Why Muslim world in general and Pakistan in particular, not progressed socially, economically, technically and answer is, lack of philosophical and scientific approach, absence of “intellectual infrastructure”, curbs on critical thinking and severe restrictions on freedom of speech.
This was the essence of the first-ever but multi-dimensional, multi-faceted and dynamic debate, initiated at the newly launched platform, the “Islamabad Circle” – Pakistan’s first-ever philosophical forum for vibrant and thought-provoking debates. Islamabad Circle in collaboration with Pakistan Academy of Sciences (PAS) organized a thrilling book launch, titled, “Science – Talash-e-Haq”, written by eminent scientist, physicist and renowned poet, Dr Hamid Saleem.
Addressing at the occasion, former senator and senior leader Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Farhatullah Babar said that Pakistan cannot progress without true scientific approach. Pakistan lacks an educational and conclusive platform for debate along with the freedom of speech. Babar was stressing, “If someone talks on national security, he is labelled as a traitor while talking on religion is taken as infidelity” he further elaborated, “[unfortunately] Pakistan is a security state, not a welfare state.”
Elaborating the importance of book – former senator was of the view that propagation of philosophical approach and critical thinking in the country, particularly in scientific thoughts, is inevitable. He described that even those, who don’t know the composition of matter that either atom is in the nucleus or nucleus is in atom, can also understand science after reading this book.
“Science – Talash-e-Haq” is the quest for truth, in which, the author has tried to highlight the importance of scientific and philosophical thinking. Pakistan cannot progress without adopting the scientific and critical debate and approach. The dishonesty of authors, scholars and politicians are quite famous but to criticize the shortcomings of religious figures, is an exemplified act of bravery in the book.
He said that scientists do not take research outcomes as final discourse; however, the religious scholars do so. The country is going through such phase in which The Council of Islamic Ideology insists on moon sighting through “Ruet-e-Hilal” (Authenticity of moon sighting) committee and that husband has the right to beat his wife. “The council also objected when the resolution was passed in Sindh Assembly to limit the age of girl-marriage to the minimum of 18 years, such a council should not exist or abolished” Babar added.
Prominent Religious Scholar Saqib Akbar said that the author has proved that science can also be taught in Urdu. This book provides students, an opportunity to learn science in their own national language. The narrowmindedness of religious scholars, the static nature of the society and philosophical approach has been beautifully demonstrated in couplets. Science is the truth but in a materialistic manner not entirely. Without any proof, it is incorrect to believe or reject it. President, Pakistan Academy of Sciences (PAS)- Dr Qasim Jaan said that the book is the perfect amalgamation of science, religion, philosophy and literature. It is important to present science physics in Urdu. The translation of books on science into national and local languages is inevitable to benefit society through scientific thoughts.
Renowned scientist, Professor Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy said that science is usually considered a stockpile of facts. In this book, the author has presented science as logic, statistics and observation. The core aim of this book is the propagation of scientific thinking, while stressed that Pakistan needs a thinking environment when doesn’t have any space for the propagation of science. “For the past 800 years, Muslims had done nothing, all inventions like fan and light, are gifted from West, to whom we curse, youth have lost their urge of discovery but also maintained that real progress desires that science and religion should be kept apart”, Dr Hoodbhoy explained.
Author of the book “Science – Talash-e-Haq” and the prominent physicist, Dr Hamid Salim, while addressing the launch said that his book is an attempt to provide the society with a scientific base. “For the sake of prosperity and peace in the world, it’s important to give special attention to science. For the security of every country, the acquisition of modern knowledge holds great significance”, he enlightened.
Dr Hamid described that the knowledge of basic theories of science can help in erasing prejudice and communal hatred. Some influential persons, despite having knowledge, want to keep the public away from the ideological and critical path so to ensure their own vested interests. Such nations are doomed to failure and destruction while conditions only help the privileged ones, however, the moral degradation ultimately leads to the destruction of such nations. The reason behind the influence of developed nations is their superiority in knowledge and thinking. He hoped that from the book, students would also benefit themselves.
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy and position of Regional Rapport.