IOS-Jamia Hamdard jointly organise 5-day online Winter School Programme in Islamic Studies

IOS-Jamia Hamdard jointly organise 5-day online Winter School Programme in Islamic Studies

New Delhi: A five-day online Winter School Programme in Islamic Studies was jointly organised by the Institute of Objective Studies and Jamia Hamdard from February 21 to 25, 2022.

Inaugural Session

The programme formally commenced with the recitation of a verse from the Holy Quran by Hafiz Athar Husain Nadwi. While the head of the department of Islamic Studies, Jamia Hamdard, Dr. Arshad Hussain delivered the welcome address, the secretary general of IOS, Prof. Z.M. Khan, explained the objectives of the programme. In his welcome address, Dr. Arshad Hussain expressed his gratitude to the participants and thanked the IOS for extending cooperation to Jamia Hamdard for organising a mega programme for the benefit of students and researchers of Islamic Studies. Prof. Z.M. Khan, who also presided over the session, observed that the winter school programme was an opportunity to reach out to those who were interested in enhancing their knowledge in the subject, but could not benefit due to the situation created by the Covid-19 pandemic. This also assumed importance against the backdrop of the crisis. He further noted that lack of knowledge about the glorious past of Islam led to a host of misgivings about it. Whatever came from the west about Islam, was not true. Islam could not have sustained itself for so long had it not contributed to every field of life. Nobody could dispute that the present time was very difficult, and things could be understood in proper perspective by expressing oneself to study and research. He categorised human personality as the physical self, emotional self, rational self and spiritual self. He pleaded for the scientific study of Islam by way of questioning and methodology in order to get answers.

Addressing the session as key speaker, former vice-chancellor, Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), Hyderabad, Prof. Md. Aslam Parvaiz, stressed the need for the interface study of Islamic studies with other disciplines, like environment, world resources, planets; etc. He said that environment and planet conservation were also a part of Islamic studies, and therefore, they must be included in the curriculum. Globally, it meant urgent attention to Islamic studies. Then the question naturally arose how Islam was capable of tackling today’s issues. He urged that maulvis and khatibs to find ways and means to address issues that were confronting the Ummah. He suggested that Islamic studies should take the contemporary issues to the public by organising workshops, lectures, symposia; etc. Recounting his own experience, he said that being born in old Delhi, he continued to be associated with his own people. Quoting Surah Al-Qasas, he observed that the Quran was a Book of guidance for the entire humanity. If this was so, then the question arose whether the Muslims read it at all. Reading and understanding Quran, and following it was mandatory for every Muslim. A faithful was ordained to be a puritanist, meaning thereby, he had to be God-conscious, he said.

Prof. Aslam Pervez maintained that Allah’s religion had no place for negativity, and the Quran is a guide to the righteous path. Quran was a guide book that gave humanity the best way for living. Nature provided a model of synthesis to humanity which could be learnt from the life of a tree. A tree contained a number of industries in itself. It had chemicals and sugar, besides other things. He said that all the revealed Books had the same message. The Holy Quran was the latest of them all. The Quran says, “Follow what has been revealed to you from your Fosterer and Do not follow guardians besides Him.” This meant that the faithful must follow the divine guidance and avoid being self-centered. He noted that the institution of family broke up due to the obsession with self. He said that Muslims used many alibis to justify their desires. Today, more often than not, the Quran is taught without knowing the meanings of Ayahs. Those who were enjoying worldly pleasures were oblivious to the Quranic Ayahs. Quran ordained every Muslim to faithfully believe in all the Messangers of Allah and the Day of Judgment. All believers are the followers of Islam and were required to totally submit themselves to divine guidance, he said.

Prof. Pervez minced no words when he said that, by and large, Muslims hardly did good to others. Referring to Hijrat, he said that it was not a geographical migration and that a born Muslim was not a Muslim. Muslims today needed to re-orient their understanding about Allah. He opined that if one followed Islam strictly, it came into conflict with society, rituals, customs and the family. The majority of Muslims spent their entire life without understanding the Quran. Din implied submission to Allah and His Law, and Allah nurtured those who followed His Din. A Muslim was the generator of peace, and he must be at peace with himself. He concluded by observing that Allah did not change men’s condition unless they changed themselves.

Speaking as the chief guest, the vice-chancellor of Jamia Hamdard, Prof. Afshar Alam, observed that the winter school programme in Islamic studies had been specially designed for the young scholars to re-orient themselves in the discipline. He said that Islamic studies faced problems of methodology. This brought the scholars in the field to organise more such winter school programmes for refreshing students and the young scholars alike. He urged the IOS chairman, Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam, to hold such programmes in future as well for the benefit of students. He praised Prof. Aslam Pervez for making valuable points in his presentation. On this occasion, he released two books written by the finance secretary of the IOS, the late Prof. Ishtiyaque Danish. The books he released are–‘Islamic Studies and the Future of India’ and ‘Hindustan Ka Mustaqbil Aur Islam’ (in Urdu).

Prof. Mohammad Ishaque of the department of Islamic Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, who was the guest of honour at the session, said that the release of Prof. Ishtiyaque Danish’s books on the occasion was the best tribute to him. He held that Muslims possessed a rich legacy of Islam, and one needed to benefit from it. Referring to the Western scholar of Islamic history, Philip K. Hitti, he said that Europe faced intellectual and economic decay in the wake of the fall of Roman Empire. The period between the 8th and 9th centuries was a transitional phase in Europe. He referred to Allama Shibli’s observations about Islamic glory in various fields. Iranians excelled in the intellectual sphere. But unfortunately, the vast Iranian literature could not be translated into other languages. However, the glorious past of Islam could not be underestimated, he said. Prof. Syed Mehartaj Begum, dean of humanities and social sciences, Jamia Hamdard, joined the session as the special guest. Making her concluding remarks, she said that the course for the winter school programme was encapsulated to enhance the knowledge of attendee students.

In his presidential remarks, Prof. Z.M. Khan observed that the IOS had been constantly making endeavours to bring intellectuals together. He explained the need and relevance of the winter school programme. It was also a moot point to debate how far Islamic studies could contribute to the solution of present-day issues. He said that the Corona time changed the world a lot in terms of issues and their resolution. The present age was the age of super connectivity but the bonds were losing. The gap between developed and developing nations was widening. The onus now rested on the intellectuals to tackle it and create a humane society. He held that the present generation sought answers to these questions. And the Quran had answers to these questions. He said that inter-organisational connectivity should be established to provide answers to these questions. Islam was being targeted from all sides, and instead of fighting against such forces, they should be confronted with arguments based on the Quranic teachings and the Hadith, he remarked.

The inaugural session concluded with a vote of thanks by Dr. Najmus Sahar, convenor of the programme and assistant professor of Islamic Studies, Jamia Hamdard.

Business Session-I

The first business session focused on Islam and knowledge. Dr. Anvar Sadath K.T., assistant professor, SSA College, Areekode, Kerala, said that the importance of knowledge was explained in the Hadith. According to it, scholars were heir to the Prophet (PBUH). Quranic verses and Hadith both highlighted the importance of knowledge, he noted.

Business Session-II

The moderator of the session was Dr. Najmus Sahar. In lecture-I, Dr. Tamanna Mobeen Azmi, J.M.I., presented her paper on ‘Islam as Faith and Civilisation’ in which she said that Islam was an Arabic word which meant submission, surrender and obedience. Belief in Tawhid and belief in the Prophet (PBUH) were basic tenets of Islam, she added. Lecture-II was devoted to Aqeeda: Tawhid Risalat and Akhirat. In his lecture, Prof. Mohammad Ishaque explained that Imaan assumed special significance in Islam. Imaan meant complete faith in Allah, His Messengers, Angels, and the Day of Judgment. He said that the existence of God could not be denied, adding that He put humankind to tests and trials.

Day-2, February 22, 2022

Business Session-III


The first lecture of the session focused on ‘An approach study of the women empowerment and Islamic discourse. While the assistant secretary general of the IOS, Prof. Haseena Hashia, was the moderator, Dr. Asma Zehra, member, working committee, All India Muslim Personal Law Board, spoke on the topic. She said that the empowerment of women implied women’s social and economic improvement. Empowerment meant empowering women at the individual and community level. In Islam, she was liberated from illiteracy and poverty. She noted that women, in many cases, were economically weak and dependent on men. She urged the community to send girls to schools and women to colleges.


In this lecture, secretary Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Dr. Raziul Islam Nadvi, spoke on compilation of the Quran. He said that the Quran was not revealed in book form. The Prophet (PBUH) spent 13 years in Makkah and 10 years in Medina. Thus the Holy Quran took 23 years to be revealed to the Prophet (PBUH). There was a difference of opinion among the scholars regarding compilation of the Quran. The Quran was compiled in three phases and order of Surahs was decided under the instructions of the Prophet (PBUH).


The last lecture of the session was devoted to compilation of the Hadith. Dr. Waris Mazhari, assistant professor, Islamic Studies, Jamia Hamdard, touched upon the topic. In his lecture, Dr. Mazhari underlined the significance of the subject. He said that Hadith was the second source of Shariah and played a key role in constructing Islamic thought and culture. There was also suspicion about the compilation and presentation of Hadith. A group of scholars rejected Hadith. He observed that Hadith expanded the scope of the Quran. Some scholars, however, refused to consider Hadith as the source of Shariah. The Prophet (PBUH) Himself forbade the writing of the Hadith. He said, “Anyone who attributes false reports to me will certainly find himself a place in Hellfire”. He held that three ways of protection and preservation of Prophetic Traditions were found. While the first was for the Ummah to act upon the Hadith, the second was by way of memorisation and writing. And lastly, it was narrating and teaching Hadith in study circles.

Business Session-IV


The first lecture of the session focused on ‘Revelation and its Application: Focus on Quran and Sunnah as sources of Shariah’, which led to emergence of fiqh. While Syed Abdur Rasheed moderated the session, Dr. Mohammad Khalid Khan, assistant professor, JMI, spoke on the subject. He said that Wahy (Revelation) belonged to Allah and He chose the best among human beings to reveal His message through him. The Prophet whom the Wahy was revealed, was ordained to guide His subjects. Wahy is of two types–Direct speech and indirect speech. His indirect speech is in the form of Hadith. He said that the Quran was the first source of Shariah and Hadith was the second sources of it. Muhaddisins (Scholars of Hadith) preserved the Hadith. None else understood the Quran better than the Prophet (PBUH) Himself. Certain Ahadith (were supportive of Hadith, he concluded.


The second lecture devoted to the development of Fiqh and Ijtihad was delivered by Prof. Fahim Akhtar Nadvi, professor, Islamic Studies, MANUU. He said that during the lifetime of the Prophet, Fiqh did not develop as an art. He observed that Fiqh was an Arabic word which had been used in the Quran in several places. Fiqh meant the understanding of Deen. Fiqh was taken from both Quran and Hadith. According to some Islamic scholars, Fiqh was 200-250 years old. As far as Ijtihad is concerned, the Prophet (PBUH) Himself called for it. He (PBUH) was followed by His Khulfa-i-Rashideen (Companions of the Prophet (PBUH). He said that the need for Ijtihad arose when the answer to an issue was not available in Quran or Hadith. He observed that the Prophet (PBUH) never raised an objection to differences of opinion. Thus the doors for Ijtihad had not been closed, he added.

Day-3, February 23, 2022

Business Session-V


The fifth business session was focused on Islam and secularism. Dr. Syed Fazluar Rahman of Jamia Hamdard was the moderator and Dr. Sher Ali Tarin from Franklin & Marshall College, USA, spoke on the subject. He said that secularism was not opposite of the religion. There did exist an assumed binary between religion and secularism. Modern states’ function was to maintain public order through laws. But the complication lay in striking a balance between religion and politics. He observed that the idea of political secularism was to separate religion from politics. Religious differences were haunting the sovereignty of modern states. Secularism was a western concept which came out of evangelical, Christian and protestant understanding of religion. He said that until one controlled religion, it would spill out.


The second lecture was devoted to non-Muslims in the Arab-Islamic World (Syria, Lebanon and Egypt). Speaking on the topic, Prof. Hamidullah Marazi from the Central University of Kashmir held that Palestine was inhabited by about 75.3 per cent Jews, and Muslims constituted only 25 percent. Christians had their churches in the Arab-Islamic world, but they were never persecuted. About 20,000 Zoroastrians lived in Iran, but no discrimination based on their religion was ever made. Similarly, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Zoroastrians and even atheists were living peacefully in the middle-east. They had their places of worship and were never prevented from worshipping according to their faith. He said that when the Meesaq-e-Madina (Constitution of Medina) was signed, the Prophet (PBUH) called Muslims and Jews, because both of them believed in Tawhid (Oneness of God). There was no scope for violence in Islam as it never advocated violence. But, a negative image of Islam was built up in western media. He asked the Muslims to acquaint themselves with the rules under international law that dealt with the minorities.


Dr. Thanveer T., lecturer, T.K.M. College of Arts and Sciences, discussed important mediaeval Muslim contributions to Kalam and Philosophy.

Business Session-VI

Focused on the major mediaeval Muslim contribution to humanities and science, the lecture was moderated by Dr. Najmus Sahar. Speaking on the topic, the ex-head of the department of Islamic Studies, Aliya University, Kolkata, Syed Abdur Rasheed said that Muslims made significant contributions to history and historiography, Sirah writing, economics, geography, political science, ethics; etc. He listed some of the important names of prominent authors who wrote in Arabic and Persian.

Day-4, February 24, 2022

Business Session-VII


The first lecture of the session was centered on non-Muslims during the time of the Prophet (PBUH) and Rashidun Caliphate. The moderator of the session was Dr. Waris Matin Mazhari. Dr. Saifuddin Kunju S., faculty, Madras University, Chennai, held that Islam preached that the followers of other religion should be free to practice their own faith. He said that God created human beings with certain dignity. Muslims and non-Muslims were alike. He elevated their status much above other creatures, Dr. Kunju added.


The lecture was devoted to non-Muslims under the Muslim empires, with reference to Muslim Spain and the Ottomans. Speaking on the subject, Dr. Mohammed Farooqui, assistant professor, JMI, said that Hindus and Muslims in India face off roots in the intolerance that existed in Spain. The battle in Spain was fought with no disrespect to religious sensibilities of other religions like Christians and Jews. There were two types of people there–Ahle-Harab–those who were in wars and Ahle-Ahad–those who were engaged in negotiations. In the early phase of history, Muslims in Spain interacted with both Christians and Jews, he noted.


The last lecture of the session focused on the Islamic state in the modern world. Dr. Mohammad Ghitreef from AMU spoke on the subject. He said that the judiciary, legislature and the executive were the three components of a modern Islamic state. In the Islamic state, the source of the constitution would be the Quran and Sunnah. Nearly 40 per cent of the Muslim population lived in non-Muslim countries, like India, Japan, England, American and European countries. Under the circumstances, the concept of Zimmis or Jihad could not be applied in these countries, he added.

Business Session-VIII


Dr. Md. Ahmad Naimi, assistant professor, Islamic Studies, Jamia Hamdard, was the moderator of the lecture. Prof. Hamidullah Marazi spoke on the topic of ‘Islam and Multiculturalism: Modern Debate and Islamic position on the subject’. He said that in Indonesia, UAE, Malaysia and other Muslim countries, the rights of the minority groups were protected, and tolerance towards them existed. They synthesised multi-culturalism since multicultural societies had diverse cultures, he noted.


The second lecture was focused on Muslims’ contribution to science, astronomy, medical science and mathematics during the medieval period. While Dr. Syed Fazlur Rahman moderated the lecture, Dr. Md. Ahmad Naimi spoke on the subject. He quoted the noted scientist Albert Einstein, who had said, “Science without religion is lame and religion without science is blind”. He said that what the Quran and Hadith informed about foetus 1400 years ago had been proved by the modern science much later. Medical units were formed for the first time during the Prophet’s (PBUH) lifetime. The first hospital was established by Muslims in 931 A.D. There were medical colleges and residences for the doctors. Hospitals were opened in Damascus and Baghdad, he observed.

Day-5, February 25, 2022

Business Session-IX


The moderator of the session was Maulana Shah Ajmal Farooq Nadvi. Dr. Talha Rehman of Gulf Asian English School, Sharjah, who spoke on ‘Non-Muslims in the Modern Islamic States: Citizens or Jimmies,’ said that there were two types of citizens. Under the first category were non-resident citizens and resident citizens. Under the second category were aliens. At that time, people did not experience citizenship or any other kind of political membership in the same way. Some of the factors that shaped these experiences were, socio-political, economic, besides those belonging to a disadvantaged groups—minorities and women— and history, she held.


The topic of the second lecture was ‘Islam and Modernity’. Dr. Safia Amir, assistant professor, Jamia Hamdard, spoke on the subject. She said that modernity began with the invention of printing in 1450 and the second phase of modernity was witnessed during the Renaissance (15th -17th centuries).

Business Session-X

This session was devoted to Islamophobia in the contemporary world. The session was moderated by Dr. Najmus Sahar. Dr. Saeed T.V., associate professor, Yobe State University, Nigeria, spoke on the topic. He said that Islamophobia had a political role. The Uttar Pradesh government tried to do something in the name of madrasa reforms. He advised that, instead of depending on the government, madrasa management should do something on its own.

Valedictory Session

In his key-note address, secretary general, International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), USA, Prof. Omar Hasan Kasule, focused on ‘The Way Ahead: Regenerating Knowledge in Islamic Perspective’. He said that the generation of knowledge and its integration was important. Calling for integrating textbooks to generate knowledge, he observed that Allah gave man the knowledge to discover what was right and what was wrong. He stressed that constructive and purposeful knowledge should be pursued, which is also promoted in Islam. Ilmul-Yaqeen was the core of knowledge. Pleading for the revival of knowledge sciences, he said that the maqasid-e-shariah was the revival of religious sciences. Revival of knowledge was possible through intellectual pursuits, education and the teaching of knowledge. He asked for integrating transmitted knowledge with the Naqli knowledge which was gained by experiments. There was a need for the regeneration of holistic knowledge. This required a trans-disciplinary approach. This also meant the integration of Ilm Asli and Naqli. Regeneration of knowledge in the Islamic language meant the Quran. Languages spoken by Muslims were inter-related. He held that the Urdu language had big sources of regeneration of knowledge. He emphasised the need for using digital languages like coding and software applications. He advised against being a consumer of knowledge. Laying stress on online teaching and research, he called upon Muslim youth to become pioneers of knowledge. He asked them to develop a capacity for information and research, and to know how to do Dawah. He asked for using technology to promote research of knowledge.

Speaking as the special guest, Prof. Iqtidar Mohammad Khan, ex-head of the department of Islamic Studies, said that Islamic Studies was a subject based on the perspective of Islam. It was a social science, history and civilisational study. He observed that the study of Quran, Hadith and Fiqh was also necessary for a student of Islamic Studies. Since there was a reference in the Quran, importance to the study of biology, zoology, etc., as a part of Islamic sciences should be given. The faithful had been asked even to go to China for seeking knowledge. This meant that, besides Quran and Hadith, modern sciences should also be studied. He pointed out that 70 persons who were caught as prisoners in the battle of Badr were asked by the Prophet (PBUH) to give education to 10 Muslims each. They gave them education that was prevalent at that time. Muslims remained dominant till they pursued the course of religious and contemporary learning. When they shunned that course, their downfall began and Islamic knowledge and science made their way to Europe via Spain. Europeans put their seal on it and ruled over the world for the next 300-400 years. He recalled the Prophet’s last sermon and asked Muslims to keep Quran close to their heart and remain united.

In his concluding remarks, the head of the department of Islamic Studies, Jamia Hamdard, Dr. Arshad Hussain observed that the 5-day winter school was a beginning and more such programmes would be organised in future.

In his presidential remarks, vice-chairman, IOS, Prof. M. Afzal Wani, observed that the institute had structured courses like winter and summer schools. He said that sometimes one should go beyond traditional ways of teaching courses. One should take a break from everyday teaching. These types of school programmes gave an opportunity to the students to open their intellect. This also gave an occasion for the mind to think in one’s own way. When one was serious, he created an idea. Rationally, one thought of Quran, Sunnah and Hadith in his mind without being imposed. For 300 years, the West created knowledge. Thus the Muslims’ actions must be harmonious with knowledge. He called for creating a system that could inculcate more knowledge, human activity and social sciences. One must have faith in Allah because He is the source of knowledge. He said that the winter school programme provided an opportunity to ponder upon more about Akhirat, Tawhid, Risalat, Aqeedat; etc. Knowledge should be in conformity with the Quran and Hadith. The IOS stood for the creation of knowledge in every branch, he concluded.

The assistant general secretary of the IOS, Prof. Haseena Hashia, extended a vote of thanks and remarked that this was the 10th winter school programme. She said that in all, 10 sessions of the school programme were held with 22 lectures.


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