The Islamization of science or the marginalization of Islam [Electronic resources] : The positions of Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Ziauddin Sardar نسخه متنی

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The Islamization of science or the marginalization of Islam [Electronic resources] : The positions of Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Ziauddin Sardar - نسخه متنی

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I see myself as a representative for a standpopint that can be designated as nominalistic. That is to say in my perspective 'Islam' does not "exists" as an objective ideal and there is no possibility to grasp a final knowledge of the phenomenon. The vocabulary of Islamic terminology has no given and eternal meaning, rather, the terms are given meanings by the interpretations of Muslims. Therefore, one siginificant foundation for my research rests on the idea of a provisional postulate of science. Consequently, scientists in social sciences and humanities cannot assume to find an ultimate truth about objects studied, only more or less developed and conflicting outlooks will appear, which will be replaced in time. My work is, therefore, to study meanings in life and not the meaning of life. Accordingly, for me epistemology is epistemology, and not ontology.

Such statements are in contrast to the ideas formulated by Nasr, Sardar Bucaille and al-Faruqi. In their approach, one important task is to establish the true interpretation of the word of Allah in order to live the perfect life in accordance with the Islamic tradition. Science must, therefore, be Islamic. In its correct shape it will reveal the true understanding of nature, and increase our comprehension of the creation. Science has a meaning. To be noted here is that science that is in opposition to the Quran will not be accepted. It is not a good science. Science becomes good almost automatically when it is in accordance with the Quranic text.

European Muslims play a significant role in the discourse. To a certain extent they influence the interpretation of the Islamic tradition among Muslims themselves. Hence, Muslims in Europe are at the core of the discourse concerning the Islamization of science. They can, hypothetically, be seen as Muslims in a secular context attempting to counteract the marginalization of the Islamic tradition.

In prolongation, their interpretations seem to influence discussions in Muslim countries. Books of Nasr, Sardar and Bucaille are referred to as authoritative expositions on Islam in various Muslim countries, for example, Malaysia and Turkey. Consequently, one question discussed is the influence of the 'Western' environment on interpretations of the Islamic tradition. The strategies - the questions and the answers - that participants in the discourse present appear to give a notion not only of their understanding of science, but also of how they want to place themselves as Muslims within a European and North American context. The statements of the exponents in the discourse also reveal that they belong to various branches of the Islamic tradition which influence their ideas.

A study of the discourse on the Islamization of science can appear as an attempt to display various possibilities in a specific situation - in the relationship with modern science - to interpret the Islamic tradition. One aim is also to emphasize the significance of European Muslims in the contemporary and ongoing discourse on future possibilities of the Islamic tradition, and the attempts formed by the believers to come to terms with modernity.

Finally, in an endeavour to sum it all up in one sentence, let me paraphrase the French scholar Gilles Kepel. At stake for the four voices in the discourse is not the modernization of Islam. To them, the question concerns the Islamization of modernity.

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