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  1. Islamisation of Knowledge: Problems, Principles and Prospective click
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  5. Man between Two Laws: A Qur’anic Perspective in Understanding Self and Understanding the Other click


Islamization of Knowledge
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).

Maqasid al Shari’ah: A Strategy to Rehabilitate Religion in America PDF Print E-mail

Robert D. Crane

Where do the Maqasid come from?

Before I explain what the maqasid al shari’ah are and why they can serve to rehabilitate religion in America, I want to discuss where they come from and what their purpose is in the design of Allah.

As a professional, long-range global strategist, my concern has always been to forecast and plan the preservation and revival of entire civilizations as a means to fulfill the purpose of human life on earth. The purpose of every civilization or hadara is to promote peace, prosperity, and freedom for its own members and for all others through compassionate justice.

The challenge for all of us therefore is how to do this. The simple answer is to become what Allah intends us to be, both as persons and as communities. The Prophet Muhammad, salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa salam, said that every person is created in the image of God, which is what the Christians call the imagio dei. If we are to become God-like, what does this mean? In a hadith qudsi, the Prophet explained his understanding that we are to reflect the attributes of Allah by becoming His eyes, ears, and hands. All these, of course, are metaphors.

Allah has created us to be powerful, to be merciful, and to be knowledgeable, because these are the three central attributes of Allah. Some un-orthodox Christians refer to these attributes of God by the terms Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and distinguish them from the Being of God, just as Muslims do.

We have been given the power to know the truth and to apply it with compassion in the form of justice. Our purpose here on earth is to do this by recognizing our real identity, not any faux identity that we might prefer. We can become what we are intended to be by: 1) relying on the Word of Allah; 2) observing the coherence of the universe; and 3) using our power of rational thought to understand how each of these two sources of knowledge, i.e., revelation and science, complement and reinforce each other.

Islamization of Knowledge: Survey and Selected Issues PDF Print E-mail

M. Aslam Haneef

In one of the early writings discussing the rise of fundamentalism in the Arab world, Dekmejian (1985)  provides a list of events which to him, constitutes the ‘militant form‘ of Islamic fundamentalism at the turn of the 15th hijri century. The Islamic revolution in Iran, the takeover of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, resistance to the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan, armed opposition in various Arab countries, the assassination of Sadat, and other forms of armed attacks and struggle throughout the middle east are some examples of this 'militant form.' There is no doubt that these events occurred and did represent one dimension of a complex and wide-ranging phenomenon called the Islamic resurgence.


However, another dimension of this ―Islamic resurgence‖ that has not received as much attention from analysts like Dekmejian and many other experts on Islam in the west has been the intellectual dimension. Even the highly acclaimed University of Chicago study on Fundamentalisms did not focus sufficiently on the intellectual movements of the last three decades of the 20th century although the first volume on Fundamentalisms and Society claimed to assess the ‘progress of fundamentalist leaders and movements in their attempts to reorder scientific inquiry, to reclaim the patterns of traditional family life and interpersonal relations, and to reshape education and communication systems.‘

Integrating Al-Turath al-Islami to Modern University Curriculum: Issues and the Need for a Benchmark PDF Print E-mail

Mustafa Omar Mohammed
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1. Introduction

Generally speaking, al-Turath al-Islami or Islamic heritage or al-turath in short refers to all the legacies left behind by Muslim individuals and societies throughout Islamic history (Sultan, 1991; Muhammad, 2004). Such legacies can be physical, for instance arts, buildings and they can be abstract such as intellectual properties – on which this chapter will focus. Al-turath constitutes an important reference point for the Ummah. The two primary sources of al-turath are the Quran and the Sunnah. Both connect the Muslim Ummah to their origin and past, provide them with a sense of identity and belongingness and, give them guidance on how to conduct their lives. Both sources also define and explain the relationships of the members of the Ummah with their creator, with one another and with their environment. In short, al-turath is itself the foundation of the Ummah’s existence, direction, development and prosperity. The success of the Muslim Ummah throughout history has primarily depended on them being steadfast in adhering firmly to and integrating the lessons from al-turath in its letter and spirit to their day to day affairs. This of course is in line with their understanding of the prophetic hadith, “I have left for you two sources that you will never go astray if you hold them steadfast: the book of Allah and the Sunnah of his prophet” (al-Imam Malik, Muwatta). Today, the integration of al-turath has assumed different names such as aslamah al-ma’rifah (Islamization of knowledge), al-tasil (Going back to the origin - heritage), reconstruction of knowledge (Abu Bakar, 2010) and of recent al-tasil al-mu’asarah[1]. Whereas the Muslim Ummah have achieved glory by integrating their turath to their daily affairs,  studies have also shown that the plight of the Ummah today is because of their ignorance about their turath and their inability to avail its treasures and integrate them to their lives. The Ummah today is at the cross road of utter confusion. They are in search of their lost identity from al-turath on one hand and wishing to be seen as ‘modern’ on the other. Theoretically there should be no contradiction between al-turath and changes due to the so called modernity from other civilizations. But the problem is when the Muslim Ummah adopt what Kasule (2008) termed as a dualistic approach between al-turath and these changes. Abu Sulayman (1993) argues that the Muslim mind is in crisis due to, among others, his failure to articulate intellectually the right method of dealing with his turath and integrating it to modern discipline to address contemporary challenges.

Higher Education Curriculum Development for Islamization of Knowledge PDF Print E-mail

Rosnani Hashim
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1.  Introduction

There is a great awareness today among faculty members of an Islamic or Muslim university on the need for Islamization of knowledge to ensure that its sacredness and its true purpose are attained.  This awareness arose after observing the effects of the secular education permeating in most education system of the Muslim world. Among the conspicuous consequences are the secularized minds which influenced attitudes and conduct to the point that instead of living within the principles of the Islamic worldview as prescribed in the Qur’an and the Sunnah, it led university graduates to live a life inconsistent with Islam. The problem of value crisis was diagnosed to lie with the value imposed by this kind of knowledge acquired or transmitted to them.  To cure this problem, Muslim scholars have advocated for “Islamization of knowledge” (IOK) and recently to distinguish from revealed knowledge, “Islamization of human knowledge” (IOHK).  Both refer to the process of examining the conventional Western knowledge that have been transmitted and to eliminate values contradictory to Islam or Western science itself and replaced it with Islamic values and sciences.  There have been two proponents of Islamization of knowledge – Al-Attas and al-Faruqi.  The former is more concern with reforming the mind through proper construction of the Islamic worldview which will then yield the right framework for action.  The latter is more concern with the processes that need to be taken in epistemology so that the knowledge is reconstructed or rewritten such that the Islamic values based on the five unities which form the first principles of Islamic methodology are evident in the text.  The five unities are as follows (al-Faruqi, 1982):

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