Materialistic prosperity is the main achievement the western culture build on. However under the Islamic system, its main source of knowledge is revelation. Under this system, there is usually a strong relationship between man and God in which man tries to abide by the instructions given by Allah. Obeying Allah therefore makes us serve the true purpose of our creation; to worship Allah.
“I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship me”
This verse shows that Islamic knowledge is the only true way to achieve the objective while the western knowledge did not have a say regarding this issue. Also the concept of the afterlife is completely ignored by the secular curriculum. It is concerned with gaining worldly benefit and they believe in the phrase
“Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow ye shall die”.
Hereafter is a strong concept in Islam, it puts human beings in check because we know one day we will be accountable for our sins.
It became an obligation whether individually or collectively for Muslim ummah to introduce policies to regulate the western thought through Islamizing of education. It will reduce the strong influence of secular education and once more enjoy the style of leadership Muslims had in the past.
“Why do we need the islamization of Knowledge”?
1. There is serious need for this concept because of the following; deterioration of the Muslim society, and the detachment from the Islamic civilization, the blind following instead of being selective and creative. 2. Because of superficiality, there tends to be error and confusion in knowledge within the Muslim society. In order to address this issue, Islamizing education is very necessary. 3. Because of the large gap between secular and Islamic education. There is need to create a robust bond 4. To show the humanity the way that will lead to their salvation and prosperity 5. To redeem part of the Islamic way of life that was lost 6. It will unite Muslims under one roof of Islamic educational system 7. To strengthen and waken Islam 8. Ijtihad and dynamic leadership will be created
Processes/concepts/steps towards Islamizing knowledge
Ismail Raji Faruqi proposed the following 12 steps;
1. Mastering the modern discipline: The first to take in an attempt to Islamize education is to master all the concepts, policies, processes and principles that constitute the modern disciplines. We cannot concur what we don’t fully understand. It will prevent us from going there blindly. 2. Conduct a survey on modern disciplines: A detailed survey on history and genesis, root of the modern discipline together with tis methodologies should be examined and survey must be taken to gather result. 3. Mastering the legacy of Islam (Anthology): Anthology is a process where the current Muslims can gather information on the works of different writers in the past. This give them abundant access to all relevant materials needed for this change to occur. 4. Mastering the legacy of Islam (Analysis): After gathering of work form previous writers, the next step is to perform analysis on the anthologies to enable them highlight the present contributions and issues. 5. Exhibiting the relevance of Islam to the modern discipline: It is then important to point out how Islam is relevant and has contributed to the modern disciplines’. This is in relation to the principles, objectives and short comings. 6. Modern discipline should be critically assessed: From the stand view of Islam, each modern discipline should be reviewed. The data and methodology of the modern disciplined has to be critically assessed to ensure there is consistency and adequacy with the Islamic way. 7. Islamic legacy should be critically assessed: The Quran and the Sunnah are the legacy here, but we are not expected to put them into thorough assessment and critics. We see the 2 sources as objects of critics. The experts in this field are tackled with the responsibility of assessing the legacy’s contributions to human activities. 8. Conduct survey on Main problems of Ummah: Attention should be given to the economic, social, cultural and intellectual problems of the ummah. A survey must be carried out on the problem, its causes, possible solution and manifestations which will later be analyzed critically. 9. Conduct survey on Humankind problems: These are problems that affects our way of life. It affects both non-Muslims and Muslims. Such problems include; prostitution, drug abuse, human trafficking, rape etc. 10. Creative Analysis and Synthesis: There will definitely be gaps between the Islamic perspective and the secular one. The aim of the synthesis is to try and close that gap between the two disciplines. 11. Creating the Islamic framework, redistributing the disciplines under the framework and produce Islamic textbooks: After categorizing the modern disciplines under the Islamic framework, one purchases the Islamic textbooks also. 12. Distribution of Islamized Knowledge: The last step should be to distribute all the produced materials to Muslim academicians.
Source: Slide share; Islamization of knowledge)
Example of how to use one of the theories to Islamize education;
You can teach students the pillars of Eman according to Bloom’s taxonomy using the matrix system;
1. Remember: Mention the Pillars of Eman 2. Understand: Using paragraphs, explain each pillar 3. Apply: You can use one of the MS application software’s preferably PowerPoint 4. Analyze: Compare and contrast the pillars of Eman with Christianity 5. Evaluate: select either a Muslim country or a Muslim group to analyses and evaluate the impact of those pillars of Eman 6. Create: Record it in an action plan which should be revisited frequently in order to address issues observed with the implementation of the pillars of Eman.
1. It is very crucial for schools to have an Islamic curriculum and make courses mandatory in schools
2. Even if we establish these curriculums and distribute textbooks, it will be baseless if the teachers don’t have ideas on the methods of how to teach it or when they are unfaithful teachers. The teachers must lead by examples and have to be morally and educationally sound in order to impact knowledge on the students.
3. Everything that is beneficial to Islam from the western curriculum can be used while the rest should be ignored.
4. More priorities should be rendered to the education sector.
This essay has emphasized the need to Islamize the secular system of education because it is the only way to salvation for Muslims. Muslims around the world have become stagnant, this can be eradicated by tampering with the secular system to apply what is appropriate and in accord to the tenants of Islam and rejecting what is against our morals.
It is established solely to satisfy the purpose of our creation by following the commandments set by Allah. For this to work, it is very crucial to strongly collaborate among participants. The way forward is to apply one of the approved work plans of our Muslim scholars and follow the steps.
Ali, Muhammad Mumtaz, The History and Philosophy of Islamization of Knowledge. IIUM Press.2013. p.14.
Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. Research methods in education. New York: Routledge. (2007).
Hossen, B. Islamization of Knowledge: A Time Befitting Step. International Islamic University Malaysia. (2017).
Naseem, F. Islamization of Knowledge: Motive and Mechanism. Al-Adwa publishing. (2005).
Olawale, A. An Assessment of the Islamization of Knowledge Process in Nigeria. W J of Islamic H and Civ. 2014 May; 4 (4): 119-124.
Tirmazi, S. H. A historical study of Islamic system of education. Multan: Bahauddin Zakariya University. (1985).
Zia, R. Religion and education In Pakistan: An overview. Pros Jrnal. 2003 July; 33(2):165-178.