Islam’s Contribution to the world civilization is a continuing and unending process, said Prof. Refaqat Ali Khan, Director Academics, IOS. He was inaugurating the two-day International Conference on Islam’s contribution to World Civilization being organized MSS Hall, Cherutty Road, Calicut.
There are three major elements in the Muslim contribution to world civilization, he said. While citing examples from history, the former Professor & Head Dept. of History and Dean, Faculty of Humanities & Languages at Jamia Millia Islamia, NewDelhi Prof. R A Khan pointed out that revival of the knowledge of the classical civilization of Greece, India and China is the major element in these contributions. He further said that the original contribution to science and learning and transmission of the revived and developed science and technology to the East and the West are the other major contributions of Muslims to the world civilization. While agreeing with the viewpoint of Noble Laureate, Amartya Sen, he expressed that “the trend of tolerance and pluralistic thinking” in India had its origin in the advent of Islam and on India “the constitutional secularism and judicially guaranteed multiculturalism” is also a Muslim gift.
In the absence of Dr. Imad Ad Deen Ahmad, Maryland University USA, who was supposed to deliver the keynote address, Mr A.A Vahab, Secretary, IOS, Calicut Chapter, read out the keynote address. In his keynote Dr Imad Ahmad pointed out that “while the mass of mankind has remained completely ignorant of Islamic contributions, the academic world has had two main perspectives. The one that dominates in the West has been that the Islamic civilization was a caretaker civilization that ‘preserved Greek learning’ while the west went through Dark Ages”. He argued, this is, of course, a Eurocentric view and is completely inadequate. Islam did not merely preserve western thought; it discovered and absorbed knowledge from various countries. It synthesized and developed that knowledge and added to it.
Speaker: Prof. Refaqat Ali Khan
Prof. P. Koya, Co-Ordinator, Calicut Chapter IOS, delivered the welcome speech while Abdur Rehiman Baqavi, Principal, School of Islamic Studies, Manjeri, presided over the inaugural session. In his presidential address, Mr. Baqavi said that Islam is the most misunderstood religion in the contemporary world. He expressed the hope that this two-day conference would not only portray the classical contributions of Islam to the world but it would also act as a platform to chalk out strategies to make new and innovative contributions to the contemporary world. Prof. Z M Khan, former Head Department of Political Science & Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, presently Secretary General IOS, gave a brief profile of the Institute of Objective Studies, explaining its objectives, initiatives and future plans. His announcement about the establishment of a Civilizational & Cultural Studies Centre at Calicut was received with great applause.
O Abdullah, author and journalist, N P Chekutty, Executive Editor, Thejas Daily, Dr. P Ibrahim of Pondichery University rendered felicitation. A.A Vahab, Secretary, Calicut Chapter IOS proposed vote of thanks.
Dignitaries on the dais also included Dr. Ausaf Ahmad, Financial Secretary, IOS, Prof. S. Jamaluddin, Director Projectos & Research, IOS and Dr. M S Jayaprakash, historian.