Epistemology has been of a chief concern to Islamic scholars who are attempting to grapple with the Integration of Knowledge. Prof. Dr. Hamidullah Marazi, Head of Department of Religious Studies at Central University of Kashmir, India emphasized that the Holy Quran and the teaching of Prophet Muhammad SAW is the epistemology of Islamic Science itself as both of them contain fundamental principles for Islamic Philosophy as well as other sciences.
“Islam revolutionized human thought and as such there is much in the Holy Quran and in the teachings of Holy Prophet (SAW) which is the source material for Islamic Philosophy and epistemology. With the birth of Islam there was also the birth of various branches of Knowledge and Islamic Philosophy was one of the most important branches among them,” added Prof. Hamidullah Marazi when delivering the lecture on "Integration of Knowledge, Islamic Education Reform/Tajdid and the Need of the New Textbok Writing in Universities” Monday (26/2) that took place in Pascasarjana Building UMY. This public lecture was organized by International Program for Islamic Economics and Finance (IPIEF) in collaboration with the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), East and South-East Asia and attended by the distinguished Indonesia representative of IIIT, Dr. Habib Chirzin.
According to him, the underlying reason why Quran has been the source of epistemology in Islam since it was reveled to the last Messenger of Allah is that there are numerous ayah /verses in the Quran which greatly encourage the Moslems and all human being to pursue relentlessly the intellectual courage and other nature phenomenon.
He explicated the categories used in the Holy Qur’an regarding the basis of Islamic epistemology, saying: “The Quran has employed various categories like Tadabbur to lay emphasis on understanding the Quran deeply ,Tafaquh to fathom the religious spirit behind the commandments of din in an encompassing manner, Tafakkur to study the nature of the universe and its various phenomena scientifically ,Taaqul to ponder on the common sense notions having deeper moral and spiritual implications for man’s destiny , and finally the ‘Ilm and Hikmah to lead human mind to the highest pinnacles of knowledge and cognitive excellence and persuasiveness, encompassing all the contours and horizons of science and technology.”
Comparing the basis features of Islamic epistemology to those of Greeks, he then added: “Islamic Epistemology is, thus, a vast subject and is spread over the theories of knowledge initiated under the guidance of the Quran and the patronage of the Prophet (SAW). The Qur’anic vision about the universe in the formation of Islamic epistemological paradigm, the Quran and the Sunnah have provided the impetus and have rendered this subject very much advanced and developed to the extent where it became different from all other subjects discussed by the Greeks or their adherents from the Christian world.”
Prof. Marazi has also underlined that the relationship between Islam and Arabic language is extremely close since the revelation of the Quran was in Arab, and as such its teachings and principles were also delivered and taught to the prophet’s companions in Arabic. Given the greatest importance of the Arabic as the main language by which the Islamic epistemology was strengthened and maintained to the present day, Islam and the Arabic language which is considered rich have been mutually reinforcing.
Finally, he demonstrated three steps that should be completed in Islamizing the knowledge, adding by referring to Mahmood Ahmad Ghazi: “those are (1) all the social and human sciences of the West should be critically examined and their drawbacks and shortcomings should be pointed out. The elements which are in repugnance with our ideology should be also pointed out; (2) the rest should be recodified and re-stated so as to be in total conformity with our intellectual traditions; (3) it should be integrated with our classical literature on the subject so that, on the one hand, the intellectual experiments and discoveries of the modern world are fully and suitably utilized and, on the other hands, our traditional sciences are also revitalized and re-invigorated.”[Aw]