Ministry of Culture Holds Seminar on Influence of Islamic Civilization on Humanity
Doha, September 26 (QNA) - The Ministry of Culture held an intellectual seminar on the influence of Islamic civilization on humanity this evening, in conjunction with Qatar hosting the 12th conference of culture ministers from the Islamic world, organized by the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) over a two-day period.
Participating in the seminar were HE Dr. Aisha bint Yousuf Al Mannai, who is the Director of the Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Thani Center for Muslim Contribution to Civilization at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, and the Tunisian writer and academic, Dr. Nizar Shaqroun.
During her presentation at the seminar, Director of the Culture and Arts Department at the Ministry of Culture Mariam Yassin Al-Hamadi explained that they aim to provide a profound intellectual approach to the reasons behind the cultural leadership achieved by Islamic culture in the past. They also aim to explore the obstacles that have hindered Islamic culture from making an active contribution to the humanitarian renaissance and the universal cultural renewal witnessed over the past two centuries.
Dr. Al Mannai emphasized that Islamic civilization views humanity as originating from a common source, which is expressed in Quranic verses and Prophetic Hadiths. She pointed out that Islamic civilization focuses on preserving the human being in body, mind, and spirit, whereas Western civilization primarily concerns itself with the body and mind, often neglecting the spiritual aspect.
She added that Islamic civilization succeeded in radiating its influence across various regions, adapting to diverse environments based on the principle of monotheism. It rapidly spread across the world in just 80 years, as it is based on equality among all humans and those subject to Islamic law. There is no distinction among people except in their piety. She highlighted that Islamic civilization is humane in its culture and is built on justice and freedom that do not contradict rights or the public interest.
She also stressed that Islamic civilization recognizes the other and their culture, which sets it apart from other civilizations. It believes in diversity and the freedom to differ, leaving the matter of the individual's relationship with their Creator, who commands them to invite to His religion with wisdom and good preaching. She affirmed that it is the only identity capable of opening the door to creativity, movement, action, and striving against wrongdoing.
Dr. Al Mannai discussed the contributions of Islamic civilization to human thought and the humanities, emphasizing that Islam advocates the pursuit of knowledge within the framework of ethics and values. She cited numerous examples of Islamic scholars whose contributions had a significant impact on human civilization.
Additionally, the Director of the Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Thani Center for Muslim Contributions to Civilization at Hamad Bin Khalifa University discussed the efforts of the center in promoting awareness of the civilizational contributions of Muslim scholars through publications, translations, and other means.
Dr. Shaqroun's talk meanwhile focused on the reasons for considering renewal and whether moving in its direction necessarily implies an acknowledgment of a crisis in our cultural discourse, thinking, and practices. He pointed out that various civilizations throughout history have faced the issue of renewal, just as they have confronted political, economic, and social challenges. This confrontation is not just an indicator of consecutive crises but rather a sign that civilizations are compelled to undergo transformations to sustain themselves and their continuity.
He added that the Arab-Islamic cultural history has witnessed numerous crises, and it continues to grapple with them in various forms. He also noted that the question of renewal has accompanied this history, marking its turning points and key junctures that require further reflection, scrutiny, analysis, and dissection. He emphasized that what matters in returning to history is examining those engines that have shaped the structure of thought over centuries and endowed our Arab-Islamic culture with the capacity for renewal.
During his participation, Shaqroun highlighted the efforts and contributions of Islamic civilization across different Islamic eras in the fields of sciences, arts, and literature. In the Islamic world, the treasury served as a repository of knowledge, and the emphasis on the treasury was a way to elevate the status of books in the culture. He noted that the Islamic treasury was not just a repository preserving the knowledge heritage of other nations; it also became a hub for scholarly debates.
He stressed that renewal can only be achieved by encouraging the revival of treasury thought in its most evolved forms today, which includes the revival of national libraries, public libraries, and private libraries in their roles as centers of intellectual radiation and incubators for thinkers and scholars in various fields.
He said that if the treasury is considered a fundamental engine in the revival of civilization and one of the factors influencing human civilization, then the key to this treasury is, in turn, one of the essential engines. He added that this key is nothing but thought, which engages in reading, understanding, and renewing the treasures of the treasury and constructs concepts according to the needs of the era.
The seminar witnessed extensive discussions on the topic, with prominent intellectuals participating. Among them, Dr. Hassan Al Naama, a poet, emphasized that the flourishing Islamic civilization today requires building upon the achievements of the past. He affirmed that Doha's hosting of the conference of culture ministers from the Islamic world is part of this active movement, where they seek to renew cultural thought, leading Islamic civilization back to revival and prominence. (QNA)