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Kalam Jadid, Islamization, and the worldview of Islam: applying the neo-Ghazalian, Attasian Vision.

Even as a discourse on religion, kalam obviously inclined, right from the start, to use forms of arguments some of which were clearly employed by ancient (and modern) philosophers; and it is of course important to identify these forms, their sources and characteristics. (1)

1. Preamble

In Knowledge Triumphant, Franz Rosenthal observes that the Islamic civilization is one essentially characterized by knowledge ('ilm): "'ilm is one of those concepts that have dominated Islam and given Muslim civilization its distinctive shape and complexion." (2) This should not be surprising, since the divine revelation itself repeatedly emphasizes that its signs or verses are only understandable "for a people who think" (li-qawmin ya'qilun) (al-Baqara: 164). (3) It exhorts believers, nay, even non-believers, to look to the cosmic horizons (al-afaq) and into their very selves (al-anfus) for empirical/ experiential evidences/indications (ayat) (4) demonstrating the revealed truth (al-haqq) (Fussilat: 53). For many scholars, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, the seeds of rational/cognitive thinking were present in early Islam, in the Qur'anic revelation itself. (5) As Nuh Ha Mim Keller puts it, "the Qur'an itself uses rational argument." (6)

From the very beginning, Muslims have taken a rational (or rather, intellectual and cognitive, 'aqli) and scientific ('ilmi) approach to matters in both the religious (including spiritual) and mundane domains (umur al-din wal-dunya). (7) Simply put, there was never in Islamic intellectual history--Ibn Rushd (520-595/1126-1198) notwithstanding (8)--the peculiarly medieval Christian and early modern problem of reconciling reason and revelation, as if the two were mutually exclusive avenues to truth and knowledge that have to be brought together in some form of uneasy compromise and coexistence. (9) As far as Muslims are concerned, revelation and reason are in mutual harmony as complementary avenues to objective knowledge that spring ultimately from the same transcendent source. (10)

This understanding is quite evident in 'Umar Najm al-Din al-Nasafi's (d. 537/1142) important epistemological preamble to his creed. (11) For the Muslim theologians, to whom belief (iman) must be grounded in true knowledge ('ilm), the problem is rather merely that of specifying the precise relation between the two--which is that reason and all the rational sciences derived from it find their role, purpose, and proper place (and hence their cognitive and axiological limits) within the enveloping context of experience, including the "trans-empirical" religious or spiritual experience of divine revelation, or Transcendence. Such was the position taken by the mutakallimin and the falasifa, both of whom "did not distinguish theology from philosophy," (12) and neither did they distinguish it from physics or mathematics or medicine for that matter. (13) Hence, Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas makes clear that

Islamic science and philosophy (i.e. hikmah as contrasted with falsafah) have always found coherent expression within a basic metaphysical structure formulated according to the tradition of Sufism and founded upon the authority of revelation, Tradition, sound reason, experience and intuition. (14)

Their underlying epistemic point of departure is that true belief cannot be simply "willed" into the heart, (15) for it has objective cognitive content that must be known or understood in order to be properly affirmed (tasdiq).

Moreover, that content can be demonstrable in various ways, and thus, communicated, shared, debated and rationalized.16 In short, belief or faith is not something you can simply shove down people's throats or wished into being out of thin air. As Keller puts it:

Indeed, Islam is a sapiential religion, in which salvation itself rests not on vicarious atonement as in Christianity, or on ethnic origin as in Judaism, but on personal knowledge. Whoever knows that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God is by that very fact saved. (17)

2. The Islamic Scientific Endeavor

The scientific endeavor (in the sense of systematic intellectual inquiry) in Islamic history began with the textual standardization of the Qur'an, and with the systematic transmission, collection, and authentication of the Sunna. (18) These budding endeavors in systematic intellectual work soon inspired the cultivation of sophisticated linguistic sciences (etymology, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, lexicography, prosody, metrics, rhetoric, and tajwid (the art of Qur'anic recitation) which emphasized the precise relations between words and their meanings. (19)

The science of jurisprudence (fiqh) was rigorously developed on these linguistic foundations with its own internal analogical principles (qiyas) or "comparative-deductive" (20) method of juristic inference, which facilitated the creative application of the normative injunctions of the Qur'an and Sunna to the particular local and temporal contexts of diverse Muslim communities. This cultivation of linguistic definition (21) and rational argumentation in the context of religious, intellectual (viz. the translation movement), and political discourse (viz. administrative imperatives of government) prepared the ground for Muslims to creatively engage the attractions and challenges of the rich intellectual and scientific cultures of the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Greeks, Persians, and Indians that they encountered in the newly-acquired and far-flung territories beyond the immediate boundaries of the Arabian peninsula.

The Muslims were most attracted to Greek philosophical, logical, medical, mathematical, scientific, and ethical principles, and studied them thoroughly, critically and self-consciously. (22) By the time of the Caliph al-Ma'mun (tenth century CE), a cross-cultural (23) intellectual movement for translating these Greek works into Arabic was in full swing, with the active support of the state and affluent, well-connected individuals. While rejecting some of those Greek principles, Muslim scholars readily recognized many others that were clearly in general accord with the Qur'anic injunction of grounding knowledge, belief, and practice in objective rational thinking and empirical experience. Clearly, this critical, self-conscious appropriation of these ancient sciences (al-'ulUm al-awa'il) was motivated and framed both by the cognitive and pragmatic needs of the new, expanding empire and by the intrinsic intellectual allure and challenge proposed by the encounter with other, developed systems of knowledge. (24) Long before the attractions of Greek rational thought had taken root, the initially dormant discursive and argumentative acumen of Muslims had already been activated and honed by external theological debates with the Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and Zoroastrians (25) as well as by intra-Muslim political, theological, and juristic controversies, which resulted in the rise of distinct, contending doctrinal sects (firaq) (26) and schools of thought (madhahib) in theological, philosophical, scientific, and legal matters. (27)

Indeed, there were heated controversies amongst these opposing schools of thought as to the extent to which the Greek sciences were in accord with the worldview of Islam developed through their readings and understandings of the Qur'an. (28) On the one hand stood the Muslim philosophers (falasifa/hukamay), including al-Kindi (d. 866), al-Farabi (d. 950), Ibn Sma (d. 1037), and Ibn Rushd, who, on the whole, could be said to be more receptive than critical of the Greek speculative sciences. On the other hand stood the Ash'arite rationalist theologians (mutakallimUn), such as al-Ash'ari (d. 935), al-Baqillam (d. 1013), al-Juwayni (d. 1085), (29) al-GhazaK (d. 1111), Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (d. 1209), and al-Baydawi (ca. 1225-1316 CE), who could be said to be more critical than receptive of Greek rationality. Moreover, both camps were at the same time in heated engagement with the (more "conservative" (30)) Hanbalites, Mu'tazilites, and Shi'ites. (31)

Even amongst the philosophers, Farabian-Avicennan Aristotelianism was not received uncritically. A particular case in point is Abu al-Barakat al-Baghdadfs (d. 1164) remarkable Kitab al-Muctabar, (32) which criticized Aristotelian physics and metaphysics just as al-Ghazan" had previously done in his celebrated Tahafut al-Falasifa, and which prefigured much of the Fakhrurazian wide-ranging polemics against peripateticism in general. Later, even the so-called "anti-rationalist" Ibn Taymiyya (1263-1328 CE) could not help but be appreciative of al-Muctabar and its author, and of Ibn Rushd himself, while being rather critical of both Ibn Sma and al-Fakhr al-Razi. (33) In other words, to effectively attack the philosophers and the logicians--meaning engaging them on their own grounds--Ibn Taymiyya was compelled to be superlative in philosophical and logical reasoning himself.

Ironically, even surprisingly, the perceived intellectual threat of Hellenistic thought, particularly Aristotelianism in its Neoplatonic garb, (34) was in the end overcome by a gradual, self-conscious, and self-confident process that incorporated it into the orthodox Islamic theological framework on the part of post-Ghazalian mutakallimun. The Greek sciences were hereby actively "appropriated" and "naturalized" to such an extent that Ibn Khaldun in the fifteenth century was drawn to observe that one could no longer differentiate between kalam and falsafa. (35)

It may be surmised that the eventual triumph of Ash'arism (including Maturidism and Tahawism, or Sunnism in general), was due to its creative intellectual versatility in appropriating the rationalism of the Mu'tazilites and the falasifa and the traditionalism of the Hanbalites into its own "synthetic" theological framework,36 which "gave both naql and caql their due, and took a middle course between the doctrines of the opposing sects." (37) It can be seen that this middle course was not a "neutral" uncommitted course but a critically integrative one which gave each view and each school its "proper place" in relation to other contending views and schools within what may be regarded as a hierarchic onto-epistemic "scale of truth-reality" in which Kalam theology was harmonized with and integrated into SUfi metaphysics and ontology. (38)

Not only were kalam and falsafa so appropriated and naturalized (or even "Islamized," in the Attasian sense of the term),39 but each of the four mutually autonomous intellectual systems--namely, 1) kalam; 2) falsafa; 3) fiqh and usul al-fiqk (40); and 4) tasawwuf (41)--were fused together into a more encompassing, self-consciously integrative Orthodoxy. This thoroughly embedded the intellectual or discursive sciences ('aqliyyat) into the firm ambit of divine revelation and prophetic tradition (naqliyyat/sam'iyyat). This was the singular achievement of al-Ghazali's monumental Ihya' 'ulum al-din ("The Revivification of the Sciences of Religion"), a grand synthesis that would eventually be endorsed by the entire Muslim world as it proclaimed him Hujjat al-Islam, "the Proof of Islam."

In the Ihya', the intellectual realm was delicately and elegantly fused into the spiritual realm, such that the intellectual and the religious person became one and the same. (42) This at least was the case for centuries in the Islamic world, before the relatively recent onslaught of secularization brought on by colonization and Westernization, which together systematically banished all people of religious vision from having any meaningful role in the realm of the mundane and the worldly and the discourse pertaining to it.

3. Al-Ghazali and the New Kalam (Kalam Jadid)

Instead of impeding philosophico-scientific thought in Islam, al-Ghazali's Tahafut al-Falasifa, by the intense responses it provoked amongst scientists and philosophers through subsequent centuries, actually did much to hasten this process of critical, self-conscious deconstruction, reconstruction, synthesis, and naturalization. In relation to the new kalam's engagement with astrology and astronomy, for instance, George Saliba says:

It forced the scientists to redefine their disciplines and to attempt to achieve the consistency that they perceived to have been lacking in the Greek legacy. That new reconstruction had very positive effects on the making of what later became a truly Islamic science. (43)

The Tahafut marked the rise of the new philosophical kalam (kalam jadid), which was characterized by an aggressive, self-confident, thorough-going polemic against Avicennan falsafa on the latter's own conceptual, methodological, analytical, and logical terms, a polemic which ended with the former taking over as its own much of the ground covered by the latter. (44) By the time al-Ghazali passed away, logic (mantiq) had been naturalized as a conceptual tool for kalam and fiqh. Moreover, by the time of al-Razi and his successors, logic was well on its way to becoming a self-contained Islamic discipline in its own right, (45) while the subject matter of falsafa was as a whole thoroughly integrated into the new kalam. As Elder puts it, "New proofs were forthcoming which made use of the physics, metaphysics and mathematics of the philosophers." (46) Similarly, Nicholas Heer says:

In the wake of al-Ghazzal' there eventually came to be an increasingly close bond between logic and theological study. The theologian must be able to assess the weight of contending views, distinguishes the demonstrative (sahihi) from the dialectic (jadali), the merely persuasive (iqna'i), the sophistic (mughalali), and the poetic (shi'ri). Thus logic increasingly came to be accepted as an essential instrument for theology as well as other branches of knowledge. (47)

In recognition of the pivotal roles of al-Ghazali and al-Razi in the rise and establishment of the new kalam, Ibn KhaldUn says: "The first [scholar] to write in accordance with the [new] theological approach was al-Ghazali. He was followed by the Imam ibn al-Khatib (i.e., Fakhr al-Din al-Razi). A large number of scholars followed in their steps and adhered to their tradition." (48)

Eventually, through the intellectual example and influence of al-Ghazali and then al-Razi the originally threatening Hellenistic background faded into oblivion and falsafa was gradually Islamized until it became totally transformed into a "naturalized" Islamic science--in the form of hikma ishraqiyya (which can be read as metaphysical Sufism) at the hands of al-Suhrawardi (549-587/1154-1191) and his successors, (49) in the form of mantiq and philosophical kalam at the hands of al-Razi and his successors, (50) and leading eventually to the profound Sufi metaphysical synthesis of the contending falsafa and kalam perspectives in al-Jaim's al-Durra al-fakhira. (51)

Indeed, there would always be influential detractors, including Ibn Taymiyya, al-Suyuti (52) (d. 1505 CE), and Taj al-Din al-Subki (d. 771/1370), the latter of whom, though supportive of kalam, voiced his misgivings over what he perceived to be some of kalam jadid's excesses. (53) Essentially, however, falsafa in the guise of kalam, and mantiq as a conceptual tool, became thoroughly Islamized and firmly entrenched in mainstream traditional Islamic education from the Maghrib (54) to the Malay Archipelago. (55) It is against this general intellectual historical background that one must situate and evaluate the significance of the impact of al-Ghazali and al-Razi and their works on the process of the Islamization of the intellectual and empirical sciences.

4. The Ghazalian-Fakhrurazian Investigative (Tabayyuni) Approach and Its Historical Impact

The works of al-Ghazali and al-Fakhr al-Razi marked a historic turning point in the long "movement of thought" (56) in the Sunni kalam engagement with Hellenistic philosophy and science from al-Ash 'ari, al-Maturidi (d. 944 CE), al-Baqillani, al-Juwayni, al-Nasafi, al-Razi, al-Shahrastani (d. 1153 CE) through al-Amidi (d. 1233 CE), al-Baydawi, al-Iji (d. 1355 CE), al-Taftazani (d. 1390 CE) and al-Jurjani (d. 1413 CE). This "movement of thought" integrated theological, philosophical, and scientific themes, and resulted in the resurgent full-fledged philosophical kalam (the kalam jadid or "new dialectics") alluded to above, characterized by an unapologetic self-confident "investigative" reelucidation of traditional Islamic beliefs (naqliyyat) on rational principles (mabadi' 'aqliyya).

As Sabra sees it, "kalam was an argumentative approach to religion which sought, through discussion and discursive thought, to interpret and transform the content of the Islamic revelation into a rationally-based doctrine," (57) and as such, it was a "genuine form of knowledge" that was essentially neither apologetic nor polemical:
   The mutakallimun in particular made it their business to meet
   the falasifa on their own ground, not however by merely arguing
   against their opponent's views, but by being able to produce a
   distinct body of thought that proved powerful and elaborate
   enough to function as a substitute for falsafa. (58)

In short, the kalam approach is one of both negative and positive critique. Sabra applies this characterization to both Mu'tazilite and Ash'arite kalam, (59) and in this regard, one finds ready support for him in Richard M. Frank (60) and in the important, yet-unpublished doctoral dissertation of Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti. (61) Al-Akiti notes that within a century of al-Ghazali's thoroughgoing "disassembling" and "reassembling" of falsafa,
   The Eastern Islamic world saw the emergence of a new kind
   of religious scholar: the madrasah-trained, orthodox Sunni
   who was an Ash'ari theologian as well as a Shafi'i jurist. These
   scholars included Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, Sayf al-Din al-Amidi (d.
   631/1234) and 'Abd al-Latif al-Baghdadi (d. 629/1231-32)--all
   of whom were well-versed in the ilahiyyat and in the rest
   of the theoretical sciences of the medieval tradition of falsafa,
   including ontology, cosmology, and psychology. Unlike their
   founding father [i.e., al-Ghazali], who could only philosophize
   behind closed doors to a restricted audience, they were able to
   publish their ilahiyyat and falsafi works in the full
   light of day. (62)

We may continue to quote at some length some of al-Akiti's multifaceted conclusions on the net harvest of al-Ghazali's engagement with falsafa:
   The arguments of these three works--the Madnun, the Tahafut,
   and the Maqasid--are mainly presented at the highest scholarly
   level, that of burhan, a style of exposition which is itself a
   result of al-Ghazali's engagements with the falasifa.
   For al-Ghazali, burhan--but not kalam--is what he considered
   to be scientific knowledge, the 'gold standard' in the art of
   reasoning--a judgment expounded in his Mi'yar al-'ilm.
   This standard is higher than what was offered in the tradition
   from which he emerged and the traditional proofs which he
   rehearses (or should we say 'preserves') in the Iqtisad ...

   Al-Ghazali made the art of burhan acceptable in the
   Weltanschauung of Islam's religious scholars. In time, that allowed
   Aristotelianizing theologians to emerge in the traditional
   Muslim Ash'arite school, men such as Fakhr al-Din al-Razi
   (d. 606/1209-10)--a doctor subtilis in his own right. Indeed,
   al-Griazali was the first among this new breed of scholastic
   theologians: a committed rationalist of the Aristotelian sort, yet
   equally a spokesperson for the Sunni, orthodox tradition (and
   also, of course, a strong advocate of Sufism).

   However, the earlier disputes between Arabic grammar and
   Greek logic--best exemplified in the famous debate between
   Abu Sa'id al-Sirafi (d. 368/979) and Abu Bishr Matta (d.
   328/940) over the legitimacy of Aristotelian logic--still loomed
   large in the memories of many in the community of religious
   scholarship to which al-Gliazan belonged. Yet al-Ghazali did
   what the eminent grammarian Ibn al-Sarraj was unable to do,
   which was, in effect, to resolve the quarrels between those two
   sides and, indeed, marry them off. (63)

5. The Investigative (Tabayyuni) (64) Nature of Dialectical Theology

"Investigation" or "research" is the key word in al-Hathth 'ala al-bahth ("The Encouragement to Investigation"), the title given by the great al-Ash'ari himself to his work encouraging the study of kalam or rationalistic theology. (65) This rigorous intellectual work of investigation and research toward objective truth by engaging the sciences of the day became the governing scholarly ethos of subsequent mutakallimin. Hence, we may say that, in this regard, al-Ghazali was preceded by al-Ash'ari, and, perhaps, took his cue from him.

According to Marmura, al-Ghazali's Tahafut al-falasifa ("Incoherence of the Philosophers") was third in an integral, investigative series of four works in which he expounded on the rational methodology ofthe philosophers (in Mi'yar al-'ilm, "The Gauge of Knowledge"), summarized their cognitive objectives (in Maqasid al-falasifa, "The Objectives of the Philosophers"), exposed the internal inconsistencies of their philosophical belief system (in Tahafut al-falasifa), and finally expounded the true beliefs of Islam as he understood them (in al-Iqtisad fi al-i'tiqad, "The Golden Mean of Belief"). Al-Akiti's detailed study of al-Ghazali's Madnun corpus further reinforces this notion of "scientific investigation"--"scientific" due to its inherently cognitive, constructive, and positive nature, rather than merely dialectical, argumentative, reactive, and apologetic. As Langermann puts it in his excellent summary of al-Akiti's ample study:
   Afin al-Akiti detects, uncovers, and displays three levels of
   writing in al-Ghazali's approach to falsafa (Hellenistic
   philosophy), particularly as formulated for the Muslim public by
   Ibn Sina. He presents this philosophy as ugly in his Maqasid
   (Intentions of the Philosophers): it appears ugly because he
   includes without comment teachings that are clearly unacceptable.
   However, in his Tahafut (Incoherence of the Philosophers), this
   same philosophy is presented as merely bad: specific faults are
   identified and criticized. Finally, in the corpus of texts known
   as the Madnun (restricted), philosophy is seen to be good; sound
   philosophical doctrines are exploited in order to formulate key
   Muslim beliefs ... Al-Ghazali's project allows him to present a
   coherent explanation of the world, expressed in traditional terms,
   whose rationale derives from Avicennan science and philosophy; but
   he is also able to articulate the traditional, orthodox faith in
   philosophical terms. The differences in presentation between
   the good, the bad, and the ugly often amount, as al-Akiti amply
   demonstrates, to nothing more than the addition or excision of a
   single word or phrase. In doing so, al-Ghazali puts into practice
   a dictum attributed to 'Ali, the Prophet's nephew, which states
   that the true and the false can be very similar indeed, just like
   the venom of a snake so closely resembles its antidote. (66)

Similarly, al-Fahkr al-Razi's early work critically engaging Avicennan thought was entitled al-Mabahith al-mashriqiyya ("The Eastern Investigations"). The Mabahith was already at this early stage of his scholarly career a work very critical of Avicennan philosophy, somewhat in the spirit of Abu al-Barakat's Kitab al-Mu'tabar, or, as some have asserted, even in the spirit of al-Ghazali's Tahafut. (67) It cannot be said that he started out as a straight-forward peripatetic philosopher and ended up eventually a straightforward Ash'arite mutakallim. Rather, his intellectual journey was highly nuanced from the beginning through the end, as indicated by the title of his last philosophical kalam work, al-Matalib al-'aliya ("The Lofty Researches"). (68)

Although the century after al-Ghazali witnessed some notable mutakallimun such as al-Nasafi and al-Shahrastani, (69) al-Razi is clearly the first post-Ghazalian mutakallim who brought to comprehensive realization the intellectual project of close and comprehensive critical engagement with Greek philosophy initiated by al-Ghazali in his Maqasid al-falasifa and Tahafut al-falasifa. While al-Ghazali succeeded in integrating Aristotelian logic into the principles of kalam and fiqh, al-Razi managed to further critically integrate much of the subject matter of Aristotelian metaphysics and physics into his many kalam and falsafa works, including his great commentary on the Qur'an, al-Tafsir al-kabir ("The Great Exegesis", known as Mafatih al-ghayb, "Keys to the Unseen"). He is noted by Dhanani as the first mutakallim to discuss space and time in a comprehensive manner, (70) and probably the first also to undertake a critical comparative study of atomism and hylomorphism of any comprehensive scope. (71) This versatility is no doubt due in large part to his own intimate, first-hand knowledge of the philosophical and empirical sciences such as logic, physics, medicine, mathematics, and astronomy, in addition to his complete mastery of the traditional Islamic sciences. (72) Hence, it is hardly surprising that "here Fakhr al-Din al-Razi was to become al-Ghazali's most influential continuator," (73) and perhaps also his "completer."

According to Marmura, al-Ghazali's Tahafut can be interpreted as a response to Ibn Sma's "wide-ranging criticisms of the kalam." (74) However, in launching his wide-ranging counter-attack, al-Ghazali could not avoid being persuaded to some extent by the obvious cognitive merits of his adversary (75)--hence his appropriation of some key Avicennan ideas to flesh out his basically Ash'arite framework. (76) As al-Ghazali's "most influential continuator," and most probably also "the most outstanding Sunnite figure" (77) after him, al-Razi took up where the former had left off, and intensified the debate with Ibn Sina, even while Ibn Rushd, his contemporary in the Islamic far West, was preparing his own counter-Tahafut to criticize both Ibn Sina and al-Ghazali. (78) Al-Ghazali's engagement with falsafa was such that he can be said to have succeeded in "kalamizing" philosophy and, as an unavoidable consequence, "philosophizing" kalam, thus integrating (if not "con-fusing") the two originally disparate intellectual disciplines. Such is the judgment of Ibn Khaldun, and one cannot but agree with him after even a cursory reading of al-Razi's works. (79)

Given the preceding, it seems that historically the "exciting intellectual combat" (80) between falsafa and kalam has always been a dynamic, two-sided affair, with blows and counter-blows actively exchanged and no implications, however nuanced or subtle, left hidden and unexplicated. Kalam may have won finally, (81) but as can be surmised from Ibn Khaldun and Taj al-Din al-Subki's remarks, the victory was bittersweet: kalam ended up thoroughly imbued with the philosophizing spirit which demands of Muslims that they, as responsible thinking individuals, be self-conscious and self-critical about their beliefs (al-Ghazali's [somewhat ambivalent?] Iljam al-'awamm notwithstanding). (82) Just as the unexamined life was not worth living (as it would be aimless), so it was as if the unexamined faith was not worth keeping (as it could be easily shaken and corrupted by doubts generated by the onslaught of alien ideas).

The long-term intellectual consequences of al-Ghazali and, after him, al-Razi's wholesale creative "appropriation" of the philosophical sciences into kalam discourse was duly, if critically and even reluctantly, appreciated--not only by subsequent Ash'arite mutakallimun but also by Hanbalite theologians such as Ibn Taymiyya, (83) the formulators of Shi'i kalam in the Persian East such as al-Tusi (d. 1274), (84) and the Christian scholastics of the late medieval Latin West. (85) The intellectual impact of this new kalam as manifested two centuries later in al-Iji's al-Mawaqif and its commentary by al-Jurjam (86) was also felt by medieval Jewish thinkers (87) and the thinkers, philosophers, and scientists of the European Renaissance and Enlightenment, who shared with the mutakallimun "a determined rejection of Aristotelianism and a preference for experimentation with various forms of atomism, as well as the belief in an omnipotent and free creator." (88)

One may also add that the new kalam also impacted early modern European explorations of various forms of occasionalism and their epistemological, cosmological, and theological implications. (89) Modern-day Christian creationist theologians and philosophers have also not failed to notice the Ghazalian-Fakhrurazian intellectual historical link in the further development of the kalam cosmological argument and its fine-tuning in modern physical, philosophical, and mathematical terms. (90)

6. Kalam Jadid and Contemporary Concerns

The broad argument structuring this schematic sketch of the intellectual historical impact and relevance of the new kalam seeks to interest thinking Muslims today who are deeply concerned about how to intelligently and effectively engage secular modernity and its intellectually seductive language of discourse. Muslim appreciation of the rich Islamic intellectual heritage is only undermined by the prevailing negative attitude, implicit or explicit, amongst many Muslim academicians, educationists, and intellectuals, toward the contemporary relevance of the seemingly "abstruse" and "error-prone" traditional Islamic philosophies and sciences of those long bygone and forgotten centuries. Quite to the contrary, Hans Daiber asserts that "Islamic philosophy exercises the mind and trains it to grasp structures and methods revealed through the passage of time. Its comprehension represents a constant challenge to the powers of human understanding and its creative force, the imagination." (91) If Muslims fail to exert themselves to study and appreciate the achievement of their rich and varied intellectual history, they will thereby fail to comprehend the predicament of their present moment, and in turn fail to take positive action for their future revival as a constructive civilization force for the common good in the postmodern, post-industrial, and post-development world. Intelligent, thinking, reflective, self-conscious Muslims should read their rich classical past as a beacon for the present toward the future: for the past has not really "passed" away into eternal oblivion but is perpetually present as a living tradition from which insights (tabsira) and lessons ('ibra) can be drawn to overcome the internal and external challenges and crises of the age: indeed, in their histories is a lesson for a people possessing heart-felt reflection (Yusuf: 111).

It has been said by not a few observers that in sheer intellectual range, al-Ghazali and al-Razi stood alone, and the issues they raised and the difficulties they faced gave their thought a character that in many places addresses concerns that we find to be modern and perennial. (92) A case in point is al-Ghazali's overriding concern in the first book of his magnum opus, Ihya' 'ulum al-din, entitled Kitab al-"Ilm ("The Book of Knowledge"), and in his introduction to the Tahafut. He argues there against conflating the form of knowledge with its substance and content, for differentiating between true and pseudo-sciences, as well as differentiating between beneficial and harmful sciences. These concerns resonate well with current debates in both East and West about the form, substance, methods, and objectives of modern religious and secular education. (93) The revival of his and al-Razi's intellectual jihad in the postmodern dissipative and nihilistic age may well result in the realization of a contemporary, distinctively Islamic counter-science (or counter-system of knowledge and "counter-academia"; see below), "powerful and elaborate enough" to replace a modern, exploitative Western science and civilization that is now speeding headlong into its twilight, "death-bound" (94) phase. (95)

But what about al-Ghazali's Iljam al-'awamm 'an 'ilm al-kalam, which seems to bar Muslims in general from indulging in discursive philosophy and dialectical theology, and by implication, proscribe the very kind of close critical engagement with the philosophical and scientific bases of secular modernity here called for? The answer lies in the very title of al-Ghazali's work, entitled "Barring the (Unlearned) Laity"--not "Barring the (Intellectual) Elite" (Iljam al-khawass)--a distinction that requires some definition of the laity from the elite. In this age of institutionalized mass public education and electronic mass media--in which the West has become something akin to a disembodied mega-machine long cut loose from its original master, a kind of turbo-charged techno-Frankenstein run amok on the world stage (96)--an age when the West and the East are intermingling in every nook and cranny, strange sciences and stranger ideas that were once only accessible to the relatively few dedicated intellectual khawass (elite) are now required standard readings for high school students and university undergraduates who may not know why they should be in school in the first place. In an age when the laity are compelled in one way or another, directly or indirectly, to enter the educated and informed elite, it is difficult to find anyone, farmer or professor, for whom a good dose of the Ghazalian Tahafuti kalam--reexpressed of course in modern idiom--will not be a real remedy for recovering and preserving the health and wholesomeness of their minds and souls.

7. Kalam Jadid and the Islamization of Falsafa

Hellenizing falsafa was in the beginning a largely autonomous (i.e., from traditional orthodoxy), comprehensive conceptual system for relating the absolute to the relative, the transcendent to the contingent, in metaphysical, physical, and mathematical terms by using its own Hellenistic conceptual categories and logico-rational methodology. Moreover, many intelligent Muslims were drawn into that rich universe of intellectual discourse, either directly through studying the philosophical works of al-Farabi and Ibn Sina or indirectly through cultivating the empirical and mathematical sciences generated by that philosophy. That in itself was not a threat to traditional Islamic orthodoxy as represented by the fuqaha' and muhaddithin. But when it became increasingly clear to the defenders of orthodoxy that the language used by falsafa to describe the relation between God and the world was compromising the foundational Qur'anic doctrines of divine omnipotence and omniscience and the absolute dependence of the world on God (iftiqar al-khalq ila al-khaliq), or even effectively denying it altogether, then orthodoxy had no choice but to step in forcefully and decisively for a close engagement with the philosophical truth-claims that seemed to pose a direct challenge to the Sunni theological consensus established by the Ash'ari-Maturidi-Tahawi school. The situation was akin to the predicament faced by Frodo, as it were, who, in order to destroy the Ring of Power, had to bring it out of his home in the Shire and venture far away with it into the infernal depths of Mordor where the Shadow lies. (97) This long process of close engagement culminated in al-Ghazali and al-Razi, who decided to neutralize the intellectual-theological threat posed by the autonomous status of falsafa: not only by refuting some its truth claims (negative critique) but also by critically and systemically bringing that whole intellectual edifice within the creedal ambit of traditional orthodoxy (positive critique). Henceforth all Muslims, regardless of their particular intellectual inclinations with respect to the traditional and intellectual sciences, would discourse within the ethico-cognitive parameters of the worldview of divine revelation and prophetic tradition.

The Ghazalian-Fakhrurazian encounter with falsafa can thus be summarized in three words: engagement, neutralization, appropriation--in effect, a systemic and programmatic Islamization of falsafa and all the logical, empirical, and mathematical sciences that were generated from it. In short, kalam jadid was a long-term theologico-philosophico-scientific research program that served its purpose wonderfully in the classical age of Islam. My thesis here is that this research program needs to be vigorously revived and applied to current intellectual challenges, for this is the very "Jihad of the Word" and positive action which the great mujaddid/renewer of our age, Bediuzzaman Sa'id Nursi, calls us to undertake. (98) There is a real need for Muslim 'ulama', intellectuals, researchers, and scientists of today's age to learn afresh from that rich intellectual historical experience and thereby revive that research program in contemporary terms within a context of close, critical, and self-confident engagement with all aspects of Western science and philosophy now being imbibed by Muslims through their participation in modern academia. (99)

8. "Kalam of the Age" (Kalam al-'Asr) and the Worldview of Islam

The intellectual challenges to tradition (100) faced and overcome by al-Ghazali and al-Razi close to a thousand years ago have resurfaced in a new form and idiom, in the guise of the modern, secular, Western sciences and philosophies systematically imparted to Muslims in modern mainstream academia--but with a much more draconian objective, namely, a thoroughgoing disenchantment of the world and the whole of life and existence. Young, intelligent Muslims in their countless millions are unsuspectingly imbuing this secularizing nihilism masquerading as value-free education and knowledge, quite oblivious to its negative cognitive, moral, and actual impact on their belief, practice, and ethics as Muslims, in their communities and societies. In the face of this challenge, the relevance and lesson of the Ghazalian-Fakhrurazian encounter with falsafa may be encapsulated into what can be called a "Kalam of the Age" (kalam al-'asr or "Dialectics of the Age") initiative which pertains to a creative revival of that dialectics for coming to terms with the multifarious challenges of modern Western sciences, ideologies, and philosophies and their impact on our religio-cultural traditions, values, and communities. By "coming to terms," we mean doing so in such a way that serves rather than subverts the "Worldview of Islam," which al-Attas has defined as follows:
   The worldview of Islam is the vision of reality and truth that
   reveals to the Muslim mind what existence is all about. It
   is a metaphysical survey of the visible as well as the invisible
   worlds, including the perspective of life as a whole. In this
   holistic perspective of life, the dunya-aspect of life is thoroughly
   integrated into the akhirah-aspect of life, and in which the
   akhirah-aspect of life has ultimate and final significance. (101)

My tone in the following pages will be deliberately personal and directed primarily to a Muslim audience comprised of those who know and care for their Worldview, i.e., the Worldview of Islam, (102) and desire to see it operative in both the private and public domains of life through a proactive, constructive engagement with the dominant modern Western secular worldview--a worldview with which many major Western thinkers, authors, and activists are themselves becoming increasingly disillusioned, as evidenced in the current conceptual and practical experiments with many diverse strands of postmodernism and various "post-isms." (103)

The Kalam of the Age (kalam al-'asr) is the systemic deconstruction of Western sciences and philosophies and their reconstruction from within the epistemic and axiological framework of the Worldview of Islam--by which, along the way, some of those forms of knowledge may be evaluated to be irrelevant while others modified, restructured, appropriated, and redirected to serve the higher axiological purposes of the divine Law (maqasid al-shari'a), (104) that is, to serve the true purpose of our lives as Muslims in this temporal world that is but the seedbed of the next world of eternal life (al-dunya mazra'at al-akhira).

We should not allow our present preoccupation with the current socio-political upheavals in the Muslim world, (105) or intra-Muslim creedal controversies and sectarian strife, or even commendable inter-religious efforts like the "Common Word" initiative (106) to divert us from the great task of drawing creatively from the profound lessons of traditional classical kalam to meet head on the underlying, common challenge of the age--the challenge of a subtle and sophisticated secularism, materialism, scientism, and nihilism surreptitiously and systemically imparted into the minds and hearts of Muslim and non-Muslim students, intellectuals, and scholars in modern universities (including those labeling themselves "Islamic universities"). For there is no war between religions but only between religions and the various modern ideologies. Hence we need a Common Word between Religions in order to effectively engage that common enemy. As Keller puts it,
   The real challenge to religion today is the mythic power of
   science to theologize its experimental method, and imply that
   since it has not discovered God, He must not exist. (107)

This call of the "Kalam of the Age" is precisely that which al-Akiti invites us to heed in his important article, "The Negotiation of Modernity through Tradition in Contemporary Muslim Intellectual Discourse: The Neo-Ghazalian, Attasian Perspective" (108)--but of course we must learn to know how to negotiate to the advantage of religion rather than to its detriment. Modernity poses a common challenge in that it challenges the conscious human responsiveness to Transcendence that is expressed in all traditional religions. Keller himself has alluded to this:
   attacks today on religion by scientism should be met by Muslims
   as Ash'ari and Maturidi met the Mu'tazilites and Jahmites
   in their times: with a dialectic critique of the premises and
   conclusions thoroughly grounded in their own terms. The names
   that come to mind in our day are not Ash'ari, Baqillani, and
   Razi, but rather those like Huston Smith in his Beyond the
   Post-Modern Mind, Charles Le Gai Eaton in his King of the Castle,
   Keith Ward in his God, Chance, and Necessity, and even non-religious
   writers like Paul Davies in The Mind of God, and John Horgan
   in his The End of Science and The Undiscovered Mind. Answering
   reductionist attacks on religion is a communal obligation, which
   Muslims can only ignore at their peril. This too is of the legacy
   of kalam, or the "aptness of words to answer words." (109)

In light of this consideration, understanding the Ghazalian Tahafut and the Fakhrurazian Matalib and the creative re-articulation of this understanding in contemporary philosophical, dialectical, and scientific terms should be rendered accessible to all who are studying, teaching, or practicing the Western sciences--those who, by the very fact of their involvement or engagement with the modern sciences, cease altogether to be from amongst the 'awamm but become, whether they like it or not, from among the khawass. In other words, if one is not prepared to be trained and prepared like Frodo, then one has no business venturing into Mordor.

The real intellectual battleground for Muslims in the modern age is the neo-Dahrism (110) of the Western sciences many gleefully imbibe, including those students who might even now be learning the din at the feet of the great living shuyukh of our time in the Muslim regions and the West, nourishing themselves from the wellsprings of tradition. By "gleefully," I mean the gleeful innocence or naivety of those who do not have a clue as to what they are actually taking in as "education," "knowledge," or "skills" in modern, Western-style universities. It is an apt description because by enrolling in modern academia they are rather unlikely to be able to avoid becoming intellectual victims of that grand, elaborate, and tedious charade called science, technology, and economics, the funun al-zunun (multifarious sciences of conjectures) (111) of the current age. (112)
   O youth, how many nights have you remained awake repeating
   science and poring over books and have denied yourself sleep.
   I do not know what the purpose of it was. If it was attaining
   worldly ends and securing its vanities and acquiring its dignities
   and surpassing your contemporaries and such like, woe to you
   and again woe. (113)

The great task of these students and scholars is to see through this intellectual charade and then to systemically construct and elaborate a sophisticated counter-intellectual framework or dialectics by which the tradition can be brought to bear critically and constructively on these Western sciences, lest they go on allowing their own knowledge of Islamic tradition to be intellectually impotent or seriously compromised and even corrupted114 in the face of a modern, aggressive, arrogant, and even militant neo-Dahrism reinventing itself as "globalization." The fault then lies not within the tradition as such but within their own minds and hearts for failing to understand the true nature and purpose of knowledge so lucidly expounded in al-Ghazali's Kitab al-'Ilm, (115) and to operationalize that understanding today in their encounter with the modern sciences.

None of these concerns about the negative impact of the modern knowledge system are new, for even many of the conscientious thinkers of the West have been making similar indictments--"and they bear witness against their own selves."116 These thinkers include names such as Martin Heidegger, (117) Jacques Ellul, (118) Karl Polanyi, (119) E.F. Schumacher, (120) Serge Latouche, (121) Michael Sahlins, (122) James Howard Kunstler, (123) and many others. In fact, an entire century ago, the eminent American philosopher and psychologist William James had already come to the damning judgment that:
   The most significant characteristic of modern civilization is
   the sacrifice of the future for the present, and all the power of
   science has been prostituted for this purpose. (124)

Similarly, in his important book, Nature's Economy: A History of Ecological Ideas, which can be read as an eloquent indictment of the Western technoscientific negative attitude towards the integrity of nature, Donald Worster says:
   The sudden acceleration of environmental damage throughout
   the world since World War Two has been largely the consequence
   of our scientific enterprise ... there can be no getting around the
   fact that science has made possible the modern devastation of
   nature. (125)

Without a rigorous "Kalam of the Age," Muslims today cannot be too sure that they are in fact not being complicit in that "sacrifice of the future for the present." Knowing the tradition alone is not enough, for the carriers of tradition must also know how to read the "situation of the age" (ahwal al-'asr), that they may bring the former to bear creatively, evaluatively, and critically on the latter, and, thereby, avoid falling into the pitfalls of nihilistic neo-Dahrism masquerading as evolution, progress, historicism, globalization, science, and technology. By calling it 'neo-Dahrism' and thereby harking back to the Dahrism and the Dahriyyin (materialism and materialists) of old, we may be shaken out of our slumber to constructive and proactive intellectual work, and hence social action, and thereby go far beyond the narrow post9/11 agenda that has been imposed on us. The ongoing challenge is at core intellectual, even if there happens in the near future a complete geo-political reapproachment between Islam and the West.

The problem with neo-Dahrism (al-dahriyya al-jadida) is that it does not ostensibly present itself as heresy, while to see it as such is to revive the kalam jadid of the Ghazalian Tahafut, the Fakhrurazian Matalib, the Taftazanian Maqasid, and the Ijian Mawaqif. Although we may not be rendered formal neo-Dahris (meaning, self-conscious believers in secular progress, historical relativism, and natural and social Darwinism), nevertheless, we are effectually rendered neo-Dahris in practice due to the disciplines we imbibe in the universities that are presented as value-neutral. In brief, the heresy of the age demands a "Kalam of the Age" to expose its true face to those thinking Muslims who care about reviving the wisdom of Tradition, reorientating themselves to Transcendence, and reorganizing their personal, communal, and civilizational life on the belief in the ultimate life to come. For our identity consists in our service to Transcendence, and not to some fanciful science-fictional, techno-futuristic Utopia (126) or to the nation-state. (127)

It is of the utmost imperative that we master completely not only the Worldview of Islam (128) but also the various specific contemporary civilizational contexts in which it is to be made operational: (129) for the Worldview of Islam must not only inform but must also transform. We should be able to create for ourselves a world in which that worldview can flourish. Al-Attas describes the nature of this challenge in candid terms:
   I venture to maintain that the greatest challenge that has
   surreptitiously arisen in our age is the challenge of knowledge,
   indeed, not as against ignorance; but knowledge as conceived
   and disseminated throughout the world by Western civilization;
   knowledge whose nature has become problematic because it has
   lost its true purpose due to being unjustly conceived, and has
   thus brought about chaos in man's life instead of, and rather
   than, peace and justice; knowledge which pretends to be real
   but which is productive of confusion and scepticism, which
   has elevated doubt and conjecture to the 'scientific' rank in
   methodology and which regards doubt as an eminently valid
   epistemological tool in the pursuit of truth; knowledge which
   has, for the first time in history, brought chaos to the Three
   Kingdoms of Nature: the animal, vegetal and mineral. It seems
   to me important to emphasize that knowledge is not neutral,
   and can indeed, be infused with a nature and content which
   masquerade as knowledge. Yet, it is, in fact, taken as a whole,
   not true knowledge, but its interpretation through the prism, as
   it were, the worldview, the intellectual vision and psychological
   perception of the civilisation that now plays the key role in
   its formulation and dissemination. What is formulated and
   disseminated is knowledge infused with the character and
   personality of that civilisation--knowledge as presented and
   conveyed as knowledge in that guise so subtly fused together
   with the real so that others take it unawares in toto to be the
   real knowledge per se. (130)

This rigorous re-articulation of the Worldview of Islam will be the new dialectics (kalam al-'asr). It is hoped that through such well-grounded efforts, in collaboration with like-minded scholars, intellectuals, and institutions, Muslim and non-Muslim, and with the guidance of our independent, community-rooted teachers and shuyukh, the Worldview of Islam will once again find public expression as a world culture and civilization, thereby contributing to the universal revival of a heart-felt consciousness of the Transcendent in human life and society.

9. Kalam al-'Asr, Islamization, and the Comprehensive Critical Mapping of Modern Sciences

Al-Attas defines and elaborates the term 'Islamization' as follows:
   Islamization is the liberation of man first from mythological,
   magical, animistic, natural-cultural tradition opposed to Islam,
   and then from secular control over his reason and his language.
   The man of Islam is he whose reason and language are no longer
   controlled by magic, mythology, animism, his own national and
   cultural traditions opposed to Islam, and secularism. He is
   liberated from both the magical and secular world views.... since
   man is both physical being and spirit, the liberation refers to his
   spirit, for man as such is the real man to whom all conscious and
   significant actions ultimately refer. The liberation of his spirit
   or soul bears direct influence upon his physical being or body
   in that it brings about peace and harmony within himself in his
   manifestation as a human being, and also between him as such
   and nature. He has, in liberation in this sense, set his course
   towards attainment to his original state, which is in harmony
   with the state of all being and existence (i.e. fitrah). (131)

In the present context of liberating ourselves from the suffocating intellectual and cultural hegemony of the West and its secularising impact on us, this project of true Islamization entails Dewesternisation. Al-Attas writes that effectively, dewesternisation is a condition of Islamization:
   In appraising the situation with regard to the formulation
   and dissemination of knowledge in the Muslim world, we
   must see that the infiltration of key concepts from the Western
   world has brought confusion which will ultimately cause grave
   consequences if left unchecked. Since what is formulated and
   disseminated in and through universities and other institutions
   of learning from the lower to the higher levels is in fact
   knowledge infused with the character and personality of Western
   culture and civilization and moulded in the crucible of Western
   culture..., our task will be first to isolate the elements including
   the key concepts which make up that culture and civilization.
   These elements and key concepts are mainly prevalent in
   that branch of knowledge pertaining to the human sciences,
   although it must be noted that even in the natural, physical and
   applied sciences, particularly where they deal with interpretations
   of facts and formulation of theories, the same process of isolation
   of the elements and key concepts should be applied; for the
   interpretations and formulations indeed belong to the sphere of
   the human sciences. The "islamization" of present-day knowledge
   means precisely that, after the isolation process referred to, the
   knowledge free of the elements and key concepts isolated are
   then infused with the Islamic elements and key concepts which,
   in view of their fundamental nature as defining the fitrah, in fact
   imbue the knowledge with the quality of its natural function and
   purpose and thus makes it true knowledge. It will not do to accept
   present-day knowledge as it is, and then hope to "Islamize" it
   merely by "grafting" or "transplanting" into it Islamic sciences
   and principles; this method will but produce conflicting results
   not altogether beneficial nor desirable. Neither "grafting" nor
   "transplant" can produce the desired result when the "body" is
   already possessed by foreign elements consumed in the disease.
   The foreign elements and disease will have first to be drawn out
   and neutralized before the body of knowledge can be remoulded
   in the crucible of Islam. (132)

Quite apart from the ongoing foundational work of conceptual engagement and explication outlined by al-Attas, one practical outcome of the Kalam of the Age approach will be to design a two-part certificate or diploma course on the Worldview of Islam covering both its "pure" (i.e., conceptual/ mafhumi) and "applied" (operational/ma'muli, 'amali) dimensions. This will help students or participants engage creatively and closely with both tradition and modernity in a manner that will enable them to bring the tradition to bear critically, evaluatively, and constructively on the sciences of modern academia, differentiating between objective truths and subjective fictions, (133) and separating the beneficial from the harmful of those sciences (especially those sciences having general axiological warrant (134) from within the perspective of tradition and local culture). Scholars and students alike are invited to implement an educational and research programme toward operationalizing Keller's important call to
   scientifically literate Muslims today to clarify the provisional
   nature of the logic of science, and to show how its epistemology,
   values, and historical and cultural moment condition the very
   nature of questions it can ask--or answer. (135)

We should systematically build the intellectual and institutional capacity to apply this deconstructive-reconstructive approach to sciences such as medicine, agriculture, economics, biology, physics, chemistry, engineering, and other disciplines of modern academia (including the humanities) impacting Muslim intellectual, cultural, social, and economic life.

Conceptually, the Worldview of Islam Course (WIC) or Worldview of Islam Intellectual Series (WISE) (136) shall be offered at two levels. The first is for high school or pre-university matriculation students, that is, before students enroll in modern academia for formal study of the various modern disciplines. The other level targets high school teachers and university lecturers, including postgraduate researchers, working professionals, educational policy-makers, and curriculum-developers, those who teach and/or design the courses in any of the modern disciplines, from preschool to tertiary levels of education. These two levels are conceptually connected but with different immediate pragmatic objectives.

The objective of the first level is to provide pre-university students with a critical survey of the numerous, diverse disciplines on offer in modern academia. This "mapping" equips students to stand back, reflect, and carefully consider the intellectual direction and career they are about to undertake, specifically in its implications for them as Muslims who are self-conscious about their worldview and about their duty to their local communities and the broader cosmopolitan society in which their communities are embedded. This mapping, as a generative guide to creative reflection and thoughtful deliberation, will help soon-to-be university students to be more discriminative in the course of choosing their fields of study and their majors; to be very selective in their choice of universities, faculties, or departments; and even to be particular about their choice of professors, lecturers, and academic supervisors.

By means of this critical mapping--which itself is deeply rooted in and inspired by the classical Islamic classification of the sciences (137)--it is hoped that students will be able to opt for disciplines and careers that are truly beneficial rather than harmful, meaningful rather than superfluous, and that are geared toward meeting the real social, cultural, intellectual, or economic needs of their communities, rather than serving narrow corporate greed, disembedded material development, or even idle curiosity. For instance, by means of this critical mapping one may opt for green chemistry (138) rather than conventional chemistry, natural medicine (139) or naturopathy over conventional allopathic medicine, cognitive psychology (140) over behavioural psychology, ecological and steady-state economics (141) over neoliberal capitalism, organic or permaculture (142) over chemical intensive agriculture, biomimicry (143) over biotechnology, (144) appropriate technology (145) over high technology, and so on and so forth. Such choices are arguably more in accord with the Islamic axiological principles of not harming (la darara wa la dirara), beneficial knowledge ('ilm nafi'), and compassion (rahma). Along the way, one is also guided by means of this critical mapping toward unraveling the ideological, methodological, philosophical, and metaphysical assumptions underpinning those disciplines and the often hidden, parochial background of their original development in post-Enlightenment socio-intellectual history, or even in the relatively recent post-World War II geopolitical restructuring and readjustments. (146)

The objective of the second level is to help working professionals, researchers, and policy-makers to transform both the content and the method of what they are presently doing, so that these will eventually be brought into axiological accord with the Worldview of Islam. For instance, as a result of this critical mapping, a Muslim researcher in physics can be more critically aware of the ontic and epistemic limits of the laws of physics, (147) and may thereby opt for the Bohmian ontological interpretation of quantum mechanics over the mainstream Copenhagen instrumentalist interpretation; (148) an education policy-maker may make a course in ecology a prerequisite to an economics programme or even embed economics altogether into ecology and/or sociology, thereby redefining economics and creating what can be termed an ecologics of economics. (149) Similarly, a biology school teacher may want to transform his biology course into a true "science of life" by putting the "bio" back into biology through the phenomenological approach to the study of nature by opting, inter alia, for the class to study, say, actual living frogs by a pond embedded in the woods, rather than chloroformed or tortured, dead, dissected frogs pinned to a cold lab bench, thoroughly disembedded from any real, living ecosystemic contexts of the natural world. (150) As the Nature Institute puts it:
   Many of us were introduced to biology--the science of life--by
   dissecting frogs, and we never learned anything about living
   frogs in nature. Modern biology has increasingly moved out of
   nature and into the laboratory, driven by a desire to find an
   underlying mechanistic basis of life. Despite all its success,
   this approach is one-sided and urgently calls for a
   counterbalancing movement toward nature. Only if we find ways of
   transforming our propensity to reduce the world to parts and
   mechanisms, will we be able to see, value, and protect the
   integrity of nature and the interconnectedness of all things.
   This demands a new way of seeing. (151)

Such an approach to science and the study of nature is obviously more in accord with the Islamic conception of nature as exhibiting the signs of God (ayat Allah); (152) as such natural phenomena celebrate, with the tongues of their existential states (lisan al-hal), the praises of their Lord: And there is not a thing but hymns His praise (wa in min shay'in illa yusabbih bi-hamdih) (al-Isra': 44).

The Kalam/Dialectics of the Age approach discussed above may be schematized in the form of three concentric circles as follows:

The inner circle represents the unchanging, permanent metaphysical core expressed as the "Worldview of Islam" (ru'yat al-Islam lil-wujud).153 The middle circle represents the network of auxiliary conceptual constructs, theories, and hypotheses, which may be modified or added to from time to time, and may be called the "network of auxiliary theories" (shabaka al-nazariyyat al-mulhaqa). This middle circle effectively represents the creative, critical, yet also self-critical "Dialectics of the Age." The outer circle represents nature (al-tabi'a), the physical, sensible world itself, which may also be extended to include the human, socio-cultural world insofar as it is inextricably embedded in the larger natural world. The challenge of Islamic scientific creativity today lies squarely in the middle circle and consists in the intellectual work of articulating objective conceptual and theoretical frameworks for bringing the worldview of tradition to bear evaluatively, in both the cognitive and ethical senses, on our engagement with and understanding of the natural and cultural world. (154) By "objective" is meant that this dialectics is to be also amenable to participation and scrutiny by non-Muslim thinkers, philosophers, and scientists, if they so wish, even if they do not believe or are not committed to the metaphysical core (i.e., the Worldview of Islam), by common reference to the same physical and social world observationally and experientially accessible to both Muslims and nonMuslims alike and in which they are both embedded.


It is by virtue of this objectivity that Muslim scientists involved in the new dialectics will have little problem recognizing and incorporating certain positive elements of Western and Eastern sciences and insights into their intellectual and practical work. For example, modern permaculture and organic farming can be easily assimilated into classical Islamic filaha (science of agriculture and animal husbandry), thereby reviving it to play a meaningful and beneficial role in the current worldwide movement for returning to and reviving natural farming without the use of chemicals, pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and genetic engineering.

To underline this important point about objectivity, it is worth mentioning the recent 72-hour Permaculture Design Certificate course on the science, art, and practice of permaculture and sustainable living that was recently organized by Murujan Permaculture in Kuang, Selangor, Malaysia. Most of the nearly twenty participants from Malaysia and elsewhere were Muslims, but the three non-Muslim participants (from Australia, Poland, and Singapore) also found the course useful and beneficial. (155) Another case in point is the recent five-day Christian-Muslim Interfaith Dialogue on Structural Greed organized by the Lutheran World Federation, in which the roughly fifty participants, Muslims and Christians from Malaysia, Indonesia, Germany, England, United States, Peru, and other countries, succeeded in converging, on the very first day, on redefining economics with respect to its ends as the science of the organization of livelihood for the common good. In the process they all agreed to do away with the conventional obsessive concern with the problem of scarcity and growth. (156)

Although further elaboration is needed on the creative nature of the dialectical middle circle, which is where discursive reason (fikr/nazar) and contemplative intellect ('aql/wijdan) mediate between the Book of Revelation and the Book of Creation, a simple general example may here suffice to give some degree of insight into what this creativity entails in operative terms. The Qur'an says that the Prophet was sent by the Creator as a mercy to all the worlds (rahmatan lil-'alamin) (al-Anbiya': 107). If we, as scientists, are to follow in the footsteps of the merciful Prophet, then the way we study nature and interact with it (mucamalat al-nas al-tabicat) must be guided by the prophetic ethics of cosmic mercy. (157) This means that much of what we do or take for granted in contemporary science and technology has to be seriously and systemically rethought and reconsidered, since it is obviously unrestrained by the ethics of mercy. Modern science and its technological offshoots are, in many complex ways, destructive toward nature and, by extension, toward humankind as part of nature. (158) If, by definition, science is "the study of nature," then obviously it is in the interest of science to preserve nature in order to guarantee its continued study by science. Thus, scientific curiosity entails moral responsibility. However, the paradox now is that the more science discovers and knows about nature, the more of nature is devastated, and the less there remains of it to be studied and appreciated. It is as if the modern pursuit of abstract, cerebral science and its manipulative technological offshoots have inevitably to go in hand with the desolation and disappearance of living nature--but that position is unacceptably fatalistic for truly concerned and reflective Muslim scientists. For them, the Qur'anic ethics of universal, cosmic mercy point clearly toward another way of doing science, namely, one that respects and preserves nature (and by extension humankind) rather than destroys it, and a well-articulated dialectics of science involving the active participation of all thinking, reflective, and self-critical 'ulama' and scientists will facilitate realizing that science in practice. The following are some specific examples by way of further illustration.

Vivisection--meaning "to cut alive," hence the more polite term, "animal testing," or "animal experimentation" in modern medical academia--is the way Western, business-driven medicine tortures various species of live animals (rats, mice, rabbits, chimpanzees, dogs, cats) to test drugs in order to rid humanity of their ever-lengthening list of old and new diseases. As a method of medical research (specifically testing drugs for safety and effectiveness), it is relatively new (only a hundred or so years old) and particular to modern Western medical culture, which is now hopelessly corrupted, cognitively and morally, by crass commercialism and corporatism. (159) Quite apart from the extrinsic question of ethical concern for the welfare of lab animals, there is also a more fundamental intrinsic question, namely, the question of the scientific integrity (or cognitive value) of the underlying, largely unexamined assumption of a significant degree of biological, biochemical, and physiological parity between laboratory test animals and human beings justifying extrapolations of laboratory data from the former to the latter.160 The kalam dialectical deconstruction and reconstruction of modern medicine for Muslim medical researchers in this regard will be to find systemic alternatives of unquestioned scientific probity and ethical integrity to vivisection, including valid alternatives critically-sourced from presently marginalized Western (e.g., homeopathy, naturopathy) and Eastern medical traditions (e.g., traditional Chinese medicine (161)) which could be incorporated into a well articulated Islamic medicine research program. Some of these alternatives can also be gleaned by undertaking evidence-based medical research into the well-documented but largely neglected vast corpus of the thousand-year-old Islamic cosmopolitan medical tradition.

Modern agriculture, to take another case in point, is overly chemicalintensive, with widespread use of pesticides, herbicides, synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, and other toxic inputs, which poison and degrade the soil, kill rural wildlife, and even toxify harvests and disrupt the health of farmers and workers. Traditional farming methods have been perfectly adapted to local socio-natural conditions, generating a symbiotic, holistic balance between the needs of humanity and the rights of nature. (162) As the word implies, agriculture is a culture, a way of life of mutual respect, communal give and take, and cooperative rather than competitive living. Indeed, there are agro-innovations, but innovations within ecological and cultural limits, as the case of Andalusian agricultural science and practice ('lm al-filaha) shows. (163) It is not a mere business, as the modern corruption of the original word into "agribusiness" would have it--exemplified perhaps in the infamous case of Monsanto (164)--which imposes the face-less corporate tyranny of disembedded, impersonal profit-maximization on once selfrespectful, independent farmers and indigenous peoples, reducing them to wage- and debt-slaves, squatters and refugees on the very lands to which they have ancestral and native customary rights but that are now wrested from them by corporations that have coopted the political and legal structures of the state into serving their narrow, self-serving agenda.

It is strange that agricultural food production, which once unquestionably served the well-being of humankind, should now, in the hands of big agrochemical companies like Monsanto, be seen to be working toward destroying the very ecological and cultural basis of that well-being. In order to return agricultural practice onto the ethical and moral path of compassion and service toward both culture and nature, the kalam dialectics would work toward rearticulating an authentic Islamic agricultural research program as one that eschews harmful chemicals altogether. It would instead look into the various sustainable organic agricultural methods now available, such as permaculture and natural farming, (165) and develop new ones by, for instance, drawing on the thousand years' accumulated experience of the Islamic agricultural tradition--the original, truly "green" revolution in the history of mankind. (166) In this respect, the "greening the desert" (167) initiative by the worldrenowned permaculturist Geoff Lawton and his partners in Jordan is a great inspiration for us all who care deeply about nurturing a healthy relationship with "soil, soul and society." (168)

10. The Worldview of Islam, Counter-Academia, and the Imperative of Scientific Objectivity

Ultimately, all these initiatives toward a constructive counter-academia (169) will have to be systemically consolidated under academic and vocational educational structures quite independent of the mainstream educational establishment. The underlying consideration here is that we really want our students and graduates to be able not only to understand the Islamic tradition and the Worldview of Islam, but also to have careers and make a decent, respectable, and meaningful livelihood for the common good (al-maslaha al-'amma) by using their knowledge and training to operationalize the Worldview of Islam. Hence, for instance, the HAKIM ( initiative in organizing the public educational Worldview of Islam Intellectual Series (WISE) with various partners and supporters, and the Mu'amalah Research Unit (MRU) at the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) for reviving an economics for the common good. While WISE works toward fleshing out in conceptual and pragmatic terms the operational implications of the Worldview of Islam by formulating and offering curricula, syllabi, and courses for reviving the arts and sciences of responsible intellectuality and sustainable living in the world, the focus of the MRU is to revive the original meaning and purpose of economics. This we have formally redefined as the science of "provisioning and sharing, by mutual giving and receiving, of natural and cultural abundance for realizing material and spiritual well-being for the common good," or "the science of earning and provisioning for livelihoods" ('ilm al-iktisab walinfaq) and, thereby, put into operation the Islamic Gift Economy (al-iqtisad al-infaq') or Common-Good Economics. (170)

The question of scientific objectivity (i.e., the question of what should count as objectively-verified knowledge and the research methods by which this objectivity is ascertained and attained) has more to do with the cognitive rather than the ethical values underpinning the kalam dialectical approach. In Islamic scientific practice, of course, the cognitive merges seamlessly into the ethical and becomes one with it; hence, the foundational notion of adab as knowledge realized in virtue through ta'dib (education as discipline of mind, soul, and body). (171) In other words, cognitive evaluation and ethical evaluation are both intrinsic to the success of the scientific enterprise in Islam, as is quite evident in, say, Ibn Haytham's much studied scientific methodology, which also involved a thoroughgoing "kalamic" dialectics with Greek physical and optical theories. (172) The realization that scientific objectivity and methodological probity are not possible without concomitant ethico-moral integrity has been growing in the West and is now converging on a position more in accord with that of the Worldview of Islam, thereby allowing much room for mutual constructive engagement on this important meta-scientific issue.

To illustrate briefly how the concept of scientific objectivity actually operates in the kalam dialectics with respect to cultivating an intellectually self-competent and self-confident critical attitude toward the Western sciences and disciplines, let us consider the twin Qur'anic cognitive principles of tabayyun (investigation, scrutiny) and tabarhun (proof, evidence). Due to the global dominance of Western science, Muslim scientists are continuously bombarded with reports of promising new methods, discoveries, and techniques in prestigious Western science journals like the Journal of the American Medical Association, Nature, Science, New Scientist, and Scientific American. It is thoroughly irresponsible of them to take these reports at face value without undertaking their own investigation (tabayyun) into the often diverse, underlying socio-economic contexts of these reports and ascertaining their empirical adequacy (burhan) and epistemic autonomy (al-istighlal al-'ilm') from powerful forces geared less toward global scientific enlightenment than narrow political economic and commercial self-enrichment. (173) Creative understanding and practice of tabayyun and tabarhun, as exemplified by Ibn Haytham, will help Muslim scientists to separate the wheat from the chaff of Western science and technology and incorporate it into an integrative Islamic science research program. For instance, in the case of chemistry, the growing field of "green chemistry" (174) is something that shows great promise for eliminating the threat of toxic chemicals from the cultural and natural landscape, thus realizing the foundational ethico-juridical principle of la dorara wa la dirara ("no harming and no reciprocating harm"), (175) which is itself derived from the cosmic, prophetic principle of universal mercy.

11. Conclusion: The Question of Viable Structures and Feasible Strategies

As alluded to above, the highly important, strategic question of appropriate higher educational institutional structures needs to be addressed for realizing the Islamic science research program176 over the long term, especially by educating and training postgraduate researchers (including university professors) to creatively apply its principles (culled from kalam jadid and contemporary history, philosophy, and sociology of science) (177) to their respective specializations. Frankly speaking, I harbour grave misgivings as to whether this vision in the framework of the Kalam of the Age can be faithfully and successfully realized within the current restrictive and compromised pedagogic framework of modern academia--including the current "Islamic University" system, which to great extent is coopted into the secular agenda of corporate globalization or into the political economic agenda of the over-centralized state. Under the current circumstances, the way forward may have to take the form of a loose, informal network of autonomous grassroots educational and research initiatives, such as centers, institutes, academies, madrassas, and think-tanks, built up by independent, community-rooted scholar-intellectuals of conscience and vision and their student-supporters who know one another intimately through formal and informal venues of intellectual and personal interaction, toward a common educational and civilizational mission. Some of these grassroots educational initiatives, though small and limited in scope and resources, are already well-established and flourishing around the world--some of which I have personally visited to share some of the ideas outlined in this paper and others. Certain of these include the Solas Foundation (UK), the Center for Islam & Science (Canada), HAKIM (Malaysia), Cambridge Muslim College (UK), CASIS (Malaysia), INSISTS (Indonesia), Andalus (Singapore), Waqf Academy (South Africa), and others in their early planning stages, such as the Worldview of Islam Research Academy (WIRA) project to be initially based in Tok Jiring, Terrengganu, Malaysia.

Eventually, some form of consensus will emerge on common academic and scholarly standards by which a student qualified in, say, the traditional religious sciences from one institute can be recognized and accepted for a course of study in the intellectual, empirical, and vocational sciences at another institute dedicated to the programme of Islamizing those disciplines that have to do with earning an honourable and meaningful livelihood in the service of the common good--i.e., the fard kifaya sciences in general. This will entail a critical look at how the concept of fard kifaya (communal duty realized for the common good) should actually be made operative rather than remaining for the most part a deceptive feel-good slogan, as is largely the case today. As pointed out by S. Nomanul Haq, there is a great need today to revise the way we educate university science students so that they know how to integrate their scientific learning and expertise into the more fundamental and higher goals of human life, and, thus, avoid altogether the destructive, suicidal pitfalls of scientism. (178) True science is beneficial knowledge (al-'ilm al-nafi') resulting in wholesome livelihoods (al-kasb al-tayyib) and beneficial works (al-a'mal al-nafi'a) that are geared toward serving rather than subverting these higher, human goals. The highest goal, the summum bonum, is, of course, "to bring a sound conscience (qalb sal'm) to the meeting with the Lord" (al-Shu'ara': 89) and thereby, to attain His pleasure (mardat Allah).

We may finally wrap up these intertwined considerations and reflections with these wise and perceptive words of counsel from al-Attas:
   What we need, then, is not a reconstruction, but a restatement
   of the statements and conclusions of Islamic metaphysics in
   accordance with the intellectual perspectives of our times and
   the developments in the domain of knowledge; and this entails
   an realignment, where relevant and necessary, of the direction of
   developments in the various sciences such that they become
   integrated with it. (179)

Elsewhere, he says:
   We must learn from the great of the past their knowledge and
   wisdom. This does not mean that we ourselves cannot contribute
   any further knowledge that can be contributed, but it does mean
   that we must first draw our strength [and] inspiration from their
   wisdom and knowledge, and that when we do begin to contribute
   ours, we must recognize and acknowledge them as our teachers.
   and not disparage and denounce, for ijtihad can be exercised
   without having to undermine legitimate authority. They are like
   torches that light the way along difficult paths; when we have
   such torches to light our way, of what use are mere candles? (180)

In short, we all have to learn again how to stand firmly on the shoulders of giants, and reapply their insight, vision and wisdom to engaging the difficult situation of our age, dispelling its darkness and shadows, and finding the liberating light at the end of the long, winding tunnel.
   Wa Allah alam. yahdi Allah li-nurih man yasha'
   Allah guides to His light whomever He wills
   (al-Nur: 35)

Principal References and Recommended Readings (181)

Al-Akiti, Afifi. "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Falsafa: Al-Ghazalis Madnun, Tahafut, and Maqasid, with Particular Attention to their Falsafi Treatments of God's Knowledge of Temporal Events." In Avicenna and His Legacy: A Golden Age of Science and Philosophy. Ed. Y. Tzvi Langermann. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2009. 51-100.

--and Hisham Hellyer. "The Negotiation of Modernity through Tradition in Contemporary Muslim Intellectual Discourse: The Neo-Ghazalian, Attasian Perspective." In Knowledge, Language, Thought and the Civilization of Islam: Essays in Honor of Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas. Ed. Wan Mohd Nor Wan Daud and Muhammad Zaini Uthman. Kuala Lumpur: UTM, 2010. 119-134.

Al-Attas, Syed Muhammad Naquib. The Concept of Education in Islam: A Framework for an Islamic Philosophy of Education. Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC, 1991.

--. Islam and Secularism. Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC, 1993.

--. Prolegomena to the Metaphysics of Islam: An Exposition of the Fundamental Elements of the Worldview of Islam. Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC, 2001.

Bakar, Osman. Classification of Knowledge in Islam: A Study in Islamic Philosophies of Science. Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society, 1998.

Al-Ghazali, Abu Hamid Muhammad. Tahafut al-Falasifa. Trans. Michael Marmura as The Incoherence of the Philosophers. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 2000.

--. Kitab al-'Ilm. Trans. Nabih Amin Faris as The Book of Knowledge. New Delhi: Idara, 2008.

Kalin, Ibrahim. Reason and Rationality in the Qur'an. Amman: Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute, 2012.

Keller, Nuh Ha Mim. "Kalam and Islam: Traditional Theology and the Future of Islam." Islamica 13 (Summer 2005):15-27.

Latouche, Serge. The Westernization of the World: The Significance, Scope and Limits of the Drive towards Global Uniformity. Trans. Rosemary Morris. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1996.

Sabra, A.I. "The Appropriation and Subsequent Naturalization of Greek Science in Medieval Islam: A Preliminary Statement." History of Science 25 (1987):223-242.

--. "Science and Philosophy in Medieval Islamic Theology: The Evidence of the Fourteenth Century." Zeitschrift fur Geschichte der Arabisch-Islamischen Wissenschaften 9 (1994):1-42.

--. "Kalam Atomism as an Alternative to Hellenizing Falsafa." In Arabic Theology, Arabic Philosophy, from the Many to the One: Essays in Celebration of Richard M. Frank. Ed. James E. Montgomery. Leuven: Peeters, 2006. 199-272.

Saliba, George. Islamic Science and the Making of the European Renaissance. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007.

Shihadeh, Ayman. "From al-Ghazali to al-Razi: 6th/12th Century Developments in Muslim Philosophical Theology." Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 15 (2005):141-179.

Setia, Adi. "The Philosophy of Science of Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas: An Extended Outline." Islam & Science 1, no. 2 (December 2003): 165-214.

--. "Taskhir, Fine-Tuning, Intelligent Design and the Scientific Appreciation of Nature." Islam & Science 2, no. 1 (Summer 2004):7-32.

--. "Three Meanings of Islamic Science: Toward Operationalizing the Islamization of Science." Islam & Science 5, no. 1 (Summer 2007):23-52.

Wan Daud, Wan Mohd Nor. The Educational Philosophy and Practice of Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas: An Exposition of the Original Conception of Islamization. Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC, 1998.

--. "Dewesternization and Islamization: Their Epistemic Framework and Final Purpose." In Critical Perspectives on Literature and Culture in the New World Order. Ed. Noritah Omar, Washima Che Dan, et al. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010. 2-25.


(1.) A.I. Sabra, "The Simple Ontology of Kalam Atomism: An Outline," Early Science and Medicine 14 (2009): 68-78 (at 70).

(2.) Knowledge Triumphant: The Concept of Knowledge in Medieval Islam (Leiden: Brill, 1970), 2.

(3.) Most Qur'an translations are based on Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall, The Meaning of the Glorious Qur'an: Text and Explanatory Translation (Mecca: Muslim World League, 1977).

(4.) For an elaboration of the term "ayat", see Mohd Zaidi Ismail, "The Cosmos as the Created Book and Its Implications for the Orientation of Science," Islam & Science 6, no. 1 (Summer 2008): 31-53; and Annemarie Schimmel, Deciphering the Signs of God: A Phenomenological Approach to Islam (New York: SUNY, 1994).

(5.) For instance, Hans Daiber in his unpublished series of lectures entitled "Islamic Philosophy: Innovation and Mediation between Greek and Medieval European Thought," delivered to his postgraduate students at ISTAC during the 2001-2002 academic year; see also his "The Qur'an as Stimulus of Science in Early Islam," as cited in "What is the Meaning of and to what End do we Study the History of Islamic Philosophy?: The History of a Neglected Discipline" in his Bibliography of Islamic Philosophy, 2 vols. (Leiden: Brill, 1999), 1: xxxi n. 127. Cf. Josef van Ess, "Early Development of Kalam" in Gautier H.A. Juynboll (ed.), Studies on the First Century of Islamic Society (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1982), 109-123 (at 110ff.).

(6.) Nuh Ha Mim Keller, "Kalam and Islam: Traditional Theology and the Future of Islam," Islamica 13 (Summer 2005): 15-27 (at 17); accessible online at

(7.) See the important study by 'Ali Sami al-Nashshar, Manahij al-bahtth 'inda mufakkiri al-islam wa iktishaf al-nahj al-'ilm fil-alam al-islam (Dar al-Nahda al-'Arabiyya, 1984). My thanks to Shaykh Ruzwan Mohammed of the Solas Foundation of Glasgow for directing my attention to this book. See also Rosalind Ward Gywne, Logic, Rhetoric and Legal Reasoning in the Qur'an: God's Arguments (London: Routledge, 2004).

(8.) Ibn Rushd, Fasl al-maqal fi ma bayna l-hikma wal-shariia min al-ittisal, trans. George F. Hourani (Leiden: Brill, 1959). His tendency here to resolve the tension by subjugating revelation to reason is unacceptable to orthodoxy, for divine revelation has higher ontological, and hence epistemological, warrant than human reason.

(9.) Etienne Gilson, Reason and Revelation in the Middle Ages (New York: Charles Scribner, 1966). It seems to me that, despite himself, Gilson (pp. 81ff.) is subscribing to a kind of Thomistic "two-fold" truth, viz., the truth of Revelation which can only be "believed" rather than "known," and the truth of "natural reason," which can only be "known" and hence not "believed," and to him the two truths should not be conflated or integrated into a single Truth--for such integration is impossible--and that lack of integration is to him harmony! From the point of view of Islamic orthodoxy, believing is not separate or distinct from knowing, hence "the beginning of religion is the knowing of God" (awwal al-din ma'rifat Allah): to "believe" in God is to "know" God.

(10.) Ibrahim Kalin, Reason and Rationality in the Qur'an (Amman: The Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, 2012).

(11.) Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, The Oldest Known Malay Manuscript: A 16th Century Malay Translation of the 'Aqa'id of al-Nasaf (Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya Press, 1988), 1-52 passim.

(12.) Richard M. Frank, "The Science of Kalam," Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 2, no. 1 (March 1992): 7-37 (at 19).

(13.) For instance, they realized that acceptance of atomism entails rejection of Euclidean geometry and affirmation of discontinuous or discrete geometry. Al-Kindi himself was able to argue for cosmic finitude "wholly along mathematical lines," as shown in Nicholas Heer and Haig Khatchadourian, "Al-Kindi's Epistle on the Finitude of the Universe," Isis 56 (1965): 426-433. See also Anton M. Heinen, "Mutakallimun and Mathematicians: Traces of a Controversy with Lasting Consequences," Der Islam 55 (1978): 57-73; and George Saliba, "The Ash'arites and the Science of the Stars" in R.G. Hovannisian and Georges Sabbagh (eds.), Religion and Culture in Medieval Islam (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 79-92. See also Nahyan Fancy, "Pulmonary Transit and Bodily Resurrection: The Interaction of Medicine, Philosophy and Religion in the Works of Ibn al-Nafis (d. 1288)" (PhD diss., University of Notre Dame, 2006); and Robert Morrison, "Falsafa and Astronomy after Avicenna: An Evolving Relationship" in Y. Tzvi Langermann (ed.), Avicenna and His Legacy: A Golden Age of Science and Philosophy (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2009), 307-326.

(14.) Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, A Commentary on the Hujjat al-Siddiq of NUr al-Din al-Raniri (Kuala Lumpur: Ministry of Culture), 464-465; Adi Setia, "Philosophy of Science," 171. See also the recent book by Kalin, Reason and Rationality in the Qur'an.

(15.) As William James would have it, in his essay "The Will to Believe" in The Will to Believe and other Essays in Popular Philosophy (New York: Dover, 1956).

(16.) Thus, for instance, the position of Ibn al-Nafis; see Nahyan Fancy, "The Virtuous Son of the Rational: A Traditionalist's Response to the Falasifa" in Langermann, Avicenna and His Legacy, 219-248.

(17.) Keller, "Kalam and Islam," 26 (italics mine).

(18.) M.M. A'zami, Studies in Early Hadith Literature with a Critical Edition of Some Early Texts, repr. ed. (Kuala Lumpur: IBT, 2009); Eerik Dickinson, The Development of Early Sunnite Hadith Criticism: The Taqdima of Ibn Abi Hatim al-Razi (240/854-327/938) (Leiden: Brill, 2001); Harald Motzki, The Origins of Islamic Jurisprudence: Meccan Fiqh before the Classical Schools (Leiden: Brill, 2002); Scott C. Lucas, Constructive Critics, Hadith Literature, and the Articulation of Sunni Islam: The Legacy of the Generation of Ibn Said, Ibn Ma'in and Ibn Hanbal (Leiden: Brill, 2004).

(19.) G. Bohas, Jean-Patrick Guillaume, and D.E. Kouloughli, The Arabic Linguistic Tradition (London: Routledge, 1990).

(20.) As described by Hans Daiber in his unpublished lectures at ISTAC; see n. 5 above.

(21.) Roshdi Rashed once said, "If the writings of these two civilizations [Hellenistic and Persian] and the information they had acquired were to be understood and, therefore, expressed in Arabic, the first task was to translate them and, consequently, to make Arabic, which was a language of the desert, a language of science." See his lecture published as "Islam and the Flowering of the Exact Sciences" in Islam, Philosophy and Science (Paris: UNESCO Press, 1981), 133-167 (at 133).

(22.) George Saliba, Islamic Science and the Making of the European Renaissance (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007), 1-72 passim.

(23.) Ibid., 1-130 passim. See also the interesting discussion in Roshdi Rashed, "Greek into Arabic: Transmission and Translation" in James E. Montgomery (ed.), Arabic Theology, Arabic Philosophy, from the Many to the One: Essays in Celebration of Richard M. Frank (Leuven, Belgium: Peeters, 2006), 157-198.

(24.) Ibid.; see also Dimitri Gutas, Greek Thought, Arabic Culture: The Graeco-Arabic Translation Movement in Baghdad and Early 'Abbasid Society (London: Routledge, 1998).

(25.) See, for instance, Mustafa Ceric, The Roots of Synthetic Theology in Islam: A Study of the Theology of AbU MansUr al-Maturidi (Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC, 1995).

(26.) 'Abd al-Qahir b. Tahir b. Muhammad Abi Mansur al-Baghdadi (429/1037), al-Farq bayn al-firaq (Beirut: Dar al-Ma'arif, 2001).

(27.) Concerning these extra- and intra-communal politico-theological controversies, see respectively Daniel J. Sahas, John of Damascus on Islam: The "Heresy of the Ishmaelites" (Leiden: Brill, 1972); and Josef van Ess, "'Umar II and His Epistle against the Qadariyya," Abr-Nahrain XII (1971-72): 19-26. A survey in this regard is W. Montgomery Watt, The Formative Period of Islamic Thought (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1973).

(28.) On the concept "Worldview of Islam" see al-Attas, Prolegomena to the Metaphysics of Islam: An Exposition of the Fundamental Elements of the Worldview of Islam (Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC, 2001), especially his forty page introduction, whereby (paraphrased from pp. 1-5) "The worldview of Islam is the vision of reality and truth that reveals to the Muslim mind what existence is all about. It is a metaphysical survey of the visible as well as the invisible worlds, including the perspective of life as a whole. In this holistic perspective of life, the dunya-aspect of life is thoroughly integrated into the akhirah-aspect of life, and in which the akhirah-aspect of life has ultimate and final significance."

(29.) On al-Juwayni, see the useful introduction by Paul E. Walker in his A Guide to Conclusive Proofs for the Principles of Belief: Kitab al-Irshad ila Qawati' alAdilla fi Usul al-I'tiqad (Reading: Garnet, 2000), xix-xxxvii.

(30.) Meaning, less open to discursive argumentation, compared to the Ash'arites and even Sufis like al-MuhasibL

(31.) See, for instance, the useful survey by Shlomo Pines, "Islamic Philosophy" in The Collected Works of Shlomo Pines, vol. 3: Studies in the History of Arabic Philosophy, ed. Sarah Stroumsa (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1996); and Richard M. Frank, Philosophy, Theology and Mysticism in Medieval Islam: Texts and Studies on the Development and History of Kalam, 2 vols. (Aldershot, Hampshire: Ashgate, 2005-2007).

(32.) Kitab al-Mu'tabar, 3 vols. in 1 (Hyderabad, 1357 ah). A monograph on his metaphysics is Jamal Rajab Sidabi, AbU al-Barakat al-Baghdad' wa Falsafatuh al-Ilahiyya: Dirasa li-Mawqifih al-Naqdi min Falsafat Ibn Sina (Cairo: Maktaba Wahba, 1996).

(33.) See Sulayman al-Nadwi's informative introduction to the Kitab al-Mu'tabar, 3 vols. in 1 (Hyderabad: 1357H), 3: 230-252. Ibn Taymiyya's philosophical acumen is remarkably borne out in some recent meticulous studies, such as the two-part study by Yahya J. Michot, "A Mamluk Theologian's Commentary on Avicenna's Risala Adhawiyya, being a translation of a part of the Dar' al-Ta'arrud of Ibn Taymiyya, with introduction, annotation, and appendices," Journal of Islamic Studies 14, nos. 2 and 3 (2003): 149-203 and 309-363, respectively; and Jon Hoover, "Perpetual Creativity in the Perfection of God: Ibn Taymiyya's Hadith Commentary on God's Creation of this World," Journal of Islamic Studies 15, no. 3 (2004): 287-329.

(34.) Parviz Morewedge (ed.), Neoplatonism in Islam (Albany, NY: SUNY, 1992).

(35.) Ibn Khaldun, Muqaddimah, trans. Franz Rosenthal, 3 vols. (New York: Pantheon Books, 1958), 3: 52-53; cf. A.I. Sabra, "The Appropriation and Subsequent Naturalization of Greek Science in Medieval Islam: A Preliminary Statement," History of Science 27 (1987): 223-243; see also Ayman Shihadeh, "From al-Ghazah to al-Razr 6th/12th Century Developments in Muslim Philosophical Theology," Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 15 (2005): 141-179.

(36.) On this "synthetic" (i.e., synthesizing) theological framework, see Mustafa Ceric, Roots of Synthetic Theology in Islam: A Study of the Theology of AbU Mansur al-Maturidi (Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC, 1995).

(37.) Al-Maturidi Kitab al-Tawhid, ed. and intro. Fathalla Kholeif (Beirut: Dar al-Machreq, 1982), xiii.

(38.) Al-Attas, Prolegomena, 177-332 passim; idem, A Commentary on the Hujjat al Siddiq of NUr al-Din al-Ranm (Kuala Lumpur: Ministry of Culture, 1986); Syed Naquib al-Attas, Some Aspects of Sufism as Understood and Practiced among the Malays (Singapore: Malaysian Sociological Research Institute, 1963), 1-20 passim; Nur al-Din 'Abd al-Rahman ibn Ahmad al-Jarm, al-Durra al-fakhira fi tahqiq madhhab al-sUfiyya wal-mutakallimin wal-hukama' al-mutaqaddimin, trans. Nicholas Heer as The Precious Pearl (Albany, NY: SUNY, 1979). See also the nuanced, comprehensive discussions by Ayman Shihadeh in his edited volume, Sufism and Theology (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007), 1-14; and Toby Mayer, "Theology and Sufism," in Tim Winter (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), 258-287. See also the yet-unpublished doctoral study by Zaidi Ismail, "Existence (al-WujUd) and Its Relation to Quiddity (al-Mahiyyah) in the Later Ash'arite Kalam, with Special Reference to 'Adud al-Din al-Iji's al-Mawaqif and al-Sayyid al-Sharif 'Ali al-Jurjani's Sharh al-Mawaqif (PhD diss., ISTAC, 2004), especially pp. 236-237.

(39.) On "Islamization," see below and Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, Islam and Secularism (Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC, 1993), 44-45.

(40.) Wan Azhar Wan Ahmad, "The Place of Reason vis-a-vis Revelation in Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni's Legal Theory: A Symbiosis between His Kalam and Usul al-Fiqh" (PhD diss., International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC), 2006). See also Umar F. Abd-Allah, "Theological Dimensions of Islamic Law" in Winter, Cambridge Companion, 237-257.

(41.) That is, tasawwuf in its metaphysical, cognitive, or Gnostic (mukashafa) mode, i.e., in the form of metaphysical Sufism, in contrast to its more popular and accessible ethical, practical, or pragmatic (muamala) mode.

(42.) As in the remarkable case of Ibn al-Nafis; see Fancy, "The Virtuous Son," 219-248. See also Gerhard Endress, "Reading Avicenna in the Madrasa" in James E. Montgomery (ed.), Arabic Theology, Arabic Philosophy, from the Many to the One: Essays in Celebration of Richard M. Frank (Leuven, Belgium: Peeters, 2006), 371-424.

(43.) George Saliba, "The Ash'arites and the Science of the Stars" in Richard G. Hovannisian and George Sabagh (eds.), Religion and Culture in Medieval Islam (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 79-92, at 90. For an interesting, nuanced discussion comparing the contending views of Hoodbhoy and Saliba, see Arun Bala, "Did Medieval Islamic Theology Subvert Science?" in George Gheverghese Joseph and Burjor Avari, Knowledge and Cultures: Crossing Boundaries in History (Manchester: Manchester Metropolitan University, 2009).

(44.) Al-Ghazali, The Incoherence of the Philosophers, trans. Michael Marmura (Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 2000), xv-xvi; Binyamin Abrahamov, "Ibn Sina's Influence on al-Ghazali's Non-Philosophical Works," Abr-Nahrain 29 (1991): 1-17; Jules Janssens, "Al-Ghazzali's Tahafut : Is It Really a Rejection of Ibn Sina'a's Philosophy?" Journal of Islamic Studies 12, no. 1 (2001): 1-17.

(45.) Nicholas Rescher, The Development of Arabic Logic (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1964), 51-54 and 57ff. See also Farid Shahran, "Fakhr al-Din al-Razi's Logic: An Edition of his Mulakhkhas fi al-Hikmah wa al-Mantiq (Section on Tasawwurat and al-Hadd)" (MA thesis, ISTAC, 1999), 1-22.

(46.) Earl Edgar Elder (trans.), A Commentary on the Creed of Islam: Sa'd al-Din al-Taftazani on the Creed of Najm al-Din al-Nasafi (New York: Columbia University Press, 1950), xvi.

(47.) Rescher, Development of Arabic Logic, 51. See also his Studies in the History of Arabic Logic (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1963).

(48.) Ibn Khaldun, Muqaddimah, 3:43.

(49.) Mehdi Amin Razavi, Suhrawardi and the School of Illumination (Surrey: Curzon Press, 1997); also Ian Richard Netton, Allah Transcendent: Studies in the Structure and Semiotics of Islamic Philosophy, Theology and Cosmology (London: Routledge, 1989), 256ff. Cf. Bilal Kuspinar, Isma'il Ankaravi on the Illuminative Philosophy: His Izahu'l-Hikem: Its Edition and Analysis in Comparison with Dawwanis Shawakil al-HUr, Together with the Translation of Suhrawardi's Hayakil al-NUr (Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC, 1996).

(50.) From Sayf al-Din al-Amidi (d. 631/1234) to al-Baydawi, al-Iji, al-Taftazani, and al-Jurjani (d. 1413 CE). For al-Amidi, see Syamsuddin Arif, "Al-Amidi's Reception of Ibn Sina: Reading al-NUr al-Bahir fi al-Hikam al-Zawahir" in Langermann, Avicenna and His Legacy, 205-217. For al-Baydawi, see Edwin E. Calverly and James W. Pollock (trans. and eds.), Nature, Man and God in Medieval Islam: 'Abd Allah Baydawi's Text Tawali' al-Anwar min Matali' al-Anzar, along with Mahmud Isfahani's Commentary Matali' al-Anzar Sharh Tawali' al-Anwar, 3 vols. (Brill: Leiden, 2002). See also Shlomo Pines, "Some Problems of Islamic Philosophy," Islamic Culture (January 1937): 66-80 (at 68-69, 80). The reading of kalam as philosophical is reflected in the title and substance of the monumental work by Harry Austryn Wolfson, The Philosophy of the Kalam (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1976). Though useful and thoroughly informative, it is unfortunately marred by a too-hasty tendency to hunt for parallels (and hence sources) in classical, hellenistic, and patristic theological thought and concepts. A compelling reaction to this is Richard M. Frank, who, in his presidential address "Hearing and Saying What was Said," commented "the highly nuanced language of the classical kalam was developed in an ongoing process of autonomous discourse in Arabic." Journal of American Oriental Society (JAOS) 116, no. 4 (1996): 615.

(51.) Heer, Precious Pearl. Cf. al-Attas, Commentary on the Hujjat al-Siddiq.

(52.) Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, Sawn al-mantiq wal-kalam 'an fann al-mantiq wal-kalam, bound in one volume with his abridgement of Taqi al-Din ibn Taymiyya, Nasihat Ahl al-iman fi radd 'ala mantiq al-Yunan, ed. 'Ali Sami al-Nashshar (Cairo, 1947).

(53.) Taj al-Din al-Subki, Mu'id al-ni'am, 79-80, cited in Keller "Kalam and Islam," 22 and 27 n. 2 (italics mine). However, for a sensitive, nuanced treatment, see Talal al-Azem, "Traditionalism against Scholasticism: The Debate over Curriculum in Damascus between 1150-1350" (MA thesis, University of Oxford, 2007), where he notes (p. 38), inter alia, that al-Subki's "Jam' al-Jawami' is viewed as a milestone in scholastic jurisprudence (usUl al-fiqh 'ala tariqat al-mutakallimin), and was studied by Shafi'ites, Malikites, and even Hanbalites across the Muslim world, as it continues to be in traditional seminaries even today."

(54.) For the case of the Maghrib, the educational role of Abu 'Abd Allah al-Sanusi (d. 1490) and his Umm al-Barahin is significant; see article on him in EI2 by H. Bencheneb, s.v. "al-Sanusi," with copious references.

(55.) For the case of the Malay Archipelago, see, for instance, al-Attas, Oldest Known Malay Manuscript, 1-52 passim. For the reception of the Umm al-Barahin in the Malay-Islamic world, see Che Razi Jusoh, "Al-Sanusi's Umm al-Barahin in its Malay Exposition: with an Annotated Transliteration and Translation of the Malay Text" (MA thesis, ISTAC, 2000).

(56.) A.I. Sabra, "Science and Philosophy in Medieval Islamic Theology: the Evidence of the Fourteenth Century," Zeitschrift fur Geschichte der Arabisch-Islamischen Wissenschaften 9 (1994): 1-42 (at p. 23); see also his "Kalam Atomism as an Alternative to Hellenizing Falsafa," in Montgomery, Arabic Theology, 199-272.

(57.) Sabra, "Science and Philosophy," 11.

(58.) Ibid., 23 n. 24.

(59.) See also Sabra, "Simple Ontology"; and idem, "Kalam Atomism," 199-272.

(60.) Sabra, "Science and Philosophy," 11; Frank, "Science of Kalam"; cf. idem, "The Kalam, an Art of Contradiction-Making or Theological Science?: Some Remarks on the Question," review article in JAOS 88 (1968): 295-309.

(61.) "The Madnun of al-Ghazali: A Critical Edition of the Unpublished Major Madnun with Discussion of his Restricted, Philosophical Corpus" (PhD diss., University of Oxford, 2008); see also idem, "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Falsafa: Al-Ghazali's Madnun, Tahafut, and Maqasid, with Particular Attention to their Falsafi Treatments of God's Knowledge of Temporal Events" in Langermann, Avicenna and His Legacy, 51-100.

(62.) Al-Akiti, "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," 94-95 (interpolations added).

(63.) Ibid., 91. Cf. Frank Griffel, Al-Ghazali's Philosophical Theology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).

(64.) In allusion to the verse "if a vicious person brings any news, try to get at the facts" (in ja'akum fasiqun bi naba'in fatabayyanu) (al-Hujurat: 6, as trans. Thomas Cleary, The Qur'an, A New Translation [Chicago: Starlatch, 2004], 255).

(65.) Richard M. Frank (trans. and ed.), "al-Ash'ari's Kitab al-Hathth 'ala al-Bahth," Melanges de l'Institut Dominicain d'Etudes Orientales du Caire 18 (1988): 83-152; cf. Alnoor Dhanani, The Physical Theory of Kalam (Leiden: Brill, 1994), 2-3, for kalam as a "research program."

(66.) Langermann, "Foreword" in Avicenna and His Legacy, viii-ix.

(67.) Muhammad 'Atif al-Iraqi, al-Falsafa al-tabi'iyya 'inda Ibn Sina (Cairo: Dar al-Ma'arif, 1971), 414; cf. 'Abd al-Rahman al-Badawi, al-Turath al-Yunani fil-hadara al-islamiyya (Cairo: Dar al-Nahda al-'Arabiyya), 270 n. 1; Muhammad al-'Uraybi, Muntalaqa al-fikriyya 'inda al-Imam al-Fakhr al-Razi (Beirut: Dar al-Fikr al-Lubnani, 1992), 44; and discussion in Salih Zarkan, Fakhr al-Din al-Razi wa ara'uh al-kalamiyya wal-falsafiyya (Cairo: Dar al-Fikr, 1963), 85ff.

(68.) For a preliminary study of his physical theory largely based on his Matalib, see Adi Setia, "The Physical Theory of Fakhr al-Din al-Razi" (PhD diss., ISTAC, 2005).

(69.) Among others, he wrote the contra-Avicennan Kitab al-Musara'a, ed. and trans. Wilfred Madelung and Toby Mayer (London: I.B. Tauris, 2001), and a treatise on atomism, for which see Ahmad Sa'id al-Damardash, "Makhtutat al-Sharastani 'an al-Jawhar al-Fard" in Majallat Ma'had al-Makhtutat al-'Arabiyya 25 (1979): 195-218.

(70.) Alnoor Dhanani, "Al-Ghazali's Perspective on Physical Theory," paper presented to the International Conference on al-Ghazali's Legacy, ISTAC, Kuala Lumpur, October 24-27, 2001, pp. 6-7.

(71.) Setia, "Physical Theory."

(72.) Zarkan, Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, 37-55.

(73.) Gerhard Endress, "The Defense of Reason: The Plea for Philosophy in the

Religious Community," Zeitschrift fur Geschichte der Arabisch-Islamischen Wissenschaften 6 (1990): 1-49, at 37.

(74.) Michael Marmura, "Avicenna and the Kalam" ZGAIW 6 (1990), 173-206, at 206.

(75.) Abrahamov, "Ibn Sina's Influence on al-Ghazali"; Janssens, "Al-Ghazzali's Tahafut"; Richard M. Frank, "Al-Ghazali's Use of Avicenna's Philosophy," Revue des Etudes Islamiques 55/57 (1987/1989): 271-285.

(76.) Richard M. Frank's misgivings notwithstanding; see his Creation and the Cosmic System: Al-Ghazali and Avicenna (Heidelberg: Carl Winter Universitatsverlag, 1992).

(77.) Fathallah Kholeif (ed. and trans.), A Study of Fakhr al-Din al-Razi and His Controversies in Transoxiana (Beirut: Dar el-Machreq, 1966), 6. Taj al-Din al-Subki considers him to be the mujaddid after al-Ghazali; see Taj al-Din cAbd al-Wahhab ibn 'Ali al-Subki, Tabaqat al-Shafi'iyya al-kubra, ed. M. Tanahi et al., 5 vols. (Beirut, 1992), 1: 202.

(78.) Simon van den Bergh (trans.), Averroes' Tahafut al-Tahafut (London: Luzac, 1978). An aspect of this Ibn Rushd-Ghazalian debate is well summarized by George F. Hourani, "The Dialogue between al-Ghazali and the Philosophers on the Origin of the World" in two parts, Muslim World 48 (1958).

(79.) Ibn Khaldun, Muqaddima, 3:43.

(80.) Hourani, "Dialogue," 183.

(81.) Interestingly, Hourani ("Dialogue," p. 191) judges Ibn Rushd argumentative performance to be "disappointing," as has van den Bergh (Averroes, 20 and 23 n. 1).

(82.) Al-Ghazali, Iljam al-'awamm 'an 'ilm al-kalam, trans. Abdullah bin Hamid Ali as A Return to Purity in Creed (Philadelphia: Lamppost, 2008).

(83.) See, for instance, Hoover, "Perpetual Creativity," 287-329.

(84.) Seyyed Hossein Nasr, "Fakhr al-Din al-Razi" in A History of Muslim Philosophy, ed. M.M. Sharif, 2 vols. (Delhi: D.K. Publications), 1: 642-656 (at 646). Cf. editor's introduction to al-Razi's al-Matalib al-'aliya, ed. Ahmad Hijazi al-Saqqa, 9 vols. in 5 (Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-'Arabi, 1987), vol. 8-9: 12ff. Nasir al-Din al-TUsi can be said to be the pivotal figure who helped Avicennan philosophy recover somewhat from the Fakhrurazian onslaught. See also Hans Daiber, "Al-Tusi, Nasir al-Din," in EI2.

(85.) Pines, "Some Problems," 68 n. 2; cf. Hans Daiber, unpublished ISTAC lectures, parts 5 and 6 with copious invaluable references.

(86.) 'Adud al-Din 'Abd al-Rahman ibn Ahmad al-Iji, Kitab al-Mawaqif fi 'ilm al-kalam, ed. Ibrahim al-Dusuqi 'Atiyya and Ahmad al-Hanbuli (Cairo: Matba'at al-'Ulum); al-Sayyid al-Sharif 'Ali ibn Muhammad al-Jurjani, Sharh al-Mawaqif fi 'ilm al-kalam (Beirut: Dar al-Jil, 1997).

(87.) For instance, Maimonides, Guide of the Perplexed, trans. Shlomo Pines, 2 vols. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963), 1: 179ff. Pines notes that al-Razi's al-Mabahith al-mashriqiyya was already translated into Hebrew in the fourteenth century and used as a basis for the Hebrew version of al-Ghazali's al-Maqasid al-falasifa. See his Studies in Islamic Atomism, trans. Michael Schwarz and ed. Tzvi Langermann (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1997), 97 n. 152. On the influence of the Maqasid and the Tahafut on medieval Jewish thinkers, see Steven Harvey, "Avicenna's Influence on Jewish Thought" in Langermann, Avicenna and His Legacy, 338-339. Cf. Harry Austryn Wolfson, Repercussions of the Kalam in Jewish Philosophy (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1979).

(88.) Sabra, "Science and Philosophy," 52. A separate, detailed inquiry is obviously needed regarding late kalam influence on the metaphysical foundations of early modern science.

(89.) On early modern European atomism and occasionalism in relation to kalam atomism, see John Lane Bell, The Continuous and the Infinitesimal in Mathematics and Philosophy (Milan: Polimetrica, 2006), especially Chapter 1, "The Continuous and the Discrete in Ancient Greece, the Orient, and the European Middle Ages," 21-62; James Fredrick Naify, "Arabic and European Occasionalism: A Comparison of al-Ghazali's Occasionalism and Its Critique by Averroes with Malebranche's Occasionalism and Its Criticisms in the Cartesian Tradition" (PhD diss., University of California--San Diego, 1975); Majid Fakhry, Islamic Occasionalism and its Critique by Averroes and Aquinas (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1958); and Stuart Brown (ed.), Nicolas Malebranche: His Philosophical Critics and Successors (Assen/Maastricht: Van Gorcum, 1991), 4-9, 81-93, and 116-130.

(90.) For the kalam cosmological argument in Christian creationist thought, see the excellent exposition by William L. Craig, The Kalam Cosmological Argument (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2000).

(91.) Daiber, "What is the Meaning," xxxiii.

(92.) Peter G. Ridell and Tony Street (eds.), Islam: Essays on Scripture, Thought and Society, a Festschrift in Honour of Anthony H.Johns (Leiden: Brill, 1997), 11 (paraphrased: said in regard to the Mafat'h, but applying just as well to many other major works of al-Razi, especially the Matalib).

(93.) A good, wide-ranging discussion is Wan Mohd Nor Wan Daud, The Educational Philosophy and Practice of Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas (Kuala Lumpur, ISTAC, 1998); see also his "Dewesternization and Islamization: Their Epistemic Framework and Final Purpose," paper presented at the International Conference on Islamic University Education in Russia and Its Surrounding Areas, held in Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia, on September 27-30, 2009, published in Noritah Omar, Washima Che Dan, et al. (eds.), Critical Perspectives on Literature and Culture in the New World Order (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010), 2-25.

(94.) Ulrich Duchrow, "Why Capitalism is Death-bound and How People can Opt for Life: A Theological Proposal to Economists," accessible at duchrowcapitalismdeathlife.html.

(95.) John Horgan, The End of Science: Facing the Limits of Knowledge in the Twilight of the Scientific Age (New York: Addison-Wesley, 1996); James Howard Kunstler, The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century (New York: Grove Press, 2006); Michael C. Ruppert, Confronting Collapse: The Crisis of Energy and Money in a Post Peak Oil World (White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2009); and other similar works.

(96.) Serge Latouche talks about the West's "invention of the megamachine" which uproots and destroys traditional culture. See Eurocontinentalism Journal (May 2012),; see also his The Westernization of the World, 45-46, on how the West is like a machine. Cf. Jacques Ellul, The Technological Society (New York: Vintage Books, 1967), especially 133-148 on the "autonomy of technique."

(97.) See Stratford Caldecott, The Power of the Ring: The Spiritual Vision Behind the Lord of the Rings (Crossroad Publishing, 2005); cf. the Muslim perspective on it by Mahmoud Shelton, Alchemy in Middle Earth: The Significance of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (Temple ofJustice Books, 2003).

(98.) Nursi, Jihad of the Word and Positive Action: Bediuzzaman Said Nursi's Interpretation of Jihad in the Modern Age (Istanbul: Sozler, n.d.).

(99.) Adi Setia, "The Theologico-Scientific Research Program of the Mutakallimun: Intellectual Historical Context and Contemporary Concerns with Special Reference to Fakhr al-Din al-Razi Islam & Science 3, no. 2 (Winter 2005): 127-151.

(100.) Or, scriptural truth as expressed in the Qur'an and Prophetic Sunnah; for its translation into devotional piety as defining the community, see Christopher Melchert, "The Piety of the Hadith Folk," International Journal of Middle East Studies 34, no. 3 (August 2002): 425-439.

(101.) Prolegomena, 1-5 passim (abridged and slightly paraphrased).

(102.) Comprehensively defined and elaborated by al-Attas in his Prolegomena. This important and profound book can be read as a guide to the Islamic intellectual tradition, as well as a guide to applying that tradition in navigating ourselves safely through the pitfalls of modernity.

(103.) That is to say, post-developmentalism, post-industrialism, post-colonialism, post-materialism, post-capitalism, post-rationalism, post-scientism, post-democracy, etc. For a small sampling, see Paul Feyerabend, Farewell to Reason (London: Verso, 1988); Christian Comeliau, The Impasse of Modernity: Debating the Future of the Global Market Economy, trans. Patrick Camiller (London: Zed Books, 2002); R. Vachon, Ashis Nandy, Wolfgang Sachs, and Raimon Pannikar, "The Post-Modern Era: Some Signs and Priorities," Interculture 2, no. 1 (Winter 1996); cf. Gustavo Esteva and Madhu Suri Prakash, Grassroots Post-Modernism: Beyond Human Rights, the Individual Self, and the Global Economy (New York: Peter Lang, 1996); Marshall Berman, All That Is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity (London: Verso, 1983); G.A. Almond, M. Chodorow, and R.H. Pearce, Progress and Its Discontents (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982); James Bernard, The Death of Progress (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1973); Trevor Blackwell and Jeremy Seabrook, The Revolt Against Change: Towards a Conserving Radicalism (London: Vintage, 1993); Ivan Illich, Shadow Work (London: Marion Boyars, 1981), which helps us to reexamine the past 500 years so as to look afresh to the next 500; B. Ashcroft, G. Griffiths, and H. Tiffin, The Post-Colonial Studies Reader (London: Routledge, 1995); Gilbert Rist, The History of Development: From Western Origins to Global Faith, trans. Patrick Camiller (London and New York: Zed Books and Cape Town: UCT Press, 2000); Majid Rahnema with Victoria Bawtree, The Post-Development Reader (London: Zed Books, 2001); Kothari Rajni, Rethinking Development: In Search of Human Alternatives (Croton-on-Hudson: Apex Press, 1989); Colin Crouch, Post-Democracy: Themes for the 21st Century (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2004); and Daniel M. Warner, "Post-Growthism: From Smart Growth to Sustainable Development," Environmental Practice 8, no. 3 (September 2006).

(104.) Muhammad al-Tahir ibn 'Ashur, Treatise on Maqasid al-Shari'ah, trans. Mohamed el-Tahir al-Messawi (Petaling Jaya: IBT, 2006); Ahmad al-Raysuni, Imam al-Shatibi's Theory of the Higher Objectives and Intents of Islamic Law, trans. Nancy Roberts (Petaling Jaya: IBT, 2006); Imran Ahsan Khan Nyazee, Islamic Jurisprudence (Usul al-Fiqh) (Petaling Jaya: The Other Press, 2003), especially 195-212; and idem, Theories of Islamic Law: The Methodology of Ijtihad (Petaling Jaya: The Other Press, 2002), especially 189-268.

(105.) Ali A. Allawi, The Crisis of Islamic Civilization (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009).

(106.) See the official website,

(107.) Keller, "Kalam and Islam," 25.

(108.) In Knowledge, Language, Thought & the Civilization of Islam: Essays in Honor of Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, ed. Wan Mohd Nor Wan Daud and Muhammad Zaini Uthman (Kuala Lumpur: UTM, 2010), 119-134. See also Adi Setia, "Dewesternizing and Islamizing the Sciences: Operationalizing the Neo-Ghazalian, Attasian Vision," paper presented at the One-Day Colloquium on Islam and Secularism, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 24 July 2010.

(109.) Keller, "Kalam and Islam," 26.

(110.) Lit. "temporalism/temporalists," referring to the beliefs of the materialists and atheists who believe in the eternity of the physical world and disbelieve in the Hereafter; see the article "Dahriyya" at, and its useful references.

(111.) Allusion to al-Ghazali's use of the term at the beginning of his hard-hitting introduction to his Tahafut al-Falasifa, intro. Salah al-Din al-Hawwari (Beirut: al-Maktaba al-'Asriyya, 2007), 41. Marmura translates it as "multifarious beliefs," but it can also be more literally rendered as "the multifarious sciences (or varieties) of conjectures," in which case then al-Ghazali is rebuking those so enamored of Greek philosophy--which is but sciences based on conjectures rather than certain knowledge--that they have gone so far as to "belittle the devotions and ordinances prescribed by the divine law." See also Michael Marmura (trans.), Al-Ghazali: The Incoherence of the Philosophers (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 2000), 1-2.

(112.) A very recent case in point is the new religious "Ahl al-Sunnah" university launched to great fanfare in Malaysia, while even a cursory perusal of its poorly prepared brochure shows a lack of any coherent exposition as to how its self-proclaimed foundational Sunni theological framework will be made to bear evaluatively on its selection and conduct of academic programs, the design of curricula, and the choice of academic faculties or departments. Interestingly, one of the papers presented at the launch (by Tim Winter, no less) actually criticized, albeit indirectly, this thoughtless mimicking of conventional western-style educational structure and content; obviously his message was lost on them.

(113.) al-Ghazali, Ayyuha al-Walad, trans. G.H. Scherer, O Disciple (Beirut: American Press, 1932), 57.

(114.) A case in point is the Islamic Banking and Finance (IBF) industry, which has been thoroughly coopted and corrupted into serving the neoliberal economic agenda, resulting in the reduction of shari'a (Islamic law) to fiqh (jurisprudence) and then to tamwil (finance). The best critique of IBF so far is Mahmoud A. El-Gamal, Islamic Finance: Law, Economics, and Practice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009). There is now a strong groundswell of systematic response amongst fuqaha' and intellectuals against this subversion of sacred law to the service of Mammon; see Adi Setia, "Mu'amalah and the Revival of the Islamic Gift Economy," Islam & Science 9, no. 1 (Summer 2011): 67-88.

(115.) The first book of his Ihya'. See the splendid English translation in Faris, Book of Knowledge. Al-Attas' philosophy of education and the project of the Islamization of contemporary knowledge is inspired to great extent by the Kitab al-'ilm; see the excellent study of Wan Daud, Educational Philosophy and Practice.

(116.) Allusion to the verse the life of the world deceived them and so they testified against themselves that they were atheistic (wa gharrathum al-hayat al-dunya wa shahidu 'ala anfusihim annahum kanu kafirin) (al-An'am: 130; Cleary's translation).

(117.) Martin Heidegger, "The Question Concerning Technology" in his Basic Writings, ed. David Krell (New York: HarperCollins, 1993).

(118.) Jacques Ellul, The Technological Society, trans. John Wilkinson (New York: Vintage, 1967), described on the front cover as "a penetrating analysis of our technical civilization and of the effect of an increasingly standardized culture on the future of man."

(119.) Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time (Boston: Beacon, 2001).

(120.) E.F. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered (New York: Harper Collins, 2010).

(121.) Serge Latouche, The Westernization of the World; idem, In the Wake of the Affluent Society: An Exploration of Post-Development (London: Zed Books, 1993).

(122.) Marshall Sahlins, Stone Age Economics (Piscataway, New Jersey: Aldine Transaction, 1972); idem, The Western Illusion of Human Nature (Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press, 2008).

(123.) Kunstler, Long Emergency.

(124.) As cited at ibid., 185 (italics mine).

(125.) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 343.

(126.) H.B. Franklin (ed.), Future Perfect (Piscataway: Rutgers University Press, 1995).

(127.) See al-Attas, Prolegomena, especially the introduction and the first chapter.

(128.) Al-Attas, Prolegomena; idem, Islam and Secularism; and idem, The Concept of Education in Islam (Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC, 1991). See also Wan Daud, Educational Philosophy.

(129.) See Chapter 5 of al-Attas, Islam and Secularism.

(130.) Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, The De-Westernization of Knowledge, foreword by Claude Alvares (Penang: Citizens International, 2009), 11-12; see also al-Attas, Islam and Secularism, 133-134.

(131.) Islam and Secularism, 44-45.

(132.) Al-Attas, Islam and Secularism, 162-163.

(133.) Mauricio Suarez (ed.), Fictions in Science: Philosophical Essays on Modeling and Idealization (London: Routledge, 2008). I thank my friend Dr. Sachi Arafat of Glasgow University for drawing my attention to this important book. See also Camille Limoges, Simon Schwartzman, et al., The New Production of Knowledge: The Dynamics of Science and Research in Contemporary Societies (London: Sage, 1994). Cf. Brian Martin, The Bias of Science (Canberra: Society for Social Responsibility in Science, 1979); Karin Knorr Cetina, The Manufacture of Knowledge: An Essay on the Constructivist and Contextual Nature of Science (Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1981); and idem, Epistemic Cultures: How the Sciences Make Knowledge (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999). For cases in point of "scientific fraud," see Horace Freeland Judson, The Great Betrayal: Fraud in Science (Orlando, Florida: Harcourt Books, 2004); and Marcel C. LaFolette, Stealing into Print: Fraud, Plagiarism and Misconduct in Scientific Publishing (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996). See also the small book by Alan Chalmers, Science and Its Fabrication (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1990); and also Nancy Cartwright, How the Laws of Physics Lie (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986).

(134.) For instance, Archie J. Bahm, Axiology: The Science of Values (Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi, 1993), and its useful bibliography on various aspects of the subject.

(135.) Keller, "Kalam and Islam," 25.

(136.) Title and acronym proposed by Dr. Mohd Zaidi Ismail of IKIM, and accepted by the management of the course.

(137.) Osman Bakar, Classification of Knowledge in Islam: A Study in Islamic Philosophies of Science (Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society, 1998).

(138.) Including related areas such as green engineering and green technology; see, for instance, Paul T. Anastas and John C. Warner, Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998).

(139.) Leon Chaitow et al., Naturopathic Physical Medicine: Theory and Practice for Manual Therapists and Naturopaths (Philadelphia: Elsevier, 2008).

(140.) Cognitive psychology is on the whole arguably more in accord with traditional Islamic faculty psychology; see Syed Muhammad Naqib al-Attas, The Nature ofMan and the Psychology ofthe Human Soul: A Brief Outline and a Framework for an Islamic Psychology and Epistemology (Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC, 1990). Cf. Ray Jackendoff, Patterns in the Mind: Language and Human Nature (New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1993); Noam Chomsky, Language and Problems of Knowledge: The Managua Lectures (Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1987); Karl Popper and John C. Eccles, The Self and Its Brain: An Argument for Interactionism (London: Routledge, 2003); John C. Eccles, The Human Psyche: The Gifford Lectures (London: Routledge, 1992); Karl R. Popper, Knowledge and the Body-Mind Problem: In Defence of Interaction (London: Routledge, 1994); and Mario Beauregard and Denyse O'Leary, The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist's Case for the Existence of the Soul (New York: Harper One, 2007).

(141.) Herman Daly, Steady-State Economics, 2nd ed. (Washington, DC: Island Press, 1991).

(142.) Bill C. Mollison, Permaculture: A Designer's Manual (Sisters Creek, Tasmania: Tagari Publications, 1988).

(143.) Janine M. Benyus, Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature (New York: William Morrow, 1997).

(144.) On the dangers of biotechnology, see Brian Tokar (ed.), Redesigning Life?: The Worldwide Challenge to Genetic Engineering (London: Zed Books, 2001).

(145.) Barrett Hazeltine and Christopher Bull (eds.), Field Guide to Appropriate Technology (New York: Academic Press, 2003).

(146.) See, for instance, Christopher Chase-Dunn, "World-Systems Theorizing" in Handbook of Sociological Theory, ed. Jonathan Turner (New York: Plenum, 2001).

(147.) Cartwright, How the Laws of Physics Lie; idem, A Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991).

(148.) David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order (London: Routledge, 1980); idem and B.J. Hiley, The Undivided Universe: An Ontological Interpretation of Quantum Theory (London: Routledge, 2002).

(149.) Herman E. Daly and Joshua Farley, Ecological Economics: Principles and Applications (Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 2004).

(150.) Erin Radelfinger, "Dissecting Dissection: A Resource Handbook for High School Biology Educators," accessible online at dissection.pdf.


(152.) Schimmel, Deciphering the Signs of God; and Adi Setia, "Taskhir, FineTuning, Intelligent Design and the Scientific Appreciation of Nature," Islam & Science 2, no. 1 (Summer 2004): 7-32.

(153.) Al-Attas, Prolegomena, 2.

(154.) Further elaboration in Adi Setia, "Three Meanings of Islamic Science: Toward Operationalizing Islamization of Science," Islam & Science 5, no. 1 (Summer 2007): 23-53. See also idem, "Some Upstream Research Programs for Muslim Mathematicians: Operationalizing Islamic Values in the Sciences through Mathematical Creativity," Islam & Science 6, no. 2 (Winter 2008): 153-196; and idem, "Islamic Science as a Scientific Research Program: Conceptual and Pragmatic Issues," Islam & Science 3, no. 1 (Summer 2005): 93-101.

(155.) A review of the course is on the website:

(156.) The conference findings can be accessed at DTS-KotaKinabalu2011_FinalDoc.pdf. For a detailed report, see Wan Mohd Aimran Wan Mohd Kamil, Aliff Basri, and Adi Setia, "Engaging Structural Greed Today: A ChristianMuslim Interfaith Dialogue, Report and Reflections" in Adi Setia (trans.), The Book of Earning a Livelihood (Kitab al-Kasb of Imam Muhammad alShayban') (Kuala Lumpur: IBFIM, 2011), Appendix III: 227-288.

(157.) Umar Faruq Abd Allah, "Mercy, the Stamp of Creation," Nawawi Foundation paper,

(158.) See, for instance, Claude Alvares, Science, Development and Violence: The Revolt against Modernity (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1992); and idem, "Science" in The Development Dictionary, ed. Wolfgang Sachs (London: Zed Books, 1992), 219-232.

(159.) Ray D. Strand, Death by Prescription: The Shocking Truth Behind an Overmedicated Nation (Thomas Nelson, 2003); cf. Marc A. Rodwin, Conflict of Interests and the Future of Medicine: The United States, France, and Japan (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011); and Maggie Mahar, MoneyDriven Medicine (New York: Collins, 2006).

(160.) Pietro Croce, Vivisection or Science: An Investigation into Testing Drugs and Safeguarding Health (London: Zed Books, 1999). See also C. Ray Greek and Jean Swingle Greek, Sacred Cows and Golden Geese: The Human Costs of Experiments on Animals (New York: Continuum, 2002); and Ray Greek and Niall Shanks, FAQS about the Use of Animals in Science: A Handbook for the Scientifically Perplexed (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2009).

(161.) For understanding traditional Chinese medicine, see the sensitive and deeply reflective book by Stephen Fulder, The Tao of Medicine: Oriental Remedies and the Pharmacology of Harmony (Rochester, Vermont: Destiny Books, 1987).

(162.) Mae-Wan Ho, Sam Burcher, et al., Food Futures Now: Organic, Sustainable, Fossil Fuel Free (Penang: Third World Network, and London: Institute of Science in Society, 2008).

(163.) Abu Zakariyya Yahya ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Al-Awwam AlIshbill (ca.12th century), Kitab al-Filaha, as described in Toufic Fahd, "Botany and Agriculture" in Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science, ed. Regis Morelon and Roshdi Rashed (London: Routledge, 1996). See also the website of The Filaha Texts Project: The Arabic Books of Husbandry,

(164.) For the case against Monsanto, see Peter Pringle, Food, Inc.: Mendel to Monsanto, The Promises and Perils of the Biotech Harvest (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005); and Marie-Monique Robin, The World According to Monsanto: Pollution, Corruption, and the Control of Our Food Supply, An Investigation into the World's Most Controversial Company (New York: New Press, 2010). See also Karl Weber (ed.), Food, Inc.: How Industrial Food is Making Us Sicker, Fatter, and Poorer, and What You can Do about It (New York: Public Affairs, 2009), a book companion to the influential film documentary, Food, Inc.

(165.) Bill Mollison, Permaculture: A Designers' Manual (Tasmania: Sisters Creek, Tagari, 1988).

(166.) Andrew M. Watson, Agricultural Innovation in the Early Islamic World: The Diffusion of Crops and Farming Techniques, 700-1100 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), especially 123-138 passim.

(167.) Access information about this wonderful work at jordan_valley_permaculture_project.htm.

(168.) Allusion to Alastair McIntosh, Soil and Soul: People Against Corporate Power (London: Aurum Press, 2004).

(169.) Examples that spring to mind is the Schumacher College in the UK and the networks of permaculture research institutes throughout the world. Another recent and promising initiative in this regard (though as yet not totally independent) is the Center for Advanced Studies on Islam, Science and Civilisation (CASIS), based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, There are also serious plans in place for establishing the Worldview of Islam Research Academy (WIRA) to be based in the state of Terengganu in Malaysia.

(170.) Adi Setia, " Waqf and the Revival of the Islamic Gift Economy," Awqaf Insights 3 (2010): 14-15; idem, "Mu'amala"; idem, "Reviving an Economics for the Common Good: The Science of Earning in al-Shaybani, al-Ghazali, and al-Dimashqi," Islam & Science 9, no. 2 (Winter 2011): 177-184.

(171.) Al-Attas, Concept of Education; see also the elaborate and insightful discussion in Wan Mohd Nor, Educational Philosophy.

(172.) Muhammad Saud, The Scientific Method of Ibn al-Haytham (Islamabad: Islamic Research Institute, 1990); and A.I. Sabra, The Optics of Ibn alHaytham (Kuwait: National Council for Culture, 2002).

(173.) For the case of modern medicine and the structural conflicts of interest plaguing it, see Marc A. Rodwin, Conflicts of Interest and the Future of Medicine: The United States, France, and Japan (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).

(174.) And related areas such as green technology, green engineering and green architecture (eco-building).

(175.) Hadith no. 32 in Imam al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths (al-Arba'in al-Nawawiyya).

(176.) Adi Setia, "Islamic Science as a Scientific Research Program."

(177.) See idem, "Three Meanings," 23-52.

(178.) Syed Nomanul Haq, "Science, Scientism and the Liberal Arts," Islam & Science 1, no. 2 (December 2003): 267-271.

(179.) Hujjat al-Sidd'q, 465. In a similar vein, Maulana Ashraf Ali al-Thanvi (1863-1934), in his al-Inttibahat al-Mufida, trans. Muhammad Hassan Askari and Karrar Husain as Answer to Modernism, 2nd ed. (Karachi: Maktaba Darul-Uloom, 1976), has pointed out that such intellectual engagement would require an elaborate reapplication of the "sufficient and comprehensive" principles of traditional 'ilm kalam (dialectical theology) to answering the challenge of modern science and philosophy (at 1-5).

(180.) Islam and Secularism, 132.

(181.) Lest the reader feel overwhelmed by the many academic and popular references cited in the copious footnotes to this paper, what follows is a hopefully more manageable guide to what I believe are some of the more accessible principal readings in English pertaining to the paper's thesis, that can be perused at a steady yet leisurely pace over the course of a month or so, in sha' Allah.

This is a revised and extended version of "The Form and Function of Dialectical Theology: The Perpetual Relevance of al-Ghazali," a paper presented at the seminar "Building on the Shoulders of Giants," organized by the Glasgow-based Solas Foundation (, University of Glasgow, 20 April 2010. My thanks to Shaykh Ruzwan Mohammed of the Solas Foundation for his kind invitation, and to my friend Dr. Sachi Arafat for facilitating the networking.

Adi Setia is Coordinator, Worldview of Islam Research Academy (WIRA), and Director, Titiwangsa Advisory Group (TAG). E-mail:
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