This book is a collection of articles aimed to explore research methodology in different branches of social sciences in the framework of Islamic values and goals. The need for such methodology arises from the context of Islamization of knowledge and claims that Islam offers the best solutions to the problems of the world.
The selection of the articles has been done in two ways i.e. the approach to the problem has been done in two ways. The first one is through a research methodology for the development of Islamic disciplines like Islamic economics, Sociology etc. The second is by the development of an Islamic Research methodology for studying Economics, Political Science, History etc.
The articles in the book are actually are presentations in a seminar held at AMU in 1991 on the title “ Research Methodology in Islamic Perspective” under the auspices of IOS and the Department of Philosophy, AMU. Also some of the articles have been selected from the journals like Islamic thoughts(Aligarh) and American Journal of Islamic Social Science (USA).
The first paper which is of Mohd Rafiudheen and which is titled “The meaning and purpose of Islamic Research” defines Islamic Research and examines the nature of research Islam intends. He says that the purpose of Islamic research is to interpret Islam in new situations.
Abdul Haque Ansari in his paper “Nature and scope of Islamic Research” presents Islam as an alternative to the modern ideologies of the world. For indulging in such research one must be acquainted with the current world and its ideologies.
The third article in the row is of M.N Siddiqui which is titled “Islamic Research and Spiritual Content of Islam”. He has spoken about the emphasis on maintaining balance between spiritual and material spheres of human existence and activities. If this is achieved then it will be the hallmark of social science.
F.R Faridi has made an excellent effort in his article “Islamic Research Methodology: some reflections” to expose the deficiencies of the current Western Methodology of research. West’s unclear notion of reality led to the deficiency in Research Methodology. Scholars of social sciences also adopted materialism as being the essence of reality and ignored or rejected the spiritual factor in studying the social realities. The application of this kind of methodology led the social scientists to view the world as purposeless. Every individual was made to be selfish even at the cost of the whole mankind. He further says that the Islamic worldview perceives the universe as a blessing of God; it is made for the service of mankind. This methodology makes the individual of the world to be responsible of his acts and thinks about the welfare of the people.
Irfan Ahmed khan in his article titled “The Islamic Method” explains and emphasizes the need for empirical research in the light of Quran and Sunna. Besides explaining the relevance of the traditional sources of research – Quran, Sunna, Ijma and Qiyas he has rightly interpreted Sama (faculty of hearing), Basar(faculty of seeing) and Fuad(faculty of insight) to emphasize the importance of experimentation in Islamic method.
The article “Quran Method of Reasoning” by Ahmed Abd-al- Hamid Ghorab explains the difference between the concepts of reasoning in the Quran and Greek philosophy. Greek philosophy is only concerned with the building of a philosophical system through abstract reasoning. The Quran reasoning not only develops a philosophical system but also it makes the people to act accordingly. The salient feature of Ghorab’s article is that he supports his points with verses of the Holy Quran.
Dr. M.Riaz Kiramani in his article “Quranic Method of Enquriy” expresses the point that there is a linkage between a research methodology and particular worldview.
Syed Zainul Abidin in his article “Problems of Islamic research in Philosophy” has tried to devise a correct methodology to study Philosophy in an Islamic perspective. Modern or Western philosophical methods are not a basis for Islamic philosophy. A researcher must believe that there exists an ultimate truth and he can reach that truth or reality through reasoning.
Irfan Ahmed Khan in his paper “Islamic research in Philosophy: Issues and Problems” tries to devise an Islamic methodology for study of Philosophy. Islamic approach to philosophy is rational, intuitional and subjected to revelation. The reason should combine revelation and by this the researcher can benefit from all the above approaches and save his work from the deficiencies in each of them. The reason, intuition and revelation when combined together complement each other.
Under the sub-title of Political Science Dr. Rashid Moten has exposed in his article “Islamization of Knowledge: Methodology of Research in Political Science” the drawbacks of Western Empirical social science which has been uncritically been accepted world wide. For alleviating this deficiency reason and revelation should be combined. He then tries to make an alternative to the Western mode of enquiry for the study of social science especially political science. He critically examines Western mode of enquiry and contrast it with Islamic alternative based on society, polity and state.
Professor Blakinship in his paper “The need for an Islamic Theory and Methodology of History” exposes the parochialism of Western approach to world history. Then he concentrates on what Muslim approach to history was till now and what it ought to be in the changing days. West’s insistence on Greco-Roman historical experience still continues. He has further tried to explore the possibility of Islamic interpretation of History. He argues that Muslim Historians should also concentrate on pre-Islamic world History to find out the truth. Muslim historians should also come out of the borders of Islamic history and embrace and explain all of human history.
Under the sub-title of economics Mohammed Anwar in his article “Islamic economics Methodology” says that the concept of Islamic economists is a fast growing phenomenon, gaining ever increasing strength as well as recognition. Islamic economists should be responsible to either create or invent a new Islamic methodology or revitalize the existing methodology so as to prevent the Muslim economist to depend on Western Methodology. He has urged the economists to create a criterion to Islamically examine economic theories and conduct research within an Islamic framework. He has tried to set up a criterion to evaluate and test the validity of various economic theories. He has also suggested that a comparative study of the Western and Islamic methodologies be done with regards to Islamic Banking.
Under the same sub-title of economics Mohammed Arif has also contributed an article titled “The Islamization of Knowledge and some Methodological issues in Paradigm Building: The General Case of Social Science with a special focus on economics”. He also deals with the Islamization of Knowledge with reference to economics. Materialism which is the essence of Western social science argues that only the sensible world can be known and nothing beyond that. In the Western pattern of materialism there is no room for divine revelation. He also says that all social scientists first develop a world view and interpret things in their respective fields of specialization.
Dr. Jameel Farooqui in his article “Islamic Perspective of Methodology in social phenomenal context” first examines some of the current methodologies in social sciences. He argues that Islam provides proper and relevant research methodology for analyzing social behaviour and phenomena. Human knowledge will be complete and true by taking into consideration the ultimate reality (knowledge of God) and divine will. Islamic theory based on revelation is not only necessary for studying beyond human perceptions but also to study the social world.
The article next to the end of the book is by Rais Ahmed titled “some thoughts on Methodology in Islamic Science”. He says that to solve the problems of man arising in nature a methodology is needed which can distinguish the truth from false. The western methodology relies only on sense, perception and reason. The Islamic Science sees or recognizes revelation as the supreme authority. He has discussed in his article how revelation is responsible for question formation and how it decides the method of study and how it provides criteria for acceptability of conclusion.
The last two chapters of the book contains the key note address of Muhammad Anwar which was prepared for the seminar at AMU and the proceedings of the seminar by M. Sirajudddin Khan.
Book: Research Methodology in Islamic Perspective
Author: Mohammed Muqim
Publication: Genuine Publications and Media Pvt. Ltd