Areas of Research


Research at IAIS Malaysia centres around a number of select areas based on the Concept of Islam and Civilisational Renewal. These principles address the political, legal, scientific, intellectual and social aspects of Islam in modern Muslim societies. Our areas of research on Tajdid Hadhari are:

1. Overall Concept, Definition and Objectives of Tajdid Hadhari

2. Faith in God and Piety (Iman and taqwa)

3. Just and Trustworthy Government in line with the Qur’anic Principles of amanah and ‘adl

4. The Islamic Conception of Freedom

5. Knowledge and the Pursuit of Excellence

6. Balanced Economic Development for People’s Welfare

7. A Good Quality of Life that Nurtures Happiness

8. Rights of Women and Minorities

9. Cultural and Moral Integrity

10. Safeguarding the Environment

11. Fiqh-based Harmonisation of Halal Standards

12. Outlines of a Model Islamic Family Law

13. Advancing Interfaith/Inter-civilisational Dialogue 

Each of these areas covers a range of topics as follow:

1. The Tajdid Hadhari Concept

• Meaning and definition of Tajdid Hadhari, its objectives and component principles.
• Issues over terminology of Tajdid Hadhari.
• Tajdid Hadhari and its grounding in Islamic principles.
• Tajdid Hadhari and the goals and purposes (maqasid) of Shari'ah.
• The role of renewal (tajdid), reform and ijtihad in Tajdid Hadhari.
• The role of Tajdid Hadhari in the policy programme of the Government of Malaysia.
• Curbing extremist interpretations of Islam through the Tajdid Hadhari approach.
• The Qur’anic principle of the middle path of moderation (wasatiyyah).
• What are the most challenging issues of Tajdid Hadhari for Malaysia and other Muslim countries?
• Tajdid Hadhari and Social Harmony in multi-religious societies.
• Consistency and convergence between the various principles and sub-themes of Tajdid Hadhari.
2. Iman and Taqwa as the Bedrocks of Tajdid Hadhari

Tajdid Hadhari is grounded in the quest to promote faith and piety among Muslims and requires identification and development of the most effective ways and methods of teaching Islam and Islamic civilisation to a modern generation of Muslims. It also looks into:

• Divine Unity (Tawhid) and its implications for the Muslim society and civilization.
• Ritualism versus substance in the understanding of faith and piety in Islam
• Islam and Islamic values in the constitution and laws of Malaysia and other Muslim countries
• A review and reappraisal of the school and university curricula in Malaysia and other Muslim countries. 
• Freedom of religion and religious practices in Malaysia and other Muslim countries
• Apostasy and the challenges it poses in Malaysia and other Muslim countries

3. Just and Trustworthy Government as the Prerequisite of Tajdid Hadhari

Civilisational renewal cannot be accomplished without good governance,accountability and   trust, and aims at:

• Social justice and equitable distribution of wealth
• Harmonisation of the Shariah and civil law
• Strengthening the rule of law and a resolute campaign against corruption 

4. Is Advocacy of Freedom a part of Tajdid Hadhari?

Yes. And thus inclusive of:

• Freedom from within: the role of tawhid and taqwa in the Islamic personality and culture
• Respect for the constitution and the laws of the country
• Freedom of expression and freedom from unlawful arrest and reducing the gap between the theory and practice of constitutional freedoms in Muslim countries
5. Pursuit of Excellence in Knowledge requires:
• A holistic tawhid-based approach to education 
• Learning from the writings of leading educationists of Islam
• Advancing the role of inductive/experimental methods in Islamic epistemology
• A tawhid-based approach to religion and science on overcoming dualities between Islamic and modern educational methods
• Strengthening the Islamic university movement: mission, priorities and challenges
• Knowledge and capacity building in line with the Tajdid Hadhari approach

6. Tajdid Hadhari and Balanced Economic Development

Tajdid Hadhari seeks to advance the people’s welfare and has important role in:

• Distributive justice in a balanced economy
• Advancing sustainable development through waqf, zakat and sadaqah
• Trade and commerce from the perspectives of the Qur’an and hadith, and on
• Aspiring to excellence in the workplace according to Islamic teachings.

Tajdid Hadhari also seeks to develop Islamic business ethics and the role of morality in economic development, and Islamic banking and finance

7. Can Tajdid Hadhari lead to a Good Quality of Life?

Yes, it can do so through:

• Identifying the salient components of a good life and thought
• The moral and material dimensions of well-being from an Islamic perspective
• Advancing the ways and means of a healthy family life

Other subjects to explore are:

• Human dignity in the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah
• Good living and the civilisational objectives of Tajdid Hadhari
• Capacity building, human development, and the quality of life in Muslim countries

8. Tajdid Hadhari advances the Rights of Women and Minorities through research on:

• Islam’s vision of human dignity and justice
• Adapting aspects of the fiqh tradition to accommodate an egalitarian status for women in line with the maqasid and ijtihad. 
Tajdid Hadhari also advances: 
• Religious fraternity and human fraternity in the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah
• Fiqh of minorities with special reference to the rights of Muslim minorities in non-Muslim majority countries, and
• Closing the ranks and advancing unity between the Sunnis and Shias
• Advancing peace and security for all communities and countries

Tajdid Hadhari also surveys the laws of Malaysia concerning women and develops outlines of a model Islamic family law.

9. Cultural and Moral Integrity as important components of Tajdid Hadhari

Research on this would involve:

• Culture, custom and civilisation: similarities and differences
• The quest for virtue: a perennial challenge and a common denominator of great civilisations
• Empowering the struggle against official corruption with the teachings of Islam
• Moral integrity and the challenges of rampant secularity among Muslims
• Sex education at schools in accordance with well-moderated guidelines without promiscuity
• Protecting the moral fabric of society without invasion of privacy.

10. Tajdid Hadhari advances Islamic Perspectives on Safeguarding the Environment through creating awareness of:

• Spirituality and ecological degradation
• Humankind as the trustee and custodian of the earth through vicegerency (khilafah) and trusteeship (amanah), and
• Taking responsibility for environmental damage and advancing rehabilitation and remedial perspectives on the damage caused

11. Tajdid Hadhari advances Fiqh-based harmonisation of Halal standards by looking into the:

• Basic guidelines on the determination of halal and haram in Islam
• Advancing comparative analysis of the various schools of fiqh on halal and haram;
• The role of custom in the popular acceptance or rejection of foods and beverages; and
• Developing methodological guidelines for the harmonisation of global halal standards
12. Tajdid Hadhari develops the Outlines of a Model Islamic Family Law by
• Identifying issues affecting the status of family law in different countries and regions of the Muslim world;
• Investigating past achievements of Islamic family law reform and future challenges, and awareness of the failure of prescriptive reforms and reappraisal of strategies.

Tajdid Hadhari combats against pernicious customary practices against women’s rights

13. Tajdid Hadhari also advances Interfaith/Inter-civilisational Dialogue by 

Tajdid Hadhari attempts to identify approaches toward a meaningful dialogue of civilisations, and search for common grounds and values among world religions. It also ascertains:

• The role of faith and reason in the conduct of interfaith dialogue;

• Taking stock of Malaysia’s interfaith dialogue efforts; and

• An evaluation of the “Common Word” between the Muslims and Christians worldwide.

[last updated Feb 2017]

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