IMO News Service
Dhaka, Bangladesh: On the occasion of the commemoration of the 966th demise anniversary of Abu Rayhan Biruni, one of the greatest Iranian scholars, scientists, mathematicians, philosophers, historians, and linguists, Abu Rayhan Biruni Foundation (ARBF), Dhaka organized the 3rd Biruni Interdisciplinary International Conference on the contribution of Muslim Scholars to Science, Philosophy, Religion, and Literature from 10 to 12 December 2015 at Recreation Lounge, Fars Hotel and Restaurant, 212 Shahid Syed Nazrul Islam Sarani, Purana Paltan, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh, says a press release.
The inaugural ceremony of the conference was held at 10 am on Thursday, 10 December, 2015, at the Lounge.
Professor Dr. Ali Asghar Rostami Abousaidi, Chancellor, Payam-e Nur University, Tehran and former Deputy Minister for Science, Islamic Republic of Iran was present in the event as the Chief Guest.
Dr Bruce B Lawrence, Professor Emeritus, Duke University, USA and internationally renowned Al-Biruni and Islamic Studies scholar enlightened the occasion as keynote speaker.
In addition, Professor Victor Shaw from California State University, USA and Professor Yang Lee of Gyeongsang National University, Korea provided their keynote speeches in the prestigious conference of our conference. Besides, eminent scholars and distinguished guests from home and abroad graced the occasion with their invaluable presentations.
The inaugural session was presided over by Dr. Abu Musa Mohammad Arif Billah, Chairman of the foundation and Associate Professor of the Department of Persian Language and Literature, University of Dhaka.
Earlier considering the backwardness of contemporary Muslim scholars in the fields of scientific, philosophical, religious and literary studies as well as persisting conflicts among various groups of people throughout the world, the foundation announced the first International Interdisciplinary Conference on the Contribution of Muslim Scholars to Science, Philosophy, Religion and Literature, bringing noted scholars home and abroad.
Abu Rayhan Biruni was born on 5 September 973 AD in Kath in the region of Khawarizm of what was then Iran (nowadays Uzbekistan) and died on 13th December 1048 AD in the city of Ghazni, the capital city of the Ghaznavid ruler. He was a visionary and highly renowned philosopher and scientist. He contributed to the fields of science, philosophy, history, literature, culture, religion and society. His generous views and extensive efforts contributed to the historical, philosophical, scientific and inter-cultural development of a world marked by intellectuality and humanism as well as coexistence and peace. Muslim contributions to the field of science, philosophy, religion and literature are an indisputable universal truth.
The emergence of Islam with the verses of the Holy Quran and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) glorified the process of the development of Arabic Literary tradition. Hence, the traditions of Tafsir, Hadith, Fiqh, Tarikh emerged significantly during the early period of Islam. Refinement of the Persian literary tradition in Iran and its impact on the languages and culture of the Indo-Pak-Bangladesh Sub-continent is another important development.
Al-Quran itself bears unbound appeal to the study of science, philosophy, history, religion, culture in numerous verses. Quranic cosmology regarding the movement of earth and the sun is far beyond the human imagination – ‘Each, floating (moving with balance) in an orbit [36:40]’; and ‘Travel throughout the earth and observe the consequences of the people who lived [here] before [30:42]’ depict a clear convergence of scientific, historic and social knowledge.
Muslim philosophers and scientists not only contributed to several fields but also acted as a bridge between the eastern and western civilizations. Biruni is the best example of this trend as he translated much matters of Indian science, philosophy and religion into Arabic and many of the Greek philosophy and scientific contents into Sanskrit. It can be stated that there was a huge development in the fields of Science, Philosophy, Religion and Literature during the medieval period – from the seventh to sixteenth century. Hence, it will not be too much to claim that the foundation of modern science and philosophy was laid by the contribution of Muslim scholars from the medieval period.
But, today, unfortunately, contemporary people, especially Muslims, are not aware of their glorious past and they seem to be dependent on the western system of education. The universities, colleges and other educational institutions has been established during the colonial period and follow the colonial and imperialistic system of education which has a dangerous setback that our people do not know their own, the glorious history of the foundation and expansion of Human knowledge and social morals and obligations.
Unless and until the Muslims of the world come forward to try to regain their lost identity by repelling backwardness as well as all the existing adversities persisting within themselves and their society. It is also time for us to reconsider our ongoing visions and missions, which are fully contaminated by the deceptive plans of the Satanic powers, that we should fight each other in the name of Shia and Sunni, or Salafi and Wahhabi and so on or we should have to be united to make a strong Muslim Ummah with the spirit of Islam, leaving aside the sectorial or cynical divisions.
Thus, it is time for academics, researchers and literati as well as scholars to step forward to address these issues with the spirit of responsibility, sincerity and finally of the aspiration towards prevailing harmony and knowledge, peace and sustainable development, considering the fragile security and safety conditions of the contemporary world in general and of the Muslim world in particular.
The proposed conference is interdisciplinary in format and will provide scope for writers, researchers and academics to come up with resourceful papers, recommendations and suggestions. This effort will help the people, especially those involved in ruling the countries in question, as well as the international community in general, to understand the contemporary situation and find a way forward to get rid of it.
It is hoped that researchers, professors, teachers as well as outstanding research students from all over the world, especially from Europe, America, Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, will participate in this interdisciplinary congress by sending their abstracts and papers in advance as well as by presenting them for the benefit of the audience in attendance.