First Advisory council meeting of International Centre for Spiritual Studies, IUST held
International Centre for Spiritual Studies, IUST held the first meeting of its Advisory Council today on
Srinagar 30th August 2022. The Council has members from different corners of the world that include Prof. Sara Kuehn (Department of Islamic Theology, University of Vienna), Dr Mustafa Ceric (Grand Mufti Emeritus of Bosnia), Prof M D Tiwari (Professor of Philosophy, Banaras Hindu University), Prof Ghulam Yahya Anjum (Prof Department of Islamic Studies Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi) and Prof. G N Khaki (Centre for Shaikh ul Alam Studies, University of Kashmir). The meeting held under the chairmanship of Prof. Shakil A Romshoo (Vice Chancellor, IUST) was conducted in the hybrid mode.
The internal members of the council include Prof Manzoor A Malik (DAA IUST), Prof Ayaz Hassan Moon (Dean Research, IUST), Prof Naseer Iqbal (Registrar, IUST), Dr Munejah Khan (Associate Dean School of Humanities and Social Sciences, IUST), Prof Lily Want (Director Averroes Centre for Philosophical Studies, IUST), Prof Hamidullah Marazzi (Director International Centre for Spiritual Studies, IUST), Dr Iqbal Qureshi (Former Head of ICSS, IUST), Dr Afroz Ahmad Bisati (Head, Department of Islamic Studies, IUST), Prof Mohmad Amin Pirzada (Director, Mantaqi Centre for Science & Society) and Prof Tayyib Kamili (Former Head, Department of Islamic Studies, ICSS).
Welcoming the experts, Prof Hamidullah Marazzi ( Director ICSS) said “The centre aims to inculcate moral and spiritual values amongst the students in a true sense and encourage research on diverse themes related to spirituality”. Sharing a presentation, Prof. Marazzi said, “The Centre in this regard envisions creating a model whereby the moral and spiritual values would be accommodated in the curriculum for promoting an integral concept of education to be offered by the University to the students”.
Welcoming the experts, Prof Hamidullah Marazi (Director ICSS) said “The centre aims to inculcate moral and spiritual values amongst the students in a true sense and encourage research on diverse themes related to spirituality”. Sharing a presentation on the Centre, Prof. Marazzi said, “The Centre envisions creating a model whereby the moral and spiritual values would be accommodated in the curriculum for promoting an integral concept of education to be offered by the University to the students”. He also mentioned that ICSS wants to establish a translation cum publication bureau to translate and publish manuscripts on spirituality into different languages and disseminate awareness about spiritual values and personages through different media,
Prof Romshoo emphasised that the research centres should take up the relevant research projects and start developing networks and work on collaborative projects at regional, national and international levels. Prof. Naseer Iqbal assured all the possible support to the research centre in their research and academic programs.
Mentioning Kashmir as a place of Sufi saints and spiritual place, Prof. G A Anjum said, “The history of Sufism in Kashmir is spread over a long period. Several great Sufis have lived on this land and have their shrines too. Prof.A .H Moon emphasized the need of developing a digital repository of books and other literature related to spirituality with a special focus on developing online literary resources on Kashmir Sufism. Prof Lily Want recommended a multidisciplinary approach for the centre and suggested development of collaborative programs at the centre. Dr Munejah Khan proposed to create a translation centre on the campus, and that could be a great help in promoting and preserving literary resources in English and other languages.
Quoting Imam Ghazali, Mustafa Ceric said that there is an urgent need of educating the soul and spirit of individuals along with the education of minds. Sara Kuehn expressed her optimism that the western world is seeking spiritual inspiration from the East. M D Thomas stressed that all religions should be looked at through a large prism of spirituality, and for this understanding spirituality is crucial. Prof. N D Tiwari laid emphasis on searching for a common spiritual core and working on the spiritual themes in a comparative perspective. All the experts appreciated the University for creating this Centre which holds great hope for the rejuvenation of the moral and spiritual values which are direly needed amidst the moral crises in the present-day world.