ISLAMIC STUDIES IN MODERN UZBEKISTAN
Docent G. Tulemetova
Center of Islamic Civilization
ISLAMIC STUDIES IN MODERN UZBEKISTAN
The idea of enlightenment in the Islamic world, the fight against ignorance reputed as factors of international terrorism and extremism, is an urgent task both for Central Asian region and the whole world. This was said by the President of our country Sh.Mirziyoyev in his speech at the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly in New York and he has addressed the session delegates with a proposal to adopt a special resolution of the General Assembly “Enlightenment and religious tolerance”. The president noted that its main goal is to promote universal access to education, eliminate illiteracy and ignorance. In addition, our country leader stated in his speech: “The aggravation of terrorist threats in the world, especially in recent years, indicates that the use of mainly forceful methods of counteraction does not justify itself. Often the efforts are reduced to combating the consequences of challenges, rather than their root causes. I believe that along with other factors, ignorance and intolerance are fundamentals of international terrorism and extremism”. .
In this regard, the value of education as a stabilizing factor rises to a new, even higher level. Enlightenment is an important and powerful weapon to fight for people’s intelligence, especially for the youth.
The formation of the Center of Islamic Civilization in Uzbekistan under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the International Islamic Academy in Uzbekistan, the International Center Imam al-Bukhari etc. in 2017 – 2018 y. by the Decree of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev gave powerful influence to the study of religious studies, history and Islamic source study, the philosophy of Islam, Islamic law. Their strategic goals are in line with the National Action Strategy for 2017-2021 and the 10-year action program in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation for 2016-2025.
A number of Decrees of the President of Uzbekistan Sh.Mirziyoyev in the sphere of education, made great impact on researches, including in religion of Islam. Hereby are the most important ones that relate to science, education and enlightenment spheres. President of the Republic of Uzbekistan issued a Decree on February 16, 2017 “On Further Improvement of the System of Postgraduate Education”, which significantly expanded the opportunities for both doctoral students and independent scientific researchers, and also obliged to improve the current procedure for recognizing documents on scientists’ degrees issued in foreign countries . This Decree motivates for research work, raises its reputation, enables to implement an effective two-level system of postgraduate education. President’s Decree «On the Program of Comprehensive Measures for the Development of the Publication and Distribution of Book Products and Increasing Book Reading Culture» dated September 13, 2017 raises the task of improving the reading culture to the level of state policy .
A book is an important component of education, upbringing and enlightenment. On the behalf of the President of Uzbekistan Sh. Mirziyoyev, starting from February 2017, activities have been launched to create a new format of textbooks and curricula on the subject «Religious Studies» for all levels of the education system; staffing educational institutions with teachers in this subject; organization of retraining courses and advanced personnel training, regular seminars for religious studies teachers. And also the initiative of the President of Uzbekistan on the establishment of the Islamic Center for Young Scientists - a platform for the exchange of experience and knowledge, conducting joint research to implement innovations and modernization in the Islamic world.
The largest stratum of studies on Islam is interdisciplinary research of teachers, philosophers, sociologists, political scientists, philologists. Their works are also of scientific interest, together they complement the topic of Islam religion in terms of their specialty and author’s vision. They are considered as the researches of a very wide range of issues: Islam and politics; Historiography and activities of religious denominations in Uzbekistan; Islam and enlightenment, the media; Religious philosophy, the aesthetics of Islam; Islam and spirituality, culture, literature. Educators studied ethical, educational, spiritual and moral foundations of outstanding representatives of the Islamic world: H.Ahmad Yassaviy; B.Nakshband; Marghinani. It should be noted the tendency to a harmonious combination of scientific and religious interpretation in studying the sources of Islam and the history of its development.
Islamic studies are strongly dominant in Uzbekistan, in general, interdisciplinary studies of the humanities of various universities of Uzbekistan on the history, philosophy and ideology of Islam, philological studies of Islamic vocabulary and religious motives in classical Uzbek literature, etc. as well as the source studies of the creativity of the outstanding thinkers of the Eastern Renaissance. In Uzbekistan, Islam is also studied at the Tashkent Islamic Institute (Mahad) and nine madrassas under the Muslim Board of Uzbekistan. A trend towards an interdisciplinary study of Islam has currently a number of lawyers and economists. They are interested in issues of Islamic law, Islamic economics, Sharia. At the moment, the connections of Islam with national self-consciousness, spirituality, upbringing, education, law are revealed. These solid source studies are undoubtedly of scientific interest for a circle of specialists in religious philosophy, the Aqidah. This is encouraging, since the policy of preserving the spiritual heritage and religious values are being successfully implemented. Apart from this, modern time also requires studying actual problems of present times connected with the activity of Islamic religious organizations in cyberspace, the prospect of modernization of Islamic civilization, with the richest culture of Islam and traditions of studying secular sciences: mathematics, astronomy, etc. Spiritual culture of Islam are also examples of various magnificent art forms: calligraphy, typography, musical and ornamental art, iconic architecture, etc. Enough work has been done in Uzbekistan in this direction, for example, study of the religious art of Islam, primarily architecture, calligraphy, ornamental art .
In conclusion, we make suggestions for:
1) expanding the range of studies on Islam, especially spiritual, ethical, pedagogical, socio-psychological aspects, as well as practical tasks related to the functioning of religion in cyberspace, carrying out a range of activities aimed at building ideological immunity in youth based on the humanistic values of Islam, acquiring skills for independent fact analysis and objective orientation in cyberspace;
2) the introduction of new specializations: a religious psychologist, a religious journalist, a religious teacher, a religious lawyer. Provide a wide range for the field of activities of these specialists in their fields, for example, the participation of religious lawyers as experts in litigation related to cases of religious organizations, suits of individual believers, etc.;
3) the publication of the Republican scientific journal, its use as a platform for discussions and exchange of views of Islamic studies, a review of new scientific literature in the field of studying and teaching Islam, discussing urgent problems in the prevention of threats to radicalization of Islam, protecting young people from the negative influence of many religious portals;
4) preparation and publication of an encyclopedic dictionary with the aim of unifying the basic concepts and categories of Islam, carrying out terminological expertise and standardizing terminology;
5) The development of a system of joint scientific and educational activities with the participation of foreign specialists; stimulating the professional translation of the most important works of Islam researchers from foreign languages into Uzbek and Russian, as well as the translation of local religious scholars into English, Arabic and other languages;
6) The establishment of a comprehensive study of Islam, its spiritual culture: calligraphy, book printing, musical and ornamental art, cult architecture, etc.
7) study and spread positive regional and world experience, establish academic exchange, conduct master classes and trainings with experts on sociology and psychology of inter-faith relations.
1. Speech of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Sh. Mirziyoyev at the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly (New York, September 19, 2017) .- Pravda Vostoka, September 20, 2017, No. 183.
2. Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan «On Further Improvement of the Post-Graduate Education System» (Collected Legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan, 2017, N 8, Article 106).
3. Resolution of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan «On the Program of Comprehensive Measures for the Development of Publication and Distribution of Book Products, Raising Book Reading Culture «.- Pravda Vostoka from September 14, 2017, No. 180.
4. Ibragimov E., Tulemetova G., Isokzhonov R.- Dynamics of the development of religious studies in Uzbekistan (based on the analysis of dissertational research on religious studies from 1992 to 2017 and government decisions). Materials of IX Republican Scientific and Practical Conference of Tashkent Islamic University «Actual Questions of Religious Studies». - April, 2017.- P.10-14