The Twelfth General Conference:Islam and Mutations of the Epoch
The current stage through which our contemporary Islamic world
is passing is one of the most perilous throughout the history of
Muslims, in view of the changing conditions and developments
occurring today all over the world and which have no parallel in
earlier times. After a spell of hot and cold wars a new stage was set
for a revolution in the world of informatics, communication, and
technological achievements. The globalization current had made
itself felt in every comer of the earth in the economic, political,
social, and cultural fields.
The Islamic world is not far removed from that scene. No place is
left to isolationism or caucusing. Any event occurring anywhere in
the world finds an echo throughout the whole world. The Islamic
world unfortunately did not share in the performances achieved at
the level of informatics, communication, and the technological
revolution. At best and more often than not, the Islamic world was
a mere consumer of contemporary ideas and innovations. This of
course does not befit a nation so amply endowed with such a rich
and world-famous culture and a civilization that enriched the
world at all levels and which can never be denied.
Yet conditions have changed and the Islamic world is standing
at cross roads. It must choose the path to be adopted. The world is
evolving at a tremendous pace. There is no place for those who
hesitate and have no guts for time shall bypass and history will not
dwell too long at their doorstep.
Hence the need for Muslims to be abreast of events. They must
not remain as mere spectators or consumers of modem ideas and
innovations. They should proceed forward to participate actively
in scientific developments and technological performances.
Indeed they should play a prominent part along that course to
make their presence felt during the current century.
Hence, it has become imperative that the Islamic world should
contribute in such an undertaking, as to both knowledge and
application. Thus our great nation would occupy its rightful place
in the contemporary world, inasmuch as Islam ordains that every
Muslim, man or woman, should seek knowledge and has left the
doors wide open to scientific research. Indeed the history of Islamic
civilization bears witness to the fact that Muslim scientists have
been at the vanguard of scientific research and technology for
centuries on end.
Islam has also called on scientists and researchers to
respect ethical values in several Qur'anic verses and the
Prophet's hadith, for indeed ethical values provide the best
protection against the age of science and misplaced vanity of
scientists. Islam views any scientific achievement useful to
mankind as the noblest of deeds that remain unblemished
after their contributors have passed away.
Hence the decision of the Supreme Council for Islamic
Affairs to hold its 12th general Conference in order to discuss
the implantation of technology in the various Islamic
countries. An elite of Muslim scholars specialized in all
fields of scientific and technological research in Western
countries have been invited to share their views with their
peers in Islamic countries.
Throughout thirteen sessions, from 8-11 Rabi'ul Awwal
1421H., corresponding to 11 - 14 June 2000, the Conference
discussed 61 research papers on various techniques and ways
and means of implanting them across the Islamic world.
From the discussions held, a number of accurate scientific
recommendations issued forth and which we hope would be
scientifically applied. Egypt's vision- as expressed by
President Mubarak in his address to the participating
delegations at the inauguration of the Conference- called for
implanting technology in Islamic countries as an urgent
imperative of the current century. No place is left to those
who fail to possess accurate technical knowledge on which
all aspects of human life are founded. It was very soon
evident from the papers presented from a member of States
that the entire Islamic Ummah shared Egypt's views on that
Among the important results, issuing from the Conference, are the
First: The need to boost coordination and complementarily among
the peoples of our nations and governments in the fields of
scientific and technical research. It should be very difficult for a
country to achieve any creditable performance individually in all
those scientific and changing scientific fields every day, indeed
Second: Due attention must be given to enhance an exchange
of technical research information among the scientists at
universities and the research centres of Islamic States,
together with the training of cadres in all fields so as to
implant technology and its uses in a correct manner that
would be conducive to the Ummah's advancement and
Third: Coordination and interaction between governments
and the private sector should be pursued in order to strengthen
existing research centres, in addition to establishing whatever
new centres should be needed to be of assistance to the
industrial development of each country in such a manner as
would enable it to measure up to the industrial development
of advanced nations.
Four: Call upon all Muslim scientists all over the world to
hasten to contribute in the implantation of technology in their
own countries, and assist the scientific institutions therein in
dealing with the latest developments of the mechanisms of
research and knowledge.
Five: Call on all scientists and researchers to adhere to
Islamic ethical values in the field of scientific research, for
such values have been and still are the bulwark that protects
mankind from destruction, preserves it from collapsing and
keeps it away from the moral disintegration that would lead to
the extraction of life and the living.