Islamization of Knowledge

Al Faruqi and Beyond: Future Directions in Islamization of Knowledge

Ever since the Western colonization of Muslim countries, a number of Muslim reformers have been concerned with the inadequacy of the Islamic educational system. First, the primary motive of the colonial administration was to prepare the colonized Muslim populations to run their administrative machinery. Thus, they started by teaching their Western languages to the indigenous colonized populations. Then, they introduced their laws and imposed them on the colonized populations. Consequently, the Muslim educational system, based primarily on the Quran and the Sunnah  necessitating the learning of Arabic and an exposure to the Shariah, was rendered meaningless. It did not pay to be a graduate of the Islamic curriculum only.

Sociological Realism: An Islamic Paradigm

Ever since its revelation more than fourteen hundred years ago, the Qur’an has been the object of recitation and memorization, as well as scholarly analysis by millions in every generation. During this long span of time, not only religious scholars and jurists, but also other professionals like physicists, medical doctors, historians, and orientalists have tried to scrutinize and analyze the Qur’an. It is about time that sociologists paid attention to this primary source of Islam. Sociological interest in the Qur’an, as belated as it is, is in fact natural, for, after a brief foray in the direction of what one may call Origin Theology, the basic thrust of the Qur’an remains ideological- humanity and its society in this world. Not that this is such a revealing idea. Whether one looks at it from a juristic point of view or from a historical perspective, it hardly escapes notice that the Qur’anic verses speak out loudly about the nature of plural living as fabricated by the crisscrossing episodes generated by very active, assertive, and expressive individuals over the course of history. Most of what has been going on in Islamic studies, under the rubric of law and history in particular, provides us with sufficient encouragement to cast a fresh look at the same source of knowledge.

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