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Islamic paradigm of 'Falah' be implemented to ward off global crises: Prof. Hassan

Sunday April 17, 2011 03:37:11 PM, Pervez Bari,

Prof. M. Kamal Hassan of Malaysia presenting paper during the second day of the conference marking 25 years of Institute of Objective Studies

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New Delhi: In the light of the world-threatening multiple but inter-related global crises affecting all countries of the world, in particular the poor and the weak states as well as Muslim countries, it is imperative that the Islamic alternative paradigm of al-Falah (well-being in this world and in the Hereafter) be studied, understood, disseminated and finally implemented, first in Muslim countries and later as a model to be emulated by other communities across the globe.

The above observation was made by internationally renowned scholar and Kuala Lumpur-based International Islamic University of Malaysia’s former rector Prof. M. Kamal Hassan while presenting a paper entitled "The Path Towards a Truly Holistic and Comprehensive Development of the Individual, the Society, and the Nation: Shifting from the Conventional to the Transcendental Vision of Development".


He was expressing his views on the second day of the three-day international inaugural conference on “Towards Knowledge, Development and Peace---Outlining Roadmaps for the Future” to mark the year-long silver jubilee celebrations of think tank Institute of Objective studies, (IOS), being held here at the India Islamic Cultural Centre.

Prof. Hassan said realizing the shortcomings and failures of the dominant secular paradigms of development, either in economics, politics, culture or education, Muslim scholars and intellectuals have come up with the alternative models of “development”. The writings of scholars such as Khurshid Ahmad (1979, 1980), Nejatullah Siddiqui (1972), Aidit Ghazali (1990), Umer Chapra (1993), Ata-ul-Huq (1997, 2006), Muhammad Shukri Salleh (1987, 1995, 2009), Abulhassan M. Sadeq (2006) are some of the examples of the attempt by Muslim scholars known to him who disagree with both the Liberal Capitalist as well as the Socialist-Marxist models of “development”.

He said one of the latest writings on the Islamic perspective of development that one would strongly recommend is by Umer Chapra with the title “The Islamic Vision of Development in the light of the Maqaasid al-Sharii’ah (2008). One of the higher objectives of the Divine code of life is the preservation of faith in and servitude to the Creator, Sustainer and Master of mankind.

Thus, no development efforts of mankind can be considered to be truly just, holistic and comprehensive if they do not address the moral, spiritual and transcendental aspects and needs of human beings and societies, he observed.

Prof. Hassan said the current uprising or social unrest brewing in a number of Middle Eastern societies today had its roots in long-standing economic, social and political discontent which was suppressed by the greedy and autocratic leaders whose strong grip on the political system was, nonetheless, endorsed and sustained by the Western promoters of democracy and human rights protectors themselves.

He also said that the intelligent and educated Arab youth and intelligentsia could no longer bear the hypocrisy of both national leaders and international forces of global hegemony. Quoting a number of economists, he emphasised on achieving human welfare involving the enlargement of all human choices whether economic, social, cultural or economic which had today become the overall objective. He concluded with the view that the most important goal of development was human freedom.

Meanwhile, Prof. Faizan Mustafa, Vice Chancellor of National Law University, Orissa, presenting his paper on “Towards Knowledge – Outlining Roadmaps for the Future” said knowledge means knowing with certainty. Belief means uncertainty. Islam was a knowledge revolution as the very first verse revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was "read".

Prof. Mustafa said: “Islam wants us to reason and explore. So long as we were following this, we were world leaders. Islam was conquering minds and not mere territories. However, this period of rise of Islam is known as period of dark ages in Europe. Subsequently, the doctrine of “Taqlid” replaced knowledge revolution and downfall of Muslim Ummah started. Doors of “Ijtihad” were closed and our laws are hanging in 11th century when the digression started.

He said that the future of knowledge lies in integration of knowledge. Knowledge is at intersection of disciplines and subjects. Knowledge revolution in India will fail if minorities do not get access to knowledge. Inclusion is necessary.

Rights of minority institutions play very important role. Our examination system must be radically changed and continuous evaluation must replace end of the year examinations. Curricula must be regularly revised and Teacher's evaluation by the students is of utmost importance. Big university bodies like Court and senate must be replaced by the smaller bodies of experts with no politicians presence there. More infra-structure grants be given universities, he opined.


Dr. Tahir Baig, Chairman of Institute of Islamic Economics & Developing Studies, Bareily, (UP), presented a paper on "Development Challenges in Middle East and North Africa, (MENA),". Presenting his paper Dr. Baig said MENA region is under the impact of three integration frameworks which are globalisation, greater Middle East initiative and Islamic integration.


He quoted David Ben Gorian, Israel’s founder and first Prime Minister, who while promoting Zionist colonial aspirations had said: “It is not in distant future that One World system shall be established, presided over by Jerusalem in which all continents of the world will become united in a world alliance on whose disposal will be an international police force. All armies would be abolished and there will be no war. A United Nations, a truly United Nations will build shrines of prophets to serve the federated union of all continents. This will be the Supreme Court of mankind, to settle all controversies among the federated continents as prophesied by Isaiah”.

Dr. Baig quoted from the book “The New Middle East” authored by Shimon Peres with Arye Naor which said:“Ultimately the Middle East will unite in a common market – after we achieve peace. And the very existence of common market will foster vital interests in maintaining the peace over long term”.

To counter such ill designs of the Zionists Dr. Baig said the need of the hour is a paradigm shift in approach to governance and regional frameworks – strengthening sense of common history and common destiny as based on Islamic identity and mission towards humanity. He said that it is necessary to promote people’s in governance; promotion of ecology for entrepreneurship; Islamic venture capital Funds and banks; a common market based on Islamic traditions, not on Zionist capitalism; Developing economic and financial inter-dependence with insight on the model of European integration; Institutions and infra-structure for promoting cross-border trade; intra-industry and intra-regional trade.
Besides, three business plenary sessions on knowledge, development and peace as well as three parallel sessions on prospects of creating knowledge societies in the 21st century, development strategies in contemporary world and peace in


 the era of globalisation were addressed by a galaxy of eminent scholars. The conference participated by delegates from inside and outside the country, would end on Sunday. A number of personalities were felicitated also on the second day. They included Maulana Mufti Arshad Ali Baqvi, Prof. Singh, Prof. Z. M. Khan, Prof. Abdul Mannan, Prof. A. R. Momin, Dr. D. Prempatiji, Mr. Santosh Bharti, Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, Prof. Haseena Hashia etc. At the outset, Maulana Sultan Islahi recited verses from the Holy Quran to herald the start the proceedings of the day. According to IOS Chairman and economist Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam, besides the inaugural and concluding functions, 12 other conferences would be held in the various state capitals of India during 2011-12.






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