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Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Myth of Islamic Scholarship

Muslims developed the concept of institutions where everyone, regardless of race, colour or religion can had the opportunity to learn everything (universal knowledge), which are called Universities today. The square-hat came from previous Muslims who had the culture of placing the Koran on the head of graduates to take oaths that they would be good and responsible citizens. The first two Universities of the world were built in Egypt and Morocco; obviously neither country existed at the time.

The university concept was derived from the Koran, which guides and encourages the seeking of universal knowledge and empirical thinking, and this in return gave birth to the renaissance and the modernization of Europe as we see it today. It is intriguing that after centuries of intellectual efforts from previous Muslims dedicated to learning various sciences, today we a approaching people with relatively narrow scholarship. The Koran in contrast suggests that if someone has questions about a field, for example cloning or quantum mechanics, they should consult the people who are qualified in that particular field. Now somebody with knowledge could be a Jew, a Christian or anyone, say a Martian if there is one. There is a problem when universal knowledge is narrowly defined as Islamic Scholarship. We can have a Muslim scientist or science scholar who is an atheist; it does not make a difference because knowledge can be verified. The so called Islamic Scholarship is a misconception because Islam cannot be mastered; it can only be expended through a collective psyche of all human interaction and learning within the Universe, regardless of their backgrounds. The myth of Islamic Scholar has failed the Muslims for last 100 years and is still evident. One of the characteristics of Islamic Scholars is that they have set a monopoly on Universal knowledge and general intelligence. Knowledge gained, for example through an institution can be acquired by anybody. I do believe that if a Christian is graduated from an Institution in Saudi Arabia, he will not be called a Muslim Scholar owing to the fact that Knowledge is not attached to a narrow creed. To understand Islam one needs to understand the Universe and everything within it, which is an infinite search in conjunction with the changing of times and situation of human existence and experience. If a scientific or philosophical outcome is a fact here, it remains accepted and remains a fact else ware. The fact is the Universities developed by the Muslims were not religious institutions in the narrow sense and hence there is no such thing as Islamic Scholars. The myth of Islamic scholarship has had negative effect on the Muslim psyche tremendously. Mainly the Muslims have been driven backwards after bridging the Greeks concepts to the renaissance through learning and developing Universities. Islam is a way of life; it is universal and entails universal knowledge from all walks of life, not from exclusive scholars. This myth is not new as intellectuals such as Ibn Rushed argued that Islam allows competent scholars to interpret the Koran, and philosophers are better qualified in this regard than theologian by virtue of their understanding of truths of science and philosophy. Hence we have to redefine Islamic scholarship with the spirit of modern philosophy to generate a more cohesive-peaceful society.


simple thing to do....just say it.
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