Updated: Jan 2
Annual Function of IMPMS
Basheer Ahmed M.D.
The first annual function of IMPMS was held on April 26th, 2009. The major theme of the annual function was to introduce the goals and objectives of IMPMS to the DFW community leaders and honor ambassador Ahsani for his community services. With the grace of God, the function was a great success. We had a gathering of almost a hundred people representing various organizations. All members of the executive committee of the IMPMS wholeheartedly supported the event and worked very hard to make this a successful event. I sincerely appreciate the devotion and commitment of all the members who helped in organizing this event.
Ambassador Ahsani received a well-deserved recognition by the organization of which he was a founding member and president. He will continue to serve as president emeritus and the organization will benefit from his vast experience and international contacts. All the participants of the function greatly admired his sincerity and commitment to the betterment of Muslims in the DFW area. He is especially remembered for bringing political awareness in this area. He served as president chairman, election judge and delegate to the Democratic convention. His interest in medieval scholars goes back to 1991 when he organized an international conference on Muslim Spain’s contribution to the world civilization in Lahore, Pakistan. He continued to pursue his interest in medieval scholars in this country and organized several conferences as chairperson and co-chairperson in the DFW area as well as in international convention on medieval scholars at Michigan State University.
Goals and Objective of IMPMS
During the Medieval period, which became known as the Dark Ages in Europe, Islamic civilization was at its apex. Beginning in the 8th century, Muslim scholars from the Abbasid Empire in the East to Andalusia in the West produced original achievements in many fields of learning. This knowledge not only inspired the great civilization that flourished in the parts of Eurasia and Africa within the Muslim domain; it was also passed on, especially through Islamic Spain, to Europe to become the foundation for Europe’s Renaissance and Reformation. Ms. Carly Fiorina, former Chair and C.E.O. of Hewlett Packard so eloquently mentioned the Muslim contribution to the world of science as follows:
“It was driven more than anything by the invention. Its architect's designed buildings that defied gravity. Its mathematicians created the algebra and algorithms that would enable the building of computers and the creation of encryption. Its doctors examined the human body and found new cures for disease. Its astronomers looked into the heavens, named the stars, and paved the way for space travel and exploration.”
Present-day academic curricula, especially in the West, devote little if any attention to the achievements of the Islamic World over a period of many centuries. It is more than time that younger generations throughout the world be made familiar with the essential linkages between classical medieval cultures, on the one hand, and modern civilizations, on the other.
The major goal of the Institute of Medieval & Post Medieval Studies (IMPMS) is to contribute towards generating a climate of mutual understanding and respect among people, at both the academic and the public levels.
To disseminate the information about Islamic civilization’s contribution to world civilization through presentations of lectures and seminars to students and teachers at all levels from Middle School to University. To establish a library of books, manuscripts, and other learning resources of and about major Medieval and Post-Medieval Muslim scholars in the Islamic World.
To publish monographs and special papers based on these studies, to organize major national and international seminars, workshops, colloquia and conferences to make better known the contribution of these scholars to various discipline as well as their influence on the Western scholars, in sciences, humanities, and art and to create web sites carrying these learning resources, including video conferences, for ongoing discussions on these subjects.
We thank sponsors of the Annual function
Mr. Zaffar Tabani, Dr. Ahkhter Shah, Mr. Shawn Bhagat, MCC for Human Services, Institute of Islamic Learning in Metroplex, Islamic Center of Carrollton - Darul Eman Arlington.
Mr. Edward Thomas visited Lahore
Mr. Edward shed some light on his recent trip to Lahore, Pakistan. His last visit was 60 years ago in 1949 when he visited Pakistan as a first Muslim country and had a chance to take a trip to Lahore. He went to Kabul from Pakistan where he worked as a teacher at a high school. Mr. Edward shared his experiences as an officer in US foreign service in Iran and learned that Iranians honored Omar Khayyam as a mathematician whereas in the west he is famous for his poetry. He spent a number of years in Rabat, Morocco where he studied Rumi, the great philosopher, and scholar from Afghanistan. Mr. Edwards also shared his in-depth knowledge about Muslim scholars as follows: “On my first trip to Uzbekistan, in 1997, one of the historic cities I visited was Bukhara, where Ibn Sina was already a remarkable philosopher and medical practitioner before the age of 20. In 1999-2000, while teaching at a university in Tashkent, I had an opportunity to visit the province of Khorezm, in western Uzbekistan, and to see in Khiva the statue of al-Khwarizmi, the scholar who introduced algebra to the world and who also passed on from India the decimal numbering system we misname “Arabic” numerals. I also acquired a 5th-grade textbook that devotes several pages to great intellectuals including al-Khorazmiy (as they spell it), Ibn Sina, alFarabi and Abu Rayhan Biruni, among others – all natives of the territory that is now within Uzbekistan”. He concluded his remarks by sharing his recent experiences in Lahore, Pakistan in February 2009 where he attended the 4th Biennial Convention of the Association for the Study of Persianate Societies (ASPS). The recent ASPS convention in Lahore was given the title “Persianate Societies and the Subcontinent.” More than 70 papers were presented by participants from eleven countries. Iran was the home country of the largest number of participants, followed by the United States and Pakistan. In my own paper, “Interchange of Astronomical Tables in the Persianate Area”, he described how such information was flowing even before Islam reached the region, and that it continued to be interchanged over the years until well into the 18th century and even the early part of the 19th century. While in Lahore he was able to visit historical sights including the tombs of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir and his Empress Nur Jahan, the Badshahi Mosque and the shrine of Data Ganj Bakhsh Hajveri. He brought to the convention and distributed to participants many of IMPMS brochures and several reports of the AMSS/IMPMS Conference at SMU in 2005.
Mr. Shawn Ali Bhagat, Mr. Aziz Budri and Mr. Asif Effendi shared their personal admirations for Mr. Ahsani’s work and pledged to support the activities of the IMPMS.
Dr. Lalani presented the plaque to Ambassador Ahsani
IMPMS selected a well-known community leader, Dr. Inayat Lalani, a pioneer in raising the conscience of the Muslim community towards participating in politics and exercise their civil rights to vote and express their opinion, to make the award presentation to ambassador Ahsani. The plaque was prepared by Mr. Jawed Siddiqui and was presented to Mr. Ahsani. Several participants voiced their admiration for Mr. Ahsani’s contribution to the community.
Summary of Amb. Ahsani’s’ Speech
Starting with the State of Madinah, in 622 C.E. the Islamic Ummah gave to the world the first constitutional, political, economic, social and cultural order. In half a century, it engulfed half the territories of ancient civilizations: Iran, Rome, and Egypt. A century later, it developed a brilliant civilization in the heart of the world which was bound in the East by the Great Wall of China and in the West, the Atlantic Ocean and in the north by Siberia and on the south by the Indian Ocean. Recounting the history of science and civilization, Western historians overlook and neglect this grand and unprecedented uprising, transformation, and revolution in science, culture, and civilization and link the history of science from ancient Greece and Rome to the Renaissance, as though science and civilization had died for a thousand years and were of a sudden reborn during the Renaissance! But the Middle Ages was a period of darkness, ignorance, and consternation only for the West and Europe, but for the Islamic world, which was several times larger than Europe from Andalusia to China, this was a period of illumination, awakening, and academic sublimation and boom. This reminder aims to underline that inspiring knowledge that gave rise to such a massive civilization is now at our disposal about which. Thomas Carlyle, Edward Gibbon, George Sarton, Dozy, Carly Fiorina and Hamilton Morgan to mention a few paid glowing tributes
Islam has the capacity to lead its Ummah toward civil and academic sublimation: Faith, struggle, avoidance of discord are the only prerequisites for the fulfillment of this grand objective. The Holy Qur’an teaches us: And be not infirm, and be not grieving, and you shall have the upper hand if you are believers. (Holy Qur’an, Chapter A'Iay Imran, Verse 139) The Qur’an also teaches us: And (as for) those who strive hard for Us, We will most certainly guide them in Our ways, and Allah is most surely with the doers of good. (Holy Qur’an, Chapter Ankabut, Verse 69) It also offers the following instruction, And obey Allah and His Apostle and do not quarrel for then you will be weak in hearts and our power will depart, and be patient; surely Allah is with the patient. (Holy Qur’an, Chapter Anfal, Verse 46)
Looking ahead, IMPMS aims at generating a climate of mutual understanding and respect among people, at both the academic and the general public levels. To this end, the Institute plans: to establish a library of books, manuscripts, and other learning resources of and about major Medieval and Modern Muslim scholars; to commission further research into works of these luminaries, from the perspective of their relevance to current global cultural issues; to publish special papers and monographs based on these studies; to disseminate these resources through the academia and the print and electronic media; to organize major national and international seminars, workshops, colloquium and conferences on contributions of these scholars to various disciplines in humanities, and basic and applied sciences; and to create websites carrying these learning resources, including char rooms for ongoing discussions on these subjects.
For this purpose, affiliations are planned with national and international organizations, such as Medieval Institute, Western Michigan University; Medieval Academy of America; American Renaissance Society; Islamic Heritage Foundation, Hyderabad, India; Institute of International Islamic Thought (U.S.A., U.K., Germany, Pakistan, India, Malaysia, and various other institutions with common missions and goals.
Wa Ma Taufiqi Illa Billlah,(We have no endeavor without Allah's Will)
The State of Texas honored Ambassador Ahsani
Whereas, Syed Ahsani served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Sudan, Ghana, and Brazil; and
Whereas, Upon retirement, he moved to Arlington, Texas where he served as President of the American Muslim Caucus, Chairman of the American Muslim Task Force for Civil Rights and Elections—Southwest; co-founder and past President of the Institute of Medieval and Post Medieval Studies; and co-editor the book “Muslim Contributions to World Civilization”; and
Whereas, He organized Motamar’s International Conference on Islamic Spain in 1991; and
Whereas, He participated in the first inter-civilization conference, held by Muslim Scientists in 200 and Chaired and Co-Chaired similar conference from 2001 to 2005; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, Ambassador Syed Ahsani is honored for a long life spent in the service of his community.
IMPMS recognized Dr. Samir Iqbal
Dr. Samir Iqbal recently received a prestigious Early Career Research Award from Nation Science Foundation to develop new approaches to the electronic detection of the proteins. He graduated from NED Engineering University, Karachi - Pakistan and received his Ph. D. from Purdue University, Indiana - USA. He is currently holding a position of Assistant Professor - Nano Technology in College of Engineering, the University of Texas at Arlington.
New Members of IMPMS
Mr. Irfan Ali, Mr. Shawn Bhagat, Mr. Ali Gowani, Dr. Samir Iqbal, Mr. Ghaffar Khan, Mr. Khaliq Quereshi. Mr. Aqib Syed, Mr. MohSeikh, Mr. Mohamud Mohammad, Mr. Farooq Hemnani, Dr. Asif Syed