IRF’s Summer School for Islam and Reform 2019

December 30, 2018


Date: 1st to 6th February 2019
Venue: Concorde Hotel, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur
Organizer: Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)

Welcoming Remarks:
Dato’ Dr. Ahmad Farouk Musa, Director, IRF

Keynote Speech:
YB Saari Sungib


  1. Dr Azzam Tamimi, Institute of Islamic Political Thought (IIPT), London
  2. Prof. Nader Hashemi, University of Denver
  3. Dr Azhar Ibrahim, National University of Singapore

A landmark has been achieved in the journey towards reform and democratization in Malaysia. The political change in 2018 will surely be remembered as one of the important moments in the development of the nation that shall be recorded asan important phase to all Malaysians who have struggled towards progress, reform and democracy for decades. Such historic moment was also dubbed the transition for an establishment of a ‘New Malaysia’ that promises the advancement of democracy, freedom, and reform in the country after more than 60 years of independence. On top of that the power transition shall also open up rooms for reform in Islam, which was strongly suppressed under the previous administration.

It must be realized that there are urgent needs for reform in our society, such as; on the Islamic thoughts of our scholars and intellectuals, on the institutions being tasked on the development of Islam and also a need to provide a critical perspective towards the culture of Muslims and in the way we practice our religiosity. As it must be acknowledged that only through substantial reform, Muslims of today could aspire to become the best of the Ummah, as once achieved by the prophet and the early generation of his rightly guided Caliphs.

Under this light and optimistic direction, Islamic Renaissance Front shall continue our work, struggles, and commitment of the past 10 years towards the actualization of reform in Islam and the Muslim Ummah, particularly in this country. We see the need to instill and empower the younger generation of youths and activists of today with the spirit of reform as being encouraged in Islam. In this IRF School for Islam and Reform 2019, the important discourses related to Islam and reform will be shared with the selected participants. The study courses will include; Reformist Thoughts in Islam, Critical Perspectives on the Muslim Societies, and Reformist Thoughts in the Nusantara. The program aims to develop a critical mindset and aspiration of continuous reform to be instilled in younger generation of leaders in the country and the region, as with only such mindset in place, Muslims can look forward for a continuous progress and long-lasting development in the challenging global world of today.

Study Modules & Speakers

The study modules to be used in the course will be based on the categories listed in the following table;

No. Types Topic Speakers/ Trainers


(2 hours x 4 sessions)

An Introduction to Reformist Thoughts in Islam

Session 1: Politics before and during the age of Prophethood

Session 2: Politics during the Rightly-Guided Caliphs

Session 3: The assassination of shura and the birth of Islamic Political Thought

Session 4: The quest for a shura revival: The age of democracy

Dr Azzam Tamimi, Institute of Islamic Political Thought


(2 hours x 4 sessions)

Critical Perspectives in Contemporary Muslim Societies

Session 1: Remembering Jamal al-Din al-Afghani – Context, Concepts and Controversies in Modern Islamic Political Thought

Session 2: Post-colonialism and the Rise of Modern Muslim Apologetics

Session3:  Post-Islamism: Reconciling Religion with Rights

Session 4: Fazlur Rahman, Islam, and Modernity

Prof. Nader Hashemi, University of Denver


(2 hours x 4 sessions)

Reformist Thoughts in the Nusantara

Session 1: The varieties of Muslim Religious in the Nusantara

Session 2: Reformist Agenda in Islamic Discourse and Scholarship

Session 3: Constellations and Contestations of Islamic Ideas: The Exogenous Connections

Session 4: The Cultural Paradigm in Reform Endeavours: The Case in Nusantara

Dr Azhar Ibrahim, National University of Singapore

Interactive Group Discussion

(2 hours x 2 sessions)

Group Discussions on the Roles of Young Muslims towards Reform

Facilitators from IRF:

Ehsan Shahwahid

Shuhaib Ar-Rumy

Nur Adilla

Thufail Sayuti

Hazman Baharom

Ahmad Muziru Idham




(2 hours 30 mins)

Forum Discussion on Islamic Reform in the Nusantara

“Reformisme Kaum Muda di Nusantara: Apakah Ia Projek yang Gagal?”

Dr Azhar Ibrahim, Dr Muhammad Syahrial, Dr Sohirin Solihin


For full program details, please download the PDF E-Booklet here.

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