“A man of two worlds: West and East, intelligently at ease in both but at peace with neither.”

Ismail Faruqi Award ceremony

The Ismail Faruqi Award Ceremony was a bi-annual award given to International Islamic University of Malaysia scholars who produced outstanding and exemplary academic work, and was named after Dr. Ismail Raji al-Faruqi. At the time of this writing we are unsure whether this Award has been discontinued or still ongoing.

The following is part of the opening text by then Deputy Prime Minister Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim on 28 February 1995, which summarily highlights the purpose of this Award.

This bi-annual award to IIU scholars who produce outstanding, excellent and exemplary academic work was established in honour of the memory of al-marhum Professor Ismail Raji al-Faruqi who during his lifetime had made profound and invaluable contributions not only to Islamic scholarship but to learning as a whole.

Indeed I was most privileged to have been given the opportunity of knowing him personally, as a leading scholar of his generation and as a friend. To be sure, he exacted uncompromising intellectual standards and lived by a strict regiment of academic discipline. But, at the same time, he was never lost in mere philosophical abstractions. He was acutely conscious of the realities of the time and the condition of the contemporary ummah. In this regard, he exemplified the conjunction between theoretical learning, ilm, and the righteous deeds, amal salih. He devoted the best years of his life, before his death under tragic circumstances, to the upliftment of the ummah, in inspiring and guiding its youth especially.

Perhaps his greatest legacy is the establishment of the International Institute of Islamic Thought. It was born out of his concern to revive the culture of learning in the hearts and the minds of the ummah. Through this institution he had enabled the mobilization of the intellectual resources of Muslims worldwide, bringing together scholars who had had Western education and those who had undergone the traditional Islamic disciplines.

In conferring these awards, we are recognizing scholars who have contributed towards the realization of al-marhum al-Faruqi’s vision.

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