Monday, April 13, 2015


The three ISDEV representatives - (from right to left) Dr. Mohd Syakir, Dr. Shahir Akram and Prof. Syukri Salleh.

The 3rd International Islamic Studies Conference (IISC) on "Islamic Values in a Changing World" was held from March 23- 25, 2015. The conference was organized by the Prince of Songkla University, Pattani Campus, Thailand.

Islamic leaders and academicians from over 30 countries worldwide participated in this prestigious conference including three members from the Centre for Islamic Development Management Studies (ISDEV), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). ISDEV Director, Prof. Muhammad Syukri Salleh, Dr. Mohd Syakir Mohd Rosdi and Dr. Shahir Akram Hassan were the three privileged members of ISDEV who attended and participated at the IISC.
ISDEV Director, Prof Syukri, diligently filling up the  necessary papers during the conference's registration.
Located at the College of Islamic Studies, all participants who had gathered were then divided into seven parallel sessions for the two-days conference. ISDEV Director, presented his paper on Contemporary Islamic Values Revisited on the first day of the conference .
Prof. Syukri talked on Contemporary Islamic Values Revisted.

In his presentation, Prof. Syukri explained that his paper focused on the present usage of contemporary Islamic values that seemed to have followed the needs and trends of the changing world. In addition the shift seems to be inclined towards worldly pursuit rather than the pursuit for the Hereafter. According to him there were four factors that are attributable to the shaping of the contemporary Islamic values. They are the intentional or unintentional efforts of firstly universalizing, secondly realigning, thirdly accommodating, and fourthly ‘scientificing’ the Islamic values. According to Prof. Syukri, if this form of Islamic values were to be adopted in developing guidelines for a meaningful peace and harmony amongst various civilizations and mankind, it may mean an effort that was based on an in comprehensive meaning of Islamic values, leading to an imprecise diagnose and prescription of the problems of civilization. 
Dr. Mohd Syakir (right) and Dr. Shahir Akram (second from left) presented their papers on the second day.

Dr. Mohd Syakir Mohd Rosdi and Dr. Syahir Akram took their turn to present the papers on the second day of the conference. Dr. Mohd Syakir talked on The Values of Tahaluf Siyasi in Political Unity. He stressed on political coalition in the form of Tahaluf Siyasi (TS) that is practiced by some political parties in Malaysia. To him, TS referred a collaborative effort between two or more parties to achieve the same objective as long as it does not violate the tenets of Islam. Besides TS, the term Unity Government (UG) had also appeared as well as political consensus between the opposition party and the party in government. According to him, there are eight TS values that can lead to political unification. First, integration and cooperation; Second, prioritizing the truth; Third, peace; Fourth, fidelity; Fifth, sincerity; Sixth, brotherhood; Seventh, always ready: and the Eighth, the not to be easily manipulated by the enemy.
Group photo session with other participants from the region.

Meanwhile, Dr. Shahir Akram Hassan presented on The Use of Logic in Contemporary Islamic Discourse. According to him there is a dire need to rationally engage and logically address the controversies that challenge the sanctity of Islam - an ubiquitous feature of contemporary times. However, the current approach of totally relying on Logic as a tool to elucidate the problems and controversies besetting the Ummah is replete with numerous shortcomings as evidenced by the advent of deviationist ideologies detrimental to Islam such as pluralism, liberalism, and feminism. Thus Dr. Shahir sought to examine the nature of Logic within Islamic Discourse and how it is applied to not only portray Islam but to also delineate and clarify its adequacy in addressing contemporary issues and controversies bedeviling the Ummah. Thus he recommended that the application of logic in contemporary Islamic Discourse should be premised upon a hybrid approach that draws its synergy from the revelation-based approach but manifests itself via aql-based arguments whilst simultaneously complying with four basic rules i.e., possessing a clear Islamic epistemology and tasawwur, utilizing Islamic reasoning approaches, strengthening the Islamic framework and finally, emphasizing the means aspect of Western Logic rather than its end.
Dr. Mohd Syakir received a flower from one his fans during his performance.

Apart from main objective which is to present their working papers in the conference, ISDEV delegates also had the chance to mingle around with others participants. In fact Dr. Mohd Syakir received a special request by a participant during the reception dinner to perform a nasyeed. He even received a token from one of  his fans and positive responses from the audiences who were mesmerized by his performance.
Cruising and having dinner on Chao Phraya River (R) and 
Posing in front of a banner as the backdrop at the Islam Sri Ayutthaya Foundation School (L).

As part of the IISC itinerary, participants were given the opportunity to be flown to Bangkok and Ayutthaya to visit some tourist attraction places such as cruising in Chao Phraya River, Islam Sri Ayutthaya Foundation School - the eldest Islamic School in Bangkok, the Majlis Ugama Islam Wilayah Ayutthaya as well as Islamic villages in both areas.

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