By Shukran Abd Rahman
Raḥmatan lil Alamin or mercy to all is a phrase stated in verse 107 of Surah al-Anbiya’ (The Prophets) in the Qur’an. At IIUM, we position the concept as the core orientation for our education philosophy, mission and objectives.
We are continuously working to promote this concept at all levels through our academic activities, namely teaching and learning; research and publication; innovation; and community services. In fact, these activities are well epitomised in our IIUM Song which reiterates the need to realise the meaning of Rahmatan lil Alamin.
The concept Rahmatan lil Alamin is an essential principle to be applied in all aspects of governance, administration and other aspects of life. There have been a lot of noises or negative comments on the concept, mainly attributed to the lack of true understanding of the concept. This scenario necessitates for the deliberation on the meaning of the concept, including approaching it in scholarly manner.
The book “Rahmatan lil Alamin dalam Konteks Masyarakat Kontemporari” involved a joint effort among academics in IIUM, University of Malaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Perlis, and Institut Professional Baitulmal Wilayah Persekutuan.
The authors represent various domains of knowledge, enabling them to approach the discussion on the concept of Rahmatan lil Alamin from their knowledge perspectives, namely social sciences, human sciences, laws, economy, and management.
The contributions of academics from Islamic studies background lend remarkable credence to the book as they provide the fundamental references on the concept of Rahmatan lil Alamin from the Quran and Sunnah. The authors had been working collaboratively since March till September 2019 to complete the book. They met several times in a series of seminar to discuss the concept and contents of the book.
It is expected that this book could facilitate its readers to realise how Islam is full of mercy for the universe and its dwellers. The book is also expected to provide a spectrum of interpretations and applications of the concept of Raḥmatan lil Alamin amongst societal members, policy makers, politicians, community leaders, and people of all walks of life.
By and large, the publication of this book befits the concept of University Community Engagement, adopted by the Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences (KIRKHS). It is a smart partnership between the University, the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council (Majlis Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan), and learned scholars of many higher learning institutions.
It involved efforts by the University to engage the community of scholars from inside and outside the University to generate and disseminate knowledge on a specific scope. In fact, the engagement is made more meaningful with the presence of Majlis Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan which was highly supportive of this initiative.
The roles of IIUM Press in making sure that the contents of the publication met the standard is commendable and should be continued. In fact, this synergy has brought about significant impacts and benefits to many groups, especially the public at large, who are provided with reading materials that help them understand this currently much-talked about concept.
Congratulations to all authors for making this book the best Islamic book in the National Book Award 2021.***