Preview by Seyed E Hasnain, VC, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi
Dr Javed Jamil, currently Chair in Islamic Studies in Yenepoya University, Mangalore, India has already earned a reputation at the international level as an innovative thinker, scholar and writer. In recent years, he is being admired for his effort to establish what he calls Applied Islamics as a full-fledged discipline of Islamic studies.
Applied Islamics, according to him, is “a dynamic concept, which studies and analyses the modern theories in all the fields including Natural Sciences, Health Sciences, Social Sciences and Philosophy, and presenting alternative Islamic concepts, definitions, theories, paradigms, models, programmes and policies for the benefit of the entire humanity.”
Dr Jamil’s advocacy of Islam is neither apologetic nor defensive. He tends to be intellectually aggressive, without being offensive. He is never hateful, and respects all religions. In addition, he combines creative and investigative style of writing, which makes his works not only highly thought-provoking, but also extremely absorbing. Even the translations of the verses by the author are in modern, flowing English, which makes the work even more noteworthy.
His latest book, “A Systematic Study of the Holy Qur’ān” is a monumental work, with remarkably fresh insight into the verses of Qur’ān. What attracted my attention at the very outset was the caption on the cover of the book. The book describes Qur’ān as “a humble endeavour to make a Systematic Study of the Holy Qur’an in terms of the Systems Almighty God created in the Universe, on the Earth, in Human Life, and the System He wants man to establish and adhere to with the aim of building a Healthy and Peaceful World and ensuring a Successful Life in the Hereafter”.
This is a categorical confirmation of the fact that, in Qur’ān there are a very large number of verses, which describe the Creation and Functioning of the Universe as a whole and the Functioning of the Earth, including its flora and fauna. There is absolutely no doubt that, if human beings have to establish on earth the kind of harmonious functioning existing in the universe, they have no option but to follow God’s injunctions in full.
The particles of the universe, the stars, the planets and all other celestial bodies follow the Laws of Nature created by God with unimaginable precision. If God gave us human beings certain flexibility, we should endeavour to work only within the boundaries prescribed by Qur’ān. Moreover. the system that God has directed through His Final Book and Final Prophet (s) needs to be established not only in the lives of the people, but in the world as a whole, including the legal, social, political and administrative levels.
Another unique feature of this book is that, as explanation of the verses in the form of short notes, apart from the traditional sources, he has also used scientific facts and quotes from Biblical literature, wherever required. Many of these are the result of his personal research.
For example, he has made an extraordinary endeavour to describe Seven Heavens, which he prefers to call Cosmic Tiers, in terms of Astrophysics. He has also presented medical facts related to various practices promoted or prohibited by Islam. But what is different in his case from other scholars who write on Islam and Sciences is that he studies modern scientific theories in the light of Qur’ān, rather than studying Qur’ān in the light of modern sciences.
In short, “A Systematic Study of the Holy Qur’ān” is a monumental work, with remarkably fresh insight into the verses of Qur’ān. In particular, I am sure; it will take the subject of Applied Islamics way ahead in the field of knowledge, and will hopefully inspire the researchers, both Muslims and non-Muslims, to benefit from the Wondrous Book of God. I strongly feel that this is a Must Read work for all those, Muslims and Non-Muslims, who want to understand the importance and absolute necessity of Islam in the modern world.
Coming by the end of January 2021.