The Islamic community during this period lived peacefully with other non-Islamic communities in the spirit of tolerance and harmony. This resulted in the creation of a harmonious environment, which in turn made it possible for the growth and development of the knowledge-seeking process.
“Through collaboration and peaceful co-existence, the Andalusian Islamic community was inclined towards developing and enhancing Islam in various fields of knowledge,” said USM Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Tan Sri Dato’ Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, in his keynote address ‘Pengalaman Andalusia’ (‘Andalusian Experience’) at the ASEAN Seminar on the Andalusian Civilization today.
He added that knowledge, in all its forms was valued highly and this contributed towards the growth and development of knowledge.
“Knowledge was valued highly and given due importance and we know this because during this period, if any book was translated, the payment was in gold, equal in weight to that of the book translated. If the task of translating scholarly texts was highly regarded, what more those who produced new knowledge"? It is very unfortunate that this situation has not prevailed. Consequently, many scholarly texts have been monopolized by one language. Ultimately this means that we are left behind, not just in terms of knowledge but also in the development of our language,” he said.
Prof. Tan Sri Dato’ Dzulkifli also referred to ‘The Ambassador’, a painting by Renaissance icon, Hans Hobein as an example. According to him, this painting is proof of the glory of the Andalusian Civilization as it depicts objects that were invented by Islamic scholars in Andalusia.
“It is clear that the painting depicts objects like tools for astronomy, musical instruments and others that can be linked to the Islamic civilization in Andalusia. This shows that the discoveries made during this period were accepted by the Europeans,” he added.
During the same function, Prof. Tan Sri Dato’ Dzulkifli also launched the latest book published by the USM Islamic Centre titled ‘The Influence of the Al-Quran on the Intellectual Culture of Andalusia’. The book is based on the thesis written by Haji Mohd Zamrus Hj. Mohd Ali, Coordinator, Philosophy and Islamic Science, Secretariat, USM.
More than 100 local and international participants attended the two-day seminar that commenced today.
Also present at the event were Puan Sri Datin Masrah Hj. Abidin, the Vice-Chancellor’s wife; Prof. Dato’ Dr. Mahmood Zuhdi Hj. Abd Majid, the Deputy Dean of the International Institute of Islamic Civilization and Thinking, International Islamic University; Haji Abd. Rashid Ngah, Director of the Islamic Education Division, Ministry of Education Malaysia; and Assoc. Prof. Hj. Nasirun Hj Mohd Salleh, the Director of the USM Islamic Centre.