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Encyclopedia > Islamization of knowledge

Islamization of knowledge is a term which describes a variety of attempts and approaches to synthesize the ethics of Islam with various fields of modern thought. Its end product would be a new ijma ("consensus") among Muslims on an appropriate fiqh ("jurisprudence") and a scientific method that did not violate Islamic ethical norms. However, some liberal movements within Islam are skeptical of the approach, viewing the construction of fields such as Islamic science and Islamic economics largely as propaganda created to further the conservative view that Islam is an all-encompassing social system. Islam (Arabic: ; ( ▶ (help· info)), the submission to God) is a monotheistic faith, one of the Abrahamic religions and the worlds second-largest religion. ... Ijmāʿ (إجماع) is an Arabic tern referring to the consensus of the ummah, the community of Muslims, those practicing Islam, or of the ulema, those learned in the relevant topic. ... A Muslim is a believer in or follower of Islam. ... Islamic jurisprudence, (Arabic: Fiqh) (in Arabic and Persian: فقه) is made up of the rulings (Fatwa) of Muslim Islamic jurists (Ulema) to direct the lives of the Muslims. ... Scientific method as envisaged by one of its early exponents, Sir Isaac Newton, is fundamental to the investigation and acquisition of new knowledge based upon physical evidence. ... Since the 19th century, Muslim progressives have produced a considerable body of liberal thought within Islam (in Arabic: الإسلام الاجتهادي or interpretation-based Islam; also الإسلام التقدمي or progressive Islam). These have in common a religious outlook which depends mainly on ijtihad or re-interpretations of scriptures. ... Islamic science is science in the context of traditional religious ideas of Islam, including its ethics and philosophy. ... Islamic economics is economics in accordance with Islamic law. ...


The phrase "Islamization of knowledge" was first used and proposed by the Malaysian scholar Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas in his book "Islam and Secularism" ISBN 9839962868 (first published in 1978). Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas Syed Muhammad al Naquib bin Ali bin Abdullah bin Muhsin al Attas (born September 5, 1931) is a prominent contemporary Muslim philosopher and thinker from Malaysia. ... 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1978 calendar). ...


It was also proposed by the Palestinian philosopher Ismail Al-Faruqi, in 1982, in response to what he called "the malaise of the ummah" (faithful). He argued that by using tools, categories, concepts and modes of analysis that originated wholly in the secular West (like Marxism), there was a disconnect between the ecological and social reality of Muslim nations, and worse, a total inability to respect or even notice violations of ethics of Islam itself. In his view, clashes between traditionalist ulema and reformers seeking to revive Muslim society with modern science and professional categories, were inevitable without the strong ethical constraints that applied to methods of early Muslim philosophy. He proposed therefore to revive those methods, restore ijtihad and integrate scientific method within Islamic limits. The term Palestinian has other usages, for which see definitions of Palestinian. ... A philosopher is a person devoted to studying and producing results in philosophy. ... Ismail Raji Al-Faruqi Ismail Raji al-Faruqi (January 1, 1921 – May 27, 1986), renowned Palestinian-American philosopher who is widely recognized by his peers as an authority on Islam and comparative religion. ... 1982 (MCMLXXXII) is a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Umma (Arabic: ) is an Arabic word meaning community or nation. ... Marxism is the social theory and political practice based on the works of Karl Marx, a 19th century German philosopher, economist, journalist, and revolutionary, along with Friedrich Engels. ... Islam (Arabic: ; ( ▶ (help· info)), the submission to God) is a monotheistic faith, one of the Abrahamic religions and the worlds second-largest religion. ... The Ulema are Muslim scholars engaged in the several fields of Islamic studies, responsible for interpreting the Sharia. ... Early Muslim philosophy can be starkly divided into four clear sets of influences: First, the life of Muhammad or sira which generated both the Quran (revelation) and hadith (his daily utterances and discourses on social and legal matters), during which philosophy was defined by acceptance or rejection of his... Ijtihad (Arabic اجتهاد) is a technical term of Islamic law that describes the process of making a legal decision by independent interpretation of the legal sources, the Quran and the Sunnah. ... Scientific method as envisaged by one of its early exponents, Sir Isaac Newton, is fundamental to the investigation and acquisition of new knowledge based upon physical evidence. ...


A body of modern knowledge that had been so 'Islamized' would not offend the traditionalists, since it would place ethics before knowledge or curiosity or power, and provide for curtailment of scientific or professional activities that offended those ethics.


However, if it were sufficiently broad and integrative to support inquiry across all vital fields including medicine, agriculture, ecology, and technology, it would provide ample opportunity for a modern professional class to mentally and economically liberate the Muslim societies. They would ally with, not fight with, the ulema.


Al-Faruqi died in 1986, but his program has already had a profound effect, especially on Islamic economics, which operates under traditional zero-interest, participatory labor-capital structures, and supports stronger community control of land (as in the traditional practices of haram and hima, the equivalent of the modern watershed protection and wilderness reserve laws). These practices were already well on the way to revival before Al-Faruqi's work, however. Islamic banks remain a relatively minor force in world finance. Islamic economics is economics in accordance with Islamic law. ... This article covers the word as used in Islamic urban planning. ... Hima means (is Arabic for) inviolate zones solely for the conservation of natural capital, typically fields, wildlife and forests (contrast haram to protect areas for more immediate human purposes). ...


There are also debates on Islamic science and what it would mean to do science in a way that reflects the ethical teachings of Islam, and accept direction from the ijma on the priorities of such research. Islamic science is science in the context of traditional religious ideas of Islam, including its ethics and philosophy. ... Ijmāʿ (إجماع) is an Arabic tern referring to the consensus of the ummah, the community of Muslims, those practicing Islam, or of the ulema, those learned in the relevant topic. ...


Al-Faruqi's analysis, called the "Islamization of Knowledge: General Principles and Workplan" remains the primary source for this program. Nasr's work on the congruence between classical Islam and the modern ecology movement is thought by some to be even more fundamental, and to suggest parallels between the ethical constraints that secular activists seek to place on science and technology, and the ethical constraints that Islam sought to place on philosophy and politics. An Islamic ecology would then converge with economics and put Islamic pillars under a form of ecological economics, with religious authority backing up sustainable development. This would be a significant first step towards Al-Faruqi's overall program. Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr, who recently won the Templeton Award for teaching the best course in Islam in America. ... The global ecology movement is one of several new social movements that emerged at the end of the sixties; its growth has been stimulated by a widespread acknowledgement of an ecological crisis of our planet. ... Islam (Arabic: ; ( ▶ (help· info)), the submission to God) is a monotheistic faith, one of the Abrahamic religions and the worlds second-largest religion. ... Ecological economics is a branch of economic theory that addresses the interdependence and co-evolution between human economies and their natural ecosystems. ... Sustainable development is a process of developing (land, cities, business, communities, etc) that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs according to the Brundtland Report, a 1987 report from the United Nations. ...


Critics argue that there are vast differences between the kind of ethics that are applied in, say, the modern labour movement or the anti-globalization movement, and those that would be applied by any believer in the literal interpretation of the Qur'an. Thus, any cooperation of modern ethical reformers and those seeking guidance from classical Islam would be doomed from the start. The labo(u)r movement is a broad term for the development of a collective organization of working people, to campaign in their own interest for better treatment from their employers and political governments. ... Anti-WEF grafiti in Lausanne. ... The Quran (Arabic , literally the recitation; also called or The Noble Quran; also transliterated Quran, Koran, and less commonly Alcoran) is the holy book of Islam. ...


There are, however, lively debates regarding Islamic feminism and ethics of technology wherein secular concerns (like vanity, consumerism, competing for attention, technological one-upmanship, runaway technologies) seem to often echo the terms of reference of a classical critique: Islamic feminism is a movement that began in the 1990s in response to the growth of Islamism throughout the Islamic world. ... Ethics of technology is a subfield of Ethics addressing the ethical questions specific to the Technology Age. ... Consumerism is a term used to describe the effects of equating personal happiness with purchasing material possessions and consumption. ...


Catholic theology was well integrated with scientific knowledge from the time of Aquinas to the time of Galileo, and that too was a deliberate program. Critics suggest that this also demonstrates the futility of trying to inhibit scientific research with reference to any religious fundamentalism. Saint Thomas Aquinas [Thomas of Aquin, or Aquino] (c. ... Galileo Galilei Galileo Galilei (Pisa, February 15, 1564 – Arcetri, January 8, 1642), was an Italian physicist, astronomer, and philosopher who is closely associated with the scientific revolution. ... Fundamentalism is a movement to maintain strict adherence to founding principles. ...


But that doesn't stop clerics from trying. In modern times, John Paul II has also called at times for restraining the sciences to work strictly within a Christian ethical framework, and respect the boundaries between what is known by faith versus reason - his "Fides et Ratio" and "Gospel of Life" make some points in common with Al-Faruqi, calling likewise for strong ethical limits and a curtailment of curiosity or "knowledge for knowledge's sake". Fides et Ratio (Latin: faith and reason) is an encyclical promulgated by Pope John Paul II on 1988-09-15. ... Evangelium Vitæ (Latin: The Gospel of Life) is the name of the encyclical written by Pope John Paul II which expresses the position of the Catholic Church regarding the value and inviolability of human life. ...


See also

Ijmāʿ (إجماع) is an Arabic tern referring to the consensus of the ummah, the community of Muslims, those practicing Islam, or of the ulema, those learned in the relevant topic. ... Islamic jurisprudence, (Arabic: Fiqh) (in Arabic and Persian: فقه) is made up of the rulings (Fatwa) of Muslim Islamic jurists (Ulema) to direct the lives of the Muslims. ... Ijtihad (Arabic اجتهاد) is a technical term of Islamic law that describes the process of making a legal decision by independent interpretation of the legal sources, the Quran and the Sunnah. ... Early Muslim philosophy can be starkly divided into four clear sets of influences: First, the life of Muhammad or sira which generated both the Quran (revelation) and hadith (his daily utterances and discourses on social and legal matters), during which philosophy was defined by acceptance or rejection of his... Islamic philosophy (الفلسفة الإسلامية) is a longstanding attempt to create harmony between faith, reason or philosophy, and the religious teachings of Islam. ... Torah Umadda (Hebrew תורה ומדע - Torah and (secular) knowledge/science) is a philosophy of Modern Orthodox Judaism, concerning the interelationship between the secular world and Judaism, and in particular between secular knowledge and Jewish knowledge. ...

External links

  • Islamized - A Wiki project for the Islamization of Education
  • The Islamization of science or the marginalization of Islam: The positions of Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Ziauddin Sardar
  • The Islamization of Social Sciences
  • Bukan Islam Liberal touches on Islamization of knowledge
  • Liberal and progressive Islam from Alan Godlas' Islamic resources page at the University of Georgia

  Results from FactBites:
 
Islamization of knowledge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (814 words)
Islamization of knowledge is a term which describes a variety of attempts and approaches to synthesize the ethics of Islam with various fields of modern thought.
The phrase "Islamization of knowledge" was first used and proposed by the Malaysian scholar Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas in his book "Islam and Secularism" ISBN 9839962868 (first published in 1978).
Nasr's work on the congruence between classical Islam and the modern ecology movement is thought by some to be even more fundamental, and to suggest parallels between the ethical constraints that secular activists seek to place on science and technology, and the ethical constraints that Islam sought to place on philosophy and politics.
Contexts (3211 words)
Islamization of knowledge as a concept has become the shorthand for this intellectual orientation, and the Western Thought Project needs to be seen as an integral part of a more comprehensive program to consolidate the revival.
It was such ideas that prompted the advocates of the Islamization of knowledge to adopt a systematic and a practically oriented approach to the needs of planning the intellectual essor of the ummah.
The debate on the Islamization of knowledge, as Davies recently rightly reminds her readership,13 is ultimately a quest for the contemporary meaning of Islam amidst the complexities of the modern world.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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