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Religion and Reform: Two Exemplars for Autonomous Sociology in the Non-Western Context
Syed Farid Alatas

A global survey of course syllabi for the history of social thought as well as sociological thought will reveal a number of characteristics of Eurocentrism. These are the subjectobject dichotomy, the dominance of European categories and concepts, and the representation of Europeans as the sole originators of ideas. In most sociological theory textbooks or writings on the history of social theory, the subjectobject dichotomy is a dominant, albeit unarticulated principle of organization. Europeans are the ones that do the thinking and writing, they are the social theorists and social thinkers, what we might call the knowing subjects. If nonEuropeans appear at all in the texts they are objects of study of the European theorists featured and not as knowing subjects, that is, as sources of sociological theories and ideas. If we take the nineteenth century as an example, the impression given is that during the period that Europeans such as Marx, Weber,

Durkheim and others were thinking about the nature of society and its development, there were no thinkers in Asia and Africa doing the same. The absence of non-European thinkers in these accounts is particularly glaring in cases where non-Europeans had actually influenced the development of social thought. Typically, a history of social thought or a course on social thought and theory would cover theorists such as Montesquieu, Vico, Comte, Spencer, Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Simmel, Toennies, Sombart, Mannheim, Pareto, Sumner, Ward, Small and others. Generally, non-Western thinkers are excluded. It seems fitting, therefore, to provide examples of social theorists of non-European backgrounds who wrote on topics and theorized problems that would be of interest to those studying the broad-ranging macroprocesses that have become the hallmark of classical sociological thought and theory. The social thinkers under consideration here, Abd al-Rah man Ibn Khaldun (732808 .



ah/ad 13321406) and Jos Rizal (1861 96), were both highly original thinkers. They are both examples of non-Western thinkers who theorized about the nature of society in ways not practised by their Western counterparts. Ibn Khaldun theorized about the dynamics of the pre-capitalist societies of his time in terms of two types of modes of social organization, the nomadic and the sedentary. These do not correspond to concepts used by Karl Marx, Max Weber or other Western theorists. In fact, neither Marx nor Weber were able to explain the dynamics of what they called Asiatic, Oriental or patrimonial societies. Indeed, it was the static nature of these societies that they emphasized. Ibn Khaldun was unique in that he theorized aspects of social change not done so by Western scholars. Furthermore, he was the first to systematically articulate the nature of society in an empirical fashion and did so several hundred years before the emergence of the social sciences in the West. His theory of social change was at the same time a theory of religious revival. Rizal is interesting because he lived during the formative period of Western social sciences but provides us with a different perspective on the colonial dimension of the emerging modernity of the nineteenth century. Rizal raised original problems and treated them in a creative way. An example is his discussion on the issue of the indolence of the Filipinos.


Filipino colonial society, and the requirements for emancipation. Rizal was born into a wealthy family. His father ran a sugar plantation on land leased from the Dominican Order. As a result, Rizal was able to attend the best schools in Manila. He continued his higher studies at the Ateneo de Manila University and then the University of Santo Thomas. In 1882 Rizal departed for Spain where he studied medicine and the humanities at the Universidad Central in Madrid Rizal returned to the Philippines in 1887. This was also the year that his first novel, Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) was published. The novel was a reflection of exploitative conditions under Spanish colonial rule and enraged the Spanish friars. It was a diagnosis of the problems of Filipino society and a reflection of the problems of exploitation in Filipino colonial society. His second novel, El Filibusterismo (The Revolution), published in 1891, examined the possibilities and consequences of revolution. As Rizals political ideas became known to the authorities he and his family suffered many hardships. His parents were dispossessed of their home and the male members deported to the island of Mondoro. Rizal himself was finally exiled to Dapitan, Mindanao from 1892 to 1986, implicated in the revolution of 1896, tried for sedition and executed by a firing squad on 30 December 1896, at the age of thirty-five. He lived a short life but was an extremely productive thinker, unsurpassed by anyone in South-east Asia, perhaps even Asia. He wrote several poems and essays, three novels, and conducted studies in early Philippine history, Tagalog grammar, and even entomology.

The Filipino thinker and activist, Jos Rizal, was probably the first systematic social thinker in South-east Asia. While he was not a social scientist, it is possible to construct a sociological theory from his thoughts, a theory that focuses on the nature and conditions of

Rizals Sociology
If we were to construct a sociological theory from Rizals works, three broad aspects can be discerned in his writings. First, there is the critique of colonial knowledge of the Philippines. Second, we have his theory of



colonial society, a theory that explains the nature and conditions of colonial society. Finally, there is Rizals discourse on the meaning and requirements for emancipation. In Rizals thought, the corrupt Spanish colonial government and its officials oppress and exploit the Filipinos, while blaming the backwardness of the Filipinos on their alleged laziness. But Rizals project was to show that in fact the Filipinos were a relatively advanced society in pre-colonial times, and that their backwardness was a product of colonialism. Colonial policy was exploitative despite the claims or intentions of the colonial government and the Catholic Church. In fact, Rizal was extremely critical of the boasted ministers of God [the friars] and propogators of light(!) [who] have not sowed nor do they sow Christian moral, they have not taught religion, but rituals and superstitions (Rizal, 1963b: 38). This position required Rizal to critique colonial knowledge of the Filipinos. He went into history to address the colonial allegation regarding the supposed indolence of the Filipinos. This led to his understanding of the conditions for emancipation and the possibilities of revolution.

the false reports and slanderous statements to be found in most Spanish works on the Philippines, as well as to bring to light the pre-colonial past that was wiped out from the memory of Filipinos by colonization (Rizal, 1962[1890]: vii). This includes the destruction of pre-Spanish records such as artefacts that would have thrown light on the nature of pre-colonial society (Zaide, 1993: 5). Rizal found Morgas work an apt choice, as it was, according to Ocampo, the only civil history of the Philippines written during the Spanish colonial period, other works being mainly ecclesiastical histories (Ocampo, 1998: 192). The problem with ecclesiastical histories, apart from falsifications and slander, was that they abound in stories of devils, miracles, apparitions, etc., these forming the bulk of the voluminous histories of the Philippines (de Morga, 1962[1890]: 291, n. 4). For Rizal, therefore, existing histories of the Philippines were false and biased as well as unscientific and irrational. What Rizals annotations accomplished were the following:
1. They provide examples of Filipino advances in agriculture and industry in pre-colonial times. 2. They provide the colonizeds point of view of various issues. 3. They point out the cruelties perpetrated by the colonizers. 4. They furnish instances of hypocrisy of the colonizers, particularly the Catholic Church. 5. They expose the irrationalities of the Churchs discourse on colonial topics.

The Critique of Colonial History

During Rizals time, there was little critique of the state of knowledge about the Philippines among Spanish colonial and Filipino scholars. Rizal, being well-acquainted with Orientalist scholarship in Europe, was aware of what would today be referred to as Orientalist constructions. This can be seen from his annotation and re-publication of Antonio de Morgas Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas (Historical Events of the Philippine Islands) which first appeared in 1609. Morga, a Spaniard, served eight years in the Philippines as Lieutenant Governor General and Captain General and was also a justice of the Supreme Court of Manila (Audiencia Real de Manila) (de Morga, 1991[1890]: xxxv). Rizal re-published this work with his own annotation in order to correct what he saw as

While space does not permit us to discuss all of these points, an example would suffice to illustrate Rizals position with regard to the reinterpretation of Filipino history: on the point of view of the colonized, in a section where de Morga discusses piracy perpetrated by the Moros of Mindanao, Rizal notes that:
This was the first piracy of the inhabitants of the South recorded in the history of the Philippines. We say inhabitants of the South: for before them there had been others, the first ones being those committed by the Magellan expedition, capturing vessels of friendly islands and even of unknown ones, demanding from them large ransoms.



If we are to consider that these piracies lasted more than two hundred and fifty years during which the unconquerable people of the South captured prisoners, assassinated, and set fire on not only the adjacent islands but also going so far as Manila Bay, Malate, the gates of the city, and not only once a year but repeatedly, five or six times, with the government unable to suppress them and to defend the inhabitants that it disarmed and left unprotected; supposing that they only cost the islands 800 victims every year, the number of persons sold and assassinated will reach 200,000, all sacrificed jointly with very many others to the prestige of that name Spanish Rule (de Morga, 1962[1890]: 134, n. 1)

indolence but explains that that was not a cause of backwardness, but rather it was the backwardness and disorder of Filipino colonial society that caused indolence. Prior to the colonial period, they were not indolent. They controlled trade routes, were involved in agriculture, mining and manufacturing. But when their destiny was taken away from them, they became indolent. This position reflected Rizals concern with the state of Filipino society prior to the colonial period. Rizal noted, for example, that the Filipinos
worked more and they had more industries when there were no encomenderos, that is, when they were heathens, as Morga himself asserts . . . the Indios, seeing that they were vexed and exploited by their encomenderos on account of the products of their industry, and not considering themselves beasts of burden or the like, they began to break their looms, abandon the mines, the fields, etc., believing that their rulers would leave them alone on seeing them poor, wretched and unexploitable. Thus they degenerated and the industries and agriculture so flourishing before the coming of the Spaniards were lost (de Morga, 1962[1890]: 317, n. 2).

Rizal goes on to note the Spanish plundering of gold from the Philippines, the destruction of Filipino industry, the depopulation of the islands, the enslavement of people, and the demoralization of the inhabitants of the islands that had never been seen as misdeeds among the Spaniards (de Morga, 1962[1890]: 134, n. 1).

Conceptualizing Indolence
Rizal noted that the Spaniards blamed the backwardness of the Filipinos on their indolence. The Spaniards charged that the Filipinos had little love for work. As Syed Hussein Alatas noted, the unwillingness of the Filipinos to cultivate under the encomenderos was interpreted out of context and understood to be the result of indolence, which was in turn attributed to their nature (Alatas, 1977: 125). Rizal, however, made a number of important points in what was the first sociological treatment of the topic (Alatas, 1977: 98). First of all, Rizal noted that the miseries of a people without freedom should not be imputed to the people but to their rulers (Rizal, 1963b: 31). Rizals novels, political writings and letters provide examples such as the confiscation of land, appropriation of farmers labour, high taxes, forced labour without payment, and so on (Rizal, 1963a). Second, he noted that the charge that the Filipinos are an inherently lazy people was not true. Rizal admits that there was some

Rizals approach to the problem is interesting in that he made a distinction between being indolent as a reaction to climate, for example, and indolence in terms of the absence of love for work or the avoidance of work. He noted that the pace of life was slower because of the tropical climate, where even the Europeans were forced to slow down. The second kind of indolence was a result of the social and historical experience of the Filipinos under Spanish rule. Rizal examined historical accounts by Europeans from centuries earlier which showed Filipinos to be industrious. This includes the writing of de Morga. Therefore, indolence must have social causes and these were to be found in the nature of colonial rule (Rizal, 1963c). The theme of indolence in colonial scholarship is an important one and formed a vital part of the ideology of colonial capitalism. Rizal was probably the first to deal with it systematically. This concern was later taken up in Alatass The Myth of the Lazy Native



(1977), which contains a chapter entitled The Indolence of the Filipinos, in honour of Rizals work on the same topic, The Indolence of the Filipino (Rizal, 1963c).

The Enlightenment and Emancipation

Rizal was in Spain at the time the country was being challenged by Enlightenment ideas. At the Universidad Central de Madrid, where he was enrolled, Rizal witnessed controversies between liberal professors and staunchly Catholic scholars (Bonoan and Raul, 1994: 13). As a result, Rizal began to develop greater commitment to the idea of the freedom of thought and inquiry (Bonoan and Raul, 1994: 17). In a letter to his mother in 1885, Rizal states:
As to what you say concerning my duties as a Christian, I have the pleasure of telling you that I have not ceased believing for a single moment in any of the fundamental beliefs of our religion. The beliefs of my childhood have given way to the convictions of youth, which I hope in time will take root in me. Any essential belief that does not stand review and the test of time must pass on to the realm of memory and leave the heart. I ought not to live on illusions and falsehoods. What I believe now, I believe through reason because my conscience can admit only that which is compatible with the principles of thought . . . I believe that God would not punish me if in approaching him I were to use his most precious gift of reason and intelligence. (Rizal, 1959: 224, cited in Bonoan and Raul, 1994: 19)

The backwardness of colonial society is not due to any inherent defects of the Filipino people but to the backwardness of the Spaniards, including the church. Emancipation could only come from enlightenment. Spanish colonial rule was exploitative because of the backwardness of the church in that the church was against enlightenment, the supremacy of reason. The European Enlightenment was good for Filipinos, while the church was against it because it established reason as the authority, not God or the church. Thinkers such as Marx,

Weber and Durkheim were products of the Enlightenment but recognized that reason had gone wrong. Modernity which was a creation of reason was unreasonable because it was alienating, anomic and ultimately irrational. It is interesting to note that Rizal who was also writing in the nineteenth century had a different attitude to the Enlightenment and to reason (Bonoan and Raul, 1994). His writings do not show disappointment with reason and he was not dissatisfied with modernity in the way that Marx, Weber and Durkheim were. This is probably because for Rizal the Filipinos were not modern enough and were kept backward by the anti-rational church. This results in the emergence of the filibustero, the dangerous patriot who should be hanged soon, that is, a revolutionary. The revolution, that is, breakaway from Spanish rule and Church is inevitable and the only means of emancipation. Rizals second novel, El Filibusterismo (The Revolution [1992[1891]) is a prescription for revolution. The Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) of 1887 suggests the need to displace the civil power of friars. The villains were the Fransiscan padres. The civil and military power exercised by the Spanish Captain General, a colonial officer, is perceived as rational and progressive. Elias, a noble, patriotic and selfless Filipino dies in the novel, while the egoist Ibarra survives. In the sequel, El Filibusterismo, there is a shift in Rizals thinking. The villains are the Dominican priests as well as the Captain General who turns out to be a mercenary. The revolution fails, reflecting Rizals assessment of the readiness and preparedness of the Filipinos for revolution. He saw those who would lead a revolution as working out of self-interest rather than on behalf of a national community (Majul, 2001: 713). Rizal was reluctant to join a revolution that was doomed to failure due to lack of preparation, the egoism of the so-called revolutionaries, and the lack of a cohesive front. Nevertheless, his very actions and writings were revolutionary and he was executed for treason against Spain. Rizals thinking on the plight of the Filipinos was not detached from his concerns with the



rationality of Christianity. This was because the Catholic Church was a fundamental part of Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines. Rizals sociology of colonial society at the same time provides us with an account of the complicity of the church in the exploitation of the Filipinos, and the need for the church to be influenced by the ideas of the Enlightenment

the probable from the imaginary, particularly with regard to the rise and fall of states. For this, he developed a theory that took into account such phenomena as the types of social organization, solidarity and the types of authority. The discussion in the Muqaddimah falls under the following headings (Ibn Khaldun, 1981[1378]: 41 [1967: vol. I, 85]):
1. social organization (umran) in general and its divisions 2. bedouin society (al-umran al-badawi-) 3. the state (al-dawlah), royal (mulk) and caliphate (khilafah) authority 4. sedentary society (al-umran al-hadari- ) . . 5. the crafts, ways of making a living (al-mash) 6. the sciences (al-ulum) and their acquisition.


Wal alD n Abd alRahma n Ibn Muhammad - n alTunis alHad ram was born - - . - . Ibn Khaldu . in Tunis on 1 Ramadan (according to the . Muslim calendar). His family originated in the Hadramaut, Yemen, and had settled in Seville, . . Andalusia, in the early days of the Arab conquest of Spain. With the Reconquista, his ancestors left Spain, settling in Tunis in the seventh to thirteenth centuries. Ibn Khaldun 1 was educated in the traditional sciences. The Muqaddimah (Prolegomenon) was conceived of by Ibn Khaldun as a work that established the principles that had to be mastered in order that the proper study of history could be conducted. Completed in 1378, it introduces what Ibn Khald un claimed to be a novel science named ilm alumran al-bashar (science of human social organization) or ilm al-ijtima al-insan (sci. . ence of human society).2 He saw this to be a science which involves subtle explanation of the causes and origins of existing things, and deep knowledge of the how and why of events (Ibn Khaldun, 1981[1378]: 4 [1967: vol. I, 6]). The problem with existing historical works was that they were beset by errors and unfounded assumptions, as well as a blind trust in tradition. The aim of the Muqaddimah was to comprehend changes in society via a critical approach that distinguished the possible and

The Muqaddimah was the first of the three books that constitute the Kitab al-Ibar (Book of Examples), a history of the Arabs and of Islam, as well as other peoples such as the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Persians (Ibn Khaldun, 1981[1378]: 6 [1967: vol. I, 1112]). So important was the Muqaddimah in terms of its originality, that it came to be regarded as an independent work and is often read as such.

Theorizing the Rise and Decline of States

Ibn Khald uns central concern in the Muqaddimah was the explanation of the rise and decline of states, particularly of the Maghribi and eastern Arab states (al-Mashriq). The core phenomena and related concepts relevant to this theorizing are main types of social organization, that is, nomadic or bedouin (badaw ) and sedentary (h ad ar ) . . societies. He also elaborated on the concept of authority, particularly caliphate (khilafah) and royal (mulk) authority and the differential effects of these on solidarity (al-asabiyyah). . This in turn explained differences in the power of the ruling dynasty in its early as compared to its final days. He saw Bedouins as prior to sedentary people in the sense that



the desert was the reservoir of sedentary society and city life. In other words, sedentary society is the goal of the Bedouin life (Ibn Khaldun, 1981[1378]: 371 [1967: vol. II, 291]). Fundamental to his theory is the concept of al-asabiyyah or tribal-based . solidarity. Only a society with a strong alasabiyyah could establish domination over . one with a weak asabiyyah (Ibn Khaldun, 1981[1378]: 139 [1967: vol. I, 284]). Here, al-asabiyyah refers to the feeling of . solidarity among the members of a group that is based on their belief in a common descent. The more superior the al-asabiyyah, that is . to say, the stronger the feeling of solidarity among the Bedouin, the more capable they were of defeating sedentary people in the cities and their environs, and establishing their own dynasties. The establishment of a new dynasty by nomadic tribesmen implies that it is these tribesmen that now constitute the new ruling class, as it were. It is this very assumption of ruling class status in an urban setting that creates the conditions for the decline of alasabiyyah. As Ibn Khaldun noted, the second . generation of tribesmen undergo a change
from the desert attitude to sedentary culture, from privation to luxury, from a state in which everybody shared in the glory to one in which one man claims all the glory for himself while the others are too lazy to strive for (glory), and from proud superiority to humble subservience. Thus, the vigour of group feeling is broken to some extent.

of the state. What is rarely discussed, however, is the fact that this theory is, at one and the same time, a theory of religious revival. Perhaps the first to recognize this was the Spanish philosopher, Ortega y Gasset (1883 1955). In an essay devoted to Ibn Khald un, - theory on Ortega suggests that Ibn Khalduns the rise and decline of states can be applied to the rise of the Wahhabi movement in Arabia. The development of this movement took place according to the historical laws discovered by Ibn Khaldun. Ibn Saud had the support of his tribe and captured the city of Najd. He employed an overarching religious ideology, Wahhabism. Ortega regarded Wahhabism as a form of puritanism and notes its extremism. He was wrong, however, in equating the puritanism of the Wahhabis with Islam itself. Nevertheless, he was right in recognizing the relevance of Ibn Khald uns theory for the explanation of the rise of the Saudi state and the role of the Wahhabi revival movement (Ortega y Gasset, 197678[1934]: 11112). Ibn Khald un noted the role of religious leaders in the unification of the Bedouin.
When there is a prophet or saint among them, who calls upon them to fulfill the commands of God and rids them of blameworthy qualities and causes them to adopt praiseworthy ones, and who has them concentrate all their strength in order to make the truth prevail, they become fully united (as a social organization) and obtain superiority and royal authority (Ibn Khaldun, 1981[1378]: 151 [1967: vol. I, 35306]).

By the third generation al-asabiyyah dis- . appears completely (Ibn Khaldun, 1981[1378]: 171 [1967: vol. I, 3445]). The decline or disappearance of al-asabiyyah or weaken. ing solidarity among the tribesmen translates into diminishing military strength and inability to rule. The dynasty now is vulnerable to attack by fresh supplies of pre-urban Bedouins with their al-asabiyyah intact. These eventu. ally replace the weaker sedentary ones. And so the cycle repeats itself.

A Theory of Muslim Revival

Ibn Khalduns Muqaddimah is well known as a work that explains the rise and decline

Therefore, the solidarity implied by the concept of al-asabiyyah is not wholly depend. ant on kinship ties. Religion can also aid in forging such solidarity, the prime example of that being the rise of Islam itself. The conflict between the pre-urban Bedouin and the sedentarized urban tribes is not just one over the city and the luxuries and prestige that it brings. The Bedouin are driven by a will to reform. The logic is one of periodical waves of revolutionary movements bent on abolishing what is objectionable (taghyr al-munkar) (Ibn Khaldun, 1981[1378]: 159 [1967: vol. I, 323]). In other words, it was the conquest of the dynasty by



pre-urban Bedouins that effectively, albeit temporarily, abolished what is objectionable, that is, the excesses of urban life. In Ibn Khalduns world there was the cyclical change that rescued society from these excesses. The reform is cyclical. A tribe conquers a dynasty, establishes a new one and rules until it is overthrown by a reform-minded leader who has the support of tribes eager to cash in on the city. The luxury of city life is the chief cause of the rise of impiety. In Ibn Khald uns world, ordinary folks were caught between the oppressive policies and conduct of a royal authority on the one hand and the prospects of conquest by bloodthirsty tribesmen led by a religious leader bent on destruction of the existing order. Ibn Khald un resigned himself to the eternal repetition of the cycle. He did not foresee developments that would lead to the elimination of the cycle. This happened with the Ottomans, the Qajar dynasty in Iran, and the state in the Yemen. The cycle ceased to be in operation when the basis of state power was no longer tribal. Gellners application of Ibn Khald uns theory by way of a merger with David Humes oscillation theory of religion is well known and will not be repeated here (see Gellner, 1981: ch. 1) While Gellners work is probably the only serious attempt to look at Ibn Khald uns 3 theory as a theory of Muslim reform, there are problems with it. Gellner noted that Humes model was excessively psychological (Gellner, 1981: 16). Gellners merger of Hume and Ibn Khald un does provide the social basis for a theory deemed too psychologistic. What it does not do, however, is to introduce Ibn Khald uns concept of religious change or reform (taghyr al-munkar) and elaborate on the social basis of such change. In fact, it is not merely that this religious change has a social basis. The relevance of the social goes beyond that. The process of religious change is part of a larger societal change that involves war and conflict, a

change in the state elite and regime, and the ascendancy of a new ruling tribe. Consider Ibn Khald uns own examples, the period of the rise and decline of three dynasties, that is, the Almoravids (al-Muwahhid un) (ad 10531147), Almohads .. - bit un) (ad 11471275) and Marinids (al-Mura . (ad 12131524). Each of these dynasties was founded with the support of Berber tribes, the sanhajah for the Almoravids, the Masmudah . . - tah for the for the Almohads and the Zana Marinids, and declined generally according to the model suggested by Ibn Khaldun. The Almoravids established their state utilizing the power of the powerful sanhajah . Berber tribes, enlarged and established cities, and then enlisted the sanhajahs help to keep . at bay other possibly dissident tribes in the surrounding areas. But the Almoravids were eventually overcome by the Almohads; these had started as a religious reform movement - under Ibn T umart with the support of the Masmudah Berber tribes. The Almohads them. selves finally gave way to the Marinids who rode on the military support of the Zanatah Berber tribes.

The Relevance of the Khaldunian Model Today

While there is no such cyclical logic today, there are general lessons from Ibn Khalduns theory of Muslim revival. They can be stated as follows:
1. Religious revival takes place within the context of regime change, the coming of a new ruling class and, therefore, a realignment of loyalties. 2. Religious revival functions as an overarching al-asabiyyah that transcends tribalism, class . and ethnicity and yet is immanent in them. For example, an Islamic al-asabiyyah transcends all . tribes, but is at the same time dependent on the al-asabiyyah of the strongest tribe which . appealed to religion. The same logic of interacting al-asabiyyahs can be applied to non-tribal . forms of solidarity and their relationship to religion.



3. The source of religious change is societal groups characterized by simpler modes of making a living and less luxurious lifestyles. 4. Religious revival is the outcome of conflict between a lesser institutionalized religion-based solidarity (al-asabiyyah) and an urban-based . religiousity regulated by institutions (see also Spickard, 2001: 109). 5. Religious zeal and religion-based solidarity are positively correlated. 6. The religious experience can be understood beyond its individual and psychological manifestations as a sociological phenomenon to the extent that it is a function of a type of al-asabiyyah. The Khaldunian approach would . not be grounded in individuals (Spickard, 2001: 108).

and internationalizing the social sciences. It should also be clear that alternative discourses refer to good social science because they are more conscious of the relevance of the surroundings and the problems stemming from the discursive wielding of power by the social sciences and with the need for the development of new ideas. The alternative is being defined as that which is relevant to its surroundings is creative, nonimitativeand original, non-essentialist, counterEurocentric, autonomous from the state, and autonomous from other national or transnational groupings (Alatas, 2006: 82). The examples of the works of Jos Rizal and Ibn Khald un have brought out a number of features of autonomous or alternative discourses in sociology. These can be listed as follows.
1. Attention to Rizal and Ibn Khaldun suggest alternative research agenda, undetermined by interests in the world social science powers. On the agenda would be research topics such as the study of laziness and indolence, and the ideologies around them; and the study of religious revival in the context of various types of solidarity or social cohesion and state formation. 2. Attention to Rizal and Ibn Khaldun also reverses the subjectobject dichotomy in which the knowing subjects in social thought and social theory are generally Western European and North American white males. In this paper, however, Rizal and Ibn Khaldun are not regarded as mere sources of data or information, but are seen as knowing subjects providing us with concepts and theories with which we may engage in the reconstruction of reality. 3. Attention to Rizal and Ibn Khaldun, therefore, suggests the need to replace the domination of European-derived categories and concepts with a multicultural coexistence of the same. The idea is not to displace European-derived concepts but to create the conditions for concepts from various civilizational backgrounds to be known and utilized.


The Meaning of Alternative Sociologies

An autonomous social science tradition is defined as one which raises a problem, creates concepts and creatively applies theories in an independent manner and without being dominated intellectually by another tradition (Alatas, 2002: 151). Social scientists that operate within such a tradition are practitioners of what I call alternative discourses in the social sciences. With reference to the Asian context, I had previously defined alternative discourses as those which are informed by local/regional historical experiences and cultural practices in Asia in the same way that the Western social sciences are. Being alternative requires the turn to philosophies, epistemologies, histories and the arts other than those of the Western tradition. These are all to be considered as potential sources of social science theories and concepts, which would decrease academic dependence on the world social science powers. Therefore, it becomes clear that the emergence and augmentation of alternative discourses is identical to the process of universalizing

The idea behind promoting scholars like Jos Rizal and Ibn Khaldun and a host of other



well-known and lesser-known thinkers in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe as well as in Europe and North America, is to contribute to the universalization of sociology. Sociology may be a global discipline but it is not a universal one as long as the various civilizational voices that have something to say about society are not rendered audible by the institutions and practices of our discipline.

Alatas, S.H. (1977) The Myth of the Lazy Native: A Study of the Image of the Malays, Filipinos and Javanese from the 16th to the 20th Century and its Function in the Ideology of Colonial Capitalism. London: Frank Cass. Alatas, S.H. (2002) The Development of an Autonomous Social Science Tradition in Asia: Problems and Prospects, Asian Journal of Social Science 30(1): 1507. Alatas, S.F. (2006) Alternative Discourses in Asian Social Science: Responses to Eurocentrism. New Delhi: Sage. Bonoan, S.J. and Raul, J. (1994) The Rizal Pastells Correspondence. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila Press. de Morga, A. (1991[1890]) Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas por el Doctor Antonio de Morga, obra publicada en Mjico el ao de 1609, nuevamente sacada a luz y anotada por Jos Rizal y precedida de un prlogo del Prof. Fernando Blumentritt, Edicin del Centenario, impression al offset de la Edicin Anotada por Rizal, Paris 1890, Escritos de Jos Rizal, Tomo VI. Manila: Comision Nacional del Centenario de Jos Rizal, Instituto Histrico Nacional. (1962[1890]) (Historical Events of the Philippine Islands by Dr Antonio de Morga, published in Mexico in 1609, recently brought to light and annotated by Jose Rizal, preceded by a prologue by Dr Ferdinand Blumentritt, Writings of Jose Rizal, Vol. VI. Manila: National Historical Institute). Gellner, E. (1981) Muslim Society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hume, D. (1976) The Natural History of Religion. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Ibn Khaldn (1967) Ibn Khaldun: The Muqadimmah An Introduction to History, in 3 vols, trans. from the Arabic by F. Rosenthal. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Ibn Khaldun (1979) `Abd al-Rama n. Al-Ta`r f bi Ibn Khaldun wa Rih latuhu Gharban wa Sharqan . (Autobiography). Beirut: Da r al-Kita b al- n1; Cairo: Dar al-Kita b al-Masr . Lubna Ibn Khaldu n (1981[1378]) Muqaddimah Ibn Khaldun (The Prolegomenon of Ibn Khaldun). Bayrut: Dar al-Qalam. Majul, C.A. (2001) Rizals Noli and Fili: Their Relevance to the Coming Millenium, in Centennial Lecture Series Memories, Visions and Scholarship and Other Essays, pp. 5575.

1. Following Ibn Khaldun, there are two general categories of knowledge. The first category is that of the traditional sciences (al-ulu m al-naqliyyah). These refer to revealed knowledge rather than knowledge which is generated by mans intellect. They include Quranic exegesis (tafs r), Islamic laws (al-ulu m alshariyyah) which are derived from the Quran and the sunnah, jurisprudence and its principles (fiqh, usu l al-fiqh), the science of Prophetic tradition (ilm alhad th), and theology (ilm al-kalam). These sciences . are specific to Islam and its adherents. The second category is that of the rational sciences (al-ulum al-aqliyyah), that is, the sciences which arise from mans capacity for reason, sense perception and observation. Among these sciences are the science of logic (ilm al-mantiq), physics (al-ilm al-tab ), metaphysics (al-ilm al-illahiyyah), and the sciences concerned with measurement (maqad r), that is, geometry (ilm al-handasah), arithmetic (ilm alartamat q ), music (ilm al-mus q ) and astronomy . - n, 1981[1378]: 4357; (ilm al-hayati) (Ibn Khaldu 4778). 2. Apart from the Muqaddimah, Ibn Khalduns chief works are the Kitab al-Ibar wa D wan alMubtada wa al-Khabar f Ayyam al-Arab wa al-Ajam wa al-Barbar wa man A sarahum min Dhaw alSultan al-Akbar (Book of Examples and the Collection of Origins of the History of the Arabs and Berbers); Lubab al-Muhas sal fi usul al-d n (The Resum of the . .. . Compendium in the Fundamentals of Religion), being - his summary of Fakhr al-Dn al-Ra zs Compendium of the Sciences of the Ancients and Moderns; and Ibn Khaldu ns autobiography, Al-Tar f bi Ibn Khaldun wa Rihlatuhu Gharban wa Sharqan . (Biography of Ibn Khaldun and His Travels East and West) (1979). 3. A work that is related to our theme is Spickard (2001), although it is more concerned with elaborating an alternative sociology of religion than a theory of reform.



Quexon City: University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies, 2002. Ocampo, A.R. (1998) Rizals Morga and Views of Philippine History, Philippine Studies 46: 184214. Ortega Y Gasset, J. (19768[1934]) Abenjaldn nos revela el secreto (Ibn Khaldun Reveals to Us the Secret), Revista del Instituto Egicio de Estudios Islmicos en Madrid 19: 95114. First published in 1934 in El Espectador 7: 953. Rizal, J. (1959) One Hundred Letters of Jos Rizal to his Parents, Brother, Sisters, Relatives. Manila: Philippine National Historical Society. Rizal, J. (1962[1890]) To the Filipinos, in Antonio de Morga, Historical Events of the Philippine Islands, p. vii Rizal, J. (1963a) Filipino Farmers, Political and Historical Writings, pp. 1922. Manila: National Historical Institute.

Rizal, J. (1963b) The Truth for All, Political and Historical Writings, pp. 318. Manila: National Historical Institute. Rizal, J. (1963c) The Indolence of the Filipino, Political and Historical Writings, pp. 11139. Manila: National Historical Institute. Rizal, J. (1990[1887]) Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not). Introduction by J. V. Castro. Manila: Nalandangan Press. Rizal, J. (1992[1891]) The Revolution. Introduction by J. V. Castro. Manila: Nalandangan Press. Spickard, J.V. (2001) Tribes and Cities: Towards an Islamic Sociology of Religion, Social Compass 48(1): 10316. Zaide, S (1993) Historiography in the Spanish Period, in Philippine Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, pp. 419. Quezon City: Philippine Social Science Council.