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Published in the 1-15 May 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

An Islamic perspective
Construction of Future Civilization

Aligarh: Prof. Ashfaq Ahmad (Sydney, Australia) delivered a lecture on "Construction of Future Civilization in Islamic Perspective" in the Department of Islamic Studies, AMU, on 20 February 2004 under the extra-mural lecture programme.

Introducing the learned speaker, Dr Zafarul Islam Islahi stated that Prof. Ashfaq Ahmad originally belongs to Muhammadabad (Azamgarh) and settled in Sydney since 1971. He passed B.Sc. (Engg.) from AMU in 1950 and got M.Sc (Engg.) from Wisconsin University in 1959. He is one of the few rare scholars who after completing modern education joined the special course of Arabic language and Islamic studies in Sanwi Darsgah, Rampur and Madarastul Islah, Saraimir. While occupied with teaching in Australia, he has also been taking keen interest in the spread of Islamic teachings and the community work.

In his welcome address, Prof. Abdul Ali said that only the civilization which is based on Islamic values would be lasting and human-welfare oriented. Dr. Javed Jamil, Director of International Centre for Applied Islam (Saharanpur) spoke about the contribution of the learned speaker to Islamic learning and Dawah work in Australia.

In his thought-provoking lecture, Prof. Ashfaq Ahmad pointed out that Muslims enjoy the greatest ideological force and strongest basis of civilization in the form of the Qur'an and Hadith and the best way of making them effective and beneficial for the mankind is that they themselves, first of all, should follow Islam sincerely and honestly. He, further, observed that after the events of 9-11, Muslims are facing many painful situations but the blessing in disguise is that the interest of ordinary people, especially in the West, is growing in Islam day by day. Many people have started to look at Islam as the deliverer of Mankind. Muslims all over the world should avail of this opportunity and hence they are urgently required to demonstrate the deep concern of Islam for humanity and relevance of the ideals of Islam and principles of Islamic civilization to the modern period not merely through lectures or writings but through truly exhibiting them in their personal lives as well as in their social behaviour and economic dealing with people in general. This would result in the building of a healthy society and development of a prosperous civilization that would ensure prevalence of justice, peaceful living and human welfare. For achieving this great objective Muslims must nourish the noble qualities of devotion to Allah Ta'ala, patience, firmness, sincerity and honesty.

In his presidential remarks, Dr. Hamidullah stressed the need for the Muslims to strengthen their relationship with the Quran and Sunnah and to treat them as the first and foremost source of inspiration in their daily lives. He also made earnest appeal to them for making a sincere effort to develop the understanding of the Holy Qur'an and for seeking guidance in each sphere of life from this greatest book of the hidayah.
Zafarul Islam Islahi, AMU

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