The Integral Chairs

The Editorial Staff

The International Initiative for the Islamic Integral Professorial Chairs

The sciences of traditional Islamic knowledge are very poorly understood in the Islamic World, and taught only in selective, abbreviated versions. Fundamentalism increasingly rules the mosques while secular academic methodologies rule the institutes of learning in the Islamic World. Even in the West, though Muslims have donated hundreds of millions of dollars to create professorial chairs and academic centres in leading western universities, these chairs and centres are invariably run or occupied by non-Muslims (or secular Muslims), and so the centres and chairs–funded by Muslims!–wind up being hostile, or at least unhelpful, to traditional Islam. This situation is leading to intellectual and spiritual impoverishment in the Islamic World, a rise in fundamentalism, and ironically, at the same time, a rise in secularism.

The purpose of this initiative is to restore knowledge and teaching of traditional Islamic orthodox high culture and scholarship in philosophy, theology, mysticism, jurisprudence, Qur’anic exegesis, sociology, history and Arabic language and grammar in the Islamic World in combination with traditional Islamic teaching and preaching methods. The goal of this initiative is to set up around 50 Integral Chairs in the Islamic World each as a waqf (religious endowment) in mosques and universities combined, occupied by practicing Muslim scholars, and dedicated to the intellectual and spiritual legacy of the greatest Muslim scholars and sages. Thereafter, an international institute to connect and support their activities must be established.

The Integral Chairs project, the brainchild of H.R.H. Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, Chief Advisor for Religious and Cultural Affairs to H.M. King Abdullah II, was officially launched on January 30, 2012 in honour of the 50th birthday of H.M. King Abdullah II ibn Al-Hussein (p. 41), under whose name the waqfs for the first two chairs were established. The first chair, The Integral Chair for the Study of Imam Al-Ghazali’s Work at the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque and Al-Quds University formally launched in January 2013 with Professor Mustafa Abu Sway (p. <?>) as the first Integral Chair along with an Academic Board that consisted of H.R.H. Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, H.E. Sheikh Ali Gomaa (p. 57), H.E. Sheikh Dr Muhammad Said Al-Bouti (p. 172), Habib Omar bin Hafiz (p. 85), Habib Ali Al-Jifri (p. 88), and others. For further information see www.rissc.jo.

 

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