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February 25, 2015

VC Forum ‘a tremendous platform to interact with universities’


February 25, 2015

Dr Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips said that VC Forum is an event that provides an excellent opportunity to universities to interact with one another and share the weaknesses and strength of one another.
“We need to help each other because if Muslims remain ignorant of education they cannot steer out of sectarianism and other issues. We should only stress on Quran and Sunnah and not beyond that,” he said.
Dr Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips has written, translated and commented on over 50 published books on various Islamic topics. He has also edited and published the 56 book Eemaan Reading Series for children and presented Islamic programmes for a number of years on Riyadh Channel 2TV, Sharjah TV for ten years, as well as Peace TV, Huda TV, Islam Channel, UK, and the Deen Show, Chicago, USA. He is here in Islamabad participating at the VC Forum when ‘The News’ has managed to exclusively interview him.
Dr. Bilal Philips is the Founder and Dean of Islamic Online University (IOU). It is a virtual classroom where the students can see their teacher on screen and learn from him, ask questions and get tutorials from him.
Dr. Bilal said that the Islamic Online University aims to grant global access to quality undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate level Islamic education programmes for students at virtually no cost. “Its mission is to change the Muslim nation and the world situation through appropriate education.”
The principles upon which IOU is based on are knowledge through Quran and Sunnah. God said: “Indeed it is only the knowledgeable among His servants who truly fear Allah.” And the Last Prophet (PBUH) said: “Seeking knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim,” he said.
Dr. Bilal said that we started Bachelors with Shariah and now we are teaching Education, Psychology, Islamic Banking and Finance, Information Technology and Management. “In Islam everything is connected and in our university we incorporate religion in different

subjects. We teach subjects through an Islamic perspective. In seven years’ time, we have a whopping figure of 200,000 students and it is all because of the power of technology and internet. We cannot leave our students to be left behind; we should use this technology and seek knowledge so our diploma is free of cost. Our university is the only university which has accreditation from different countries so our students don’t need to worry whether his degree would be recognised in different country or not. Our students are in 225 countries all over the world. Recently we have done collaborations with Comsats, Riphah and AIMS universities,” he said.
Dr Philips is a Jamaican Canadian Islamic Scholar who converted to Islam in the early seventies after journeying politically and intellectually from Christianity to Communism. Shortly after his conversion to Islam, he embarked on a spiritual academic journey to the other side of the world seeking Islamic knowledge. This journey took him to Saudi Arabia where he completed a BA in Islamic Studies in Madina, and an MA in Islamic Theology in Riyadh, then to the University of Wales, UK, where he completed a PhD in Islamic Theology in the early nineties.
After graduation from Madina, Dr Bilal became a teacher of Islamic Studies for 10 years in an Islamic High School, Manaret, Riyadh, and a lecturer of Arabic and Islamic Studies in the American University in Dubai, UAE, for another 10 years. During his 10 years in the UAE, he founded and taught at the Islamic Information Center in Dubai, and during his subsequent 7 years in Qatar he has been an Islamic consultant and lecturer for the Islamic Information wing of Sh. Eed Charity.
In 2002 Dr Philips founded and headed the Islamic Studies Department of Preston University, Ajman, UAE, and in 2007 he founded and headed the Islamic Studies Academy, Doha, Qatar, while simultaneously launching the Islamic Online University and for which he was included in the Jordanian publication, The 500 Most Influential Muslims.

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