| Azaraimy HH |
TWO eminent scholars from abroad – Dr Tariq Ramadan, Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford and Dr Mesut Idriz, Professor of Comparative History of Civilisations, Law and Ethics, and Political Science, International University of Sarajevo – recently delivered a talk at the Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Advancement (ILIA), Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD).
In a media interview after the talk, Dr Tariq Ramadan urged Muslim students not to be afraid of making enquiries, even to the authorities.
According to him, it is an Islamic tradition to give room for people to ask questions and exercise critical thinking.
The professor was talking on the importance of allowing people to question certain policies (in a constructive way) and differentiate the dynamic relations between academia and a political power (political body) – where the academia will always want to ask questions and the political power will always want to control (through policies).
He added that if this was not the case, then it would be similar to imposing one’s opinion on others, which is not Islamic.
“This is why I always tell students – seek knowledge and be courageous in asking questions.”
He explained that during Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) time, a question came from the one of his companions regarding a battle strategy. The companion asked the Prophet whether the strategy was his own or Allah the Almighty’s, to which the Prophet said it was his own.
“Fast forward today, we don’t even ask questions to the authorities – that’s not right.”
Dr Tariq Ramadan is an eminent visiting professor at the Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Centre for Islamic Studies (SOASCIS) in UBD since 2013. He is currently a Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford (Oriental Institute, St Antony’s College). He also teaches at the Oxford Faculty of Theology.
He is also a visiting professor at the Faculty of Islamic Studies (Qatar) and the University of Malaysia Perlis, a Senior Research Fellow at Doshisha University (Kyoto, Japan) and a Director of the Research Centre of Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE) (Doha, Qatar).