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COMSTECH Global Al-Farabi Forum to Celebrate 1150th Anniversary of Abu Nasr AL-Farabi


COMSTECH the OIC Ministerial Standing Committee for Scientific and Technological Cooperation and the Government of Kazakhstan 


The year 2020 is being celebrated internationally as the 1150th birth anniversary of the renowned Muslim philosopher and scientist Abu Nasr Al-Farabi. Al-Farabi holds the unique distinction of not only introducing and interpreting ancient Greek (Hellenistic) thought but of developing it much further, and laying the foundation of the philosophy of Ummah’s golden period. For his seminal and profound contribution in developing the foundation of Islamic philosophy Al-Farabi came to be known as the Second Master, the ultimate authority in philosophy after Aristotle.

Therefore, COMSTECH the OIC Ministerial Standing Committee for Scientific and Technological Cooperation and the Government of Kazakhstan joined hands to organize a two-day international conference – Global Al-Farabi Forum – during 21-22 December 2020 to celebrate Al-Farabi’s 1150th anniversary and highlight his contribution to the philosophy at COMSTECH Secretariat in Islamabad. Al-Farabi, the great Muslim philosopher and scientist hailed from the lands which are now part of Kazakhstan. The goal of the Al Farabi Forum was to create an inspiration in Muslim scholars, scientists and philosophers by highlighting the great scholarly work of Al-Farabi.

President of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi inaugurated this international conference at COMSTECH in the pleasant morning of 21st December.

He pointed out that the pace of scientific developments in the present era is so rapid that will widen the gap further between the developed and developing Muslim countries, if immediate and focussed actions are not taken. Dr. Alvi identified the spirit of enquiry and boldness as characteristic of the Muslim scientists and philosophers in the glorious days of Muslim science and philosophy. He urged the young generation of scientists and philosophers to follow the scholars like Al-Farabi to achieve excellence.

The President mentioned that the COMSTECH is the only major institution in OIC, established for the socio-economic development of the Ummah through the application of science and technology.

He urged the OIC member states to join hands with this prestigious institution and work together for the renaissance of the Ummah. He said that COMSTCH is only institution of OIC hosted by Pakistan and lauded COMSTECH efforts for promotion of scientific cooperation and the uplift of the OIC countries.

The opening session was also addressed by the Coordinator General COMSTECH, Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary, the Assistant Secretary General of OIC, Ambassador Askar Mussinov, Dr. Darkhan Kydyrali, President International Turkic Academy and the Kazakhstan Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Mr. Berik Aryn.

All the speakers of inaugural session emphasized the need of the advancement of science and technology in the OIC member states and resolved to follow the tradition of the renowned Muslim scholar Abu-Nasr Al-Farabi to recapture the golden era of the Ummah.

The Coordinator General COMSTECH, Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary announced in his address that COMSTECH and the Turkic Academy would continue the tradition set by this Global Al-Farabi Forum by organizing similar forums on renowned Pakistani philosopher Sir Allama Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, in Turkmenistan, and on the eminent astronomer scientist Ulugh Beg in Uzbekistan.

In his address, the Assistant Secretary General of OIC ensured the full support for the development of science and technology in OIC member states. Dr. Darkhan Kydyrali, the President of International Turkic Academy appreciated COMSTECH for organizing the forum on such a renowned scholar and resolved to take this tradition further and hold such forums on other renowned Muslim scholars.

The two-day Conference included lectures, delivered both in person and online, by leading international experts on Islamic thought, history and philosophy.

Prof. Asad Q. Ahmed of Berkeley, Prof. Peter Adamson from Munich, Prof. Ann Druart from Washington, Prof. Iftikhar Malik from Bath UK, Prof. Galimkir Mutanov of Al- Farabi University of Kazakhstan, and Dr. Darkhan Kydyrali, President of the International Turkic Academy were the key speakers of the conference. Ten local experts presented their scholarly lectures in the Forum as well.

Assistant Secretary General of OIC, Ambassador Askar Mussinov, and the Kazakhstan Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Mr. Berik Aryn were the distinguished guests of the event.

The speakers talked on different aspects of the life, and multi-faceted contributions of Al-Farabi as the pioneer who served as a bridge between the ancient Greek thought, philosophy of Aristotle and the Islamic civilization.

Besides the opening session, the conference had five working sessions with lectures, followed by a closing session with a panel discussion titled “Science and the Islamic world – A philosophical assessment”.

Dr. Galimkair Mutanov, Rector, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University delivered special lecture in the concluding session of the forum. He said that the most important task for the humanity is to recognize the creator who made it conscious. He informed that the Islamic civilization was formed on the basis of mind. Wisdom and science are reflected in the Islam, he mentioned. He lamented by saying, that unfortunately the golden age of Muslim scientific glory is not being appreciated today. He said that the reason of the decline in the Islamic society is the separation from the Islam. Islamic countries have lost education and science whereas extremism is increasing. He suggested that we should pay special attention to the golden age of Muslim thought and define the issues rises in the Muslim philosophy in relation to religion and science. Dr. Mutanov concluded his talk by mentioning the contribution of Al-Farabi and his teachings.

After his lecture one-hour long panel discussion session was held. Dr. Ehsan Masood, from UK, Dr. Nomanul Haq, Dr. Ghazna Khalid and Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary were the experts of the discussion session to answer and discuss the questions of the scholars from the audience and the session was moderated by Dr. Khurshid Hasanain.

Number of factors that are responsible for the current decline of science, technology, philosophy and economy in the Muslim world were discussed. Questions related to science and religions, lack of interest of the leadership in OIC countries in the science and technology, history of Muslims, were raised by the audience and discussed in detail.

This forum was attended by more than 120 scholars from Pakistan, United Kingdom, Kazakhstan, Cameroon, Nepal, Somalia and Sudan, in-person and virtually, and 15 national and international experts gave talks on the life and work of Al-Farabi.

The session was concluded with the vote of thanks by Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary. Dr. Iqbal in his concluding remarks said that such kind of event actually makes us to think, and anything that makes you think is most important.

Finally, shields and certificates were distributed among the speakers and participants of the event.

The Diplomatic Insight is a digital and print magazine focusing on diplomacy, defense, and development since 2009.

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