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Society
Last Updated: June 12, 2007
IOS Sham-e-Muzakerah on “Relevance of Islamic Ethics”
By A U Asif

New Delhi, March 17 “So far as the Islamic ethics is concerned, the guidance as directed by the Holy Quran in Surah Al Asr for doing good work (Aml-e- Saleh), standing for truth (Haq), and having tolerance (Sabr) after accepting faith (Imaan) are the basic things,” said Dr Mohammed Manzoor Alam, chairman, Institute of Objective Studies (IOS) in his presidential remarks while speaking on “Relevance of Islamic Ethics” at “Sham-e-Muzakerah” (An Evening of Discussion) organised here today at the headquarters of the IOS. The occasion was a lecture delivered by South African scholar Dr Ebrahim E I Moosa who now teaches Islamic Studies in the department of Religion and is also Director of the Centre for Study of Muslim Networks in Duke University, North Carolina (USA). Dr Moosa is also known as a journalist. He was associated with the erstwhile London-based “Arabia”, edited by Fathi Osman; “Middle East Economic Digest”; “Afkar Enquiry” and “Cape Times”.

Referring to numerous examples from the works of Islamic personalities like Imam Ibne Timiyya, Imam Ghazali, Shah Waliullah, Jamaluddin Afghani, Sheikh Abduh, Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Maulana Qasim Nanotvi, Sheikh Mahmood Hasan, Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi, and movements like Darul Uloom Deoband, Ikhwanul Muslemeen and Jamaat-e-Islami, Dr Moosa dwelt in detail the relevance of Islamic ethics and opined that the approach of Haji Imdadullah Mohajir Makki, a 19th century scholar and reformer suited most in today’s world of turmoil, conflicts, and clash of civilizations.

According to him, Haji Imdadullah Makki’s approach was first to befriend a person and then come closer to him, and finally, cast an impact upon him of his exemplary character, deeds, compassion and coexistence instead of merely following the “fiqah” (Islamic jurisprudence) line of argument.

Dr Moosa was of the view that the Islamist movements the world over had run into a massive crisis. “It was high time that some reorientation and reassessment of priorities and values were undertaken,” he added.

Quoting Shah Waliullah Dehlavi, an Islamic scholar of the 18th century, Dr Moosa also said that purity, humility, magnanimity and justice were the cornerstones of Islamic ethics.

Referring to Muslim predicament, he said followers of Islam could not come to terms with social change and revolutions in science and arts too.

Dr Moosa said Muslims should make sincere efforts for intellectual and cultural attainment. He emphasised upon search for the “ahsan” (the best)” and warned against the tendency of excessive labeling and facile categorisation

Prof Ausaf Ahmad, scholar and editor of Mutalle’at, published by IOS, appreciated the in-depth lecture of the eminent South African scholar, who as a student at Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulema Lucknow, Kanpur University, City University London and University of Cape Town (South Africa) had gone through these and other issues in detail in a comparative way.

Interestingly, Dr N K Afandi, assistant secretary, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, while talking to this scribe in front of Prof Ausaf Ahmed, termed the views of Dr Moosa as “most timely” irrespective of the learned orator’s opinion about the Islamic movements the world over. However, he agreed with the above mentioned views of Dr Manzoor Alam too.

 


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