My visit to Malaysia started with the visit to Regional office of International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT Regional office at No 17 ,Jalan SeksyenPetaling Jaya, Selangor Malaysia) on 15 December 2014. I went there along with Mr.Shahran Kasim . We had lunch with DatoWira Dr.Jamil Osman (Director, Regional office IIIT, Malaysia)
I offered the Zuhar prayers in the university Masjid and after the prayers I met very renowned professors of IIUM in the Masjid itself. Among them mention may be made of Prof.Malik Badari, Prof Dato Jamil Osman and Prof Ibrahim Marzuq.
Then we all went to see Prof Dr. Ibrahim M. Zein, the Dean Kulliyat of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences (KIRKHS) and we had discussion of about an hour on the issues ranging from his association with Ismail Raji al Faruqi and his views about Malaysia etc. He subjects related to the process of Islamisation of knowledge and the new challenges before the scholars were deliberated upon also.
He said that he had special association with Ismail Raji Faruqi as he worked under him at Temple University. “The emergence of International Islamic University at Malaysia was very suitable to the serene atmosphere of Malaysia and such an academic adventure could take place nowhere else but only in a place like Malaysia”, was a calculated response of Prof. Zain to my question whether there was the possibility of such a university with such a success rate elsewhere in whole of the Muslim world?
I informed him that I had correspondence with late Faruqi and had got even admission in Temple University under his guidance but due to non-availability of scholarship that year, I had to drop the idea though next year Dr. Hossein Nasr had shown interest in taking me under his guidance.
But I opted out because my interest was to work under Ismail Raji Faruqi only.
After a lengthy discussion with Prof. Ibrahim Zain, I delivered a lecture on Ghazzali’s Impact on western philosophers at IIUM which was attended by many students belonging to diverse backgrounds like sociology, economics, engineering, education, Islamic studies etc. Prof DatoWira Dr.Jamil Osman, Shahran Kasim, Prof S Yunus Gilani, and others were also present during the lecture. A live discussion followed this lecture.
Finally, we had a dinner in which Prof Mumtaz Ali, Prof Ushama Tamimi, and Shahran Kasim were also present. During dinner, we had a good discussion on the progress of IOK project also.
I had a very hectic schedule on 16 December 2014 as Dr Shahran Kasim came early in the morning to my hotel room and took me with him to Centre for Foundation Studies IIUM, “which used to be the campus where the International Islamic University started its work with two departments: law and economics and no students” says: Dato Jamil Osman, who was then the teacher of economics there. Then only around one hundred and fifty students were given admission added Prof Jamil. I met the teachers of the Islamic studies and the Dean Prof Dr Torla Hassan, Centre for Foundation Studies who is basically a professor of Physics but has studied Islamic sciences at Kuwait University before joining this university and knows Arabic language very well. We had a breakfast there and then there was the main programme for the students teachers and faculty of the university.
The topic of this workshop cum lecture was Islamisation of Epistemology based on my proposed book on Islamic Epistemology, Ilmal Kalam and Muslim Philosophy and it lasted for two and half hours included the question answer session.
First of all, I appreciated the role of IIUM and IIIT which have taken the noble mission of spreading the light of Islamisation of knowledge very dedicatedly and are ushering into the institutionalisation of the ideas of Raji Faruqi and his colleagues worldwide. This IOK has not remained now an idea but is becoming a reality with at least three universities working on this mission, i.e. IIUM Malaysia, International Islamic University Islamabad Pakistan and International Islamic University Khartoum. A lady professor teaching physics there asked a question about non availability of text books on Islamisation of knowledge especially in sciences streams!
The Dean and Prof Dato Wira Jamil Osman also participated in this workshop apart from many teachers of physics and other streams including the students and teachers of Islamic studies. M.Abdul Aziz, Executive Director Bangladesh Institute of Islamic Thought (BIIT) was also present during the lecture. The paper based on my lecture was distributed among the participants. After the lecture we had lunch at the beautiful canteen of Malay University, one of the oldest universities of Malaysia. We had interaction with the students and teachers of foundation centre on IOK project.
Afternoon was reserved according to the already fixed schedule for meeting with Prof Kamal Hashmi, Founding CEO International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia and for about one hour we discussed very important issues regarding Ghazzali’s impact on the west and over all intellectual state of affairs and thought crisis of Islamic world in light of Islamisation of Knowledge paradigm.
Deputy CEO of the Institute Prof Dr Mohamed Azam Mohammad Adil was also present during this informal interaction apart from Sharan Kasim.
On 17th morning I had my breakfast with Prof Dato Wira Jail Osman and Mr. Sharan Kasim at Papa Rich at Gombak and we deliberated upon the outcome of my lectures and workshops and the future course in the wake of my proposed lecture tour to Indonesia.
The need for preparing text books on Islamisation of epistemology was also deliberated upon and the suggestion of Dr Jamil and ShahranKasim was that I should come to Malaysia possibly as a visiting faculty to IIUM and prepare a text book on the subject of Islamisation of epistemology.
Afterwards I delivered a lecture at Islamic Revealed and Human Sciences centre organized by Dr Mumtaz Ali and the topic of the lecture was :The contribution of Kashmiri scholars to Islamic Studies and Islam in Kashmir, in which Prof Usamah, Prof Geelani and other scholars and students participated and even the scholars from other departments also participated and the programme was presided over by Prof. Usamah. I was given some books by Mr.Usamah and I met Mr Israr Ahmad Khan, my old roommate at Idara ..i..TasneefAligarh of eighties and we had good time for few minutes.
Dr Tamimi showed interest in having MOU and MOA with our university which I appreciated very much in our meeting. Afterwards I left for Indonesia for delivering lectures and conducting workshops on Islamisation of Epistemology and Education there.
(The Author is Director International Center for Spiritual Studies, Islamic University of Science and Technology Awantipora Pulwama. Former Director, Shah-i-Hamadan Institute of Islamic Studies, University of Kashmir Srinagar. He can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org)