This is brought about by the contents of their education,as opposed to it being political or economic in nature.In other words, the problem is not just about a lack of knowledge. Rather it is also related to the deﬁnition of knowledge, its hierarchies, its sources and authorities. The loss of ability to diﬀerentiate between what isknowledge and what is not knowledge has led toconfusion instead of enlightenment.methods of knowing which should preserve Manfrom errors of judgement and disgrace, and by whichthe condition of being in the right and proper placeis actualised. The proper knowledge which producesthese requisite actions is wisdom (
), resulting in justice (
) in the individual self as well as in the state,society and natural environment.
‘This act of knowing and the discipline in constantly putting things in their proper places iscalled adab. The condition brought about by the loss of adab; by playing improper roles or being ignorant of one’s proper place is deﬁned as an injustice (zulm).’
With this, Al-Attas can be regarded as the modernday Al-Ghazali, who also similarly argues about theepistemological challenge faced by the medievalMuslims with the onslaught of Greek philosophy. The diﬀerence is that this time around, the Muslimsare faced with the challenge of secularism, which hedeﬁnes as the modern day manifestation of Greek philosophy.Al-Attas identiﬁes the “confusion of knowledge”brought about by modernist interpretations of Islamas the centre of this problem. This leads to a “loss of
” and subsequently the “rise of false leaders” thatwould consciously or unconsciously propagate theongoing “confusion of knowledge” and vehementlydefend this vicious cycle using their power.What Al-Attas means by
is related again to theconcept of worldviews, because a worldview arrangesinformation and knowledge into ‘places’ in the mind.As such,
according to Al-Attas is the recognitionand acknowledgement of the right and properplaces of things, the acquisition of good qualities andattributes as well as actions to discipline the mind andthe soul, and the performance of correct and properaction as opposed to erroneous and improper ones.
therefore implies the knowledge and right
The Eagle Does Not Fly at the Level of the Sparrow
In a nutshell, Al-Attas asserts that everything hasa place that is relative to one another. He is oftenquoted saying that “eagles do not fly at the level of the sparrows”. Hence the ignorant is not at the samelevel as the learned. The word of God is not the sameas the word of Man. This act of knowing and thediscipline in constantly putting things in their properplaces is called
. The condition brought aboutby the loss of
; by playing improper rolesor being ignorant of one’s proper place isdefined as an injustice (
). As such,Al-Attas calls for the reformationof the educational philosophyand institutes of the Muslimsbased on the metaphysicalworldview of Islam. In linewith the reformation of the philosophy of education,