IAIS Malaysia

Past Events

Public Lecture: "Constructing an Islamic Government and Rule of Law Index" by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

Co-organisers:  IAIS Malaysia and The Cordoba Initiative Malaysia

Speaker: Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Chairman of  The Cordoba Initiative Malaysia

Day/Date/Time: Thursday, 22 May 2014, 02:00pm

Venue: International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia

iman feisal lecture [click for more pictures]


2:00pm – 2:30pm Registration of participants

2:30pm – 2:35pm Welcoming Remarks by the Moderator, Associate Professor Dr. Mohamed Azam, Deputy CEO, IAIS Malaysia

2:35pm - 2:40pm Opening remarks by Professor Dr. Mohammad Hashim Kamali, Founding Chairman and CEO, IAIS Malaysia

2:40pm – 3:40pm Presentation by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

3:40pm – 4:40pm Open discussion with Q&A session

4:40pm Concluding remarks by the moderator and adjourn the seminar


Speaker's Profile

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is Chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, an independent, non-partisan and multi-national project that works with state and non-state actors to improve Muslim-West relations. In this capacity, he provides innovative solutions in those areas where conflict between Islamic and Western communities undermines local and global security. As Imam of Masjid al-Farah, a mosque twelve blocks from Ground Zero in New York City, Imam Feisal preaches a message of peace and understanding between people, regardless of creed, nationality, or political beliefs.

His father was Director and Imam of the Islamic Centers of New York and Washington D.C., and Rector of the International Islamic University in Malaysia. Born in Kuwait and educated in England, Egypt, and Malaysia, Imam Feisal holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Columbia University in New York, and a Master of Science in Plasma Physics from Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey.  He sits on the Board of Trustees of the Islamic Center of New York and serves as an advisor to the Interfaith Center of New York.  

Under Imam Feisal’s leadership, the Cordoba Initiative’s programs craft strategic avenues for approaching divisive Muslim-West tensions. Among these programs, the Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow (MLT) empowers arid networks young, Muslim professionals from all over the world, the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equity (WISE) strengthens the role of Muslim women in global society, and the Shari’ah Index Project engages Islamic legal scholars in addressing the implications of contemporary Islamic governance. Imam Feisal founded the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA) in 1997 – the first Muslim organization committed to bringing American Muslims and non-Muslims together through programs in academia, policy, current affairs, and culture.

Imam Feisal facilitates action-oriented dialogues between individuals and groups capable of transforming dangerous paradigms within the complex intersection of Islamic and Western viewpoints. He maintains working relationships with offices in the U.S. Department of State, members of the U.S. Congress, and representatives of foreign governments. He is also involved in international delegations and consultative bodies, including his membership in the World Economic Forum Council of 100 Leaders  (Islamic-West Dialogue).

Imam Feisal appears regularly at the Council on Foreign Relations, and in national and international media such as CNN and BBC. He is frequently interviewed by and quoted in leading print media. Among his books are Islam: A Search for Meaning; Islam: A Sacred Law (What every Muslim Should Know About the Shariah); and What’s Right With Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and the West, rated by the Christian Science Monitor among its five best books in 2004.


Can justice, good governance and the rule of law ever be measured or at least quantified? Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, a renowned American Islamic scholar at a public lecture on ‘Constructing an Islamic Government and Rule of Law Index’ at IAIS Malaysia on 22 May 2014 shared his knowledge and experience in producing an Islamic index of good governance. The project which brought together leading Islamic scholars was aimed at producing objective criteria by which standards of government and administration can be set deriving from Islamic norms and principles. The immediate picture that comes to mind is of course, the “Islamic state” but Imam Feisal clarified that there is hardly a consensus on what it actually entails. Indeed, the very concept itself is traceable recently to the writings of Rashid Rida (1865-1935), relative to the long history of Islam. Some scholars posit the maqasid al-shariah (objectives of Shariah) as examples of “values” that can be instilled in governance but even such generalities are not free from controversies when pressed to address concrete issues. This only demonstrates, as confirmed by some sceptical responses to the lecture, that while substantive discourse on good governance, law and justice is generally fruitful, translating them into quantitative formulae for measurement may not be a good idea after all. [Tengku Ahmad Hazri]


Media Coverage of the event


utusan online (article in Bahasa Malaysia)


Contact Information

International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia
Jalan Elmu, Off Jalan Universiti 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +603-7956 9188  Fax: +603-7956 2188 / +603-7956 2966  Email: reply@iais.org.my

Quotable Quotes

Goodwill towards all is the true Religion. Let a man overcome anger by Love. - Buddha

Humour Without Malice

Hasan bin Sahl asked Dinar bin 'Abdullah,: "What is your religion?" He said, "I never thought that anyone alive would have to answer this question, for it is the question the angels of death, Nakir and Munkar, ask the dead."


Who are the learned? Those who practice what they know. (hadith)

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