Recently on 17th December, I was invited to deliver a keynote address in an international Conference on Reconfiguring Interfaith and Intra-faith Understanding organised by Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). The university was founded two centuries ago by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. Currently AMU has a student population of thirty thousand, mostly staying in the campus. When AMU was established it was intended to provide modern education for Muslim students in India who were pre-independent at a disadvantage. Now AMU has become one of the top two universities in India and producing good graduates for first degree, masters and PhDs. The participants were academicians, scholars, students, researchers and ulama' representing different sects and religions. The panelists consisted of Christian, Hindu, Muslim academicians and an ulama'.
They have a deep understanding of Islam and thus the discourse by panelists and participants were lively and eloquent. Emotional at times but generally rational in putting across their points of view. In the afternoon till the evening we debated the topic entitled rebuilding the house of Islam taking into account of the current challenges faced by Islam and its Ummah. We hope we can contribute to the existing corpus of knowledge to create understanding and cooperation based on unity in diversity and multiculturalism. For me, I believe we should hold on to the Islamic saying; "seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave".
FBSHApost@21 December 2015