The first cluster of ISSI’s Kalam Transdisciplinary Hub to convene for their first workshop is the Inter-Religious Study and Dialogue cluster, which held a closed discussion on the 10th of August 2016, at the ISSI-KRM office in Putrajaya from 10am to 1pm. This group, which conducts research on Inter-Religious Study and Dialogue calls itself IRSYAD, and is comprised of several lecturers and researchers from the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM), the Malaysian National University (UKM), Putra University of Malaysia (UPM) and Malaysia Islamic Science University (USIM). This hub is headed by Associate Professor Dr. Haslina Ibrahim from IIUM.
Amongst the researchers present at the first workshop was Dr Haslina Ibrahim, Dr. Noor Amali, Dr. Rosmizi, Dr. Nur Suriya, Br. Mohd Noh, Br. Wan Haslan, Sister Nur Farhana, Dr. Arfah, Br. Azril, Br. Muaz and Br. Arif. During the workshop, the group finalized the Malay version of their group’s name to be “Kajian dan Dialog Antara Agama” and the Arabic version as “Dirāsat wa Hiwārat Hawla al-Adyān”. This workshop was successful in drawing up the titles of their first volume of articles dealing with this topic, along with the assigned authors, touching upon the Quranic foundation of inter-religious study and dialogue, the Prophetic examples, Islamic Law, Kalam origin of this study, methodology, ethics and others. This volume is part of the ISSI Kalam Thematic Series of monographs and will be prepared for launching during the Kuala Lumpur International Symposium on Kalam (KLIKS 2017).
Before adjourning, the IRSYAD group scheduled its second workshop for October 2016 (amended to November 2016) with approximately 50 participants. JAKIM officers and media representative are amongst the possible attendants. IRSYAD is committed to publishing more academic papers, responding to media and public inquiry regarding Inter-religious study and dialogue, sharing inputs for press statements, preparing video montage for short TV air slots, and to cooperate with pertinent organizations such as JAKIM as well as to source funding opportunities from government and private agencies. The members of the IRSYAD cluster will be issued appointment letters as ISSI’s Research Fellows very soon. The group departed with a clear agenda in mind by 1pm.