to conduct Shura. Over the coming years I will continue to deepen my understanding of Shura - exploring the ways it has been interpreted historically within Muslim contexts, and decolonizing the work of dialogue and civic engagement.
While it seems a simple thing to consult others before making decisions, we know that engaging with others is not a simple thing to do. Our world has shaped by complex historical processes that have created overlapping systems of power always at play. To address this, we have to be mindful of who gets to speak and how to remove the subtle and obvious barriers that exist. Overcoming the barriers speakers face is only half of the equation. Overcoming barriers to hearing ideas that might challenge our notions about ourselves and our world-views is the other half.
I draw on my background in arts activism, Islamic spirituality, and community building to help remove barriers that exist and to create the conditions for healthy conflict, communication and connection so that we can make good decisions together.
Did you know Shura is also the stage name of singer, songwriter and producer Aleksandra Lilah Yakunina-Denton?
Her first single Touch was remade featuring one of my favourite rappers, Talib Kweli. Have a listen here.