Prof. Dr. Ghazi bin Morshed Al-Otaibi, Dean of the College of Sharia and Islamic Studies, participated in the twelfth committee meeting of the Deans of Sharia and Islamic Studies Colleges at the universities of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The meeting, which was held on Sunday and Monday, 26 – 27th Rajab 1438H at the round room of the Conference Building in the University City, was hosted by the College of Sharia at Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University (IMSIU).
The meeting concluded with a set of recommendations and directions: Dr. Abdulaziz bin Abdurrahman Al-Mahmoud, Vice President of IMSIU, recommended that the Deans of Sharia Colleges in the GCC countries should pay attention to the teaching of Islamic Law sciences, consider them fruits and commend them for publishing. He stressed at the same time the dissemination of such sciences, including their organization and honesty in the selection of teachers and students.
This was during Dr. Al-Mahmoud’s launching of the event, on behalf of Sheikh Prof. Dr. Suliman Aba Al-Khail, IMSIU Rector and Member of Saudi Senior Ulemas Council.
Dr. Al-Mahmoud confirmed that such scientific meeting foresaw the future of Sharia colleges and Islamic studies departments at the universities of the GCC countries. Moreover, he hoped that such meeting and communication would be an extension of the former scholars’ efforts to meet, consult, interact, and discuss concerning all that served the Islamic Law science.
He pointed out that the righteous Salaf (predecessors) used to move in pursuit of knowledge at the far ends of the earth. In addition, and as an extension of such matter, scholars inherited their ancestors in their example and communicated with them concerning all that served the Islamic Law science by which they reach elevation. Besides, he stressed that such science should be preserved and that its good should survive forever.
He also recommended taking care of rooting the Islamic Law science which was based on the correct evidence and clear mind, staying away from suspicions, and following the path of scholars. Meanwhile, he called on the deans to lay out the outlines and strategic plans to put the students on the right path that was derived from the Book of Allah, the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and the approach of the righteous Salaf.
On the other hand, Dr. Yahia bin Ali Al-Omari, Dean of the College of Sharia at IMSIU, confirmed that the responsibility of the deans of the Sharia colleges in the GCC countries was to double. This was due to the great need to graduate a generation of young people who were fortified with moderate ideas far from extremism, especially with the multitude of sedition, temptations and suspicions.
In the same context, he added that there was an urgent need to protect young people from misguided ideas, and to show them their legitimate duty towards their home countries, rulers and community. Moreover, he called for the development of an operational and practical plan to implement the meeting’s recommendations, each of which would be linked to and implemented by one university.
In turn, Dr. Rashed Al-Asiri, Head of Arabic Language and Islamic Studies Department at the University of Bahrain (UoB), commended the efforts exerted by the GCC countries’ leaders for such events. He also pointed out that such meeting came as a complement to the great efforts exerted by the deans of the colleges of Sharia in the GCC countries in the past sessions towards a work that served their outputs to upgrade and develop them. He added that this was in the interest of the people of such countries in general, and affiliates of the colleges of Sharia and Islamic studies in particular. This also was in pursuit of coherence and integration, and achievement of the desired objectives through an original Islamic Law science that kept pace with modern mechanisms and innovations.
Dr. Al-Asiri noted that the colleges of Sharia played a significant role in the graduation of conscious generations; they were the safety valve for moderate thought away from the tracks of extremism and terrorism. He also called for the committee members to emphasize and consolidate such basis in minds, standardize visions, and coordinate efforts to improve the quality of the programs and outputs of Sharia colleges. Moreover, he called to stress the role of scientific research to enhance the quality of outputs and exchange different scientific experiences in our countries, because this greatly influenced the advancement of staff members and academic staff.
Within the same framework, he pointed out that the Committee bore most of such great responsibility of reunification and solidarity. This was to return the nation to its pure spring, represented by adherence to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of his Prophet (peace be upon him), which would be the exit from crises by emphasizing the principle of moderation. He added that this protected the nation's youth from deviant ideas, kept their distance from the course of extremism and terrorism, and graduated generations aware of the greatness of their responsibilities and honesty. He also said that this delivered the clear message of Islam, and graduated distinct models of Sharia students, so that they could be scholars who benefited the nation, God willing.