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Epistemology and Curriculum Reform: Islamic History and Culture

Abdul Bari
Islamic University Kustia

Paper presented at a workshop on Islamic Epistemology & Curriculum Reform
2-3 May, 2008, Islamic University Kustia

Definition of History

History is the past event of human life. In another sense an account of what has happened, narrative, story and tale. we see in an international dictionary that history is a branch of knowledge that record and explain past events as steps in the sequence of human activities, the study of character and significance of human activities, used with qualifying object.

Meaning of Culture

Art, literature, and other intellectual of a particular society or time.


This is the age of specialization. so history consists of many subdivisions now a day. such as
• Composite History
• history and Culture of Asian People
• Medieval and Modern Indian History
• Western History
• Arab Culture and Civilization, etc.

Specially, in our country we know that
• History
• Art and Archeology
• Islamic History and culture.

Development of History

We know that herodotus is the Father of History. He wrote a book entitled ‘The histories’. He did not follow actual historical methods. When he was writing the book, he did not investigate the facts also. So, reviewers said about him, he was a father of lies. After Herodotus, Thucydides was a next historian of Greece. He wrote history as a conscious and efficient historian. He was also animated than previous historian. He was followed the methods of history.

After Greece, Arabia was a next place where the History was expanded. Because in the life time of Muhammad (Sm.) His followers tried to follow the Quran and Sunnah. In the same way for their faith, Khilafat of Abu Bakr (R.), Omar (R.), usman (R) and Ali (r.) they have collected the Hathis after death of Prophet (SM). In the primary stage Muhaddis (those are well known about Hathis) have advanced to write history. This work was only for their religious attitude. They could not differ aim of Al-Quran, Sunnah and history. Logically, Muslim Historian have collected history with Isnad methods (describe the system of narrator). We see in the field History Isnad system was present before European colonial period. When they have established their power all over the world, their rulers have helped the very Intellectuals. At that time European Intelligentsia (Wellhausan, T.W.Arnold, Lane Pole, Gibb, W.c.Smith, R.A.Nicolson, P.K. Hitti) were showed the Muslim World. firstly, the have translated Sirat-e-Ibn-Hisham, Al-Magazi, muruz Az Zahab, etc. into English, Latin , and french language. Some People mind that intentionally, they have searched weak point of Muslim History, Culture and mistake.

At present we see Historian of our country or Indian Sub-continent take information form Orientalist or European Historian. Although these kind of book is secondary source and primary source in our hand but we can not study about primary source.

Life Time of the Prophet (sm.)

  1. Qranic History
    B. History which was discuss in the Hathis

After the Death of Prophet (sm.)

Recognized Historian of that time Urwa Ibn Zubair (R.), Al-Zuhri (R) in Hizaz

After Four Khalifah

  1. Wahab Ibn Munabbih in yaman, b. School of Iraq, c. Musa Ibn uqba, d. Muhammad Ibn Ishaq, e. Al-Waqidi, f. Ibn Sad, g. Abu Mikhnaf, h. Al-Madaini, i. Kutaiba Ibn Muslim Al-Bahili, j. Ibn Al-Kalbi 9Hisham Ibn Muhammad, k. Al-Balazuri, l. Al-Yaqubi
    Ibn Kutaiba Al-Katib, m. Hassan Al Basri, n. Al Dinwari, o. Ibn Kasir.

After colonial Period
A. European interllectuals (Wellhausan, T.W. Arnold, Lane Pole, gibb, W.c. Smith, R.A Nicolson, P.K. Hitti have translated thw Arabic History
B. They have wrote many books of their language
C. We Muslim people have forget name of our history books
D. We took their history as main source

History Islamic History

Before nineteen hundred forty all over the World History as History. But after this time in our Sub-continent they have opened a subject named islamic History  and Culture in calcutta university. First time they divided this field.


We so call Muslim Intellectual people did not know main source history
• Problem of our Department is unknown or illiteracy of Arabic language
• Problem of Bibliography.

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