GARIIF 23: ‘Knowledge and action cannot be separated,’ says Dr. Ayman Al-Akiti

By Shafiy Nordin

GOMBAK, 22 December 2023: The programme Ruhani Resonance : Harmony of Zikr & Salawat was organised on 13 December 2023 in conjunction with the Global Arabic Islamic Annual Festival 2023 (GARIIF23). The first tausiyah was delivered by a lecturer from AHAS KIRKHS of the IIUM, Dr. Muhammad Ayman Al-Akiti in the main prayer hall of Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Mosque (SHAS), IIUM Gombak.

At the beginning, Dr. Ayman highlighted the importance of learning Arabic language. For him, the language is key to solving many problems today. The lack of understanding of the Arabic language may cause many conflicts and problems in the community. Lughah Arabiah is one of the most important languages for Muslims and students in order to understand Islam better.

Nahu or Arabic grammar is the first and most important topic in order to understand the meaning of the Quran and Sunnah. Dr. Ayman emphasised that the Arabic language is thus the number one language for this purpose. As learning the Arabic language is crucial, he advised students to study hard because learning Arabic is really tough and difficult.

He continued by deriving the famous slogan of the IIUM which is ‘Garden of Knowledge and Virtue’. Knowledge is gained from educational institutions or universities. University or Al-Jamiah means the collection and combination of many departments, colleges or madaris. Dr. Ayman motivated the audiences to learn a lot at university.

After deriving the word ‘knowledge’, Dr Ayman explained further about the word ‘virtue’. Virtue means Fadhilah. The first meaning of Fadhilah is cleansing ourselves from bad manners and then decorating ourselves with good manners. The second meaning is honorable character or akhlak karimah which is gained with consistently good practices.

Furthermore, he shared about the significance of the Islamisation of knowledge. Knowledge must follow the blueprint of Islam which is aligned with the concept of Ahli sunnah wal jamaah. The university has the mission of creating future scholars. He said that the students should thus broaden their mastery of knowledge; not only in their specific fields.

The audiences were also reminded to have pure aqidah, strong and clear fiqh, fixed mazhab and the right Tasawwuf. In Malaysia, the Muslims are following Asyairah wal Maturidiyah School of Islamic Theology. The students are reminded to at least know the differences between the Islamic schools of thought, to deepen their understanding.

In addition, Dr. Ayman advised the students to commit to additional practices or amal. Seeking knowledge cannot be separated from good practices. Day and night supplications such as Ratib Al-Attas should be practised consistently. He concluded his speech by highlighting Arabic should be used as a tool for acquiring knowledge and being consistent in doing amal.

Dr. Ayman ended his speech by quoting the saying of Imam Ghazali, “Al ilmu bi laa ‘amalin junuunun, wal-‘amalu bi laa ‘ilmin lam yakun” which means, “Knowledge without action is madness and action without knowledge is void.”***