Kalam Research and Media (KRM), The John Templeton Foundation (JTF) and the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) held a conference on “Pakistan’s Contribution to the Muslim Intellectual Tradition” at Lahore University of Management Sciences from 13-14 November 2015.
Kalam, Mantiq, Philosophy and Jurisprudence have been important elements in the classical Muslim intellectual traditions. This conference explored the contribution that modern Pakistani thinkers have made in this area of study. The conference focused on the attempts by Pakistani theologians, logicians, philosophers and legal thinkers to maintain links with the classical tradition as they interact with and respond to modern developments. Another important aspect of the of the conference was to explore the relevance of these thinkers to the 21st century.
Sohail Nakhooda from Kalam Research and Media gave a short opening address highlighting the importance of renewing the interest in the study of theology and connecting it to the current debates in philosophy and science. He thanked the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and its management and faculty, particularly Dr Basit Koshul, for making this conference possible, and emphasized the importance of ensuring that due recognition was given to South Asia scholarship and the need to connect it to global efforts toward the renewal of contemporary Islamic theology.
The conference panels were as follows:
Panel 1 on Kalam with Sahibzada Ahmad Nadeem (Government Ambala Muslim College, Sargodha) on Maulana Ahmed Raza Bareilwi; Muhammad Rasheed Arshad (Punjab University) on Hafez Ayub Dehlawi; and Muhammad Deen Johar on Maulana Ahmad Jawaid.
Panel 2 on Crossing Boundaries and Opening Horizons with Khalid Masud (Supreme Court of Pakistan and former Director General of the Islamic Research Institute at the International Islamic University, Islamabad); Mohsin Naqvi (University of Karachi) who spoke on Shi’a scholarship in Pakistan; and Mian Iqbal Salahuddin (Dabistan-e-Iqbal) on the philosophy of Iqbal.
Panel 3, chaired by Barrister Sarwar Khan was on the the legal thought and jurisprudence of A.R. Cornelius and included Chief Justice (r) Jawwad Khawaja; Umer Gilani (High Court, Pakistan); and also a paper by Clark Lombardi (University of Washington) and read by a faculty member from LUMS.
Panel 4, chaired by Asif Iftikhar, focussed on selected thinkers in philosophy and Kalam, and included contributions by Baqar Syed (LUMS) on the thought of Iqbal and Nu’mani; Ateeb Gul (Oxford University Press, Karachi) on M.M. Sharif; and Asim Raza (LUMS).
Panel 5, chaired by Junayd Akhtar, was on Muhammad Rafiuddin’s Philosophy of Religion and Sciences with Mubashir Khizar (National University of Science and Technology); Basit Koshul (LUMS) who spoke on philosophy of science; and Muhammad Arif Khan.
The final panel 6 was chaired by Syed Nomanul Haq (University of Karachi) and focused on Mantiq (Logic) with Abrar Hussain (University of Lahore); Asad Q. Ahmed (University of California, Berkeley) who spoke on the Khairabadi school; and Syed Mateen Shah (International Islamic University, Islamabad).
The final day concluding with an evening performance by an ensemble from Government College University in Lahore commemorating the poetry of Muhammad Iqbal.