ISLAMIC SCIENCES

 

Under this topic, in both research and seminar programs, the Institute of Islamic Thought will address two main problems Islamic sciences face today. One of these problems is integrity and the other is methodology. What we mean by the problem of integrity is that the concept of Islamic sciences has been narrowed over time and it is allocated to a few research fields only. Islamic sciences have been reduced to sciences such as exegesis (tefsir), hadiths, fiqh, theology, and tasawwuf, and it has been classified and divided into religious and natural sciences, rational and revelation-based sciences. However, it is not possible to distinguish between tenzil (revelation) and tekvin (creation). It would not be correct to introduce the exegesis, which explains the verses of the Quran, as Islamic science but the science that explains the verses of the universe as non-Islamic science. We cannot distinguish between the verses in the book of Allah and his verses in the outer world (afak) and the inner world (enfüs).

The specialization in our academic tradition has destroyed the narrow space described in the religious sciences for the second time and it broke the integrity. Nowadays, one of the common mistakes that Muslim academics have made is to center the discipline they specialize in and to judge the other paradigms that constitute Islamic thought accordingly. This view constitutes an obstacle to subjecting Islamic thought to an integral assessment or reading. Because in the Islamic tradition all sciences are intertwined. None of them could be separated from the other. There is both integrity and order between them. For example, the way of kalam science intersects with the fiqh method at the methodological level and with the philosophy at the contextual level and in the areas of discussion, with tasawwuf at the individual morality based on the mind and taqwa at many points. The methodological ground and source on which kalam and fiqh are based are common.

From the first centuries onward, we have inherited important literature from the Islamic scholars and philosophers about the grading and classification of sciences. In this literature, all sciences are brought together in a systematic order on common ground. While evaluating this heritage, it should be remembered that absolutizing scientific structures and interpretations in historical conditions and thinking of them as all time valid systems will mean ignoring any kind of intellectual production capacity of mankind. The claim that there is a single authentic understanding and an absolute methodology is the biggest obstacle for each scholar to produce ideas within the framework of its systematic consistency.

In order to provide the mentioned integrated approach, first of all, it is necessary to deal with the method and methodology problem.