Dialogue on ‘Aqīdah & Contemporary Issues with Malaysian Islamic Scholars & Religious Authorities
On 23rd March 2016, as part of the Kuala Lumpur International Kalam Symposium (KLIKS 2016) programmes, a dialogue session was organized by the Islamic and Strategic Studies Institute (ISSI) in cooperation with the Malaysian Institute of Strategic Research (IKSIM) in the Sharia Court Hall, Putrajaya. This dialogue is concerned with the topic of Islamic doctrine (aqidah) and its role in dealing with contemporary issues in the Malaysia context in particular, and the world at large.
In the Dialogue, Professor Dr Aref Ali Nayed, Founder-Director of Kalam Research Media (KRM), renowned Jordanian Kalam scholar, Shaykh Dr Saeed al-Foudah and Moroccan Royal Librarian and Kalam scholar, Shaykh Dr Khalid Zahri exchanged thoughts and elaborated on the importance of Islamic doctrinal creed (aqidah) in relation to a multitude of contemporary issues.
More than a hundred Islamic scholars from various universities in Malaysia as well as officers from the Federal and state religious authoritative bodies attended the dialogue, with several active participants. There were also several jurists (muftis) representing the states of Selangor and Trengganu, as well as the former mufti of the Federal Territories in attendance.
Shaykh Dr Saeed al-Foudah presented a lecture on the need for a better understanding about the role of aqidah as well as the importance of delving into specific issues within Ilm al-Kalam in dealing with urgent challenges such as extremism in religion.
In his speech, Professor Dr Aref Ali Nayed elaborated on how the Muslims in Malaysia should preserve the ‘aqīdah tradition that they inherited from a long and well-established tradition of the Ash’arites instead of relying on the rather shallow and superficial doctrinal (‘aqīdah) arguments that are sometimes promoted by foreign invited speakers to the country. This discussion was extended by Shaykh Dr Khalid Zahri, who discussed the great tradition of the Ash’arite aqidah which for more than a thousand years had influenced and shaped the way Muslims around the world understood their belief system.
The dialogue was received warmly by the participants as evidenced from the various questions that were addressed to the guest speakers. A dialogue dealing with ‘aqīdah and contemporary issues such as this, is crucial in promoting a resilient Muslim community that is not threatened by contemporary climate of dissent and religious ignorance. The Islamic and Strategic Studies Institute (ISSI) aims to provide the catalyst to further strengthen the Islamic community in their intellectual and spiritual development through rigorous kalam research efforts.