SMN al-Attas Chair

SMN Al-Attas Chair is a distinguished chair established at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s Raja Zarith Sofiah Centre for Advanced Studies on Islam, Science, and Civilization. The Chair is named in honor of Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, world-renowned Malay thinker in the contemporary world. The Chair is endowed by Yayasan Raja Zarith Sofiah Negeri Johor and conducts, inter alia, RZS CASIS Saturday Night Lecture Series, scholarly dialogues, and seminars.

Announcement on the appointment of the First Holder of the Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas Distinguished Chair of Islamic Thought.

The Raja Zarith Sofia Centre for Advanced Studies on Islam, Science and Civilisation (RZS CASIS) is privileged and takes great pleasure in announcing that YBhg. Professor Dr. Wan Mohd Nor Wan Daud, has been officially appointed as the inaugural holder of the Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas Distinguished Chair of Islamic Thought effective March 1, 2019.

Our Mission

We seek to promote advanced scholarship and learning for the advancement of knowledge in the field of studies relating to Islam, Science and Civilisation and their allied sciences under the ambit of the worldview of Islam in full cognisance of relevant developments in other civilisations, especially in the contemporary world, along with the educational philosophy and practice espoused by Tan Sri Professor Dr. Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas.

Royal Address

By Her Majesty Raja Zarith Sofiah Binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah Permaisuri Johor and Chancellor of UTM, 10th February 2018, CASIS UTM Kuala Lumpur.


Since the concept of ‘faculty’ (quwwah) refers to a living being in whom the attribute of ‘knowledge’ subsists, and this knowledge is the governing principle of his thought and action, the university must have been conceived in emulation of the general structure, in form, function and purpose of man. It was meant to be a microcosmic representation of man –indeed, of the Universal Man (al-Insān al-Kullī). 

Tan Sri Professor Dr. Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas

(Islam and Secularism, 1978, 154)

Nilai mementingkan ilmu sebagai kebaikan utama, sumber segala kebaikan (yakni jika disertakan dengan kehendak gigih dan niat ikhlas) telah melahirkan sikap memberatkan pendidikan sebagai kaedah utama. Bagi diri dan masyarakat berbudaya ilmu, tujuan utama pendidikan bukanlah untuk mendapatkan pekerjaan bergaji lumayan atau melahirkan tenaga kerja cekap tetapi untuk menanam sikap memuliakan ilmu, menuntutnya dan terus menghayatinya seumur hidup.

Wan Mohd Nor Wan Daud

(Penjelasan Budaya Ilmu, 1997, 56)

Postgraduate Programs

CASIS offers two research programmes: Master of Philosophy in Islamic Civilisation, and Doctor of Philosophy in Islamic Civilisation. Both programmes are research-based, which means students are required to produce a thesis reflecting an academic work worthy of such degrees.

Program Structure

The Master and Doctoral Program offered by CASIS are a Research only by definition. But to ensure our students to follow and understand the philosophy of education promoted by CASIS, we provide pre-requisite coursework throughout the study. Students are required to take some courses with the HW (check the list of courses) status with the intention to complete and strengthen some fundamental understandings in order to ensure success in their research. 

To find out more about our centre, please download our new brochure here.

Current Activities

Membina Kerjaya Persuratan: Menterjemah Kembara ‘Ilmu di CASIS

“Jika sebelum ini saya hanya pencari yang tanpa apa-apa kelulusan berkaitan, kini pengembaraan saya dalam dunia ke‘ilmuan dan keusahawanan ialah sebagai seorang graduan CASIS – yang perlu menjaga nama baik guru-guru saya dan juga madrasah yang saya mendapat manfa‘at besar daripadanya. Atas limpah ni‘mat daripada Allah, kesan pengajian saya di CASIS terzahir dalam ikhtiyar usaha kami membangunkan Akademi Jawi Malaysia yang berteraskan pandangan ‘alam Islam dan diusahakan sebagai usahaniaga yang berdiri atas kaki sendiri.”

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Serendipitous Travels for Knowledge and Place of Meaning: A Journey at RZS-CASIS

“If I can describe my journey learning the thoughts of Tan Sri Prof. Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas in one word, it would be “serendipitous”. Of course in the understanding of qada’ and qadar in Islam, nothing “just happens” because it just happens, but things happen with reason. Some of those reasons can be known to us in through the various forms of knowledge and sciences that we have, while some of it would remain unknown and hidden from us, secrets that might never be revealed.”

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On a Pursuit of the Unchanging, a Gratitude note to CASIS

On a Pursuit of the Unchanging, a Gratitude note to CASIS

“That pursuit of something unshifting, unchanging has expanded, from a smaller pursuit of one’s own life purpose after school, to one’s pursuit of social identity and sense of contribution to the society…..It made sense to me now as I feel it myself; how without a dynamic framework to live in today’s world, we can be floating or gasping unknowingly. We can engage but half-cooked. We can try to offer solutions, but not to the core….The issues we are facing are not simple, it is complex and often probes us to go beyond. We are asked to also look inside, to know ourselves, to be honest with our own capacity, because changes need to be sustained and filled in.”

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Man of Adab in History

[This entry is a selected summary and report of the RZS-CASIS Saturday Night Lecture (CSNL) given by Prof. Wan Mohd Nor on 21st August 2021.] Ahmad Khushairi Ismail (RZS-CASIS MPhil Alumni) Editted by Sarah Albani On the 21st of August 2021, The Raja Zarith Sofiah...

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RZS-CASIS VISITING SCHOLAR LECTURE SERIES – ‘Some Aspects of Knowledge, Science, and the Philosophy for the Future’ by Datuk Dr. Syed Ali Tawfik Al-Attas

We are pleased to announce that as part of Datuk Dr Syed Ali Tawfiq al-Attas's new appointment as Visiting Scholar at the Raja Zarith Sofiah Centre for Advanced Studies on Islam, Science and Civilisation (RZS-CASIS), he will be delivering a series of lectures at...

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