Zakir Naik and Bilal Phillips at UMAM
The internationalization of Muhammadiyah aims to actively impact Muhammadiyah's presence on the international stage. Internationalization is the aspiration of the Chairman of the Central Leadership of Muhammadiyah, Prof. Dr. Haedar Nashir, and the establishment of Universiti Muhammadiyah Malaysia (UMAM) is part of the effort to realize this aspiration.
On January 29, 2024, Universiti Muhammadiyah Malaysia (UMAM) as the only one Muhammadiyah University oversea received a visit from two very popular scholars in the Islamic world, Dr. Zakir Naik and Dr. Bilal Philips.
Dr. Zakir Naik is a widely recognized figure known for his expertise in comparative religion. He has traveled to various parts of the world to engage in discussions with non-Muslims and has converted thousands of people to Islam due to his convincing explanations. Meanwhile, Dr. Bilal Philips is an intellectual figure known worldwide for his spiritual journey to discover the light of Islam, with his name being well-known in various countries.
The two Muslim scholars visited the UMAM campus in Perlis and were directly received by two Deputy Vice Chancellors, Dr. Dwi Santoso and Dr. Wachid Ridwan, and along with the Deans, Head of Programs, and other UMAM staff. The presence of both figures was accompanied by several key officials from the Perlis Islamic Religious Council and Malay Customs (MAIPs), including Ustadz Nazim.
During the discussion introducing Muhammadiyah's philosophy of promoting good and preventing evil (amar makruf nahi munkar), Dr. Zakir Naik immediately mentioned that he was familiar with Muhammadiyah and had visited the Muhammadiyah Central Office and its leadership. The visit to UMAM was a manifestation of fostering ties with one of Muhammadiyah's international educational hubs.
Muhammadiyah's vision and mission are the realization of a truly independent, progressive, and prosperous Islamic society. Establishing pure monotheism based on the Quran and authentic Sunnah and realizing Islamic life in personal, familial, national, and state life are also part of the struggle of both figures.
Dr. Zakir Naik, Dr. Bilal Philips, and Muhammadiyah share the same mission: to revive the golden age of Islam through enlightenment, transformation, reform, renewal, and returning to the true teachings of Islam as found in the Quran and authentic Sunnah.
During the visit, both great figures of the Islamic world expressed interest in strengthening UMAM's international network by recommending their followers to pursue doctoral programs at UMAM. (Summarized by Dr. Afriadi Sanusi, UMAM lecturer).