Thursday, March 4, 2010

Excerpts from the seminar on Islamicjerusalem studies by Frof Dr Abd Fattah M El-Awaisi

Prof Dr Abd Fattah M. El-Awaisi

Prof Dr Abd Fattah M El-Awaisi (standing), Dr Khalid El-Awaisi dan Dr Maher Abu Munshar
with forum moderator

Group photo


Dikongsikan seminar yang disampaikan oleh Prof Dr Abd Fattah M. Awaisi daripada Islamicjerusalem Studies, Academy for Islamicjerusalem Studies, Scotland, UK

Hafidzi MN


Excerpts from the Seminar by Prof Dr Abd Fattah M. El-Awaisi at Akademi Islam, Universiti Malaya delivered in the ‘One Day Seminar on IslamicJerusalem Studies’ on 4th March 2010

The idea for Islamicjerusalem and Islamicjerusalem studies started in 1994 with the establishment of ISRA (Islamic Research Academy). The following is the brief chronology that lead to the establishment of Islamicjerusalem studies graduate programme at the prestigious Univ of Aberdeen Scotland in September/October 2005

1994 ISRA

1997 Conferences and journal

1999 Scholarships at UK universities

2001 Creating a Centre

- Chair in islamicjerusalem Studies

- Teaching at Postgraduate level

Prof Abd Fattah stressed on the importance of barakah. When you work for Baitulmaqdis you’ll get the baraqah of that place. Those who support the cause will get the baraqah (physical and spiritual baraqah). You can experience the baraqah in your personal life, family life. The baraqah of Allah SWT.

He said what prompted him to undertake the challenge of developing Islamicjerusalem studies is Intellectually there is a dearth of research done by muslim in this field (Islamic jarusalem studies). On the contrary there has been an immense Israeli work and orientalist studies on Jarusalem but not by muslims. For instance the Israelis have been debating whether it was Amr bin Al-As or Umar who opened Jarusalem. (The Arabs have been taking for granted that it was Umar who opened Jerusalem since they do not make a distinction between Amr ‘ and Umr’..) Therefore If you need to debate with others you have to have to do it from the intellectual and academic angle. No doubt the Israelis and orientalist has done a lot of work in this area to serve their own interest.

Prof Dr Abd Fattah also disclosed that recently a group of Israeli scholars revealed that they did not discover anything jewish in the vicinity of the al-Aqsa mosque, showing the importance of knowledge to lay claims or counter claims on the ownership of the site on which the foundation of al-Aqsa mosque rests.

Why is it Islamicjerusalem studies was established in the UK and not in the muslim countries. UK is responsible for establishing the jewish state. (for the sake of the British interest in the region). Therefore choosing the place was not by chance, it was by design.

Prof Dr Abd Fattah spelled out the philosophy of this field – nothing is impossible (everything is possible). He related how he started with a humble 75 pound sterling from his own children savings when he first started. Now he reckoned Islamicjerusalem studies have spent in the region of 1 million pounds a year for the past 15 years, sponsoring students, holding conferences, publishing books, producing Masters and PhD students from many countries.

Since 1994 – has produced 50 Masters students, 10 Phd students, 13 conferences, a journal published since 1994. Allah SWT grant you with immense power when you have the vision. Money is important but it is not the primary impotant factor. You must have the will and the vision for people to have complete trust and share in your aspirations.

Allah create us for the imarah. (building). When you build for this life you are building for the afterlife. If your intention is for the sake of Allah, you’ll get the reward in the life and the next. That’s the imarah of this life. (There is nothing impossible).

The policies of this field

- We need to create the action and not to react to others (which have been the trademark of muslims down the ages in the field of intellectual discourses). We have to move away from reactionist to doing things and let others react to us. Try to be innovative. Create something from nothing. For instance we challenge them with the term ‘Islamicjerusalem’ (one word). Others claim this is wrong, since it has to be 2 words. Challenge them.

- We are not politicians. Politics and academics must be separated but they must cooperate. You have to be independent. Orientalist becomes very successful because of the link between knowledge and power. They must complement each other rather than working for one another.


Is a new terminology for a new concept, Which may be translated into the Arabic language as Bayt al-Maqdis. It can be fairly and eventually characterized and defined as a unique rigeon laden with a rich historical background, religious significances, cultural attachments, competing political and religious claims, international interests and various aspects that affect the rest of the world in both historical and contemporary contexts. It has a central frame of reference and a vital nature with three prinbcipal intertwined elements: its geographical location (land and boundaries), its people (population) and its unique and creative inclusive vision, to administrate that land and its people, as a model of multiculturalism.


Interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary

After 15 years in the UK, requires a new strategy for the future. The plan to establish this field in the muslim countries. Prof Dr Abd Fattah is very hopeful that Universiti Malaya for this endeavour.

He concluded by saying that it is a unique research field and it can generate a lot of research interest spanning many multidisciplinary areas.

Dilaporkan oleh Dr Hafidzi Mohd Noor



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