You are on page 1of 5




The word civilization is closely linked with urbanization. Civilization itself is derived from the Latin word for city civitas. This is because every great civilization has had great cities and the basic characteristics of civilization are easiest to observe in cities. The word tamaddun (in Arabic language) derived from Arabic word maddana: choosing a location to stay, develop a place to become a city, to become city dwellers or living in cities or non-farmers gather in cities to work and to trade. to live a modern lifestyle. Living in one place allows people to accumulate more personal possessions than nomadic people (badwi). .

The term civilization has evolved from an era to another.Before the word tamaddun was used, scholars used the words madaniyyah, umran and hadarah. The term civilization has evolved from an era to another. Umran; A land or house inhabited; peopled; well peopled; a land colonized, cultivated or well cultivated;a house in a state of good repair. In other words umran implies sedentary life which is the basis of all civilization. Ibn Khaldoun defined civilization as "a sophistication in luxury and the mastery of crafts used to advance it in various aspects such as cooking, clothes, decoration, architecture, and all social situations. Each of these requires skills and crafts to achieve it.I bn Khaldun used this word repeatedly in connection with his study of cities or towns founded by Islamic rulers or ancient dynasties. He was the first Islamic historian to write on civilization in 14th century.This umran is represents as civilization nowadays. Hadharah; Ibn Khaldoun also used this word alongside the term umran . Hadharah meant sedentary life. According to Arabic-English Lexicon by E.W. Lane, hadharah literally means; A region, district or tract, cities or town, or villages and of cultivated land. Madaniyyah; founder Muhammad Farid Wajdi and Muhammad Abduh in 20th century; Wajdi produced his book al-Madaniyah wa l-Islam (civilization and Islam) in 1899, while Abduhs book is al Islam wa l-Nasraniyah maal ilm wal madaniyah (Islam and Christianity in respect of science of civilization) 1901. Both used madaniyyah as a same meaning of civilization or city based culture because madinah is an arabic word for city.

The word tamaddun has been used by Jurji Zaydan which was introduced in his book Tarikh al-Tamaddun al-Islami in the early 1900. This word is better qualified to express the concept of civilization in the modern sence. In English, the word used is civilization. Other words are culture and urbanization. "Civilization" can also describe the culture of a complex society, not just the society itself. The first well known usage of the word civilization appears in English book during the 19th century in Europe. The West used to study the science of civilization only during the 19th century when the Muqaddimah li kitab al-ibar by Ibnu Khaldun was translated into English and French by Prof Franz Rosenthal In Bahasa Malayu it similar to peradaban dan kebudayaan. From Islamic perspective; tamaddun is balancing between physical and material development. Western perspective; material and physical development as a measurement for a civilized society (Toynbee, Fiebleman)


Historians, archaeologists and anthropologists have contributed the understanding of civilization. 1. Acc to Edward Tailor and H. Morgan, civilization began with writing; civilization cannot exsist without a system of writing and system of writing cannot exsis except in a civilization. 2. J.H.Beatty and O.A.Johnson believe that city life and written records are two essential requisites of a civilization. 3. Prof.Clyde Kluckhohn added ; towns upwards 5,000 people, a written language and monumental ceremonial centres. Such as temples and palaces. 4. Colin Renfrew ; the rise of cities and;the invention of script as the medium of mental communication. 5. Fine arts; such as music, calligraphy and architecture 6. Law; Ibn Khaldun said,Injustice is the destroyer of civilization. 7. Religion; Shaykh Muhammad Abduh said, All civilization of mankind were based on the foundation of religion. He believed that ancient nations such as Egyptians, the Chaldeans and the Greek were also based on religious foundation.