The Centre for the Study of the Philosophy of Islamic Law (Maqāṣid Centre) participated in the international conference titled “The State: between Tradition and Future”, organised by The Istanbul Foundation for Research and Education (ISAR), in collaboration with Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation, the National Association for Studies and Research, the Syrian Business Forum and the Üsküdar Municipality. The conference took place in Istanbul, at the conference hall of the Cultural Centre of Usküdar Municipality on 20-21 December 2013.
The timing and place of this academic event reflects the real need for implementing the standard theories concerning the state in real life, so that they may meet peoples’ inspirations for developing their state systems, constitutions, authorities and institutions, in order to keep abreast with the great changes in today’s world. The conference endeavoured to discuss other pressing contemporary issues, using an academic and accessible approach.
The opening session began with a welcome speech from Dr Recep Şenturk, the Director of ISAR, in which he explained the aim of the conference and introduced ISAR and its mission of culture and civilisation. He was followed by Dr. Mahmud Misri, lecturer in Islamic Studies at the Centre for Islamic Research (ISAM), and other representatives of the institutions which collaborated in organising the conference, including the National Institution for Research and Studies NASR, the Syrian Business Forum and the Üsküdar Municipality.
Mr. Sali Shahsivari, the Managing Director of Al-Furqān, started his speech welcoming the attendants. He praised the efforts of all five entities in organising this academic event, which deals with such a vast and complicated topic in the shade of current events in the Islamic arena.
He emphasised the need for thorough investigation of the topic utilising, a comprehensive and analytical approach, in order to cover its various aspects and provide an insight into the challenges facing people.
In conclusion, Mr. Shahsivari stated that Al-Furqān’s effective contribution to this academic event, aims to provide the maqāṣid dimension, within an Islamic perspective, which itself is connected to its roots, whilst maintaining a relevance to our time.
The conference was attended by a large number of scholars from Turkey, USA. Russia, Japan, Philippines, India, Syria, Egypt, Qatar, Jordan, Sudan, Iraq, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Azerbaijan.
There were 16 conference sessions, each consisting of 3 lectures. The sessions focused on the following themes: Politics and Islamic disciplines; State between theory and practice; the Sunnah and politics; problems of nation-states, the State and its elements; religion, politics, political multiplicity and rights; security and social networking; the modern state and political legitimacy; political thinking in the East and the West; Maqāṣid, politics and state transformation; State, identity, authority limits and crises; Ottoman political traditions. Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation, contributed with one session of three lectures: Dr. Abd al-Majid al-Najjar’s lecture on “The relation between ijmaʿ and parliaments”; Dr. Ahmad al-Raisouni’s on “The state in Islam: between the maqāṣid’s logic and the means logic”, the third lecture was on “Maqāṣid insight in the jurisprudence of the three authorities: legislative, judicial and executive”, by Dr. Abd al-Nur Baza.
The participants used Arabic, English and Turkish in their interventions. In the concluding session, the representatives of the three institutions delivered speeches of thanks.
A significant outcome of such a successful conference was the celebration of signing an agreement of mutual co-operation between Al-Furqān Islamic Heritage Foundation and Istanbul Foundation for Research and Education (ISAR), on the organisation of joint activities such as courses, conferences and seminars.