By Muddasir Ahmad Dass
Nov 29, 2014
Today Muslim Ummah is facing many challenges at political, social and economical fronts but the greatest challenge is of knowledge, the knowledge in the Muslim world is conceived and disseminated by western civilization.
The nature of western knowledge has become problematic not only for the Muslims but for the whole world as it has lost its true purpose due to being unjustly conceived and has brought about chaos in entire world. The knowledge produced by the West has although produced a dramatic change in science and technology but has failed to produce knowledge which could have produced peace in world.
The only alternative to the western knowledge is Islam as it is the only right way of life which guides humankind in all affairs of life and satisfies spiritual as well as material needs.
Islam is not mere a religion but it is a system which has set out the principles for the governance of people in all aspects of life whether it may be social, economical, political, educational or something else. The non-Muslims especially the western writers (orientalists) presented biased views about Islam and concluded that Islam is against change and development, and thus it is the cause of the hindrance of progress of Muslims and suggested that Islam should be modified and developed on the pattern of western societies.
This myth created by western writers influenced Muslims to a great extent and many Muslim thinkers and intellectuals considered it necessary to modernize the Islam according to western lines and where the Islam conflicted with modernity, they tried to explain Islam in other way so as to meet the demands of west. They adhered themselves blindly towards modernity, thus leaving behind their own culture, system and legacy.
In such a situation, Muslim youths were being westernized by Muslim teachers in Muslim universities. Not only the Muslims were westernized but their political, social, economical systems which the Muslims have been bestowed by Almighty Allah were also de-Islamized and westernized which became the man cause for the decline of Muslims.
Actually the knowledge which the west has formulated and disseminated in the Muslim world has brought confusion in the Muslim world and can have grave consequences if unchecked.
In the recent times many Muslim thinkers tried to find the solution of this chaos and concluded that the knowledge which has been produced by the west should be developed according to the principles of Islam which they called as ‘Islamisation of knowledge’.
Ismail Raji Al-Faruqi, one of the main proponents of Islamisation of knowledge concluded that, “the main cause to the decline of the Muslim Ummah is not by lack of wealth but by the lack of quality intellectualism”.
Islamisation of contemporary knowledge according to Syed Naquib Al-Attas is, “the deliverance of knowledge from its interpretations based on secular ideology; and from meanings and expressions of the secular.”
As explained by its proponents, the Islamisation of knowledge means to gain mastery over all disciplines of knowledge particularly in humanities and social sciences, as was done by our ancestors who digested the knowledge of their time and produced the Islamic legacy of culture and civilization. To Islamize the contemporary knowledge, needs three steps; to gain mastery over the contemporary knowledge, remove the un-Islamic elements from the contemporary western knowledge and recast the whole knowledge on Islamic lines.
The main aim and objective of Islamisation of contemporary knowledge on one hand is to protect Muslims from corrupted western knowledge that leads to confusion and scepticism of Muslim minds and on the other hand is to produce the true knowledge based on Quran and Sunnah that can develop and mould Muslim minds and bring them to proper recognition of God and will bring salvation to man in this world and hereafter.
Today, Muslims are living predominantly in Western age with its thought-pattern, culture and civilization, its intellectual makeup and educational training. This intellectual and social enslavement of the people in Muslim countries is mostly the result of the long period of the imperialistic rule of the West over the Muslim world, and more importantly our present academic and educational systems were developed by the west which is based on Western concepts of education.
So, it is the time to reform our intellectualism (education system) according to the lines of Quran and Sunnah as was developed by our ancestors. Text books must be rewritten by establishing the Islamic elements in them and Muslim teachers should be trained to make the best use of this material.
By this method the youths of Muslim Ummah will come more close to Islam and the lost property of the Muslim will be regained. Islamisation of knowledge will lead to peace, goodness, justice and strengthening of faith.
Muddasir Ahmad Dass is research scholar at AMU, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org