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Solution to world problems possible through ijtehad only

New Delhi: Chairman of Institute of Objective Studies (IOS), Dr. Manzoor Alam said while talking to mediapersons that the solution to challenges and problems being faced by the world can be found through deep study of Qur'an and Hadith, and this is possible only through ijtehad i.e., proper interpretation of Qur'anic commands, verses etc. but, he said, in today's times of 'knowledge explosion' this task can be better performed by collective efforts, rather than by individual efforts. He said that God has not made the world static but mutative and changing and consequently, with changing times, new problems and requirements also crop up and will continue to crop up. Now we cannot approach any prophet to seek guidance or solution of our problems and difficulties but yes, solutions lie in Qur'an and Hadiths of Prophet (Peace be upon him) which can be found by deeply studying and correctly understanding them. He said that in today's world science and knowledge have become so exhaustive and complicated that it is not possible for a single intellectual or scholar to master all fields of knowledge. Hence the intellectuals, ulama and experts should jointly perform the task of ijtehaad. It should be clarified in this connection that ijtehaad too should be within the framework of Qur'an and hadiths, and not beyond their scope. In reply to a question as to how unanimous ijtehaad is possible when even on minor matters ulama and intellectuals seldom are unanimous and all hold different views, Dr. Alam said that conditions are changing and now ulama and intellectuals of different schools of thought have started coming together on one platform. Western educated people of modern outlook are developing the feeling of understanding religion and ulama too want to know and understand modern sciences. He further said that efforts being made by IOS in this connection have started bearing fruits. He said IOS which has completed 25 years of its existence, had organised an international conference on ijtehaad in its early years. He also said that Islam does not preach intellectual, physical, economic, social, educational, national, international or any other kind of slavery and considers man as the best and greatest of all God’s creations and men of the faith have been given the responsibility of liberating man of all kinds of slavery and present an alternative system under which every one should be able to decide whether he should lead his life according to the principles ordained by God or in his own misguided ways.

About his organisation, Alam said that IOS which was started on 13 April 1986 has now developed into a towering tree and in view of the review and research work it has done and is doing in different fields of life, it can undoubtedly be considered a valuable asset of the community and nation. He said that the information provided by IOS to Sachar Committee had played an important role in the preparation of its report. In addition to this, he said, bringing together ulama, experts and intellectuals on a single platform and laying down future strategy and action programme has been its fundamental objective.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 May 2011 on page no. 20

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