Faculty of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad is one of the most prestigious institutions in the field of Islamic Studies in terms of its history, qualified faculty, enrollment of the students, and the diverse nature of programs it offers. The Department of Islamic Thought, History and Culture is one of the earliest departments established after the Institute of Arabic & Islamic Studies which was upgraded to the status of full-fledged faculty. Along with offering academic programs and courses from Matriculation to Doctoral levels, the department aims to engage scholars researching in different areas of Islamic Studies in an effort to keep the academia and society abreast of latest research and development in the field of Islamic Studies through scholarly conferences and seminars. In this context, the department is organizing an international conference on “Tradition and Modernity: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives” from 13 to 14 March, 2023.
Through this conference, the department aims to present recent research on the issues related to Tradition, Reformation, and Modernization in Islamic Thought and invite original contributions from participating scholars who wish to share their perceptions of the core issues related to Interfaith Relations and Interfaith Studies. The event will bring together academics, social scientists, policy makers and religious scholars to exchange ideas on the principle concepts of the conference, providing them with an excellent opportunity for networking, peer-to peer discussions and research collaboration. The department also invites and encourages leading experts as well as emerging scholars from around the world to submit their original, unpublished contributions on the themes of the conference.
Event Relevance and Scientific Significance
Since Pakistan is constitutionally an Islamic State, there has been a historical and ongoing deliberation on how the Pakistani society should function in modern world albeit within the bounds of Islamic values. In this context, the issues surrounding tradition and modernity are perpetually debated in the Pakistani society. On one hand, there are traditionalists who staunchly defend long-held cultural and religious values. On the other hand, there are modernists who insist on renouncing tradition and embracing values associated with modernity. In between both the extremes there is a segment of scholars that desires to reconcile modernity with traditional Islamic values. The importance of this debate for Pakistani society cannot be overstated.
In this backdrop, Universities not only serve as think tanks but also provide platform where such debates are meaningfully conducted. Department of Islamic Thought, History and Culture, Faculty of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad has lately been at the forefront in arranging such debates. In this context, it has a long history of arranging international and national conferences, and seminars on topics related to the field of Islamic Thought. It is pertinent to mention here that the applicant has already organized four international conferences on different issues related to the Islamic Thought. Moreover, he is editor in chief of three research journals of the faculty and founding member of Islamic Research Index (IRI). He is also patron-in-chief of Khutbat-i Islamabad: a pioneering initiative by the Department of Islamic Thought, History and Culture in which around a hundred themes related to modern issues in Islamic Thought have been identified. The department invites experts relevant to these themes to present and debate their views. So far, twenty-five such seminars have been arranged on different themes under this initiative.