This research area seeks to address issues around the compatibility or otherwise between religion and secularism, with a focus on Muslim minorities living in secular (and/or non-theocratic) states.
Topics under this area may include citizenship, the nexus between religious/non-religious legal systems, and between the maqasid and modern and secular legal philosophies.
The aim of this research area is to identify models of successful citizenship and contribution, and formulate a robust and credible framework of successful living drawn from Islamic traditions, history and experiences, where Muslims even as minorities, can thrive and participate and contribute positively in areas of policymaking and governance, and live confidently as Muslims and contributive citizens of the nation state.
Religions have the potential to be an effective resource in enriching further the common space and common good in any pluralistic society. However, contemporary plural social contexts present a wide-range of dilemmas that usually arise from literal interpretation of religious texts and histories.
This research area will study Islamic texts and histories and examine the contexts of these texts and traditions to distinguish between what is immutable in the form of core principles, values and beliefs, and what are context-specific and require fresh interpretations. These include concepts, terminologies and laws that are laden with historical contexts. It seeks to identify ways that Muslims can co-exist peacefully and in constructive and mutually-beneficial ways with other communities, and barriers to such co-existence and how they can be overcome.
This research area aims to identify key demographic trends in Muslim marriage and divorce, as well as the dynamics and social make up of Malay/Muslim families in Singapore, with the aim of identifying ways of supporting and strengthening the family institution in new contexts. To this end, it will facilitate the comparative study of best practices and models of Muslim family law implementations in various contexts. It will study how the different stakeholders and agencies in Singapore can collaborate to support families through programmatic approaches, religious guidance, and reviews of laws as society evolves so that they remain resilient amidst these challenges.
Scientific progress and research continue to push boundaries and force us to rethink our religious and ethical positions. At the same time, the world is suffering from a climate crisis that urgently necessitates the fast development of renewable energies and more sustainable lifestyles and behaviours.
This research area will explore emerging issues like new and sustainable food technologies, environmental issues, digital technologies, crypto-currencies and digital finance. It will study Islamic ethics that speak on these issues as a basis to encourage Muslims to contribute by way of offering solutions in these areas and in overcoming common existential threats.