MARCH 14-15, 2010
at A. N. Sinha Institute, Patna
Organised by
Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi
Forum for Literacy Awareness and Muslim Education (FLAME), Patna

Prof. Z.M. Khan, Secretary General IOS, Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam, Chairman, IOS, H.E. Debanand Konwar, Governor of Bihar, Dr. Ahmad Abdul Hai, President, Forum for Literacy Awareness and Muslim Education (FLAME), Patna, Dr. Abdul Hamid Ahmad Abu Sulayman, Former Rector of International Islamic University of Malaysia

March 14, 2010

Patna: The human civilisation is afflicted by a crisis of faith today as it is unable to handle the spiritual and moral legacy of major religions, the Governor of Bihar Debanand Konwar said here today.

In his inaugural address at a two-day international conference on “Crisis in the Muslim Mind and the Contemporary World” at A. N. Sinha Institute Mr. Konwar explained that the malaise affected not the Muslim mind alone, but “mind, the human mind as such”.

The crisis was not confined to a particular religious denomination, he emphasized, again asserting that the human civilisational heritage was largely a “sum total of religious teachings of Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Jain, Sikh and other prophets, avtars, sufis and sants.”

He pointed out the process called in Western philosophy “thesis, anti-thesis and synthesis” was a continuous one that affected all thought, including religious thought. Quoting Rabindra Nath Tagore’s dialogue with Mahatma Gandhi in which the former told the mahatma that “once we evolve beyond nationalism, we will reach the stage of humanism”, Mr. Konwar appealed to religious leaders to make that giant leap to humanism.

The conference theme is based on ideas conveyed in Dr. Abdul Hamid Ahmad Abu Sulayman’s book of the same title, which has been translated into several languages. Dr. Sulayman, a thinker of Arab origin who is a former rector of International Islamic University of Malaysia, presented the key-note address.

In his address he said the current beliefs and practices of Muslims had veered away from the core values of pristine Islam. Today, Muslims were no longer able to relate their thoughts and actions to the standards set in the Quran. He briefly touched upon the history of this progressive affliction that began from the days of fourth rightly guided caliph of Islam, that is, from the very first generation of Muslims.

The crux of the issue was that instead of relying primarily on the Quran the Muslim world was relying on the myriad interpretations of the holy book.

He said “the Quranic principles were applicable in the past and are applicable today”. One of the reasons behind he malaise was that ulema (Islamic religious scholars) had failed to cope with advances in social sciences and their ever-newer methodologies.


A View of Audience

Muslims had been trying to look at today’s issues in the framework provided by yesterday’s religious scholars. He emphasised the point that religious texts had to be understood in today’s context. The spirit of the age had to be taken as a major determinant of religious stance.

The conference was jointly organised by the Institute of Objective Studies in clooaboration with the Forum for Literacy, Awareness and Muslim Education (FLAME). The forum president Dr. Ahamd Abdul Hai said in his welcome address that Islam (which, in Arabic means peace) had today become synonymous with “bomb explosion” was originally meant to be a message of peace.

“Wama arsalakum illa rahmatul lil alameen”, Dr. Hai quoted the Quran, which means that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) came to earth as God’s Kindness for the entire creation. He said Muslims must overcome the drift and return to this primary message of the religion.

Prof. Z.M. Khan, introducing the subject, observed that Patna was selected as the place where to hold the conference because of the intellectual vibrancy and the long tradition of learning associated with it.

“No seat is ever left vacant in auditoriums here, and students invariably come to us for asking questions and clarifying points”. Sometimes they came even to the hotels where the speakers were staying, he explained.

He said the essential responsibility for finding solutions to the problems of Muslims lay with Muslims themselves. “Patna should have some of its abundant human resource reoriented, trained and even some new talent created”, he pointed out.

Earlier an introduction of IOS was given by Dr. S.F. Rab from Patna chapter of IOS.

Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam, Chairman of IOS, said that whether it was ancient Patliputra, medieval Azimabad or modern Patna, this city had always been a seat of learning, which encouraged them to organise this important conference here.

The Quran does not address address Muslims alone, nor does it concern itself with a particular age or location. This has to be grasped clearly, Dr. Alam asserted.

He said it was the mind that drove the matter and the concept that underpinned the material reality. Hence things must be clear at the level of mind and of concept.

The programme began with a recitation from the Quran by Dr. Shoukat Ali, and a vote of thanks was proposed by Shafi Mashhadi, secretary of FLAME.


March 15, 2010

Islamic scholars diagnosed the “Crisis in the Muslim Mind” here on the second day of a two-day conference on the issue, finding its etiology in reversal to “Arab tribalism, influence of antiquated Greek philosophy, and Muslim religious scholars’ loss of touch with developments in human knowledge”.

Prof. Abdul Hamid Ahmad Abu Sulayman, an Islamic scholar and author of the book Crisis in Muslim Mind, articulated factors that led to “a distortion of the Islamic world view”.

Prof. Z.M. Khan, Secretary General IOS, Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam, Chairman, IOS, Dr. Abdul Hamid Ahmad Abu Sulayman, Former Rector of International Islamic University of Malaysia, Prof. Ziauddin Ahmad, Former V-C of Magadh University

Today, in the Muslim world people “with a religious appearance in cohort with some intellectuals have joined rulers in a power dispensation to the detriment of common Muslims”, Prof. Abu Sulayman said.

“If you oppose the autocratic system, the ulema (clerics) will send you to hell and the rulers will consign you to prison”. This had brought the quality of life of Muslims to the level of animals.

To rise above this sub-human existence Muslims should seek guidance from the Quran rather than through the medium of clerics.

In his paper Dr. Shakeel A. Khan of the economics department of Oriental College Patna observed that the Islamic economic model offered protection from periodic upheavals witnessed in the modern western economic model.

This session on “Principles of Methodology in Islamic Thought” ended with a summing up of the ideas by the session chair Prof. A.R. Momin, former head department of sociology, University of Bombay.

In the next session “Muslim Mind and the Future of Humanity” Prof. Momin put the issue of “Muslim intellectual crisis” in the context of the larger humanity’s condition.

The challenges that beset the humankind in the 21st century were of two kinds: one type being social, cultural and existential, while the other one ideational and epistemological, he elaborated.

“The social, cultural and existential challenges of our era include globalisation, especially the worldwide diffusion of global lifestyles, individualism and consumerism, conspicuous inequalities of income, power and resources and widespread poverty and the exclusion and marginalisation of large number of people in Asia and Africa.”

Racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and flagrant violations of human rights posed a serious threat to societal stability and cohesion in many countries across the world, Prof. Momin said. He argued for a morally ordered universe that was based on religious teachings.

In his paper Prof. Abuzar Usmani, former head of Urdu department at Ranchi University, explained “the role of youth in shaping a better future for humanity”. He was critical of the freewheeling, non-committal, non-absolutist ideas of post-modernism that, in his view, had the potential to lead the youth astray and cut loose from their cultural moorings.

Prof. Shamshad Hussain, former V-C of Nalanda University summed up the ideas of the session in his presidential remarks.

The conference adopted a number of resolutions one of them being the establishment of a college of social and human sciences to run courses for award of degrees/diplomas at Patna.

In his valedictory address, Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam, Chairman, Institute of Objective Studies called for a paradigm shift in the study, interpretation and practice of Islam.


Two-day Seminar on “The Challenges of Pluralism and the Middle Way of Islam”

February 27-28, 2010
at New College, Chennai
Organised by
Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi
New College, Chennai

A view of inaugural session

Following are the salient parts of the two-day (February 27-28) seminar at New College, Chennai:



Chennai, February 27: Indian ulama have to work assiduously to develop a fresh understanding of Islamic texts in the context of present-day life and create a new interpretation of Islamic law, Prof. A R Momin, former head of department of sociology in Bombay University, said here today.

Prof. Momin was delivering his keynote address at a two-day seminar on “The Challenges of Pluralism and the Middle Way of Islam” at New College. He said “Islam is accommodative of pluralism” in its laws and social mores as demonstrated by the historical record of Ottoman, Andalusia (Arab Spain) and medieval India.

Quoting from the Quran Prof. Momin emphasised that Islam recognised and accommodated ethnic, religious and cultural diversity. He juxtaposed it with the observation that in India respect for and accommodation of diversity was reflected not only in the country’s religious and ethnic landscape but also within the fold of Hinduism.

Quoting from the Rig Veda, he said “The Truth is One, but the sages call It by different Names”. That stance had been validated by the inclusion of more than 25 words of Dravidian origin in the Rig Veda and many more in later Vedas, he added. In this regard, China is the binary opposite of India as its ethos is mono-cultural, according to Prof. Momin.


A view of audience

Prof. Momin also pointed towards the contribution of Indian Muslims to the advancement of the multi-cultural ethos in arts and letters, culture and architecture. As the world was getting increasingly diverse and hybridity rather than uniformity was the central theme of life, accommodation and celebration of diversity would be the right choice.

Earlier, in his welcome address Dr. Karamathullah Bahmani, coordinator of (IOS) Chennai chapter, while welcoming the audience and guests said that by now IOS was known worldwide and enjoyed an affiliate status with the United Nations (Social Roster) largely because of the tireless efforts of its chairman, Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam.

Mr. Habibullah Badsha, former advocate general of Tamil Nadu asserted, “pluralism is inbuilt in Islam, and its beauty lies in resilience of its message”. He advised Muslims not to talk about backwardness all the time. “Hold your head high and forge ahead”, he exhorted Muslims, especially the youth.

The seminar, which was jointly organised by the Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi and New College, Chennai, began with the recitation of Quran by Mr. Abdur Raheem Patel.

Prof. Z M Khan, secretary general IOS, presented highlights of 24 years of its research and publication work, as well as of seminars and symposia organised by it. He said so far IOS had published over 200 titles, has been offering scholarships and publishing several journals, besides running different websites.

IOS had also started several centres like IOS Centre for Applied Social Research, IOS Centre for Computer Education and IOS Multimedia Centre. IOS would observe its Silver Jubilee in the 25th year of its existence in 2011, he announced.

In his presidential address, Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam, chairman of IOS remarked that human dignity lay in the freedom of choice, which was possible only when a multiplicity of options was available. “Islam offers you the choice to select or reject”, he said pointing towards Islam’s acceptance and celebration of diversity.

He said that of late trends were marked which de-emphasised the unity of Godhead, unity of knowledge and unity of Creation in all its diversity. IOS work always focused on that unity in all its research, symposia and seminars.

IOS organised over the last few months seminars from Kashmir to Kerala, UP and Bihar. He made an appeal to participants to access different websites run by IOS and its affiliates to be able to interact with it.

The programme was conducted by Capt. Zahid Hussain, who heads the NCC at the college and teaches in economics department. Capt. Hussain also proposed a vote of thanks.




The second day’s proceedings began with a recitation from the holy Quran by Capt. Zahid Hussain. The session chairperson Prof. Z.M. Khan’s introductory remarks followed.

Prof. Khan observed in his introductory remarks that pluralism was “not merely a concept from political theory, but an idea and a practice with extremely wide ramifications”. Human rights, civil rights, minority rights and a plethora of allied areas were in its domain, touched upon and elaborated in documents like the Indian Constitution and UN Conventions.

“And yet, minorities continue to suffer worldwide”, he pointed out. Driven by good intentions, pluralism and its practice were caught in all manner of paradoxes and contradictions. To overcome these limitations minorities themselves had to take the initiative “and look hard to find out precisely what is wrong and where”.

Prof. Khan continued, “We can be sure of certain things: institutions have to built and protected”. He explained that institutions functioned in a certain social, economic, moral and political environment. That environment subtly and deeply influenced the functioning of these institutions. Hence, the environment, too, had to be kept in mind and to be corrected for the entire edifice to be efficient and meaningful.

Prof. Khan quoted an insightful remark of former Chief Justice of India A.M. Ahmadi to clarify the point. In one of his addresses Justice Ahmadi had said that most of the time Indian judiciary worked competently, independently and impartially, but on rarest of rare occasions its competence, independence and impartiality were compromised. That was because the people running the institution of judiciary were only human and it was as natural for them to be influenced by the prevailing environment as for anyone else. “That’s why we have to build institutions and to be mindful of the environment in which they function”, he concluded.

Prof. M. Abdul Khader stressed the need for community-based initiatives for empowerment of Muslims. In his scheme of things the mosque stood at the centre of primary educational activity. He pleaded for a primary school and a library to be attached to every mosque and for utilising the potentials of the imam and the mosque management committee. He talked about the Kerala model patterned on these lines that had met with extraordinary success.

Prof. A.M. Abdul Kalam argued for a return to the pristine values of early Islam to meet today’s challenges. Early Islam had a provision for accommodating religious, cultural and ethnic diversity.

Mr S.H. Mahboob Ali elaborated upon the same theme saying the Charter of Medina, a vital document of the first Islamic state that was headed by the prophet (PBUH) himself, recognised and protected the rights of minorities. This state recognised the weekly holidays of Jews (Saturday) and Christians (Sunday) along with Muslims (Friday). It allowed non-Muslims to practise their faith freely with full protection of law. This state, which also signed treaties with non-Muslim states, was a prototype of the pluralist state of today, he asserted.

In their jointly written paper Dr S. Karamatullah Basha (of Economics Deptt. New College, Chennai) and Prof. Captain Zahid Hussain (also of Economics Deptt., New College) argued that traders and sufis spread the message of Islam through love and understanding more than any warrior or conqueror did. The latter category came in the second wave, mainly of Turks.

The authors pointed out that Muslim poets, writers and artistes were part of the project of Indian pluralism that built a multi-cultural ethos. However, pluralism sustained a serious setback because of communal politics and organised mass violence against minorities.

They pleaded for a range of remedial measures – legal, economic, political and social–to set things right and bring pluralism back on the rails. The paper was presented by Dr Basha.

Prof. M. Fakhir Ismail said in his paper that Islam, being “a complete way of life”, accommodated pluralism, and all that Muslims had to do was adhere firmly to it.


Valedictory Session

This session was chaired by Prof. A.R. Momin and the valedictory speech was delivered by IOS chairman Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam. Dr Alam put the concept of pluralism in the context of a fast-globalising world, a world characterised by the emergence of new forms of imperialism.

“The global hegemon is out to turn our democratic republic into a banana republic”, he remarked pointing towards new stresses on the country’s sovereign authority.

The plural heritage of the country was under tremendous pressure from different sides, external as well as internal. Also, there was a growing tendency to understate or ignore the contribution of Muslims to the mosaic of India’s composite culture.

He announced an IOS project to study a large body of archival material to properly evaluate the contribution of Muslims to India’s independence. “This large body of archival material has not been studied so far”, he said.

Dr Alam said 2011 would be the Silver Jubilee Year of IOS, which would be marked by year-round celebrations, a large output of printed work as well as internet content, and a plethora of important seminars and symposia all over the country.

In his presidential address the chairman of the session and important member of IOS fraternity, Prof. A.R. Momin, elaborated on the points made by Dr Alam.

The second day’s programme was interspersed with lively question-answer sessions in which the audience interacted with speakers. Capt. Zahid Hussain proposed a vote of thanks.


Two-day National Conference on "Islam's Contribution to World Civilization"

January 16-17, 2010
Organised by
Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi
Farooque College, Calicut

Speaker: Prof. Z.M. Khan, Secretary General, IOS

Two-day International Conference on ‘Isalm’s Contribution to World Civilization’ being organised by the Institute of Objective Studies (IOS), New Delhi in association with IOS Calicut Chapter and the School of Islamic Studies, Manjeri (affiliated to Calicut University) opened with the inaugural session at 10.30 am.

Islam’s Contribution to the world civilization is a continuing and unending process, said Prof. Refaqat Ali Khan, Director Academics, IOS. He was inaugurating the two-day International Conference on Islam’s contribution to World Civilization being organized MSS Hall, Cherutty Road, Calicut.

There are three major elements in the Muslim contribution to world civilization, he said. While citing examples from history, the former Professor & Head Dept. of History and Dean, Faculty of Humanities & Languages at Jamia Millia Islamia, NewDelhi Prof. R A Khan pointed out that revival of the knowledge of the classical civilization of Greece, India and China is the major element in these contributions. He further said that the original contribution to science and learning and transmission of the revived and developed science and technology to the East and the West are the other major contributions of Muslims to the world civilization. While agreeing with the viewpoint of Noble Laureate, Amartya Sen, he expressed that “the trend of tolerance and pluralistic thinking” in India had its origin in the advent of Islam and on India “the constitutional secularism and judicially guaranteed multiculturalism” is also a Muslim gift.

In the absence of Dr. Imad Ad Deen Ahmad, Maryland University USA, who was supposed to deliver the keynote address, Mr A.A Vahab, Secretary, IOS, Calicut Chapter, read out the keynote address. In his keynote Dr Imad Ahmad pointed out that “while the mass of mankind has remained completely ignorant of Islamic contributions, the academic world has had two main perspectives. The one that dominates in the West has been that the Islamic civilization was a caretaker civilization that ‘preserved Greek learning’ while the west went through Dark Ages”. He argued, this is, of course, a Eurocentric view and is completely inadequate. Islam did not merely preserve western thought; it discovered and absorbed knowledge from various countries. It synthesized and developed that knowledge and added to it.


Speaker: Prof. Refaqat Ali Khan

Prof. P. Koya, Co-Ordinator, Calicut Chapter IOS, delivered the welcome speech while Abdur Rehiman Baqavi, Principal, School of Islamic Studies, Manjeri, presided over the inaugural session. In his presidential address, Mr. Baqavi said that Islam is the most misunderstood religion in the contemporary world. He expressed the hope that this two-day conference would not only portray the classical contributions of Islam to the world but it would also act as a platform to chalk out strategies to make new and innovative contributions to the contemporary world. Prof. Z M Khan, former Head Department of Political Science & Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, presently Secretary General IOS, gave a brief profile of the Institute of Objective Studies, explaining its objectives, initiatives and future plans. His announcement about the establishment of a Civilizational & Cultural Studies Centre at Calicut was received with great applause.

O Abdullah, author and journalist, N P Chekutty, Executive Editor, Thejas Daily, Dr. P Ibrahim of Pondichery University rendered felicitation. A.A Vahab, Secretary, Calicut Chapter IOS proposed vote of thanks.

Dignitaries on the dais also included Dr. Ausaf Ahmad, Financial Secretary, IOS, Prof. S. Jamaluddin, Director Projectos & Research, IOS and Dr. M S Jayaprakash, historian.

Two-day National Seminar on "The Ethics of Disagreement in Islam" at Jamiatul Imam Mohammad Anwar Shah Kashmiri, Deoband


November 12-13, 2009
Organised by
Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi and Jamiatul Imam Mohammad Anwar Shah Kashmiri, Deoband

The two-day national seminar on “Ethics of Disagreement in Islam”, jointly organised by the Centre for Arabic and Islamic Studies, Institute of Objective Studies (IOS), New Delhi and Jamia Imam Anwer Deoband, concluded on November 13, 2009 at Jamia Imam Anwer Deoband (UP). It was presided over by renowned Islamic scholar and All India Milli Council (AIMC) President Maulana Abdullah Mughaisi while Dr Saud Alam Qasmi, Dean, Faculty of Theology (Sunni), AMU, Aligarh, and Prof Yasin Mazhar Siddiqui, former Chairman, Islamic Studies, AMU and famous author, delivered their inaugural and key-note addresses, respectively.

L-R: Maulana Abdul Wahab Khilji, Prof Yasin Mazhar Siddiqui, Maulana Abdullah Mughaisi, Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam, Maulana Ahmad Shah Khizr Masoodi, Maulana Abdul Rasheed Bastawi

In his inaugural address Prof. Saud Alam Qasmi said “the doctrinal differences between Muslims is not on the fundamentals, but on secondary and less important issues”. He advised Muslims to forge unity on the basis of the fundamentals and develop a common stand on the basis of mutual consultations.

The two-day seminar, beginning on November 12, was attended by the luminaries of the world-renowned Darul Uloom Deoband, including Maulana Nematullah Aazmi, Mufti Sayeed Ahmad Palanpuri, Sheikh-al-Hadith Darul Uloom Deoband, and Maulana Reyasat Ali Bijnori.



Photo: Business Session-I

Islamic scholars from India’s centres of learning like Hyderabad, Delhi and Lucknow also addressed the seminar. The following representatives of India’s Islamic oerganisation participated in the seminar: Maulana Mohammad Rafiq Qasmi, Secretary Jamaat-e-Islami Ahl-e-Hadith Hind and Maulana Muhammad Abdullah Mughaisi, President All India Milli Council.


Photo: Business Session-II

Mufti Sayeed Ahmad Palanpuri pointed out the difference of opinion did not mean opposition in fiqh.

In his brief address Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam explained the objectives of the seminar. Nearly all speakers emphasised the point in their own way that maslak (school of thought) should not replace deen (religion) and difference of opinion should not lead to mutual takfir (repudiation).



Photo: Business Session-III

Everybody at the seminar recognised that the “Ummah has an abundance of different perspectives, which cannot be wished away”. The need of the hour, they pointed out, was to initiate dialogue between different masalik and points of view.

The welcome address was delivered by the rector of Jamia Imam Mohammad Anwar Shah Kashmiri, Syed Ahmad Khizr Shah, and a comprehensive introduction of the IOS was made by Dr Ghitrif Shabaaz Nadvi.



L-R: Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam, Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Shah Khizr Masoodi, Dr Ausaf Ahmad, Prof Yasin Mazhar Siddiqui

Among the prominent scholars who presented their papers were Prof. Ali Mohammad Naqvi of Department of Islamic Theology (Shi’a) Aligarh Muslim University, Mufti Mohammad Zafar Alam Nadvi, Dr Obaidullah Fahad Falahi and Maulana Nadeemul Wajdi.


A view of audiance

The valedictory session was attended, among others, by Dr Fahim Akhtar Nadvi, Mufti Majdul Quddus Khabib Rumi and Prof. Yasin Mazhar Siddiqui. Prof. Siddiqui presided over the last session and Prof. Ausaf Ahmad read out the following proposals and resolutions:

1. The two-day seminar has reached the conclusion that differences among Islamic scholars on different aspects of principles of Islam are possible. According to it, these differences are not related to its basics and fundamentals and only exist in opinions of different schools of thought and other issues like schools of thought, mystic thoughts and practices, and trivia. In the view of the seminar, the realization and identification of the existence of these differences in opinions is a big step in the way of creating mutual understanding and harmony.

2. The seminar lauded the efforts made by the IOS, New Delhi and Jamia Imam Anwer Deoband in connection with its preparation. It hoped that such efforts would also be made by other Islamic educational and research institutions.

3. The seminar expected that a congenial atmosphere to promote the culture of mutual talks and dialogue would be created in the educational institutions of the Indian Muslims.

4. The seminar appealed to different schools of thoughts and groups of Indian Muslim society to initiate a dialogue to remove their differences based on the real Islamic teachings and concepts. However, even after this effort if they feel that there still remain some real and permanent differences, they should strive to tolerate and live with these differences.

5. The seminar hoped that such other meetings would be helpful in removing the differences and encouraging unity among the Indian Muslims.



(October 26-28, 2009)
Organised by
Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi
Department of Psycology Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh


L-R: Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam, Chairman IOS, Prof. Hamida Ahmad, Chairperson Department of Psychology AMU, Prof. Shamshad Ahmad, former VC Nalanda Open University and Magadh University, Prof. Nizar Al Ani, Chancellor of International Academy for Graduate Studies, UAE, Prof. Roqaiyyah Zainuddin, Dean Faculty of Arts Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh



Aligarh, October 26: Modern psychology studies the material human being to the exclusion of the spiritual, Chairperson of Department of Psychology, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Prof. Hamida Ahmad said here today.

Delivering the welcome address at the beginning of a three-day international conference on “Concept of Psyche in Islam,” she said in the United States she had seen works on psychology in Buddhist perspective and psychology in Hindu perspective, but precious little on Islamic psychology. She hoped the conference would initiate a process that would ultimately lead to meaningful studies in coming years.

The organising secretary of the event, Prof. Shamim A. Ansari of the AMU Department of Psychology, narrated how the psychology department had worked out a collaborative arrangement with the Delhi-based Institute of Objective Studies (IOS) to organise the conference. He hoped to continue holding such meets in future in collaboration with the IOS.



Speaker: Prof. Nizar Al Ani, Chancellor of International Academy for Graduate Studies, UAE

In his keynote address, Prof. Nizar Al Ani, Chancellor of International Academy for Graduate Studies, UAE, laid emphasis on developing an appropriate methodology for the understanding of the human psyche in Islamic perspective.

He said the work done in this regard had not been satisfactory. Work on this idea began in 1972. However, he was hopeful that more substantial work would begin to emerge in years ahead.

In his address Dr. Mohammed Manzoor Alam, Chairman of IOS, welcomed everyone once again to his alma mater as an alumnus of AMU as well as the organising partner of the event. He began with an introduction of IOS.

He said fresh knowledge would have to be created by Muslim psychologists “instead of reiterating” what was already there in the Islamic tradition.


Prof. Roqaiyyah Zainuddin, Dean Faculty of Arts AMU, expressed the hope that the AMU–IOS collaborative effort would advance the knowledge of human psyche in Islamic perspective.

Prof. Shamshad Ahmad, former VC Nalanda Open University and Magadh University, in his presidential remarks observed that each point raised by the speakers was a potential subject for a separate seminar. He said it pointed towards the vitality of the participants’ views.

The conference began with a solemn recitation of the holy Qur’an and ended with prayers for the departed souls of Prof. Iqbal A. Ansari, who passed away on October 13, and for Shahnawaz Alam, a graduate student of AMU who was shot dead in cold blood in the evening of October 25 by a motorcycle riding ruffian without any obvious reason.



Aligarh, October 27: Scholars from UAE, Malaysia and from different parts of India including (Aligarh, Delhi, J&K, Patna, Ranchi, Lucknow and Chandigarh) participated in the proceedings of the second day.

As many as 55 research papers were presented over three sessions. Scholars traced the evolution of Islamic thought on human psyche right from the Muslim Aristotleans like Ghazali, who was the first to use the world “Ilmun Nafs” (psychology).

The inaugural session was held at the AMU, but because of turmoil at the university, the second day’s proceedings were held at the IOS Aligarh chapter.


Aligarh, October 28: On the third day 15 research papers were presented by scholars on the subject. The valedictory session was organised at the Al-Barkat Engineering and Management Institute.

In his valedictory address Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam said, “Islam stands for peace, progress and prosperity”. It addresses the whole mankind, whose unity it affirms and mandates dealings among them on the basis of rahmah (kindness).


He elaborated the idea further by saying, “The Quran is a guiding force and inspiration in a universe that would stay till the Day of Judgment. So will the humankind”. Interaction between the two would always create problems that should be solved in the light of Quranic guidance. The Quran will provide a new paradigm as an alternative source of knowledge if the new generation of scientists and scholars works to develop it.

Addressing the students he said the youth were a force and the community’s future. They had to learn how to deal with the world from the Quran and the Sunnah and for an alternative perspective to address the issues for all humankind.

After three-day of deliberations, discourse and presentation of research papers this conference adopts the following resolutions:


1. We will continue the endeavour to grasp the nature, content and functioning of the human psyche in light of guidance provided by the holy Qur’an, the Sunnah and our spiritual and intellectual heritage.

2. We will also try to put together a viable, verifiable, stable methodology of approaching the subject profitably, as early as possible.

3. At the outset, we have come to the conclusion that in such an endeavour a multi-disciplinary approach taking into consideration religion, philosophy, psychology, ontology, hermeneutics and semiotics will be appropriate.

4. The highly stimulating three-day proceedings has enthused us with a sense of optimism that comes only when one is sure that one’s compass is functional in the wilderness of a thick forest of bewildering mass of information that is growing in volume with every passing moments.

5. The whole excercise confirms our belief that the IOS has to continue with its collaborative efforts in organizing more conferences and seminars with the Department of Psychology and other departments of Aligarh Muslim University in future.

6. The Department of Psycholgy, Aligarh Muslim University in collaboration with the Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi should work in the direction of becoming a nodal centre for intensive study and research in the field, such that understanding of psychological phenomena in Islamic perspective is fostered and enriched.

7. We resolve to bring intellectuals and ulema closer together for exchange of ideas to enrich our work. We also resolve to work out a programme for joint work in fields of research, survey, publication and organisation of conferences and seminars.

8. The IOS has a long association with AMU as the leadership is headed by a number of AMU old boys. The IOS is working hard to launch many fresh schemes. We will try to create viable mechanisms for scholars and students of the university to be associated with the Institute in different areas of research.

9. The conference calls upon the Islamic Ummah to adopt a more meaningful and constructive approach to create a fresh body of knowledge that is inspired by the Qur’an and Sunnah and addresses current academic concerns.

10. At length, it is resolved that IOS, New Delhi should publish the proceedings of this conference.



L-R: Dr Faizan Mustafa, VC Law University, Prof. Z M Khan, Secretary General IOS, Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam, Chairman IOS, Maulana Abul Tayyib Ahmad Miyan Firangi Mahli, Maulana Saeedur Rahman Azmi Nadwi, Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahli, Prof. AR Momin, Mumbai and Others.

Lucknow: A two-day (October 17-18) seminar was organised here in the “City of Nabobs” at the historic Darul Uloom Firangi Mahal on Fiqh-al-Aqaliyaat (Shariah in relation to Muslim minorities).

“The correct grasp of problems and their articulation in the light of the Shariah is the essence of fiqh”, observed Maulana Sayeedur Rahman Azmi, muhtamim Nadwatul Ulema, Lucknow, in his inaugural address.

Fiqh-al-Aqaliyaat refers to a branch of fiqh that addresses the religious needs of Muslim aqaliyaat (minorities) all over the world. Fiqh (literally, reason) is primarily associated with the development of Islamic jurisprudence.

The seminar, attended by ulama and scholars from Aligarh, Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Patna, Lucknow and Calicut, was organised by the Institute of Objective Studies (IOS) in collaboration with Islamic Centre, Lucknow. American Islamic scholar Dr. Zainab Alwani was one of the leading lights of the seminar.


Saeedur Rahman Azmi
Speaker: Maulana Sayeedur Rahman Azmi

Maulana Azmi said Indian Muslims should interact with the majority and different minorities on the basis of equality, love and sympathy. He also referred to the tireless effort of the IOS in organising meets on Islamic economy, banking and finance as well as ijtihad (logical reasoning to interpret the Shariah in new contexts).

In his address IOS Chairman Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam said, “Islam is a religion of dawah wa tabligh (calling people to God and spreading the message) and it requires us to rise above our sectarian prejudices”.


Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam
Speaker: Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam

Dr. Alam said, “the Quran provides solution to every problem, but you have to first come to it to benefit from its guidance.”

Prof. Abdur Rahman Momin delivered the keynote address that dealt with the significance of frugality, the issue of women praying in mosques, combining two salaats in extraordinary situations in certain locales, and the timings of prayers and fasts in Muslim minority situations.


Dr Zainab Al Alwani
Speaker: Dr Zainab Al Alwani

The inaugural session was marked by the release of two IOS books on the topic: Ilm Maqasid Shariah by Sheikh Nooruddin Alkhadmi and Fiqh-al-Aqaliyaat by Sheikh Jamaluddin Atiyah.


Fiqh ul Aqaliyaat
A view of book release

The participants in this session included UP Minorities Commission chairman Mohammad Ali Kazmi, Anis Ansari IAS and Prof. Manzoor Ahmad former V.C. Ambedkar University, Agra. It was also attended by a sizeable number of journalists and intellectuals.

Minorities Commission chairman Mohammad Ali Kazmi


Minorities Commission chairman Mohammad Ali Kazmi
L-R: Mohammad Ali Kazmi, Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam, Maulana Abul Tayyib Ahmad Miyan Firangi Mahli, Maulana Saeedur Rahman Azmi Nadwi, Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahli, Prof. AR Momin

General Secretary of IOS Prof. Z.M. Khan introduced some of the areas of the institute’s work to the gathering in the early part of this session. The second session’s papers were presented by Prof. Mohsin Usmani, Maulana Arshad Hussein Nadvi and Mufti Imtiaz Ali Qasmi.

An important aspect of the seminar was Islamic scholar Taha Jabir Alwani’s power presentation made by his daughter, Dr. Zainab Alwani.

She explained that Dr Taha Jabir Alwani had established the parameters of Fiqh-al-Aqaliyaat on the basis of (1) tauhid [unity of Godhead], (2) tazkia [introspection and self-purification], (3) imran [culture].

On the second day, also presented a comprehensive research paper of her own in which she explained the perspectives, purposes and principles of Fiqh-al-Aqaliyaat.

Former senior economist of Islamic Development Bank (Jeddah) and currently the editor of a scholarly journal, Mutaleaat, Prof. Ausaf Ahmad said in his paper that old Islamic jurisprudential categories like Daar-al-Islam (land of Islam) and Daar-al-Harb (land of war) had become irrelevant in contemporary geopolitical context.

The solution of day-to-day problems is driven by ijtihad (independent reasoning), which is often pragmatic in nature rather than ideological based on nasoos (scripture), he added.

The second day’s proceedings were attended by heavy weights like Prof. Afzal Wani, professor of law at Indraprasth University, Delhi, Prof. Faizaan Mustafa V.C. National Law University, Bhubaneshwar, Prof. Mohammad Farman of AMU, Mufti Zahid Ali Khan, Dr Tauquir Alam Falahi, Dr Jawed Ahsan Madni, Maulana Mohammad Shahjahan Nadvi, Dr Sadrul Hasan Nadvi and Mufti Zafar Alam Nadvi, besides other ulama from Nadwatul Ulema, Lucknow, and other intellectuals.

Islamic Shariah (law) is universal, but local conditions do influence the application of the law. Over the centuries the Shariah (based on the Quran, Sunnah and precedence) evolved largely in contexts where Muslims ruled and were in a majority, but less often in contexts where they were in a minority and had very little or no say in matters of state, Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam later told the media.

Today, the third largest population of Muslims is in India (followed by Indonesia and Pakistan). They are in a minority in India, although they have some say in matters of the democratic state. Statistically, the Muslim minority of the world is larger than the population of several Muslim countries put together, Dr Alam elaborated, explaining the need for developing Fiqh-al-Aqaliyaat.

The need to have a nuanced understanding of fiqh in the Muslim minority context to address the unique problems of Muslim minorities is crucial for the practice of Islam, he pointed out.

This seminar, attended by a large number of ulama, university-educated academics, intellectuals and Islamic jurists, was one of a string of such seminars planned and organised by the Institute of Objective Studies (IOS) in collaboration with major Islamic seminaries and universities.

Dr Alam said that a similar three-day international conference was scheduled for October 26-27-28 at Aligarh Muslim University on the Concept of Psyche in Islam.

Yet another two-day seminar was stated for November 12-13 at the world renowned Darul Uloom Deoband on Aadaab-e-Ikhtilaf (Etiquette of Dissent), he added.

The following resolutions were passed at the end of the seminar:


• IOS Centre for Arabic and Islamic Studies thanks Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahli, the Islami Centre, the participants and people of Lucknow.

• IOS Centre particularly thanks the ulama and scholars of Lucknow.

• This meeting requests the IOS Centre to continue organising researches, workshops and seminars, translations and publication of books on Fiqh-al-Aqaliyaat and involve ulema in the work.

• This meting also requests the Islamic Centre and ulama to cooperate with the IOS Centre to continue this noble work.

• This meeting requests IOS Centre, Islamic Centre as well as other research and publication institutions to continue studying and analysing the minority situation worldwide and seek solution to their problems for a peaceful and just order.

• It also asks the Union government to implement Sachar Committee recommendations regarding the welfare of Muslims and bring the Ranganath Mishra Commission recommendations in public domain.

• This meeting asks the Union government to remove impediments in the way of Islamic banking in India and expedite the establishment of Islamic banking without delay.

• The Union government is urged to establish good-quality universities, colleges and other educational institutions as per Sachar Committee recommendations for Muslim girls.

• The meeting requested the government not to interfare in Muslim religious institutions.

(NOTE: The above resolution would be sent to the President and Vice-President, Prime Minister and Finance Minister of India.)



(July 18-19, 2009)
Jointly Organised by
Institute of Objective Studies and Department of Law University of Kashmir

L-R: Prof. Mehraj Uddin Mir, Faculty of Law, University of Kashmir, Justice B.A. Kirmani (Rtd.), Prof. Riyaz Punjabi, Vice-Chancellor, University of Kashmir, Prof. Khalid Rashid, International Islamic University Malaysia,
Dr. M. Manzoor Alam, Chairman of Institute of Objective Studies

Srinagar, July 22: “The door of ijtehad (logical reasoning in approaching issues of Islamic jurisprudence) has been opened wide, not shut, as erroneously believed by many Muslims”, chairman of Institute of Objective Studies (IOS) Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam said here on Saturday.

He was speaking at a two-day seminar on the “Theory of Islamic Law: The Methodology of Ijtehad” at Kashmir University, organised in collaboration with the IOS. He said that the door of ijtehad was never shut in the first place, after the days of the Prophet (PBUH) through the times of the four rightly-guided caliphs. In today’s complex and fast-changing world the need and justification for ijtehad has only increased.


He cited examples of ijtehad in Hazrat Umar’s caliphate. One was regarding the amputation of a thief’s hand. The law was amended in the case of theft of food items during famine. This amended law is applicable even today in food-scarce areas.

Another case of ijtehad he cited from the same period was that of horse being declared as property. During the Prophet’s time only other animals like goats and camels were “property” on which zakat was due. During Hazrat Umar’s time horse, too, became property and was brought within the ambit of zakat.

He said the Prophet (PBUH) had the advantage of divine guidance in the form of revelation (wahi), but people who came after him had the Qur’an and Hadith as guidance. According to the Prophet’s (PBUH) advice to his companion Ma’az bin Jabal in cases where these two sources did not relate to the issue at hand ijtehad would be one of the important approaches to resolving it. Today, more than at any time in the past, ijtehad, is relevant.


A view of audiance

The following set of resolutions was adopted at the end:

The Department of Law of the University of Kashmir and the Institute of Objective Studies (IOS) New Delhi express satisfaction on successful conclusion of the two-day International Conference on “Theories of Islamic Law: The Methodology of Ijtehad” held on 18-19 July, 2009 at Srinagar. After having exhaustive deliberations on relevant aspects of the theme, the conference adopts following resolutions:

    • This experience confirms that the IOS would follow collaborative efforts to organise more conferences and seminars with the Department of Law and other faculties and departments of the University of Kashmir.
    • All efforts should be made to bring intellectuals and ulema closer for exchange of ideas, particularly on Islamic themes and areas of national development.
    • Areas of inter-community and inter-faith linkages and relations are to be worked out for joint efforts in fields of research, conducting surveys, publication and holding conferences and seminars.
    • The University of Kashmir should also be meaningfully associated with the IOS in areas of youth and women’s education and welfare. Projects and schemes may be worked out based on mutual consultations.
    • The IOS has a long association with the University in the field of its schemes of award of scholarships. The IOS is working hard to launch many fresh schemes of award and scholarships. All efforts should be made for creating viable mechanisms for scholars and students of the University to be associated with the Institute in these areas.
  1. The conference calls upon the Islamic Ummah to adopt a more meaningful and constructive approach towards Ijtehad that can prove to be a useful in solving the problems facing the ummah in line with the spirit of the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah. The collaborative efforts of Universities, research institutes and civil society need to be worked out.

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