Friday, July 8, 2016

ENLIVEN THE GRANDEUR OF ISLAMIC INTELLECTUALISM

For the month of June, the Monthly Graduate Supervision of the Centre for Islamic Development Management Studies (ISDEV), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) took place on 17 June, 2016 at Dewan Kuliah A (DKA). However for this month's programme, the Graduate Supervision Lecture preceded the Tarbiyyah Pengarah.
Dr Fadzila Azni addressing ISDEV fraternity during the Monthly Graduate Supervision slot.
This month's Graduate Supervision lecture was presented by ISDEV Deputy Director, Dr. Fadzila Azni Ahmad who is also ISDEV Academic Programme Coordinator. Dr. Fadzila Azni, or more affectionately known in ISDEV by the name of Dr. Sukainah, conveyed on "Thesis Guidelines" as formatted by USM. Dr. Sukainah stated that knowing how to write a thesis in the correct format was important to students before the start of the study because it would facilitate and help students familiarize with the correct format from the onset. Thus having the right format from the start will also facilitate the lecturers during the review.

The Thesis Guidelines as outlined by  the Institute of Postgraduate Studies (IPS), USM was described in detail by Dr. Sukainah. After a long discussion, the students were very actively involved in the questions and answers session to find out more about the format and the correct way of writing according to the USM format.
Prof Syukri introducing the topic of his tarbiyyah for that day  - Enliven the Grandeur of Islamic Intellectualism.
The end of the Graduate Supervision Lecture session marked the start of Tarbiyyah Pengarah. In this month's Tarbiyyah, ISDEV Director, Professor Dr. Muhammad Syukri Salleh, conveyed the upbeat spirit of Ramadhan to ISDEV lecturers, students and supporting staff. His address was on "Mencipta Semula Kegemilangan" (Enliven the Grandeur of Islamic Intellectualism).

In the early part of his Tarbiyyah, Prof Syukri introduced ISDEV fraternity on one of ISDEV main ambitions - to recreate the glory of Islam as discerned from the history of Islamic civilisation such as during the Golden Age in Baghdad. Back then, Baghdad was the seat of knowledge where Islamic intellectuals were very highly sought out and highly regraded in such a manner that Western scientists boldly stated that there was no Golden Age of Islamic Civilisation after that.
A brain teaser intended to bring across an important lesson - the power of communication skills.
Then Prof Syukri went on a positive note expressing his confidence that ISDEV is positioned to bring back the glory of Islamic In his pragmatically optimistic outlook, he voiced rather matter-of-factly that although such a goal might not be achieved in the near future, it is nonetheless not impossible for the next generation of ISDEV. They are the ones who would be interacting more with the society. Even if it takes another 100 years, it is not impossible for ISDEV to recreate and bring back the glory of Islam.

Before elaborating his points further, Professor Syukri gave a mind teaser to ISDEV fraternity who were present. The puzzle was intended to bring across a stark reminder on the importance of communication skills as to the delivery of the correct communication frequency. When it is correct and the approach to communication is accurate and precise (based on one's situation and level of thinking), then a positive outcome can ensue from the person whom we interacted with.
Posing a pertinent question - Do you want to reconstruct the glory of Islamic intellectualism?

Prof. Syukri then provided an in-depth analysis of the teaser. He raised questions among ISDEV members on what was actually needed to move a further step closer towards the point of the reconstruction of the Golden Age in Islam. For this to be a reality, Prof Syukri encouraged all ISDEV members to be prepared to make sacrifices and also to create new research entities. This entails moving away from the norm which is currently embarked upon by ISDEV students. But such move to think out of the box (norm) needs to be done more aggressively for the renaissance of Muslims to occur. ISDEV lecturers and students are therefore encouraged to go far out to spread ISDEV thinking that seeks to glorify Islam. He provided the justification on the dire need to pursue knowledge because the nature of knowledge is as such:- 

Knowledge is to be awaited. 
Knowledge is to be sought. 
Knowledge awaits not. 
Knowledge seeks not.
Making a comparison on seeking knowledge between  back then and now.
If ISDEV wants to build even a speckle of the Golden Age era back, Prof Syukri reiterated the words of Imam Malik which bears the following meaning when translated in the English Language:-

'The later umat would not be decently good except when they are corrected in the manner of the people of the yesteryears'.

Taking the spirit of these wise words from Imam Malik, it is thus in ISDEV to want to follow more of these Islamic intellectualism traditions especially in seeking knowledge such as having those whose words are "bermulut masin", morally good and upright, respectable so that when people come and meet any ISDEV member, they would feel gratified in such a manner that when they returned home, they knew and felt that had gained useful knowledge. Hopefully by then, ISDEV could be a magnet that would be the one to initiate the return of the Golden Age of Islam not just by adhering to the traditions of Islamic intellectualism but also with the use and help of facilities and tools that exist today.
The continuation of points on the comparison on seeking knowledge between back then and now.
He uttered these words after making a comparison between the study of past and present to all who were there. Before ending his tarbiyyah, Prof. Syukri then gave his closing remarks by giving words of encouragement and a fatherly reminder for all to work together to achieve this ambition. He ended off with the reassurance that although ISDEV current members may not be able to achieve such a feat in the near future, have trust in Allah SWT that the efforts towards that goal would still earn every ISDEV member the qualifications for rewards, in shaa Allah. 
The attendance at DKA for this month's programme.
In his closing, Professor Muhammad Syukri Salleh gave an opportunity for all to ask questions. He also took the opportunity to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of ISDEV support staff. They are Puan Aishah, Cik Adawiyah, Encik Helmi, Encik Ibrahim, Puan Farhana and Puan Aznida) because they are very important personnel in ISDEV. They are always ready and willing to help ISDEV lecturers and students to achieve their goals.

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