By Roshidi Abu Samah
DUTY: Scholars must promote Islamic environmental practices to youth
IPOH: MUSLIMS must re-discover their ability and passion for knowledge and innovation as successfully done by their predecessors.
Former Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Alwi Abdurrahman Shihab said the Muslim faith possessed a rich tradition in innovation and enterprise, and such legacy must be reclaimed by present-day Muslims.
"We need visionary and far-sighted leaders who are able to look beyond the future.
"At the same time, they must also be able to steer the nation towards a future movement, consistent with the doctrine of Tawhid (oneness of God)," he said in his keynote address at the closing of the World Conference on Islamic Thought and Civilisation (WCIT) 2012 here yesterday.
His keynote address, themed "Adaptations the Muslim Ummah Must Take to Sustain Human and Environmental Development".
Also present was Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.
Alwi said Muslims should take back science and put it within the matrix of the metaphysical principles of Islam.
"Just as the Islamic revelation determines the social and artistic life of the Muslim civilisation, it also gives direction to its understanding of the natural environment and its scientific study."
He said Islamic intellectuals and educators had the responsibility to educate the younger generation on how to treat nature as commanded by the religion.
Alwi also said that conferences such as the WCIT 2012 would achieve their objectives if efforts to educate the young, including students, on the proper way to deal with the environment, succeeds.
"The root of Islamic environmental practices are to be found in the Quran and the guidance (sunnah) of Prophet Muhammad.
"Islamic worldview is based on the belief in the existence of an all-powerful creator.
"Muslims picked up from Quran that God created the universe and every single atom and molecule it contains and that the laws of creation include the elements of order, balance and proportion," he added.
In his closing speech later, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said the aspects of managing Islamic affairs had become more challenging today.
He said it was due to the current challenges in demand, environment and the aspirations of the people who sought perfection.
"There are times when we need to change due to the changes in the surroundings and demands.
"If we don't change, we will be irrelevant; in other words, we will be left behind in all aspects of life."
A total of 227 working papers were tabled during the two-day conference which ended yesterday.