By Shukran Abd Rahman
The year 2020 marked the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences (KIRKHS). The anniversary is an avenue for the Kulliyyah’s alumni, academics, staff and students to commemorate the setting up of this unique centre of studies in the University; and acknowledge the Kulliyyah’s contributions in human and community development through knowledge generation and dissemination activities.
The Kulliyyah has been carrying out the mandate to integrate Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Science disciplines as part of a comprehensive educational reform for the betterment of mankind. It was first established as Centre for Fundamental Knowledge (CFK) in July 1983 with the objective to provide courses in Islamic Revealed Knowledge in line with the Islamisation and integration of the University curriculum.
The founding Shaikh al-Kulliyyah for CFK (1983-1990) was Prof. Tan Sri Dr. Mohd. Kamal Hassan, and the first Dean was Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hj. Mohd Mokhtar Hj. Shafii. The other pioneering academics were Dr. Mohd Nur Manuty, Dr. Abdul Rahman Awang and Dr. Mat Daud Awang Hamat.
The Centre was transformed as the Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences in 1990. CFK then became the Department of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Heritage. It was further developed into four new departments in December 1996 (Usul Ad-Din and Comparative Religion, Qur’an and Sunnah Studies, Fiqh and Usul al-Fiqh, and General Studies) together with ten Human Science departments (Arabic and Literature, English and Literature, Communication, History, Psychology, Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology, Library and Information Science, Education, and Philosophy.
Since her establishment the Kulliyyah has contributed significantly in carrying out the missions of the University. Academic activities in the Kulliyyah are based on the philosophy of IIUM, her missions and vision. The philosophy highlights the notions of noble values and Islamic principles which serve as bases for the University’s methods of acquiring and approaching knowledge.
The philosophy also guides academics and students about the scope and extent of knowledge that they should be exploring and sharing. In brief, the Kulliyyah is entrusted to manage, generate, and share various domains of knowledge which are based on revealed knowledge and acquired knowledge.
Academics in the Kulliyyah, who hail from all over the world, have been putting their efforts to accomplish the University’s seven missions through various academic activities. All academic activities and student development programmes have been designed to integrate IRK with HS fields; Islamise HS; Relevantise IRK to the current context and contemporary issues; and conduct genuinely impactful research and innovation in the disciplines of IRK and HS.
The Kulliyyah has played remarkable roles in ensuring that all students, including from other Kulliyyahs, are being best served when enrolling at the Kulliyyah. Academic programmes and co-curricular activities have the aims to equip them with enabling competencies so that they are prepared to fare well in the community and face the futures.
In short, academics in the Kulliyyah have been trained to be educators or murabbi for students who come from more than 100 countries with the aspiration to change and develop themselves, so that they could become alumni who serve as significant agents of change and development upon their return to the society.
Academics in the Kulliyyah have also conducted integrated research and projects which witnessed the application of human science knowledge and Islamic principles in empowering the society to develop, improve or change. They have attempted at great extent to bring impacts to the community and the people whom they engaged with.
Moving forward, the Kulliyyah has developed a set of planned interventions – KIRKHS Downroad 2030 – to continue playing her roles in serving the humanity, and in turn, attain the vision set by the Kulliyyah’s founders, that is to be an impactful centre for educational excellence and research in IRK and HS.
The Kulliyyah’s community is poised to form a strong backbone and driving force for sustainable development of the society. The Kulliyyah also holds strong on the importance of making impacts to the humanity for it is the impacts that count instead of the counts that do not give any impact to the community. ***
(The writer, Prof. Dr. Shukran Abd Rahman, is the Dean of Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences, IIUM)