“Sleeping” in Religion and Science Issues

Sleep may be just a matter of simple activity, but it could be an interesting scientific discourse as discussed in “Wednesday Forum” a special weekly discussion of CRCS/ICRS UGM held last Wednesday, 29 September 2010. It was Mohd Amzari Tumiran, a student of Graduate School University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, as the guest speaker presenting “Sleep from the Neuroscience Perspective and the Islamic Perspective: Case Study on Muslims in the Education System of Malaysia.

According to him, the presentation was the result of a research conducted by a research institution under the University of Malaysia called Malaya Neurosc Research Group [NSG], a group of students with different backgrounds of disciplines, in which Tumiran was one of the researchers. He also said that several teachers from various disciplines had initiated the research, henceforth the implementation was eventually undertaken by the NSG.

Using methods of content analysis and field survey, the research involved 24 different boarding high schools in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan as research correspondents. Beginning with the elaboration of the theme of sleep based on scientific and Islamic literatures, the research was then followed by distributing questionnaires about sleeping issues to instructors and students in those boarding houses. The findings produced from the field research ultimately became a reference for  comparative studies.

The discussion was running actively led by Ahmed Saber, an ICRS doctoral candidate from Egypt, as the moderator. Saber opened the discussion by quoting some verses from the Holy Koran containing themes about sleep. Some participants questioned the research methods that seemed to be an apologetic exposition about sleeping in the Islamic perspective, while the scientific perspective was only used as a justification upon it.

Tumiran then answered the ‘allegation” of science Islamization by giving some arguments of harmony between Islam and science. The explanation was considered insufficient to some audience, but the discussion was still attractive. Some participants were actively involved in the question and answer session, eventhough the discussion was more like a health consultation over sleeping problems.

At the end of the discussion, Tumiran thanked for the criticism raised by some participants. He also expressed his gratitude to the moderator who assisted him in interpreting English. He noted that the criticism was very important for the continuation of the research results which will be published by University of Malaya.

Tumiran uttered not only him sent by his university to Yogyakarta for one month, but there is also another fellow, Khayruddin, who is an NSG crew as well. As planned, despite presenting research results at several universities, these two students will conduct research in several pesantrens, Islamic Boarding Schools.[MoU]

This post is also available in: Indonesian

Leave a Reply