Delivering the welcome address at the beginning of a three-day international conference on “Concept of Psyche in Islam,” she said in the United States she had seen works on psychology in Buddhist perspective and psychology in Hindu perspective, but precious little on Islamic psychology. She hoped the conference would initiate a process that would ultimately lead to meaningful studies in coming years.
The organising secretary of the event, Prof. Shamim A. Ansari of the AMU Department of Psychology, narrated how the psychology department had worked out a collaborative arrangement with the Delhi-based Institute of Objective Studies (IOS) to organise the conference. He hoped to continue holding such meets in future in collaboration with the IOS.
Speaker: Prof. Nizar Al Ani, Chancellor of International Academy for Graduate Studies, UAE
In his keynote address, Prof. Nizar Al Ani, Chancellor of International Academy for Graduate Studies, UAE, laid emphasis on developing an appropriate methodology for the understanding of the human psyche in Islamic perspective.
He said the work done in this regard had not been satisfactory. Work on this idea began in 1972. However, he was hopeful that more substantial work would begin to emerge in years ahead.
In his address Dr. Mohammed Manzoor Alam, Chairman of IOS, welcomed everyone once again to his alma mater as an alumnus of AMU as well as the organising partner of the event. He began with an introduction of IOS.
He said fresh knowledge would have to be created by Muslim psychologists “instead of reiterating” what was already there in the Islamic tradition.
Prof. Roqaiyyah Zainuddin, Dean Faculty of Arts AMU, expressed the hope that the AMU–IOS collaborative effort would advance the knowledge of human psyche in Islamic perspective.
Prof. Shamshad Ahmad, former VC Nalanda Open University and Magadh University, in his presidential remarks observed that each point raised by the speakers was a potential subject for a separate seminar. He said it pointed towards the vitality of the participants’ views.
The conference began with a solemn recitation of the holy Qur’an and ended with prayers for the departed souls of Prof. Iqbal A. Ansari, who passed away on October 13, and for Shahnawaz Alam, a graduate student of AMU who was shot dead in cold blood in the evening of October 25 by a motorcycle riding ruffian without any obvious reason.
Aligarh, October 27: Scholars from UAE, Malaysia and from different parts of India including (Aligarh, Delhi, J&K, Patna, Ranchi, Lucknow and Chandigarh) participated in the proceedings of the second day.
As many as 55 research papers were presented over three sessions. Scholars traced the evolution of Islamic thought on human psyche right from the Muslim Aristotleans like Ghazali, who was the first to use the world “Ilmun Nafs” (psychology).
The inaugural session was held at the AMU, but because of turmoil at the university, the second day’s proceedings were held at the IOS Aligarh chapter.
Aligarh, October 28: On the third day 15 research papers were presented by scholars on the subject. The valedictory session was organised at the Al-Barkat Engineering and Management Institute.
In his valedictory address Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam said, “Islam stands for peace, progress and prosperity”. It addresses the whole mankind, whose unity it affirms and mandates dealings among them on the basis of rahmah (kindness).
He elaborated the idea further by saying, “The Quran is a guiding force and inspiration in a universe that would stay till the Day of Judgment. So will the humankind”. Interaction between the two would always create problems that should be solved in the light of Quranic guidance. The Quran will provide a new paradigm as an alternative source of knowledge if the new generation of scientists and scholars works to develop it.
Addressing the students he said the youth were a force and the community’s future. They had to learn how to deal with the world from the Quran and the Sunnah and for an alternative perspective to address the issues for all humankind.
After three-day of deliberations, discourse and presentation of research papers this conference adopts the following resolutions:
1. We will continue the endeavour to grasp the nature, content and functioning of the human psyche in light of guidance provided by the holy Qur’an, the Sunnah and our spiritual and intellectual heritage.
2. We will also try to put together a viable, verifiable, stable methodology of approaching the subject profitably, as early as possible.
3. At the outset, we have come to the conclusion that in such an endeavour a multi-disciplinary approach taking into consideration religion, philosophy, psychology, ontology, hermeneutics and semiotics will be appropriate.
4. The highly stimulating three-day proceedings has enthused us with a sense of optimism that comes only when one is sure that one’s compass is functional in the wilderness of a thick forest of bewildering mass of information that is growing in volume with every passing moments.
5. The whole excercise confirms our belief that the IOS has to continue with its collaborative efforts in organizing more conferences and seminars with the Department of Psychology and other departments of Aligarh Muslim University in future.
6. The Department of Psycholgy, Aligarh Muslim University in collaboration with the Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi should work in the direction of becoming a nodal centre for intensive study and research in the field, such that understanding of psychological phenomena in Islamic perspective is fostered and enriched.
7. We resolve to bring intellectuals and ulema closer together for exchange of ideas to enrich our work. We also resolve to work out a programme for joint work in fields of research, survey, publication and organisation of conferences and seminars.
8. The IOS has a long association with AMU as the leadership is headed by a number of AMU old boys. The IOS is working hard to launch many fresh schemes. We will try to create viable mechanisms for scholars and students of the university to be associated with the Institute in different areas of research.
9. The conference calls upon the Islamic Ummah to adopt a more meaningful and constructive approach to create a fresh body of knowledge that is inspired by the Qur’an and Sunnah and addresses current academic concerns.
10. At length, it is resolved that IOS, New Delhi should publish the proceedings of this conference.