Seminar on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) As a Role Model

Japan Muslims Peace Federation (JMPF) held the 3rd annual seminar at The University of Tokyo on Oct 10, 2010 about the Prophet of Islam Hazrat Muhammad (PUBH) as a role model to the world.

Following is a brief introduction of the guest speakers who elaborated on the life of the Prophet (PBUH) as a role model to humanity.

Professor Dr. Anis Ahmad

Professor Dr. Anis Ahmad is a well respected scholar and professor of Islamic Studies who currently serves as the founding Vice-Chancellor of the Riphah International University, Islamabad, Pakistan.  His chancellorship has been characterized by a deep commitment to highest standards of scholarship and learning at the university.   He is well known for his innovative work on the teachings of Islam in a modern context. He is an internationally known scholar of Islam with numerous publications and research projects on Islamic jurisprudence.   He also served as a founding member and later the secretary general of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) in North America during the 1970s before moving back to Pakistan.

Basically, Prof. Ahmad is a social scientist; he specializes in Islamic Studies and is Meritorious Professor of Islamic Studies and Comparative Religion.  Apart from dispensing his duties as the Vice Chancellor of the Riphah International University, he is currently the Editor-in-Chief of West and Islam, an Academic journal Published from Islamabad.

Prior to joining the Riphah University, he held various academic positions at the International Islamic University, Islamabad and taught courses to students of various faculties.

He spoke on “Muhammad (SAW) as a role model”. The term role model generally means any “person who serves as an example, whose behavior is emulated by others”. The term first appeared in Robert K. Merton’s socialization research of medical students. Merton hypothesized that individuals compare themselves with reference group of people who occupy the social role to which the individual aspires. The personality of Muhammad (SAW) is the best example to be followed by the mankind.

Professor Hasan Ko Nakata, a devout Japanese Muslim for the last 30 years, obtained his bachelors and masters degrees from The University of Tokyo. Later on, he went to the University of Cairo in Egypt  to get his Ph.D  Presently he is working as a Professor in the Doshisha University, Kyoto. Japan

In the seminar, he spoke on Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as a political leader. How did Prophet Muhammad (SAW) made various agreements with his enemies that looked, to a casual observer, harmful to the interest of the Muslims of the time, however, proved to be useful to the Muslims later on.

After completing a distinguished career at The University of Tokyo and Tokyo Keizai University Professor Yuzo Itagaki is now Professor Emeritus at both. Among many other works to his credit, he is the author of Rekishi no genzai to chiikigaku: Gendai chûtô eno shikaku (Contemporary History and Area Studies: Viewing the Contemporary Middle East, Iwanami shoten, 1992), Sekaishi no kôzô (The Structure of World History, Asahi shimbunsha, 1993), Isurâmu no toshisei (Characteristics of the City of Islam, with Akira Gotô, Nihon gakujutsu shinkôkai, 1993), Isurâmu gonin: Shôtotsu kara taiwa e (Islam Misunderstood: From Conflict to Dialogue, Iwanami shoten, 2003), Mega teikokushugi no shutsugen to Isrâmu gurôbaru genshô: Iraku sensô go no sekai (The Rise of Mega-Imperialism and the Globalization of Islam: The World After the Iraq War, with Mahdi Elmandjura, Sekaishoin, 2004), and editor of Shin Chûtô handobukku (New Handbook of the Middle East, Kôdansha, 1992) and “Tai tero sensô” to Isurâmu sekai (The “War Against Terrorism” and the Islamic World, Iwanami shoten, 2002). He is among the pioneers of Area Studies in Japan.

He spoke on the topic “Muhammad (SAW) in the eyes of Japanese” by reviewing images of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) among the Japanese eyes from Nukariya Kaiten (Zen Buddhist and the Founder of Komazawa University)’s book “Kaiketsu Mahometto” (1905) up to the painting tabreau of “The Three Saints” (2004) by the late Prof. Hirayama Ikuo (most well-known contemporary painter and former Rector of Tokyo Geijutsu Daigaku) and the descriptions of Prophet Muhammad in school textbooks in Japan now, and surveying Japanese translation works on Hadith and Sirat in Japanese. He  proposed some useful approaches for the betterment of Japanese understanding on Prophet Muhammad (SAW)’s personality and roles.

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