HEC curtailing funds for Islamic studies, complains professor

Karachi: The basic purpose of social sciences is to promote critical and analytical thinking in a society to seek excellence in the world of knowledge, said Dr. Noman ul Haq, Professor, Institute of Business Administration, talking on “A study of early Islamic History: Methodology of Research and Teaching in Western Academia” under the Distinguished Lecture Series, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Karachi at the Arts Auditorium on Thursday.

He said we have neglected linguistics and language education. Neutrality and biasness is highly imperative with regard to Islamic Studies.

He added that one must differentiate between conventional and real neutrality. He lamented that Higher Education Commission, Islamabad, was discouraging the field of social sciences by curtailing their funding which is not a good omen.

Some subjects of social sciences like sociology and anthropology are considered “soft” or “feminist” subjects. We must try to prevent such type of a policy followed by the HEC.

He further added that Al-Azhar University, Cairo was under political influence so it has lost its importance and credibility. But there are some distinguished institutions in Iran as far as Islamic Studies is concerned which are doing path breaking research in the field of Islamic History.

The Dean Faculty of Social Sciences in his concluding address said that we need to decide whether we adhere to “Ijtihad” or “Taqleed” as the latter concept calls for unquestioned acceptance and is contrary to reasoning.

He also emphasized to promote the culture of enlightenment, reading, innovation and research in Muslim societies. He particularly advised students to study history and other subjects of social sciences with an open mind so that they follow an analytical, critical and creative approach on important issues.

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