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Retrieving_the_Tradition_of_Reflection_i.pdf - Retrieving...

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Retrieving the Ethos ofReflection in Muslim EducationAbdul Karim AbdullahAbstractThe prestige of reasoning waned when the traditionalists defeated rationalists, in theninth century. Reasoning deteriorated further with the emergence oftaqlidand the“closure of the doors toijtihad.The dualism between traditional and present-dayeducation should be addressed by acknowledging that empirical subjects are not un-Islamic, and that reasoning is an essential part of Muslim education. This processrequires the rehabilitation of reasoning and restoring to it the esteem it formerlyenjoyed not just in jurisprudence but in Muslim education more generally.Key words:Tradition, reasoning, revelation, dualism, educationIntroductionThe dualism in Muslim education arises partly from a de-emphasis on reasoning. Thedecline of reasoning is traceable to theclosing of the doors to ijtihadand theattendant waning of rationalism. The perspective that emerged prioritises the authorityof tradition at the expense of reason.1In the present day, this perception was reinforced by the separation of knowledge into“Islamic” and present-day, allegedly “unIslamic” knowledge.According to this view,“traditional” knowledge is Islamic, but present-day knowledge is “un-Islamic.”The categorisation of knowledge into “Islamic” and “un-Islamic” suggests a duality inIslamic epistemology. As a result of the classification of knowledge into Islamic andun-Islamic, traditional Muslims may be reluctant to acquire present-day knowledgedue to its allegedly ‘un-Islamic’ character.2Thus, an effective response requires a re-articulation of the relationship betweendifferent types of knowledge. Differing types of knowledge are in agreement rather1This is reflected in the view that a tradition has be followed even if it is inconsistent withreason.2The response to the emergence and utilization of present-day knowledge took the form of“Islamizing” knowledge. Addressing the dualism by “Islamizing” present-day knowledgeproved problematic especially in relation to the empirical subjects which, due to theirdescriptive nature hardly lend themselves to “Islamization.”
2than at variance with each other. There is a need to emphasise theunityof knowledge,in harmony withtawhidicepistemology.3The de-emphasis upon reason appears to rest upon the assumption that a commitmentto“faith”may dispense with reason orreasoning. This view, however, is withoutbasis in theQur’an and alien to Qur’anic epistemology. This perception presupposessevering the link between religious belief and rationality, not entirely unlike that ofthe Enlightenment, which postulated a radical separation between faith and reason.The difference between the two is that while in Europe the tension between reasonand revelation was resolved in favour of rationality, in the Muslim civilisation thetension between reason and tradition was resolved in favour of tradition.

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Term
Winter
Professor
Prof. M.irungu
Tags
Islam, mohammad hashim kamali

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