A Conversation with Renowned Thinker and Head of Chair in Islamic Studies, Yenepoya University
Dr. Javed Jamil is an internationally renowned thinker, Islamic Scholar and writer. He has authored 18 books and many hundred articles on various national and international forums. Yenepoya University, Mangalore, Karnataka has recently appointed him Chair in Islamic Studies and Research. On one hand he has launched a ideological attack on the scientific and social philosophies of the New World Order and their devastating impact on humanity and is presenting alternate Islamic paradigms; On the other hand, he is busy preparing plans for extensive empowerment of Muslims in India. His concerns are the people of the world His works cover a long range of fields, from medicine to religion, social issues including economics, current affairs, physics, political science, philosophy, literature (Urdu poetry) and planning.
When President Obama after his election delivered his speech to the Muslim World and an organization was summoned to the views of 100 prominent world Muslims, Dr. Jamil was the only Muslim analyst from Indian subcontinent invited by the American organization, to give his views. He was also the only Indian scholar invited in the Third International Conference on Islamic Media jointly hosted by WML, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Govt. Of Indonesia at Jakarta in 2013. In 2016, he was elected India’s Muslim Man of the Year by the popular News magazine Muslim Mirror.
Oracle Opinions had a conversation with him on his new role, his future plans and his thoughts on some other issues:
Q: Before you joined the Yenepoya University, few people outside Karnataka knew about this University, Now obviously people want to know about this institution. Tell us briefly about it.
A. Frankly speaking, even I did not know much about this University when the suggestion was made to me and I was reluctant to join. But when I was invited to visit the institution, I was deeply moved by its academic and research environment. It has definitely seen much better than the minority institutions in Northern India. Its Vice Chancellor, Prof. (Dr) Vijayakumar is a highly reputed Cancer Surgeon. The Registrar and the Faculty are equally well qualified.
Yenepoya University was founded by Late Moideen Kunhi who was the Chairman of The Yenepoya Group of Companies, a business association with a plethora of diversified business and service organizations. His son Abdullah Kunhi is the current Chancellor of the University. He was the first to make a film in the field of education with the setting up of medical, dental, nursing and physiotherapy colleges of high standard. He was emboldened by the overwhelming positive response of the community and the students, the management perceived a need to develop into a University, where autonomy and self reliance would be placed on the global map and internally to excelence higher levels of them. The Yenepoya University is the first private university in the District of South Kannada (South Canara). It is already being rated
Q. What was the basic purpose behind the establishment of the chair?
A. The primary objective of the chair is to enrich the academic resources of the university system for a deeper reflection on critical issues and to promote and facilitate insightful thinking on all issues with focus on knowledge generation with an inter-disciplinary perspective.
Q. You are widely known as one who has almost single-handedly pursued Applied Studies of Islam in an entirely different kind of style. We will like to know about your ideas.
A. Islam clearly lays down the principle that all developments should be done to ensure health, family peace and social order. Islam also clarifies the principles in different fields. After critically analyzing the developments and programs, endeavours should be made to develop alternative paradigms with Islamic teachings.
This study of all developments in the light of Islam and proposing of alternate paradigms is what I call Applied Islamics. Islamic scholars have time and again tried it but there is not a well-defined broad discipline of social and natural sciences. I have been trying to introduce and popularize Applied Studies of Islam in the last few years. My works “Islamic Model of Family Welfare.”, “Islamic Model for Control of AIDS”,
What is to be stressed here is that it is the new sciences and new developments that are to be studied in the light of Islam and according to the revised Islamic studies of the modern developments. Unfortunately, most Islamic scholars who have been working in these fields have been sticking to the latter approach. I want to reverse this approach It is not that modern principles are to be introduced in Islamic scholars but Islamic scientists are to be introduced. To do this work, however, requires full understanding of modern science. Applied Islamics have numerable branches but the most important are: Islamic Sociology, Islamic Economics or Peace Economics, Islamic Law, Islamic Health Sciences, Islamic Physics, Spiritual Science,History from Islamic perspective, Politics in Islamic perspective, Culture in Islamic perspective, International relations in Islamic perspective, Literature in Islamic perspective ,Therapeutic Sociology, Criminology, etc. Even researches in advanced fields like Biosciences, Genetics, Neurosciences, etc. can be planned.
Q: What are your future plans as Chair?
A. Hopefully, Yenepoya University will take a lead in the establishment of Applied Islamics as a full-fledged Islamic discipline. We are working at three levels. First is to conduct research in various fields of Applied Islamics including Health, Economics, Law, Sociology and Natural Sciences. Applied Islamics including Certificate, Diploma and Masters. To develop a clean, healthier and peaceful world. We will soon be holding a national conference on “Building an all-religion alliance for healthy living” and an International Conference on “Applied Islamics”. Insha Allah
Q. What are your personal goals?
A. Hopefully, I can bring all religions on a common platform against the global world system where morality and social values have been sacrificed for Economics. My mission is to build a global, intellectual and social movement for a cleaner, healthier and more peaceful world. I feel India can take a lead in this direction, If the religious identity of the ground on each other is fighting instead of the common ethical and social values. My ultimate ambition is to establish an International Institute / Center or University for the Applied Islamics.
Q. Your work, “Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination and Empowerment” has been a very talked about in recent years. What progress do you see on the Muslim Empowerment in India?
A. Yes, that work created huge interest for the first time a comprehensive Muslim vision and roadmap for empowerment presented with almost nothing uncovered. For the first time, the focus shifted from academic empowerment to holistic empowerment including social, ideological, economic and political empowerment. It encourages people and organizations to think about new strategies. I wanted the creation of an all-India organization to coordinate and monitor empowerment in all the fields. Unfortunately, this has not yet taken a shape. But I hope for best.
Q. Your theory of “Economic Fundamentalism” has become very popular and people are taking great interest in it. Tell us about it
A. Economic Fundamentalism tells that economics rather than anything else that rules the modern world with economics taking preponderance over everything else and Economics Forces of economics of interest. To sum up the various strategies adopted by the forces of economics, I would like to quote from my own book:
“The rise and growth of economic fundamentalism has been, from historical standards, rather rapidly taking some centuries .The think-tank of the world’s economic fundamentalism has taken numerous steps to strengthen their hold. Statue of Liberty they have transformed through political institutions. They are incessantly and relentlessly trying to organize a grand farewell for religion. They have been captivated. They have got the attire of society redesigned so that it looks gorgeous and inviting to their eyes. They have been industrializing sex, in which they have discovered the horns. They have relocated the entire educational set-up on the Wall Street. They have nipped all the challenges in the buds by masterminding popular movements. They have lynched ‘civilization’, which has given a new incarnation; And now Bohemians are called civilized. Last but not the least, they have been busy colonizing the good earth in the name of globalization.
Thank you, Dr.Jamil and wish you all the best!