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A CRITICAL SURVEY OF IOK

MOHAMED ASLAM HANEEF



Academic resurgence of Muslims. Initial attempts by Islamic fundamentalists
include:
. reorder scientific inquiry
. reclaim patterns of traditional family and interpersonal relations
. reshape education and communication system

IOK is an intellectual movement in the 20
th
century. Its the responses of Muslim
intellectuals to modernity commencing in late 1960s.

Whats wrong with modernity?
From philosophical outlook. Reliance on rationalism and empiricalism as basis of
acquiring knowledge to achieve modernity. IOK proponents see this over
reliance from epistemological and methodological aspect.

How to overcome Muslim backwardness?
Through knowledge and education.
Seek interaction, engagement and dialogue with modernity rather confronting it.

However its not lack of knowledge or ignorance among Muslims that are roots of
the problems but the knowledge has been interprested from the Western
worldview. They are developed using methodologies that are not according to
Islamic worldviews and knowledge foundations.

Periods of IOK
Latter half 70s to early 80s- introduction and initial development of Islamization
Late 80s to early 90s- enthusiasm and active pronouncements
2
nd
half of 90s- questions on strength and shortcomings of IOK? Can IOK survive
to the future? What needs to be done?

Why IOK?
Background factors. Muslim countries obtained independence from colonial
rulers, demand from the Muslim population for Islamic solutions to political,
social and economic solution. During colonialization, the Muslims witness the
failure of capitalist and socialist systems, new found wealth has seen the call for
Islamic solutions. This lead to establishments of institutions to address
developmental problems among Muslims. (OIC, IDB).
Economy is the first sector to receive benefits of the awareness that resulted in
First International Conference on Islamic Economics 1976. First World
Conference on Muslim Education discussed on reforms in Muslim education and
led to establishment of Islmaic unis in Islamabad and KL.

Main proponents of IOK are Al-Attas and Al-Faruqi.
Reasons for IOK are
External- backward condition of Muslims in social, political and economical.
Umar Hassan, supported by Sardar, Butt and Yasien, reminded Faruqi not to be
constantly using the Western advancements as his benchmark for the fear that
hill be trapped in the Western framework.
The Muslim malaise is due to the present state of education and lack of vision
among Muslims.
Education system, trapped between modern and secular systems and religious
and traditional. Lack of vision in education, caused Muslims unable to confront
Western ideologies.

Abu Sulayman- ummah has misconception of knowledge. Crisis of thought,
imitators of the West.

Al-Attas- due to loss of adab, absence of discipline of the body, mind and soul
that cause loss of justice
Contemporary knowledge is not neutral as it is heavily seen from the Western
worldview.
Target of IOK is to reform the religious and modern edu and unify them.

Problems with Western knowledge
1. incomplete as it overlooks revelation as a source (Faruqi)
2. Positivistic, one-book only (universe only) vs Islamic (revelation and
universe)- Al-Awani
3. Modern knowledge based on framework inconsistent with Islams )Brohi,
Ali, Khalil, Ragab,
4. Idris- based on false assumptions of materialistic, atheistic philosophy.
5. Hadi- philosophical basis is profane and secular.
6. Kazi-modern knowledge not effective in Islamic framework due to
different basic assumptions.
7. Abu Fadl- modern knowledge abandoned god/religion
8. Ashraf and Sardar- different worldview of the two.

Supporters- Rahman, Sardar, Yasien, Butt, Nasr- there must be alternative to
modern knowledge/science.

What is IOK
Theres a need to Islamicize contemporary knowledge as the one taught at
universities are expressed from Western experience.

Khalil- IOK happens at two levels
1. theoretical- explains dimensions, motives, aims, stages, ways of IOK
2. implementation

Islamizaion- freeing man from non-Islamic tradition (mythological, magical,
animistic) to embrace the Islamic one. Also from secular control over his reason
and language.

Islamization of Knowledge- delivery of knowledge

To implement Islamization, the Islamizer needs to embrace the vision of reality
of truth taking into account things which are visible and invisible, able to
separate between bad and good.

Misconception of IOK
Wan Mohd Noor- islamization happens physically/mechanically.instead it should
be internally in the mind and soul.

Recasting of knowledge- recasting knowledge through elimination, amendment,
reinterpretation, adaptation of its components by taking into account Islamic
worldview.

Too much thought has been given on textbook and therefore little thought on the
Islamizers

Aslam- IOK epistemological and methodological concern, itvolves integration of
Islamic sources and generated by modern social science research.

Essence of Islamization
The process of movement from non Islamic ontology and epistemology to the
Islamic ones.
Prior to Islamization, Islamizers should take stock of the Islamic ontological and
epistemological assumptions.

IOK- practicing (discovering, compiling, piercing together, communicating,
publishing) intellectual activity based on Islamic concept of the universe, life and
man.