The Tenth General Conference :Islam and The 21st Century
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERICIFUL
Prof. Dr. MAHMOUD HAMDI ZAQZOUQ
MINISTER OF AL-AW?FS
The world around us is getting ready for stepping into the twenty first century, which marks the beginning of the third millennium, In the history of mankind, this denotes a demarcation point wherein humankind must review its stands and conditions, It is senseless to mean by stepping into the twenty first century just moving from a time phase to another, but this should mean a transition into new thoughts, values, and relations that should ensure security, peace, and stability to mankind.
If this is what the nations of the world should do, then Muslims as part of this world should not drop behind in getting ready for such a transition. This also requires an intellectual awakening a civilized advancement and a determined readiness for the future. It is least befitting for Muslim nations to enter this new phase of the history of mankind as underdeveloped countries, since the coming century of Big Powers, wherein the weak have no place, except in the furthest rearguard, where they are overpowered by events and passed over by history. !
The matter is gravely serious, and needs profound thinking, research, study, accurate diagnosing of defects, and working out the proper solutions for rescuing the Muslim world and safeguarding its security. Of course, there exist many internal and external obstacles of which there is no way out except by self-reliance to rid ourselves of the shortcomings and ailments from which the Muslim communities suffer.
All of this has made it incumbent upon us to convene the Tenth International Conference of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (1419 A.H., 1998 A.C.) under the title of: "Islam and the Twenty-First Century", with the purpose of discussing the challenges that face the Muslim nation during this crucial phase of the history of the world. The book being introduced to the honorable reader today is the outcome of this conference, for it contains the papers, proceedings and the recommendations of the conference which was held under the auspices of President Muhammad Hosni Mubarak. All of this shows how much Egypt, President, Government, and People, care for the future of the Muslim nation, tackling its problems as well as surveying its issues, with the purpose of helping it to bridge over the gap that separates it from the nations that have outdistanced us to progress.
The conference dealt with four pivotal topics: Islam and the development of civilization, Islam and globalization in the political domain, the economic domain, and scientific progress.
We hope that the discussions that took place, and the papers read by the distinguished scholars of the nation worldwide will serve as a strong motivation for the nation to rise and establish its significant place among all nations, restore its pioneering role, and contribute effectively towards saving world from the dangers that threaten its existence, and safeguarding its survival, and, thus, all people will enjoy security, stability, and peace.
Of course we, all of us, in this world are in the same boat, and, so, we have to cooperate to save it from it the storms that terribly endanger, it that we can all survive. Otherwise, if we relax in rescuing it, we shall all be drowned; such a horrible tragedy can never be desires by any sensible individual.
Finally, I should not fail to extend my sincere thanks to our honorable brother Dr. Abdul-Sabour Marzouq, Vice-President of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs for his highly appreciated efforts in preparing his book, together with the youthful scholars of the Council who spared no pains in achieving their tasks to the very best. Similarly, I should not forget to extend my thanks and appreciation to our brother scholars of the Muslim nation who contributed with their papers that appear in this book, and also to everyone who participated in the discussions that took place during the conference.
May Allah bless you all.
Prof. Dr. Mahmoud Hamdi Zaqzuq
Minister of Al-Waqfs
Chairman Of The Supreme Council For Islamic Affairs
l3 Thil-Qi'dah 1419 A.H
March 1st 1998 A.C.