Friday, November 6, 2015

A POSITIVE NOTE ON INGRAW 2015

With the collaboration of the Institute of Postgraduate Studies (IPS), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and the cooperation of all ISDEV 10th INGRAW committee members, the 10th ISDEV International Graduate Workshop 2015 (INGRAW 2015) was successfully organized as scheduled. The conference was held from 27 till 28 October at the University's Conference Hall (DPU) with more than 100 participants attending. The workshop started with the meeting of both the minds and hearts with the main intention of invoking on Allah SWT pleasures through the various working papers that were presented and commented upon. The two Keynote Addresses delivered during INGRAW 2015 had undoubtedly moved and touched the hearts and minds of all those present to be better researches for the sake of Islam.

The 10th INGRAW 2015 in session at DPU, USM
The first keynote address was delivered by Dr. Fadzila Azni Ahmad, Acting Deputy Director of ISDEV, with the title “The Realisation of Islamic Intellectual Traditions in Graduate Studies”. Dr. Fadzila Azni Ahmad delivered her keynote address explaining the common issues, knowledge in Islam, people in knowledge in Islam, Muslim scholars and the realization of knowledge through Adab. She acknowledged some of the common challenges faced by students such as thesis submission, emotional and psychological stress, funding and students services. However understanding these main issues in the realisation of Islamic intellectual tradition in graduate studies is the role of man, which lies upon us all. However, she noted that all the issues could be overcome with the realization of knowledge through adab, consisting of adab with Allah SWT, teachers, knowledge and sources of barakah. 
Dr Fadzila Azni Ahmad delivering the First Keynote Address.
Dr Fadzila Azni added that, adab is important in seeking knowledge with no prejudice towards others; showing respects to others and punctuality in managing time. In addition, she also shared the journey of knowledge by some notable classic Muslim scholars through the intellectual tradition in the early history of Islam such as Imam Al-Shafi’i and Imam Al-Ghazali as well as the story of seeking knowledge dating back from Prophet Musa r.a. and Al-Khidir r.a. Students kept the interest displayed with some pertinent questions and views on the topic of the day during the question and answer session before the concurrent sessions began after the refreshment break.
The Three Problematic Graduate Topics that all Graduate Researchers  on Islam need to steer away from.
On the second day, Director of ISDEV, Professor Dr. Muhammad Syukri Salleh was given the honour to address the participants at the workshop. He took the opportunity to address the participants by posing a topic which was apparent in the title “Topic Construction of Postgraduate Research”. Prof Syukri started delivering his keynote address posing the three most frequent problematic graduate topics detected by supervisors of graduate research and examiners. Firstly, topics are found to be flat as the research was not stimulating and not sufficiently thought provoking. Second topics which are found to be answerable; simplistic and portraying answers in advance. Third is the tendency to the following of trends which bears semblance of close imitation to past research topics.
ISDEV Senior Lecturer, Dr. Shahir Akram Hassan poses a question.
In response to these three problematic research topics, Prof. Syukri emphasised that in constructing a topic in Islamic research, there were three research philosophies that should be followed. The three research philosophies are firstly the expansion of new knowledge; secondly un-stereotyped and thirdly the research endeavoured must be a step beyond by focusing on extraordinary research that hinges on new topic with new results. He acknowledged that the way of Islamic postgraduate research should be by way of excavating the knowledge from ‘Ilmu Yaqeen and Haqqul Yaqeen‘Ilmu Yaqeen refers to the digging of new theoretical knowledge backed by proofs obtained from empirical studies, scientific and practical domain. In the meantime Haqqul Yaqeen refers to encapsulating the truth by integrating daruri and nadhari knowledge with aql and naql proofs.
Group photo for the 10th INGRAW 2015.
The journey of wisdom shared through the second keynote address ended with a question and answer session. The session ended with a positive note by Prof. Syukri. It truly was both an honour and privilege to all participants to have had a chance to listen to these keynote addresses. The 10th INGRAW ended at 1.30 pm with a simple lunch for everyone to enjoy.

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