THE INSTITUTE OF ISLAMIC & ARAB STUDIES
Cultural bridge between India and the Arab World
The Institute of Islamic & Arab Studies, New Delhi, organized an impressive academic seminar on the Question of Palestine and Jerusalem during 13-14 June 1998 to observe the 50th anniversary of the usurpation of Palestine and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Institute's establishment.
Prominent Indian and Arab academic, social and political figures attended this seminar. A selection of the seminar papers will be published as a special issue of the Journal of Islamic History for wider benefit throughout the world.
On the occasion of the seminar, the Institute also released Palestine Documents, the first documentary record of the Palestinian Question in English language. The Institute had been working on this project since 1993. This work has been hailed as a great contribution to the Middle Eastern studies and a basic tool for the researchers and students of the Palestinian Question.
The Institute of Islamic & Arab Studies was established in the Indian capital in January 1988 as an Islamic academic institution active, in particular, as a connecting bridge with the Arab World.
In addition to its Arabic, English and Urdu publications, the institute publishes two highly respected journals, Muslim & Arab Perspectives (MAP) in English, and Journal of Islamic History / Majalla al-Tarikh al-Islami in English and Arabic. The former is being published since 1993 and the latter since 1995. Both enjoy great respect worldwide and are abstracted in international abstract journals. A special feature of MAP is that each issue normally focuses on a certain theme. Palestine, Israeli terrorism, Jerusalem, Indian Muslims, Christian mission, Islam & environment, and Islamic economics & finance have been some previous themes.
The institute is headed by Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, one of the most reputed Muslim scholars and writers in the World of Islam today. He writes in Arabic, English and Urdu with equal fluency and has deeply imbibed the best of both the Islamic and western traditions of thought and culture. After his initial education in India, he studied in Egypt and completed his PhD at the University of Manchester.
After spending close to two decades in the Arab World and the UK he returned to India in 1984 and helped the establishment of this institute. Dr Khan's works started appearing since 1968 and have been published by reputed publishers in Cairo, Beirut, London and Delhi. Some of his books have also been translated into other languages like Turkish and Bhasa Indonesia. Dr Khan is reputed to be the best non-Arab writer in Arabic today. He forcefully calls for the opening of the gates of ijtihad (shut a millennium ago) to solve Muslim problems. He believes that the only invariables in Islam are the basic beliefs ('aqa'id) and the forms of rituals (ibadat). The Muslim Ummah must get rid of the divisive and crippling fiqhi baggage.
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