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

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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