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Dr. Ghazi stresses upon the need of introducing new Cosmopolitan Fiqh to meet challenges of globalization

ISLAMABAD: A 3-day international seminar on “Islamic Legal Thought and Institutions in South Asia”, organized by Islamic Research Institute (IRI), of the International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI) opened here on Sunday.


The highlight of the inaugural session was the scholarly keynote address of Dr. Qasim Zaman, Professor Near Eastern Studies and Religions at Princeton University, USA who focused on “Evolving conceptions of Ijtihad in Modern South Asia”. Rector IIUI Professor Fateh Muhammad Malik was Chief Guest on the occasion while former federal Minister Dr. Mehmood Ahmed Ghazi presided over the opening session.


In his inaugural remarks, while welcoming the participants from Pakistan and abroad, the Rector of the IIUI Professor Fateh Muhammad Malik, said that the seminar was of immense contemporary and topical interest as it was incidentally being held against the background of challenges being posed to the basic concepts on which Pakistan is founded, including the concept of constitutional democracy espoused by none other than Allama Iqbal.


He said the deliberations of the seminar were of great importance as the views to be expressed by the eminent scholars attending the seminar might go a long way to clarifying ideas and dispelling the intellectual confusion being sought to be created about settled issues by half-baked ideologues. He hoped that the seminar would trigger off a series of serious academic discussions on present-day issues related to the Islamic law.


Dr. Qasim Zaman in his address said that Ulemas during the British rule in the subcontinent and even before that played an important role in forming lives of people of the subcontinent. He especially mentioned Maulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri, Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Allama Iqbal and others who produced some classic literature on Islamic Fiqh in the subcontinent. Dr. Qasim Zaman was of the view that Muslims never gave up concept of Ijtihad how ever they were very much cautious in this regard. He also mentioned some academic links of the Muslims of the subcontinent with other parts of the world like middle east and central and northern Africa.


Dr. Mahmood Ahmad Ghazi, former President of IIUI, addressed on the “The Past, Present and Future of the Fiqh in Subcontinent”. Dr. Ghazi speaking on various aspects of Fiqhi progress said that Muslims never ignored importance of Fiqh in their daily lives. It was Fiqh that always have been regulating their lives in accordance with principles of the Holy Quran.


Dr. Ghazi stressed upon the need of introducing a new Cosmopolitan Fiqh to meet the challenges of the globalization. He said that we are living in a world which is characterized by globalization. Here we can not live in Fiqh Hanfi or Jafri or others. Here we should live as a global Muslim with a global Fiqh called Cosmopolitan. Dr. Ghazi added that Islamic Institutions like the IIUI were aiming at this very important side of the fact.


He also paid compliments to Dr. Qasim Zaman for presenting a thought-provoking paper which was the outcome of years of study and research. While speaking of the contemporary relevance of the seminar, which primarily seeks to review the development of Islamic legal thought in South Asia, he spoke at length on the significant contribution of Allama Iqbal to help evolve Fiqh thinking and develop a religious approach capable of responding to the challenges of the present and the future in both intellectual and practical spheres.


Dr. Zafar Ishaq Ansari, Director IRI, Professor Abdul Jabbar Shakkir and Dr. Ismatullah also addressed the inaugural session.

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