KIRKHS integrates Islamic knowledge into human sciences – Prof. Kamal Hassan

By Siti Zulaikha Zukefli

GOMBAK, 19 September 2021: The Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences is the first Kulliyyah in the world that integrated three branches of knowledge under one faculty, a symposium was told.

Prof. Emeritus Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Kamal Hassan said this in his presentation during the “Grand Intellectual Symposium: Bridging the Discipline of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences” on Saturday (18 September).

He was giving an insight behind the establishment of KIRKHS at a symposium organised by Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences Students’ Society (IRKHSSS).

Prof. Emeritus Tan Sri Dr. Mohd. Kamal Hassan who was the first dean of KIRKHS revealed that IIUM’s second Rector, Al-Marhum Dato’ Dr. AbdulHamid A. AbuSulayman, was the founder and father of KIRKHS.

He said it was Al-Marhum Dato’ Dr. AbdulHamid’s idea to integrate Islamic Revealed Knowledge (IRK), Human Sciences (HS), and Humanities (Arts) under one roof. 

He had been thinking of the idea that IIUM must have a social science faculty with humanity as he believed that a man who has good knowledge related to society will be a good leader to transform society to become better.  

Hence, these two universals of knowledge called human sciences began to emerge.

Indeed, the social transformation will not be in accordance with the will of Allah if the world is secular, socialistic, or agnostic, Prof. Tan Sri Kamal further said. Then, to align with IIUM’s mission and vision, he added, the Islamic Revealed Knowledge was knotted. 

According to Prof. Kamal, this will make HS students of IIUM unique compared to other universities, as they are not relying only on the colonial intellectualism.  

Prof. Kamal noted in his presentation that he believed we must have a right-wing social science, and left-wing religious discipline, only then the ‘bird’ can fly.

Apart from that, Prof. Kamal advised that IIUM students are not supposed to be traditionalist leaders who only sustain, instead should strive to become transformational leaders who bring change to society.  

During his teaching period in 1993, the professor shared he always mentioned to his students that “you are the Islamic agent of transformational societal change”.

Besides that, the IRKHS students are required to take a minor subject out of their major. Thus, this led to the strengthening of both official languages of IIUM, English and Arabic. 

“We are supposed to excel in both languages so that we can become global players. This is a revolution for many people,” Prof. Kamal added.

Prof. Kamal further said that the inter-disciplinary gaps continue to exist in the Kuliyyah between IRK and HS scholars. It happened for few reasons, and one of them, he stressed, is that the mission of Islamisation is not practiced by all heads. 

He hoped that the gaps could be narrowed and adjustment could be made towards making KIRKHS flourishing. “The denial of God’s sovereignty will lead to failure as Allah SWT is the only sustainer of the universe,” Prof. Kamal explained.

Following that, Prof. Kamal initiated an alternative to uplift the Islamisation of the IRKHS discipline through the concept and mission of ‘relevantisation’. The relevantisation involves Taghyir (good change), Islah (reform), Tajdid (renewal), Ijtihad (the use of dependent reasoning), Ihya’ (bringing a spirit of life), Tahwil (transformation), and Tahdith (modernisation). 

Prof. Kamal ended his presentation with an expectation that IRKHS students uphold the Islamisation and relevantisation of the discipline of the Kuliyyah by having interdisciplinary projects and worshipping the civilisation of Allah as stated in the IIUM official song, Rahmatan Lil Alamin. ***

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