INNOVATION and entrepreneurship are important concepts that should be included in Islamic studies.
In an interview held on the sidelines of the 5th SOASCIS International Conference (SICON 5), Professor Datuk Dr Osman Bakar, director of Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Centre for Islamic Studies (SOASCIS), Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) said incorporating these concepts is crucial given the changes in the fields of education and technology.
“If we want to develop Islamic studies then we should know what is going on in the world. This goes back to the idea of change. We know that in Islam there are things that we can never change but there are many things that can be changed in response to the needs of the time,” he said.
He said the challenge for Muslims and students of Islamic studies is learning to strike a balance between permanence and change.
Professor Datuk Dr Osman said this is why they have invited speakers from abroad to lecture in SICON 5.
“They all have experiences of change and development so we want to share experience amongst ourselves so we can learn from each other and that’s really the idea of us being here,” he said, noting this will also encourage students to start their own businesses.
Professor Datuk Dr Osman said a graduate in Islamic studies, for instance, can use their knowledge of the tourism industry by lending their expertise in the establishment of syariah compliant hotels.
“The main point here is that if a graduate of Islamic studies cannot get a job with the government, they need to be proactive. They must be resourceful in how to make use of the knowledge they have gained to build their own enterprises,” he said.
Sheikh Shams Muhammad, director of Ebrahim College, London, said learning more about innovation and entrepreneurship will help students distinguish the difference between the intrinsic value of their education and financial success.
He said while graduates can use the knowledge they have gained and pass on this knowledge to others, they might have difficulty getting a livelihood.
“We are in the age of corporates and this is borne out of entrepreneurship. Muslims need to earn money and not get money straight from the ground. If we are to get out of the rut, we need to produce multiskilled people who have entrepreneurship and innovation in them,” he said.
This article has been reproduced from:
The Brunei Times
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