Dr. Halimah Ali, Chairman of the
National Organising Committee
Event: at the Opening Ceremony of the
17th IAS Science Conference by His Royal Highness, the Sultan of Selangor
Date: 14th December 2009
Venue: Concorde Hotel, Shah Alam
1. His Royal Highness Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, the Sultan of Selangor, the Patron of the 17th IAS Science Conference
2. Rt. Hon. Tan Sri Dato’ Khalid Ibrahim Chief Minister of Selangor and Advisor to the NOC
3. HE Prof. Abdel Salem Majali President of Islamic World Academy of Sciences
4. Tan Sri, Tan Sri, Puan Sri , Puan Sri, Dato’ Dato’, Datin Paduka, Datin Paduka, Invited Speakers, Honoured Guests Ladies and Gentlemen
Assalamu’alaikum, and a very good morning
I am honoured to welcome His Royal Highness Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah His Royal Highness Sultan Selangor DE to the opening ceremony of the 17th IAS conference. I am also delighted to welcome the eminent scientists from the IAS, invited speakers and guests. On behalf of the organizing committee, I would like to thank His Royal Highness, the Sultan of Selangor for consenting to officiate the ceremony this morning. I would also like to welcome HE Dr. Osama Al Bar the Mayor of the Holy City of Mecca who has graciously joined us in this momentous event.
His Royal Highness, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The idea of organizing the 17th IAS conference in Shah Alam, Selangor came from Prof. Emeritus Abdul Latif from Unisel 15 months ago when he invited me to join him to participate in the 16th IAS Conference which was held in Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. Then he presented a paper on SELANGOR AS AN ISLAMIC CENTRE OF INDIGENOUS AND SCIENTIFIC BIOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT. After listening to his presentation, I was convinced that Selangor can play a bigger role as a centre for Islamic centre. Later he told me that he will propose to IAS General Meeting for Shah Alam to be the venue for the 17th Conference. I brought this idea to the Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim who then gave me his blessings to pursue the matter. So Prof Latif and I together with Puan Nadzirah from UNISEL embarked on a 24 hour-trip to Kazan. And with his diplomacy and charm, Prof Latif secured the approval of the General Assembly for Selangor to organize and host this conference.
HRH, Ladies and Gentlemen,
One of the distinctive features of Islam is its emphasis on knowledge, with the Book of Allah and His messenger’s practical example, referred to as the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah, respectively, as the main sources of information. The Holy Quran calls upon all Muslims to study the whole universe and everything between the heavens and the Earth, and to unravel the various natural phenomena and their activities, for such study can lead to the discovery of the majesty of the creation of ALLAH (SWT).
As stated in Surah Al Baqarah , Verse 164 which means:
“Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the benefit of mankind; in the rain which Allah Send down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth—(Here) indeed are Signs for a people that are wise.”
It is reported that the Messenger of Allah (SWT) peace be upon him to have once said,” Learning comprises treasure houses whose keys are queries.” Prophet Muhammad (SAW) encouraged the spirit of investigation and analysis of facts. One of the most inspiring Ayat (or verses) in the Holy Qur’an is the following:
“And He has subjected to you, as from Him, all that is in
the heavens and on earth: behold, in that are signs indeed
for those who reflect.” (Surah Al-Jathiyah Verse 13)
Reflection is a scientific spirit which leads to understanding and discoveries about the creation of Allah (SWT) who guides the efforts of the scientists to meaningful purposes. Rational thinking is emphasized throughout the Holy Qur’an. Repeatedly, the Qur’an calls the believer to do tadabbur (deliberate), to do tafakkur (tafkir or think), and ta’qqul (reason).
Islam has, from its inception, placed a high priority on education and Islam has enjoyed a long and rich intellectual tradition. The importance of education is repeatedly emphasized in the Holy Qur’an with frequent injunctions, such as “God will exalt those of you who believe and those who have knowledge to high degrees” (58:11), “O my Lord! Increase me in knowledge” (20:114), and “As God has taught him, so let him write” (2:282). Such verses provide a forceful stimulus for the Islamic community to strive for education and learning.
HRH, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The theme of this conference is ‘Towards the Knowledge Society in the Islamic World: Knowledge Production, Application and Dissemination.’ Looking at the list of papers to be presented, I believe that this conference will provide an opportunity for a meaningful and fruitful exchange of ideas.
HRH, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Many people have been involved in organizing this conference and a lot of effort, energy and sacrifice have been put to make the occasion a memorable and far-reaching experience that will benefit the UMMAH. To all of them, especially Prof Abdul Latif, I express my sincere appreciation and thanks. Before I end would like to remind us of the quotes by Ibnu Sina the inspiring Muslim physician, philosopher, astronomer, chemist, Hafiz, logician, mathematician, physicist, scientist and statesman who once said: “The knowledge of anything, since all things have causes, is not acquired or complete unless it is known by its causes.”
Again I would like to thank HRH the Sultan of Selangor for his support and his interest in the conference.