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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.

Actually, the term Islamization refers to planned and organized changes designed to improve the individual and society by conforming them to Islamic norms. It appears to be synonymous with the term Islamic Revivalism (Renaissance) which is defined as a reform-oriented movement driven by a conscious change in Muslim thought, attitude and behavior and characterized by a commitment to revive Islamic Civilization. There are three major forces constituting this movement: (a) Reformism that refers to forces that tend  to reform Muslim society by reforming individuals with the help of the basic social institutions, (b) Activism that refers to a political movement and (c) Intellectualism refers to the movement of Islamization of knowledge that inspires and motivates Muslim intellectuals to advance, promote and disseminate knowledge, to seek reformation of Muslim thought, Islamic methodology and to facilitate Islamic transformation of Muslim communities in Muslim as well as non-Muslim countries.

There are numerous contributions made by scholars writing on IOK, this paper attempts a conceptual analysis of the writings on IOK with focusing on its origin and development, the objective of IOK, the meaning, process of IOK and the role of IOK in contemporary scholarship and literature.

Click for full paper in pdf