Islamization of Literature: Origin, Present Context and Some Proposals

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

In and out of the globe, Islam, as a complete code of life, does not leave any issue out of its scope. So very naturally, it takes a special interest in literature because literature, in the most popular definition, is an artistic expression of life. Islam, like literature, deals with all aspects of life, and therefore, as a significant human concern, literature has been duly treated in Islam from its very beginning. It is known that the ancient Arabs, who were of incredible poetic sense, questioned the authenticity of the holy Quran because of its charming language and artistic expression of its themes and style. The Quranic verse was the most significant the language of the holy Quran penetrated the stone like hearts of the unbelievers and made them feel the truth and peace of Islam. They got alarmed and threw an open challenge of debate to the Prophet. As a result an idealistic and aesthetic debate took place on the supremacy of Islam and other contemporary beliefs. It is notable in this regard.that our prophet (sm) encouraged Hassan bin Thabit (R), a famous contemporary poet, to use poetry in order to highlight and defend Islam and the Muslims amid the turmoil of poetic crossfire. In fact, our beloved prophet(sm) was the mastermind who used to supply his poets with necessary thematic and factual information and tips to win the contests.

Islamization of English Discipline at the Tertiary Level: An Overview

Paper presented at a workshop on Islamic Epistemology & Curriculum Reform 
2-3 May, 2008 at Islamic University Kustia
As Muslims, our prime duty is to lead our life solely for the cause of Allah. But in Bangladesh, we witness that a secular educational system has prevailed over our religious faith and culture. A big gap has been created between what we believe and what we learn. As a result, we are deviated far away from religious path and beliefs. This, in reality, is nothing but a reflection of the world order of the present day. With the legacy of the crusaders and imperialist hegemony, the Westerners consider Islam and the Muslims as a threat to their modern civilization. Consequently, they have been launching a campaign against the mindset and practices of the Muslims and have become successful in engraving the idea in the Muslim psyche that their mental structure, heritage and culture is incapable of keeping pace with the modern civilization. They have employed a number of scholars, researchers and their disciples even among the Muslims to realize some breakthrough in the Muslim world which resulted, ultimately, in inventing the idea of the 'Clash of Civilization'. But the Muslims living in the labyrinth of the Western propaganda are failing to resume their own beliefs and cultural identity and going astray from the path of Allah. They have become helpless target of the intellectual and cultural aggression of the Western world. At the other extreme of this reality, the Western world bored with earthly pleasure and luxury on the one hand, and with the ideas of Freudism, Existentialism and Liberalism on the other, are failing to find out meaning of life. This, according to Taha Jabir Al-'Alwani (2005), is the outcome of their decadent thought which caused intellectual and epistemological deconstructionism. To him, if the modernist thought had already deconstructed religion and the universe, the post-modernist thought had, in fact, deconstructed 'Man'! And the deconstruction is still ongoing, which shows the depth and enormity of the modern era's crisis of meaning and the dire necessity of exploring a transcendental systematic alternative outlook so as to help Man reconstruct the deconstructed . Only the divine writ of the Holy Qur'an 'as the ultimate source of transcendental systematic wisdom'  can show the way to emerge from this spiritual wasteland. Therefore, reintroduction of the Holy Qur'anic teachings is a dire necessity in the present world to save not only the Muslims from their underdevelopment but also the whole mankind.

The curriculum reform of B.A honours and M.A Syllabus of Bengali Literature of Islamic University, Kushtia. Bangladesh.

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

We believe in reforming the curriculum in Islamic approach. Islam means peace. It also means self-surrender to the world’s creator. There are two kinds of deeds in this universe, one is god and another is bad, i.e. abusive and bad instinctive. We must maintain our sex-life formally and ethically with having a marriage. This claims now bitterly in western civilization. We have a life here and hereafter. We should admit that all good knowledge is the knowledge of the creator. We should defeat the satanic knowledge. All ethical knowledge is not only Islamic but for the welfare of all religions.

Designing a Syllabus on Islamic Literature

(For Departments of English at the University Level)
Kamiz Alam 
Assistant Professor, Dept of English
Northern University Bangladesh

Paper presented at a Follow-up Workshop on Curriculum Reform
9 November, 2008, Dhaka University

Islamization of Linguistics

Linguistics has been struggling under the stranglehold of religious beliefs, superstitions, and ethnocentrism for centuries. The role and nature of human languages was perceived through the worldview preached by various religions. There have been claims for the divine origin of certain languages, conferring a special status on their speakers. Greeks, for example, believed that their language was superior to all other languages. It was the language spoken by the Olympian gods. Theirs was the only language with regularity, rules, and meaning; all other languages were arbitrary and meaningless, barburoi, whence the modern English word “barbarian.”

Orientalism in Moby Dick

This article aims to correct some of the basic errors in Melvillian Islamic criticism. One of the classics of Western literature is Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, the allegorical story of one man’s pursuit of a great white whale. Like all great novelists, Melville was struggling with the great moral issues that transcend individuals and even civilizations. This contrasts with most of modern literature, which exhibits journalistic habits of mind and tends to deal in superficial analysis rather than with the reflective process that gives content to meditation and thought.

Modem literary criticism exhibits the same shallowness. George Orwell explained the problem perhaps when he observed that applying the same standards to such novelists as Dickens and Dostoyevsky and to most contemporary writers is like weighing a flea on a spring-balance intended for elephants.” Critics, he added, don’t do this, because it would mean having to throw out most of the books they get for review.

Muslim Historical Literature in the Era of Early Muslim Nationalism: A Case Study of Sir Sayyid and Ta’ib

Mid-nineteenth century Muslim historical literature, particularly on the mutiny-rebellion of 1857, presents an interesting contrast, and offers a fascinating study of the state of Muslim mind before and after 1857. This clearly comes out in the writings of Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan (Risalah Asbab-i Baghawat-i Hind,‘ Tarikh Sarkashi Dil ’a Bijnawr, Hunter par Hunter, Loyal Mohammedans of India,), Fateh Muhammad Ta’ib (Tarikh-i Ahmadi)5 Asad Ullah Khan Ghalib (Dastabu in Kulliyat-i Nathr-i Ghalib), Mawlana Altaf Hussain Hali (Hayati-i Jawid), Sayyid Zahiruddin Zahir Dihlawi (Dastan-i Ghadr), Faqir Muhammad (Jam’ al-Tawarikh), Allamah Fadl-i Haq (Bughi Hindwtan), Mu’inuddin Hassan Khan (“Narrative of Mainodin” in Charles T. Metcalfe’s Two Native Narratives of the Mutiny in Delhi).”

Toward Islamization of the Non-Visual Arts: A Brief Discussion of Some Crucial Issues

In his recent article, “Religious Fascism and Art,” Dr. Sa‘ad al Din Ibrahim concludes with these words addressed to all scholars in the visual and nonvisual arts field: “Those who have the ‘Islamic alternative or alternatives’ let them be obliged, if they truly believe in the existence of refined standards for aesthetic creativity different from those available, (let them) endeavor to present these refinements to society. They have endeavored and succeeded in recent years in presenting alternatives in economic institutions, services and investments, which attracted large numbers . . . why do they not do the same in the arts field?”

Subscribe to this RSS feed
DMC Firewall is a Joomla Security extension!