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Islamic Science: Towards a Definition

Chapter 1: THE CONCEPT OF ISLAMICITY

Ideas which have newly emerged attached to it the term “Islamic” in the certain things such
as economic law etc. This is not seen in the High Islamic civilization today this is a normal trend
reasons for usage of such terms is that currently almost all these happens because things are
transferred from one culture to another. In short knowledge is transferred from Western culture
to the Islamic culture in contemporary era. This leads to the reaction that Muslim will request for
this to be Islamic. One of the scholars who critically examined the concept called “Islamic” is
Professor al-Attas who has defined this concept.

Furthermore, Islamic is understood as something which is based in the Quran and
Hadith. What arises after this is that Quran and Hadith need interpretation what is the best
interpretation who is eligible to determine this? Al-Attas is one who put a condition that the only
criterion is that these things should not contradict each other. This is the only limit in allowing
differences of opinions. In the past history these difference of opinion has being only between
Shafii school, Hanafi School, the Ash`ari and the Maturidi Schools all these we need to include
the several of interpretation in defining the Islamicity in the perspective of the worldview.
According to al-Attas. All this diversity and change will indeed occur and only as diversity
among the jurisprudence, theology, and so on. The word Islamicity and its controversies will be
surrounding.

Before defining the Islamic Science, the concept of Islamicity itself should be clarified
this is done in the light of definition put forward by Professor al-Attas. He affirms that
knowledge in it natural sense but the emphasis is on the contemporary knowledge.

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1.1 Islamicity as a Reflection of Worldview

The doctrine and the concept, theory and understanding of Islamicity is to be free from
magical, mythological, animistic, national-cultural tradition also free from secular control.
According to the findings of author and it is clearly seen that today a phenomena that Muslims
are alienated from their root culture and not having an Islamic concept or an Islamic worldview
they have become so unIslamic and Secular, not able to re-examine their worldview for various
reasons.
In regards to this matter it emerges the Islamicity worldview and the idea of Islamic science.
It is crucial that the worldview has a great impact in our actions, this is not seen as a factor to
undermine human behavior or other factors such as psychology, social surrounding.

1.2 The Nature and Rise of Worldviews.

Kant says that certain priori knowledge exist, according to author this knowledge is that
human knowledge is created capable of acquiring such knowledge. The first initiation in
acquiring knowledge is through our sense perception. Than it is expanded later via various
combination of the knowledge acquired. The worldview is the natural process which arises in our
everyday life; it is natural because the mind has the power built-in to form a conceptual
framework. He put forward 4 reasons for it. 1. Culture, 2. Abstract thought, 3. Psychology and 4.
Technology. The worldview is formed as a habit that is dominant in the daily life through his
culture. This view of the author is supported or is in line with the view of Kant.

Moreover, the concept of the worldview is that it refers to the conceptual grasp of things in
the universe in which the notions ideas and beliefs are so much connected with each other. He
argues that the worldview it is not construed as construed it is rather necessarily arises in the
mind of individuals. That’s why the worldview it is organized in coherent manner. The
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worldview arises naturally this does not mean by nature by in the Islamic perspective it arises
from the senses and connection with the religion that one has, as this is one of the main factors
influencing your culture and environment surrounding the person.

By the statement of the author, said that worldview rises two different ways. Firstly in an
environment in which the dissemination of knowledge within the society it is not scientifically.
Secondly in a society where the scientific knowledge regulate the dissemination of knowledge.
In dealing with the scientific knowledge there is a group of people “Ulama” who utilizes a
special language which is a different language from what the people use in daily life. Second
option why the scientific knowledge emerges as a result of the people who are not scientist but
this are people who develop a worldview within the environment of scientific activities. This
develops the concept such as God, universe, knowledge meaning of life, freedom, justice,
education etc. He conclude that intellectuals have a concrete works thus result they transfer it to
the masses. Third stage is the knowledge produced enters into massive dissemination through
education and mass media. When the scientific is disseminated from the top level to the bottom
level through clear and transparent definitions and systematically organized body of knowledge.

The root of the Islamic worldview is established by the Prohpet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon
Him, PBUH) through revelation. The Islamic worldview is formed during the time the revelation
was revealed it was explained by Him (PBUH) and it is similar to the scientific worldview, some
called it quasi-scientific worldview.

1.3 The Function of Worldview
The dynamism inherent in a scientific worldview may give certain dynamism to a society.
This is clear when in a society there is a dominant mentality it will lead to a certain dominant
worldview.
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He argued that there is a “Life Structure” it emerges the conceptual ideas thus acquiring the
abstract and sophisticated concepts. It does develop gradually from childhood to the adulthood
with certain concepts on the worldview. On the other hand he argues that there is no fixed
structure or order in developing the worldview.

In fact, the knowledge-structure which is direct extension of the world structure this is going
to lead to the sophistication of the concepts such as morality and others. Applying this concept
to the Islamic worldview it is seem predominant in the Islamic cultural activities. World structure
includes the fundamental concepts such as God, Prophethood and hereafter. One of the basic
concept of the Islamic worldview are the concepts of Khalifah, Ummah and these concepts
derive from concepts such as Tawhid and Akhirah, due to which the Muslim life and culture
revolves around it.

Also, in the life of everyone the worldview has a specific function and this allows the
development of the scientific worldview and it manifests the knowledge. Its primary function is
as a general scheme in what we perceive everyday life. Author gives the example of a student
who cheats in exam. He may do this for various reasons or motives. Writer states that there are
observable foundations for this action but on the other hand there are non-observable foundations
which form his action.

Formation of these foundation take place in an independent way from each other and this
forms what author has called the “worldview”. In forming the worldview there is physical
surrounding with it develops the conceptual environment. The proper environment allows the
development of the adequate worldview. The sophistication of the Islamic worldview came after
the Post-Prophet era.