Relevantising KIRKHS in the New Zeitgeist through the HEAVE Road Map 

By Shukran Abd Rahman

In efforts to accomplish the University’s mission and actualise her vision, the Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences (KIRKHS) has been embarking on several sets of initiatives, known as the KIRKHS HEAVE Road Map.

The development of the road map has been formed by the IIUM missions which have four main thrusts, namely Islamisation, Integration, Internationalisation, Comprehensive Excellence; the IIUM Philosophy of Knowledge which underscores the need for the University community to  be guided by the philosophy and principles that highlight essential epistemological, ontological and axiological notions of knowledge; and the Kulliyyah’s missions which focus on integrating Islamic Revealed Knowledge with Human Sciences; championing the Islamisation of Human Sciences;  relevantising Islamic Revealed Knowledge to contemporary issues; and conducting research and innovation in the disciplines of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences combined. 

Besides the above three documents, the design of KIRKHS Road Map is also driven by the Kulliyyah’s aspiration to be the centre for educational excellence and research in Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences; the IIUM’s current directions which substantiate the IIUM ethos; the scanned needs of various groups and level of community; and the strategic way forward of the University in accomplishing her functions.

Taken together, the Kulliyyah has formulated a number of strategic initiatives in order to roll out the ethos, which ultimately lead to the development of graduates and scholars whose attributes epitomise the quality of Khalifah, Amanah, Iqra’ and Rahmatan Lil Alamin (KhAIR). 

In retrospect, the KIRKHS Road Map contains several activities which have been conducted based on a number of progressive focuses (written as annual Imperative Statement), namely Positioning KIRKHS For Sustainable Development Goals; From Campus To The Community in 2019; and Nurturing Community-Orientated Holistic Scholars and Students for Sustainable Futures (2020). 

In 2021, the focus is underscored in an imperative statement – Relevantising KIRKHS in the New Zeitgeist – which reflects a number of interventions, outlined in the HEAVE Road Map. The interventions are (a) Humanising Education; (b) Advancing Edification of Individuals; (c) Valorising Institutions: and (d) Engaging the communities.

The acronym for the four sets of intervention is HEAVE which, if looked as a word would mean to lift or haul something heavy with great effort. (Indeed it is a huge vessel with more than 6,000 members: 4,500 UG, 1,500 PG, 220 academics and 50 staff).

Humanising Education refers to the process of providing a comprehensive approach of edification and education process, encompassing the development of individuals’ physical, intellectual, spiritual, emotional and social aspects.

Advancing Edification of Individuals refers to the process of changing, improving, and developing individuals’ minds and behaviours so as to make their attributes epitomising the moral values and religious teachings.

Valorising Institution intervention involves the processes to fully accomplish the three functions of University, namely the intellectual functions (i.e conducting research in order to produce, reproduce, preserve, systematise, organise and transmit knowledge so that it can add to the breadth and depth of knowledge); the social function (i.e making knowledge and expertise available for others, making knowledge relevant and useful to the society, training workforce, and producing good citizen); and the educational function (i.e developing humans by equipping them with necessary competencies, cultivating values, norms, and skills that influence their function in the society).

Engaging the communities entails the process to engage different types and levels of community, forging mutually beneficial relationships, especially with the professional, learned, learning, and public communities.  A good synergy between the Kulliyyah and external communities would enable her to be informed of the community needs that require attention and responses, while community would benefit from the outcome of universities’ activities.

This would enhance the Kulliyyah’s relevance in contemporary context or zeitgeist, hence enabling it to stay true to the University’s philosophy, mission and culture in the increasingly changing and challenging environment.***

(The writer, Prof. Dr. Shukran Abd Rahman, is the Dean of Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences, IIUM)

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