Integration of Knowledge is Necessary for the Creation of Humane Governance – Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim
The integration of Islamic knowledge with modern sciences is an important part in the efforts to create humane economic systems or ekonomi insan for our societies. Our world now is managed through an unbridled economic system that is uncontrolled and one that does not always deliver justice to the weak. This was emphasized by IIIT President Emeritus Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim during his visit to Al Azhar Universitas Indonesia on 30 August, 2022.
While making references to renowned international scholars like Hamka, Edward Said and Martin Kramer, Dato’ Seri Anwar pointed out that there is a need to pay more attention to the discussions on epistemology and how Islamic knowledge can contribute to create educational content that reflects the values of justice and fairness in our economic system. He noted that Orientalism has shaped most of the intellectual discourse in non-Western societies for a long time. While descriptions of Muslim societies by Western scholars have sometimes been correct more often than not they are marred by inaccuracies. Unfortunately, Anwar observed, these misrepresentations of the Muslims by Western scholars tend to often be echoed by misreadings and mispersceptions of Western societies by Muslims resulting in the generation of misunderstanding, anger and mistrust.
Dato’ Seri Anwar emphasised on the need for the intellectual community to contribute towards the creation of better mutual understanding between Muslims and other communities around the world. Anwar pointed out that the intellectual endeavours towards the Islamisation and integration of knowledge constitute an important part in this process.
Citing the contribution of IIIT and of its founding members such as the late Ismail al Faruqi, Taha Jabir Al Alwani, Jamal Barzanji, AbdulHamid Abu Sulayman among others, Anwar reminded the audience that IIIT’s commitment to Islamisation and Integration of Knowledge is an important part in the wider efforts towards the creation of knowledge that is more relevant to Muslim communities and which will contribute to the realisation of humane governance in Muslim societies and around the world. With references to Islamic scholars like Imam Al Ghazali, Al Shatibi, Ibn Ashur and Jasir Auda, Dato’ Seri Anwar urged the scholars at the AUI and Muslims in general to pay more attention to concepts like Maqasid al Shariah (Objectives of the Shariah) as important starting points in their research towards the creation of an Islamic epistemology. This, he emphasised, would be an important contribution to the Muslim Ummah as it continues to grapple with contemporary challenges.
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