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IIIT Summer Student Camp 2018

January 21 – January 25, 2018 Kual a Lumpur

Bangladesh Institute of Islamic Thought (BIIT)in collaboration with the International Institute of
Islamic Thought (IIIT), East and Southeast Asia organized its 2018 Summer Student Camp
(SSC) on January 21 – January 25, 2018. This residential program was designed for graduate
students and exceptional senior undergraduates. It was a meeting place between young Muslim
scholars and prominent Islamic thinkers so that the young scholars can contribute to Islamic
research in the face of current global challenges. Enlightened and educated youth with an
inclination toward study and research was the target group for this camp. The objectives of the
summer camp are: to reform of thought and knowledge, to nurture young scholars to be involved
in Islamization of Knowledge efforts, to embolden academic networking among students,
scholars and academic institutions.

This IIIT Summer Student Camp played an important role combining and integrating modern
and Islamic knowledge with best academic practices and approaches though discussion, seminar,
presentation, group activities, and visiting research institute and other sight-seeing places around
Kuala Lumpur.

1. INAUGURAL SESSION

The session, held in the day one, Sunday, January 21, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, began with the
recitation from the holy Qur’an by Hafez Idris Ali. Two opening remarks came from Dr. M.
Abdul Aziz on behalf of IIIT Bangladesh and Mr. Shahran Kasim on behalf of IIIT East Asia. In
their speeches, they clarified the objectives and goals of this summer camp to the participants.
Dr. Aziz said, “This summer camp has been organized with the broad objective o f the reform of
thought and knowledge, while the specific objectives are to develop a balance understanding
between western and Islamic theories among young scholars to create an intellectual group with
the vision of Islam.” Mr. M. Azizul Huq, President of BIIT inaugurated the camp stating that
educated society throughout the Muslim world is divided into two groups. One group is imbued
with general knowledge while the other group largely focuses on religious education. This gives
rise to misconception about Islam. For the greater benefits, we need people who can integrate
revelation and reason in their research. The session was conducted by Dr. Sayed Uddin,
Research Fellow of Bangladesh Institute of Islamic Thought (BIIT).
2. DISCUSSION SERIES

There were ten lectures on selected topics during the camp, discussed as per program schedule,
as follows:

Day 1 (Sunday, January 21, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm): Issues and Challenges of the 21st
Century: Perspective of the Ummah

Prof. Dr. Torla Hassan, Former Deputy Rector, IIUM discussed on the miracles of the Qur’an by
referring to certain verses of the book. The lesson He draws from the rise and fall of Muslims is
as follows: Islamic civilization remained dominant in sciences and mathematics as long as
Muslims practiced Ijtihad to ask questions and finds answers to questions. What led to their
decline was Taqlid, the unquestioning faith in Revelation. He highlights on the loss of jobs
caused by technological change and emphasizes on rebuilding education in a manner that creates
jobs. Furthermore, he urges the participants to master on both modern and Islamic knowledge.
In this case, he refers to the history of Abbasi, Usmania or Mughul period when the educational
system did produce army generals or civil servants who studied the then modern subjects and at
the same were fully conversant with teachings of the Quran, Sunnah, and the Tradition of the
Prophet (SAWS), Fiqh, Islamic law and jurisprudence. He advocates to revival of Ummah
through capturing the intellectual resources.
Day 1 (Sunday, January 21,from 5:30 to 7:00 pm): Approaches to the Quran and Sunnah

The Qur’an and the Sunnah are the two great sources of strength, purity, knowledge and
inspiration for the Ummah. Muslims have failed to adequately understand the messages of the
Qur’an and the Sunnah. Whereas Muslims can draw innumerable benefits from them reviving its
leading role in the forging of history and civilization. In his discussion, Dr. Md. Mahmudul
Hasan, a fellow of BIIT pointed out that revisiting these two sources is no longer a scholastic,
academic, nostalgic, or escapist indulgence, but a great journey of discovery that promises untold
rewards. The journey through the Qur’an and the Sunnah at any time and place can bring
dynamic social and historical change through sharpening the capacityof Muslims to deal with the
demands of the present moment and the challenges of the future. He suggested for a new reading
of the Qur’an with its totality in addition to the time-space factor. He also mentioned that the
Sunnah provides a stable moral framework to know right from wrong. The Sunnah can function
as the grammar of a living, adaptive language, capable of guiding (and not shying from) the
mainstream. For authentic application of the Sunnah, Muslim must adapt the approach that
comprised the following qualities: universality, coherence, compassionate realism, moderation,
and humility.

Day 1 (Sunday, January 21,from 9:00 to 10:30 pm):History of the Muslims with a special
reference to the Emergence of Bangladesh

Prof. Dr. Abdullah al-Ahsan, Department of History and Civilization at Istanbul Sehir University
discusses the European historiography and explains the root cause of the problem of the Muslim
world. He concentrates on two issues: the question of economic exploitation and dependence of
the Muslim world on colonial powers and the question of Muslim commitment to identity and
loyalty in the modern world. On the first question he argues that Muslim world was made
subservient to Europe by coercion and on the second, he demonstrates that unlike Europe,
Muslims never abandoned their Ummah identity consciousness during and after their struggles
for nationhood. He urges young scholars and historians to subscribe the truth in terms of their
heritage. He also refers to the origin and development of Muslims in Indian sub-continent.

Day 2 (Monday, January 22, from 9:00 to 10:30 am): Issues of Islamic Economics and its
relevance to Islami Banks and Financial Institutions

Mr. M. Azizul Huq, reputed economist and the President of BIIT described how many
enthusiastic Islam-oriented people gave valuable services for the theoretical understanding on
Islamic economics and at practical level, he provides a chronological history of the emergence of
Islamic Banking in the country. He shared the establishment of Islamic Economic Research
Bureau (IERB) in 1976 to provide academic approach to Islamic Economics. With reference to
Islamic Banking, he said that it is a popular program and a bottom up movement. Many
enthusiastic bankers gave valuable services to makeIslamic Banking a success without any
payment and only to satisfy Allah swt. He divides all activities in Islam into two broader parts:
Ibadah (ritualistic) and Muamalat (transaction). The former needs no more than 2 hours of the
day and scholars do not have much room for contributing here. The latter represents the 22 hours
of a day in terms political, social, economic activities guided by Qur’an and Sunnah. In this case,
scholars have to pursue continuous intellectual exercise to improve it. He urges young Islamic
scholars to come forward to take the challenges and contribute to push forward the frontiers of
Islamic Banking and Financial Movement in line with the foundations and principles of Islamic
economics.
Day 2 (Monday, January 22, from 9:00 to 10:30 am): Islamization of Knowledge (IOK):
The Case of Islamic Economics

Prof. Mohamed Aslam Haneef, Director, Centre for Islamic Economics, IIUM said that IOK is
an epistemological and methodological based critical interaction/dialogue with modern
knowledge / disciplines. It requires some sort of integration of knowledge based on Islamic
sources/ methods with that generated by modern social science sources/methods resulting in new
bodies of knowledge. He urges not to involve in the simplistic Islamization and to pursue
genuine Islamization. For that to happen, he empathizes on producing qualified human capital
(academics and scholars). With reference to Islamization of Economics (IOE), Prof. Mohamed
Aslam defined it as de-westernizing modern economics and then infusing it with Islamic
values/principles, and recasting modern economics by eliminating, amending, reinterpreting and
adapting its components according to worldview of Islam and its values/principles. Both the
above imply that focus of IOE is primarily an epistemological and methodological concern that
requires ‘some sort of integration of knowledge based on Islamic sources with that generated by
modern social science sources/methods. He suggests that inputs from both our heritage and
modern economics are needed to develop ‘contemporary Islamic economics’.

Day 3 (Tuesday, January 23, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm):Islamic Perspective on Acade mic
Writing

In his second session, Dr. Md. Mahmudul Hasan, Department of English, IIUM described the
necessity of producing a quality academic work and how to do that. He referred to great work of
Dr. Al-Faruqi’s Toward Islamic English for this purpose. According to him, this book is an
invaluable manual for researchers, authors, scholars, and others interests in Islamic literature,
culture, and civilization as the terms, phrases, words, and concepts have been distorted due to
faulty translations and transliterations. Muslim scholars should take an attempt to clarify these.
He also advised young Muslim scholars to produce such a quality works which ca n be inspired
from the works of early classic scholars like Imam Malik, Al- Ghazali.

Day 4 (Wednesday, January 24, from 9:00 to 11:00 am): Islamic Educational Thoughts
from Past to the Present

Prof. Dr. Rosnani Hashim, Kulliyah of Education (KOED), IIUM discussed the contribution of
Greek scholars Socrates, Aristotle and Plato’s philosophy of education. Then she elaborated
three perspectives in Islamic philosophy of education: Rational led by Ibn Rushd, Ibn Tufail, Al-
Biruni, Al-kindi. Pragmatic led by Ibn Khaldoun who focused on using knowledge to build the
Islamic nation. Conservative-religious led by Al- Ghazali who focused on more religious
explanation of education. She showed a model of early Muslim religio-philosophical thought
which depicted how the doctrine of Ash’arism developed through the synthesis of the conflicts
between Jabariyyah/ Mutakallimun (Free will) vs. Qadariyyah (Determined);
Khawarij(Judgment by Man) vs. Murji’ah(Judgmentby Allah); and Ahlal- hadith (literal) vs.
Mu’tazilah(rational). According to Prof. Rosnani, the Muslim World is experiencing the dualistic
education system leading to the disunity of thoughts and policies.She, therefore, suggests finding
a new system that can synthesize the best of both- secular and religious education system- in
order to actualize the Islamic philosophy of education. Islamic education is a continuous process
that nurtures the natural potentials of human beings from the intellectual, behavioral, spiritual
and physical aspects in an integrated and balanced manner so as to produce righteous human
beings who will bring goodness to this world and hereafter.
Day 4 (Wednesday, January 24, from 11:30 am to 1:00pm): Issues in Education from the
Global Perspective

In her second session, Prof. Dr. Rosnani Hashim, a reputed Muslim scholar of the world,
pointed out that before globalization, education was seen as an instrument for human
development, i.e. physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally, as an investment for future
production and citizenship competencies or both. After the globalization, education was
perceived as marketable commodity, a labor market policy and as a critical agent in the
international economic competition, which in turn, influences dramatically the type of
knowledge that is considered as valuable in each society. Universities today is a fractious places
populated by customers (students) who don’t come to seek knowledge, rather their aim is to get
certificates by any means. As a result, the current graduates are failed to solve the pressing
problems of the Ummah. Hence, she urges to build the philosophy of education to produce
khalifatullah, the true vicegerent of Allah swt.

Day 4 (Wednesday, January 24, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm): Islamic Epistemology and
Integration of Knowledge

In his address, Dr. M. Abdul Aziz, Executive Director of BIIT and the country representative of
IIIT Bangladesh discussed the classification of knowledge made by al-Farabi, Ibn Sina, al-
Ghazal, al- Attas and first world conference on Muslim education in 1977 at Makkah. He also
summarized the basic concepts and paradigms of western and Islamic education referring to the
major western philosophical foundations of education, i.e. Idealism; Realism; Thomism; and
Pragmatism in one hand and the Islamic philosophical foundations of education, i.e. Ontology,
Epistemology, Theology and Axiology on the other hand. He said that the epistemological
reform is indispensable for the betterment of Muslim education of the world. Accordingly he re-
iterates the integration efforts of the Muslim scholars like Prof Dr Syed Ali Ashraf, Prof Dr
Rosnani Hashim and especially Dr Fathi Malkawi’s model of integration of sources and means
as a way out to reform in higher education. In terms of unity of thought, he emphasizes on
Islamizing the Islamizers first.

Day 4 (Wednesday, January 24, from 8:00 to 9:00pm): Priorities and Scopes of Islamic
Research: the Case of Bangladesh

In his second session, Dr. M. Abdul Aziz compared the strengths and weaknesses of the western
and Islamic methodology of research. He also discusses about the scope and priorities of Muslim
researchers with a special reference to IIIT. Finally he presented on the Intellectual efforts of
BIIT as a think-tank which engaged in research and in-depth studies for synthesizing education,
culture & ethics since 1989. He highlighted the gaps of Islamic Research in Bangladesh where
young intellectuals can significantly contribute to Islamic intellectual development in the country
in particular and the Ummah in general.

Finally, it was resolved that the participant will write an article based on any one of the above
mentioned discussions so that it can be published in the AJISS/ IJITs/BJIT as outcome of the
camp.
3. GROUP STUDY AND GROUP PRESENTATION ON THE SELECTED BOOKS

Five groups had been formed and each group was given a book for critically studying and
presenting the main ideas of the book. Leading scholars on the Islamization of Knowledge were
given priority in choosing the books for discussion and deliberation. The group one was led by
Mohammad Shahadat Hossain and discussed on The Ethics of Disagreement by Taha Jabir Al
Alwani. The second group was led by Ali Ahmad Mabrur and reviewed on Qur'anic Worldview:
A Springboard for Cultural Reform by AbdulHamid AbuSulayman. The third group was led by
Mohammad Mizanur Rahman and studied on Muslim Civilization: The Causes of Decline and
the Need for Reform by M. Umer Chapra. The fourth group was led byAbdullah Al Masud and
discussed onUsul al Fiqh: Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence by Shah Abdul Hannan. Another
one book, Al Tawhid: Its Implications for Thought and Life by Ismail R. al-Faruqi,was added
during the Camp for all participants. Each group presented the summery of each book and finally
awarded for the best. Dr. M. Abdul Aziz, Executive Director of BIIT encouraged the
participants to submit their book reviews for publication in the journals of BIIT/IIIT.
4. CONCLUDING SESSION

On 25th January, the ceremony began at 9 am with the recitation from the Holy Qur’an by
Mohammad Zakaria. Dr. Sayed Uddin, Research Fellow of BIIT conduced the session and
invited Prof. Emeritus Dato' Wira Dr. Haji Jamil bin Haji Osman for his concluding speech on ‘
Youth leadership for the revival of Ummah’. He shared the partial experience of youths in the
inculcation of Islamic values in society. He instructed youths for the revival of Ummah through
integration by research and disseminationof knowledge. After his speech, certificates and awards
were distributed among the participants. Some participants shared their experiences during the
camp and what lessons they learnt from the camp for their future career. The session ended with
the vote of thanks by Mr. Shahran Kasim for the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT),
East Asia, and Dr. M. Abdul Aziz on behalf of Bangladesh Institute of Islamic Thought (BIIT).

5. MISCELLANEOUS

5.1. Camp Preparation

On 21st January, the participants gathered early in the morning in front of the main staircase of
IIUM with their belongings to stay in the Camp for five days. A committee was formed to
organize the camp smoothly. The committee members successfully discharged their role and
responsibilities in terms of cooperating with caterers for providing food, snacks and drinks
adequately, mobilizing the participants from their residential places to the seminar venues in
time, and making logistic support available to the speakers as well as the participants.
5.2. Putrajaya Tour

On 25th January, last day of the camp, the participants were taken to the Putrajaya. This is a
planned city and the federal administrative center of Malaysia. They said their prayer at the rose-
tinted granite Putra Mosque which is the most beautiful Mosques in Malaysia. After prayer, a
delicious meal was served with Fried Pomfret Fish (Rupchanda) and vegetable in the presence of
the scenic beauty of the lake. Putrajaya trip ended with visiting to Malaysia’s the serene
Putrajaya Lake which is an incredible man- made wonder spanning across 650 hectares of
beautiful waters and exotic wetlands.

5.3. Visiting Research Institute

The participants visited the Institute of Darul Ehsan (IDE), Shah Alam, Malaysia. The officer of
the institute briefed the participants about the establishment, objectives, functions and impact of
the institution in the Malaysian society. It is noted that IDE was established in 2015 as a
research hub for policy makers and civil society. It is an important institute to assist the state
government to formulate policies and directionsto achieve good governance, economic, socio-
political, and balanced development. The main function of IDE is to liaise between the policy
makers, governments and agencies with civil society covering student leaders, communities,
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at either national or international level.IDE performs
Analysis, Response, Enlightenment and Intelligencestrategies. This strategy is driven through
research programs, discussions, conferences, seminars, workshops and publications in the form
of reports, periodicals and books. Through this approach there will be a democratic, prosperous,
knowledgeable, civilized and moral progressive society, committed to the principle of truth and
justice. The institute entertained the participants with Malaysian cuisine and provided token of
appreciation.