Kalam and Its Relevance to Present Day Muslim by Shaykh Dr. Saeed Foudeh

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Keynote Address 2

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The official opening of the ISSI-KRM Office in Putrajaya, Malaysia took place after the opening ceremony of the Kuala Lumpur International Kalam Symposium (KLIKS) in the afternoon of March 22, 2016. The ribbon cutting ceremony was officiated by Dr. Aref Ali Nayed (Founder-Director of KRM), Dr. Amran Muhammad (ISSI Managing Director and KRM Southeast Asia Director), and Sheikh Saeed Foudeh (Jordan leading kalam scholar). More than thirty scholars attended the ceremony, consisting of Deans and Heads of Usul al-Din, Aqidah, Islamic Thought, Comparative Religion, and Philosophy departments from selected universities in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Following the launch, a strategic meeting was held amongst the Malaysian Kalam scholars with the objective of collaborating and sharing expertise in the area of kalam, which the Managing Director of ISSI, Dr. Amran Muhammad has aptly referred to as the Ihyā’ ‘Ilm al-Kalām Inititative.  This scholarly initiative is pioneered by the KRM-ISSI collaboration.  Dr. Amran enumerated the meeting agenda as follows: 1. To familiarise themselves with works on kalam by Malaysian scholaRS; 2. To plan and organise the 2nd Kuala Lumpur International Kalam Symposium (KLIKS 2017) particularly regarding the international scholars that will be invited 3. To prepare Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with selected universities that have kalam departments, for continuous collaboration in research, publication, teaching and training activities; 4. To explore opportunities for international collaboration with kalam centres throughout the world; and 5.To consider funding possibilities for kalam research activities.

Following the welcoming speech by Dr. Amran, Professor Dr. Aref Ali Nayed started the discussion in motion by highlighting the KRM Kalam Revival Project and elaborating on the implications that this project has on Islamic scholarship and institutions.  Such networking efforts are crucial in not only motivating scholars to continue with their present efforts with renewed momentum and hope, thanks to the collegial inspirations from such figures as Prof. Dr. Aref Nayed and Shaykh Dr. Saeed Foudeh.  The latter inspired the attending scholars by deliberating on his years of studying and writing on Ilm al-Kalam, in support of the Kalam Revival Project.

The responses from Malaysian kalam scholars and researchers who attended the meeting were very positive and encouraging. Various proposals were made for projects and collaborations to be carried out between Malaysian Universities, ISSI and KRM.  We are thankful to Allah for the opportunity to convene such talented and motivated individuals in one place.  Moving forward, let us pray that all our efforts will come to fruition in the near future and receive the blessings and rewards of the Almighty Creator.


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