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  1. Islamisation of Knowledge: Problems, Principles and Prospective click
  2. Islamic Thought in the Modern World click
  3. An Approach to Knowledge and Human Limitations click
  4. The Balance Sheet of Western Philosophy in this Century click
  5. Man between Two Laws: A Qur’anic Perspective in Understanding Self and Understanding the Other click


Muslim Epistemology : An Analytical Appraisal of Islamization of Knowledge PDF Print E-mail

Muhammad Amin

Muslim epistemology means Islamic theory of knowledge or the Islamic concept of knowledge. It discusses nature of knowledge, its sources, objectives and scope, its types and branches, which branch of knowledge is useful and should be acquired, which one is harmful and should better be avoided, what is possible to know, and what is simply not possible to know, how can knowledge be acquired etc.

The discussion of epistemology is not merely theoretical as it has a close bearing on human thought and behavior in individuals and the society at large. Epistemology, in fact, is the product of the worldview of a society (its concept of man, the universe and the deity).The concept of knowledge in a society gives birth to different disciplines and branches of knowledge, educational philosophy and institutional infra-structure. Education plays a key role in the character building of individuals who in turn make up the society and develop a civilization.

The importance of epistemology should be evident from the fact that the Noble Quran provides detailed guidance in this regard, and the subject also gets high priority in the Ahadith. For instance, Imam Bukhari, in his Sahih, has set the chapter on Ilm (knowledge) immediately after the Book of Revelation and the Book on Iman, and it is an exhaustive study spread over sixteen chapters. Similarly, Muslim ulema and scholars, theologians, thinkers and the Sufis (mystics) have attached great importance to knowledge and discussed it at length. (2) Accordingly, Imam Ibne Abdul Barr, Syed Ali Hajveri, Ibne Sina, Imam Ghazali, Ibne Rushd, Ibne Khuldoon, Ibne Arabi, Ibne Taimiyah, Mullah Sadrah, Shah Wali Ullah, Shah Ismail Shaheed, and in the recent past Allama Muhammad Iqbal, Maulana Syed Abul Ala Maudoodi, and Dr. Rafi Uddin have made valuable contribution in this field. (3)

Issues in Islamization of Knowledge, Man and Education PDF Print E-mail

Mahmoud Hamid Al Migdadi

The debate over the process of Islamization in general and the Islamization of knowledge in particular, has frequently shed more heat than light. Debaters often seem to be holding entirely different points of view, and talking past each other. More particularly, two differing perspectives with regard to whether or not knowledge should be Islamized have emerged. The liberalists, who are also known as adaptionists because they imitate secular vision of life, first by separating religion from politics, and second by reducing Islam to a realm of individual ethics, view all religious phenomena as social facts thus reject normative reduction of religion to reality. According to Tibi (1988), for instance, the Muslim backwardness in the development of science and technology is rooted in Islam itself. This is because, argues Tibi, Muslim societies have been structurally dominated by a pre-industrial culture, i.e. Islam. His solution to this problem, therefore, was through secularization of Islam. The liberalists reduced the world to rationality and considered it as a source and mean of knowledge.

Also, according to the traditional Muslim scholars – the traditionalists who are also called the rejectionists, because they oppose all Western ideas and values without any assessment and consideration (Ali,2001), all knowledge is from Allah and when al Qur’an was revealed, it had been Islamized then, so  there is no need to re-Islamize it today. They are well versed in various branches of revealed knowledge, and are careful of their sayings and behaviors and these must be all in line with the Qur’anic verses and prophetic traditions. With regard to their attitudes towards Western education, they have no interest at all. Rather, they claim that Western education spreads the laxity of morals among pupils through indiscriminate mixing of boys and girls at school and unveiling of girls’ heads, bosoms, and legs, in addition to the secular syllabus it brings about (Nasiru, 1997). They do not realize the necessity of modern education because they view the world depending on the Qur’an and prophetic traditions as both sources and means of knowledge. In addition, the secularist-modernists argue that modern knowledge is universal, not related with any specific civilization and culturally neutral, thus cannot be infused with the value system of any particular culture (Hoodbhoy and Abdus Salam, in Hashim and Rossidy 2000: 20). Such positions are reinforced also by Fazlur Rahman, who argues that one cannot map knowledge; it is created by Allah in the human mind. So Muslims should not pay any heed for making maps and charts of how to develop Islamic knowledge (Fazlur Rahman, in Hashim and Rossidy 2000: 20).

Islamization of Knowledge: An Agenda for Muslim Intellectuals PDF Print E-mail

Muhammad Amimul Ahsan, Dr. Abul Kalam Mohammad Shahed & Afzal Ahmad

Human beings have a keen interest in learning. It is a pre-historic human instinct.  Man wants to analyze a phenomenon to achieve a true knowledge about it. They want to see its essence through incessant questioning and take part in dialogue to clarify their views. In course of history, many types of epistemology, philosophy, and method of thought and methodology have evolved. Only revealed knowledge can offer ultimate relief to man. However, there are some deceitful men who hide the truth to keep the common mass in ignorance. They manipulate knowledge for their own vested interest and they preserve self-interest, greed and malice to fetter people with ignorance. The knowledge  and the science,  which are not used for  the betterment of mankind, rather for destruction, cannot be the true knowledge and true science.

In these circumstances, a general awaking among Muslim men and women, searching for their Islamic roots and identity, and aspiring for the revival of the Islamic Civilization, is a well-recognized social reality. Several different terms, such as Islamic Renaissance, Islamic Revivalist Movement, Islamic Reformation, are used to capture the meaning and purpose of the 20 and 21st Century social phenomenon of immense  significance to both Muslim and non-Muslim worlds. Islamization of Knowledge is such type of comprehensive phenomenon, which re-establishes the knowledge on its original basis. Knowledge is a medium to perceive the entity of Allah. The purpose of knowledge is to extract the essence of the nature and the universe and then to prostrate and surrender in complete humility before Allah, the most Merciful and the most Beneficent, thank Him and be gratitude to Him. It also makes a general impression of goodness, purity and piety.

Maqasid al-Shari’ah Made Simple PDF Print E-mail

Mohammad Hashim Kamali

This article is presented in five sections beginning with a general characterisation of the maqasid al-Shari’ah and its origins in the Qur’an. The next section addresses the classification of the maqasid and a certain order of priority that is integrated into the structure of the maqasid. Section three is devoted to historical developments and the contributions of some of the leading ‘ulama’, especially that of Abu Ishaq Ibrahim alShatibi, to the theory of the maqasid. Section four looks into the differential  approaches the ‘ulama’ have taken toward the identification of the maqasid. The last section highlights the relevance of the maqasid to ijtihad and the ways in which the maqasid can enhance the scope and caliber of ijtihad.

Textual Origins

Maqasid al-Shari’ah, or the goals and objectives of Islamic law, is an evidently important and yet somewhat neglected theme of the Shari’ah. Generally the Shari’ah is predicated on the benefits of the individual and that of the community, and its laws are designed so as to protect these benefits and facilitate improvement and perfection  of the conditions of human life on earth. The Qur’an is expressive of this when it singles out the most important purpose of the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be on him) in such terms as: “We have not sent you but a mercy to the world” (21: 107). This can also be seen perhaps in the Qur’an’s characterisation of itself in that it is “a healing to the (spiritual) ailment of the hearts, guidance and mercy for the believers (and mankind)” (10: 57).

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