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definition - Islamic_sociology

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Islamic sociology

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Islamic sociology is a discipline of Islamic studies and the social sciences.

Contents

Early Islamic sociology

Sociologist Robert Bellah (Beyond belief) argues that Islam in its seventh-century origins was, for its time and place, "remarkably modern...in the high degree of commitment, involvement, and participation expected from the rank-and-file members of the community." This because, he argues, that Islam emphasized on the equality of all Muslims. Leadership positions were open to all. However, there were restraints on the early Muslim community that kept it from exemplifying these principles, primarily from the "stagnant localisms" of tribe and kinship. Dale Eickelman writes that Bellah suggests "the early Islamic community placed a particular value on individuals, as opposed to collective or group responsibility."[1]

The Islamic idea of community (that of ummah), established by Muhammad, is flexible in social, religious, and political terms and includes a diversity of Muslims who share a general sense of common cause and consensus concerning beliefs and individual and communal actions.[2]

Without doubt the most important figure in early Muslim sociology was Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), who is regarded as the father of demography,[3] cultural history,[4] historiography,[5] the philosophy of history,[6] sociology,[3][6] and the social sciences,[7] and is viewed as a father of economics.[8][9] He is best known for his Muqaddimah "Prolegomenon".

Sati' al-Husri suggested that Ibn Khaldun's Muqaddimah is essentially a sociological work, sketching over its six books a general sociology; a sociology of politics; a sociology of urban life; a sociology of economics; and a sociology of knowledge.

Other social sciences

Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī, considered "the first anthropologist" and the father of Indology.

Anthropology

Abū al-Rayhān al-Bīrūnī (973-1048) has been described as "the first anthropologist".[10] He wrote detailed comparative studies on the anthropology of peoples, religions and cultures in the Middle East, Mediterranean and South Asia. Biruni's anthropology of religion was only possible for a scholar deeply immersed in the lore of other nations.[11] Biruni has also been praised by several scholars for his Islamic anthropology.[12] Biruni is also regarded as the father of Indology.[13]

Economics

To some degree, the early Muslims based their economic analyses on the Qu'ran (such as opposition to riba, meaning usury or interest), and from sunnah, the sayings and doings of Muhammad.

Perhaps the most well known Islamic scholar who wrote about economics was Ibn Khaldun of Tunisia (13321406),[14] who is considered a father of modern economics.[15][16] Ibn Khaldun wrote on economic and political theory in the introduction, or Muqaddimah (Prolegomena), of his History of the World (Kitab al-Ibar). In the book, he discussed what he called asabiyya (social cohesion), which he sourced as the cause of some civilizations becoming great and others not. Ibn Khaldun felt that many social forces are cyclic, although there can be sudden sharp turns that break the pattern.[17] His idea about the benefits of the division of labor also relate to asabiyya, the greater the social cohesion, the more complex the successful division may be, the greater the economic growth. He noted that growth and development positively stimulates both supply and demand, and that the forces of supply and demand are what determines the prices of goods.[18] He also noted macroeconomic forces of population growth, human capital development, and technological developments effects on development.[19] In fact, Ibn Khaldun thought that population growth was directly a function of wealth. [20]

Other important early Muslim scholars who wrote about economics include Abu Hanifa an-Nu‘man (699-767), Abu Yusuf (731-798), Ishaq bin Ali al-Rahwi (854–931), al-Farabi (873–950), Qabus (d. 1012), Ibn Sina (Avicenna) (980–1037), Ibn Miskawayh (b. 1030), al-Ghazali (1058–1111), al-Mawardi (1075–1158), Nasīr al-Dīn al-Tūsī (1201-1274), Ibn Taymiyyah (1263–1328) and al-Maqrizi (1364-1442).

Historiography

The first detailed studies on the subject of historiography itself and the first critiques on historical methods appeared in the works of the Arab Muslim historian and historiographer Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), who is regarded as the father of historiography, cultural history,[21] and the philosophy of history, especially for his historiographical writings in the Muqaddimah (Latinized as Prolegomena) and Kitab al-Ibar (Book of Advice).[22] His Muqaddimah also laid the groundwork for the observation of the role of state, communication, propaganda and systematic bias in history,[3] and he discussed the rise and fall of civilizations.

Social psychology

The earliest works on "the social organization of ants" and "animal communication and psychology" were written by al-Jahiz (766–868), an Afro-Arab scholar who wrote many works on these subjects.[23]

Al-Farabi's Social Psychology and Model City were the earliest treatises to deal with social psychology. He stated that "an isolated individual could not achieve all the perfections by himself, without the aid of other individuals." He wrote that it is the "innate disposition of every man to join another human being or other men in the labor he ought to perform." He concluded that in order to "achieve what he can of that perfection, every man needs to stay in the neighborhood of others and associate with them."[24]

Ibn Khaldun (1332–1406), considered a father of sociology[3][6][25] and the social sciences,[26] was another Muslim scholar who significant contributions to the area of social psychology. His book Muqaddimah (known as Prolegomena in the West) was a classic on the social psychology of the peoples of the Arabian Peninsula, particularly the Bedouins.[27]

Modern views

Dale Eickelman, Professor of Anthropology and Human Relations, writes in Encyclopedia of the Qur'an that: [28]

Writing in 1960s, sociologist Robert Bellah (Beyond belief) argued that Islam in its seventh-century origins was, for its time and place, "remarkably modern...in the high degree of commitment, involvement, and participation expected from the rank-and-file members of the community." Its leadership positions were open, and divine revelation emphasized equality among believers. Bellah argues that the restraints that kept the early Muslim community from "wholly exemplifying" these modern principles underscore the modernity of the basic message of the Qur'an, which exhorted its initial audience in seventh-century Arabia to break through the "stagnant localisms" of tribe and kinship. In making such statements, Bellah suggests that the early Islamic community placed a particular value on individuals, as opposed to collective or group responsibility (q.v.), so that efforts by contemporary Muslims to depict the early Islamic community as an egalitarian and participant one are not unwarranted.

Frederick M. Denny, Professor of Islamic Studies and the History of Religions, concludes his article on Community and Society in the Qur'an (cf. Encyclopedia of the Qur'an) by the following remark about the idea of Muslim community (umma), developed by the Qur'an: [29]

Surely the most enduring and influential qur'anic idea of community is that of umma and so flexible is it in specific social, religious, and political terms that it can be embraced across a wide range of concerns by Muslims without their losing a general sense of common cause and consensus concerning the big question of belief and the proper conduct of life both individually and communally. Indeed, the umma idea has enabled Muslims to endure serious setbacks as in the times of western colonialism when political power was at a lower point in many Muslim regions. What is more, the umma ideal does not require a unified political order among Muslims in order to be realized and activated... Whenever one looks in the spreading Muslim populations of today..., the Qur'anic formulations and models of social and communal life of Muslims predominate and provide an ever fresh and innovative approach to defining what is meant to be Muslim and how to live in a pluralistic world alongside other communities and societies, whether religious or secular in nature.

References

  1. ^ “Social Sciences and the Qur’an,” in Encyclopedia of the Qur’an, vol. 5, ed. Jane Dammen McAuliffe. Leiden: Brill, pp. 66-76.
  2. ^ “Community and Society in the Qur'an,” in Encyclopedia of the Qur’an, vol. 1, ed. Jane Dammen McAuliffe. Leiden: Brill, pp. 385.
  3. ^ a b c d H. Mowlana (2001). "Information in the Arab World", Cooperation South Journal 1.
  4. ^ Mohamad Abdalla (Summer 2007). "Ibn Khaldun on the Fate of Islamic Science after the 11th Century", Islam & Science 5 (1), p. 61-70.
  5. ^ Salahuddin Ahmed (1999). A Dictionary of Muslim Names. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. ISBN 1850653569.
  6. ^ a b c Dr. S. W. Akhtar (1997). "The Islamic Concept of Knowledge", Al-Tawhid: A Quarterly Journal of Islamic Thought & Culture 12 (3).
  7. ^ Akbar Ahmed (2002). "Ibn Khaldun’s Understanding of Civilizations and the Dilemmas of Islam and the West Today", Middle East Journal 56 (1), p. 25.
  8. ^ I. M. Oweiss (1988), "Ibn Khaldun, the Father of Economics", Arab Civilization: Challenges and Responses, New York University Press, ISBN 0887066984.
  9. ^ Jean David C. Boulakia (1971), "Ibn Khaldun: A Fourteenth-Century Economist", The Journal of Political Economy 79 (5): 1105-1118.
  10. ^ Akbar S. Ahmed (1984). "Al-Beruni: The First Anthropologist", RAIN 60, p. 9-10.
  11. ^ J. T. Walbridge (1998). "Explaining Away the Greek Gods in Islam", Journal of the History of Ideas 59 (3), p. 389-403.
  12. ^ Richard Tapper (1995). "Islamic Anthropology" and the "Anthropology of Islam", Anthropological Quarterly 68 (3), Anthropological Analysis and Islamic Texts, p. 185-193.
  13. ^ Zafarul-Islam Khan, At The Threshhold Of A New Millennium – II, The Milli Gazette.
  14. ^ Schumpeter (1954) p 136 mentions his his sociology, others, including Hosseini (2003) emphasize him as well
  15. ^ I. M. Oweiss (1988), "Ibn Khaldun, the Father of Economics", Arab Civilization: Challenges and Responses, New York University Press, ISBN 0887066984.
  16. ^ Jean David C. Boulakia (1971), "Ibn Khaldun: A Fourteenth-Century Economist", The Journal of Political Economy 79 (5): 1105-1118.
  17. ^ Weiss (1995) p29-30
  18. ^ Weiss (1995) p31 quotes Muqaddimah 2:276-278
  19. ^ Weiss (1995) p31 quotes Muqaddimah 2:272-273
  20. ^ Weiss (1995) p33
  21. ^ Mohamad Abdalla (Summer 2007). "Ibn Khaldun on the Fate of Islamic Science after the 11th Century", Islam & Science 5 (1), p. 61-70.
  22. ^ S. Ahmed (1999). A Dictionary of Muslim Names. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. ISBN 1850653569.
  23. ^ Amber Haque (2004), "Psychology from Islamic Perspective: Contributions of Early Muslim Scholars and Challenges to Contemporary Muslim Psychologists", Journal of Religion and Health 43 (4): 357-377 [376].
  24. ^ (Haque 2004, p. 363)
  25. ^ (Haque 2004, p. 375)
  26. ^ Akbar Ahmed (2002). "Ibn Khaldun’s Understanding of Civilizations and the Dilemmas of Islam and the West Today", Middle East Journal 56 (1), p. 25.
  27. ^ (Haque 2004, p. 376)
  28. ^ “Social Sciences and the Qur’an,” in Encyclopedia of the Qur’an, vol. 5, ed. Jane Dammen McAuliffe. Leiden: Brill, pp. 66-76.
  29. ^ “Community and Society in the Qur'an,” in Encyclopedia of the Qur’an, vol. 1, ed. Jane Dammen McAuliffe. Leiden: Brill, pp. 385.

See also

 

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