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Islamization of Knowledge

Islamization of Knowledge

Cultural Symbiosis and the Role of Religion in the Contemporary World: An Islamic Perspective

Abstract : The main aim of this paper is to provide an introductory discussion of the issue of the human need for a cultural symbiosis in the contemporary global community and of the constructive role that religion could play in delivering this global need. We will, however, be examining the issue at hand mainly from the perspective of Islam, since it happens to be the religion with which we are most familiar. But our chosen theme of discussion here with an emphasis on Islam is also influenced by other considerations. We realize that the perspective of Islam on the issue in question is little known to many non-Muslims even though it is important in its own right, thus meriting a serious study by scholars. Today, Islam is the second largest religion in the world after Christianity and also the fastest growing. Moreover, for various reasons, Islam is increasingly recognized even by its critics as having the capacity to positively influence world events and global affairs and the future direction of world history. More often than not, Islam‟s influence is perceived negatively. The association of Islam with violence, as portrayed by many circles today, is a good illustration of this widespread misperception of Islam. In these circumstances, it is therefore important to highlight Islam‟s positive teachings drawn from its rather rich treasury – spiritual, intellectual, and cultural – that could give a big helping hand to the present humanity in its task of realizing the goal of cultural symbiosis in this sharply polarized world. 

Global Communication and Cultural Desensitisation: Repackaging Western Values for Non-Western Markets

Abstract: Global communication is widely perceived as an instrument to disseminate Western values in the developing world. The “Wheel of Fortune” and “Who Wants to be a Millionnaire” licensed to Malaysian Television stations, though the language and the word puzzles were localised, carried the same format of the original (American) show. They promote consumerism, gambling and the images of usury, the style of wealth accumulation forbidden in Islam. For the Malaysian audience whose priorities are those of contentment, modesty and humility, such emphasis on material desires breeds internal contradictions that may lead the audience to succumb to the new Western values.

A return to the Qur’ānic paradigm of development and integrated knowledge: The Ulū al-Albāb model

Abstract: The paper highlights that the secular and modernistic paradigm of development that lacks spiritual and ethical moorings is partly responsible for the 2009 global economic and financial crisis. Muslim policy-makers, intellectuals and scholars are duty-bound to promote the Tawḥīdic paradigm of holistic development and holistic knowledge. Closely related to the paradigm of development is the issue of the epistemology of autonomous human reason which denies the importance and validity of Divine revelation as a higher source of knowledge and wisdom. The Qur’ān projects the model of the Ulū al-Albāb, “people of sound reason” as intellectuals and scholars par excellence who combine the understanding of the Book of Nature with the Book of Revelation, and integrate human reason with Divine revelation. The paper ends by suggesting that Muslim countries develop institutions of learning or systems of education which integrates worldly knowledge with religious knowledge in a harmonious and symbiotic manner.

Source : http://journals.iium.edu.my/intdiscourse/index.php/islam/article/view/158/157

From al-Shāṭibī’s legal hermeneutics to thematic exegesis of the Qurʾān

Abstract: Writings on al-Shāṭibī have focused on his views on maṣlaḥah (utility) and Maqāṣid al-Sharīʿah (objectives of the Sharīʿah). His approach to the interpretation of the Qurʾān (the main source of the Sharīʿah) and the implications of such an approach have only rarely been heeded. This study addresses this aspect of al-Shāṭibī’s work. It essentially asserts that in restructuring Islamic legal theory (uṣūl al-fiqh) around the idea of Maqāṣid al-Sharīʿah, al-Shāṭibī brought jurists and Qurʾān commentators closer to one another. It further argues that his contribution went beyond the interest of jurists centred on legal reasoning by holding a comprehensive hermeneutical view of the Qurʾān informed by belief in the thematic unity of its sūrahs and verses. Taking such unity as the cornerstone of a sound understanding of the Qurʾān capable of grasping its eternal values and universal principles, he developed a methodology that has inspired a few eminent contemporary Muslim scholars who have developed what has come to be known as thematic interpretation of the Qurʾān (al-tafsīr al-mawḍūʿī). This article discusses al-Shāṭibī’s hermeneutics of the Qurʾān by delineating his epistemic and methodological propositions. Thus, the author aims to show the existence of semantic unity and epistemic interconnectedness among different disciplines in Islamic scholarship.

Source : http://journals.iium.edu.my/intdiscourse/index.php/islam/article/view/294

Islamization of Knowledge: A Comparative Analysis of the Conceptions of AI-Attas and AI- Fārūqī

Abstract: There has been a lot of discussion and debate on the issue of Islamization of Contemporary Knowledge among Muslim intellectuals. Two Muslim thinkers, namely al-Attas and al-Fārūqī were foremost in the attempt to conceptualise the problem of the Muslim Ummah and the issue of Islamization of knowledge as an epistemological and socio-political solution. This article aims to examine, compare and analyse the ideas of both scholars with respect to the various interpretations of the concept of Islamization of knowledge their definition of the concept, their philosophical framework, and their methodology for achieving the goals of Islamization. It aims at understanding the similarities and differences and the strengths and weaknesses of their conceptions, philosophical framework and methodology. This paper also explores the possibility of reconciliation between their ideas in the hope of further advancing the cause of Islamization of knowledge.

Source : http://journals.iium.edu.my/intdiscourse/index.php/islam/article/view/479/425

Al-Faruqi and His Views on Comparative Religion

Abstract: Ismail Raji al-Faruqi was a prominent Muslim scholar who contributes a lot in Muslims progression. He was a pioneer in the development of Islamic studies in America and in interreligious dialogue internationally and an activist who sought to transform the Islamic community at home and abroad. The present article aims at discussing background of al-Faruqi and his views on Comparative Religion. Throughout his life, he succeeds in providing a proper guidance on how to study a religion which is disengagement. Besides that he used to introduce the idea of meta-religion of how to evaluate a religion. Lastly he tend to critique the ideas of the west on studying of other religion.

The Reform of Muslim Education and the Quest for Intellectual Renewal

Keynote address by Anwar Ibrahim at the Symposium on “Reform of Higher Education in Muslim Societies,” organized by the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) on December 9-10, 2013 at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC


The crisis in higher education in Muslim societies is manifested in myriad ways not the least of which are impacting socioeconomic development. Among the root causes of the crisis are those related to choice, content, quality and financial resources and issues of governance.

Higher Education Curriculum Development for Islamization of Knowledge

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.

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