Crisis in the Muslim Mind
by AbdulHamid A. AbuSulayman

Translation by
Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo


Cover Page
About the Author
Contemporary Islamic Asalah:
The Only Solution
The Historical Roots of the Crisis
The Crux of the Crisis and the Future of the Ummah
The Traditional Methodology of Islamic Thought: Assessment and Critique
Shari' ah and Non-Shari' ah Sciences
Neglect of the Social Sciences
The Conflict Between Reason and Revelation
Our Intellectual Heritage:
Past, Present, and Future
Principles in the Methodology of Islamic Thought
The Basic Concepts:
The Purposeful Nature of Creation
Objectivity of Truth
Islamic Methodology: Means and Application
Requirements for Establishing the Islamic Civilizational Sciences
Classifying Islamic Texts
Dimensions of Existence
The Impartiality of Truth
The Premises of the Social Sciences
Islamization and the Science of Education
Islamization and Political Science
Islam, Science, and Technology
Islam and the Future
Islamization and Academic Institutions
The Future Course of Humanity
Islamization is the Issue of the Ummah
IIIT English Publications


There is general agreement that the Ummah is passing through an extremely difficult stage, one of disintegration and schism, loss of identity, failure of institutions, and inability to extract itself from its present state of bewilderment.

There is also general agreement that change is needed. In particular, the Ummah became acutely aware of its problems following its early encounters with Western civilization in Egypt and Turkey. In the two centuries that have passed since then, the Ummah has suffered through periods of dictatorship and submission to foreign experiments with its political and administrative systems, its culture and business, ethical and social makeup, and science and art. None of this, however, has yielded the kinds of results that the Ummah wanted or hoped for. Instead, the Ummah found itself caught up in a vicious circle.

What this means is that the leadership of the Ummah has been unable to determine the proper approach for bringing about the change needed to lead it toward its true objectives, After pondering the matter at length, looking at it from different perspectives, and considering objectively the attempts of the Ummah in the past to extract itself, we are convinced that the process of change must begin in the thought of the Ummah. This is because thought naturally precedes deeds, whether they prove to be correct or faulty.

Only sound thinking will result in sound reconstruction, and only sound thinking will deliver the Ummah from the crisis which threatens to strangle the life from it.

Since Islam represents the sound core of the Ummah's thought and its true spirit, which tempers its sensibilities, moves its consciousness, and kindles within it the power to create, to construct, and to contribute, only Islamic thought is suitable for the Ummah.

Therefore, we may state confidently that the desired process of change is based on the thought of Islam and guided by its teachings, a process rooted in Islamic doctrines, values, and ethics and deriving its essence from Islam's sources.

Islamic thought is a general term, and interpretations of it differ. Since its definition is crucial, this book seeks to provide a definition which precisely delineates its method, identifies its principles, and anchors its basic concepts.

The book begins with a critical discussion of the traditional methodology of Islamic thought, which is followed by a look at its fundaments and sources. The discussion then moves on to the subject of this methodology's performance in terms of the comprehensiveness of its scope and means. Finally, a general comparison is made between Islamic and scientific methodologies.

Thereafter, the author deals with the social sciences and humanities from the perspective of the Islamization of knowledge.

At the end of the book, the author speaks of two matters: Islam and the future, and the future of humanity. Finally, he announces his satisfaction with the idea that Islamization is the most important issue before the Ummah, that it is indeed the Ummah9s future, its destiny, its objective, the means of its emergence from its crisis, and the way to its building a new civilization and a new renaissance.

Undoubtedly, rectifying the methodology of Islamic thought, returning to the roots of the matter, moving from the particular to the general, treating the causes of the problem rather than the symptoms, and advancing general principles and axioms, all in accordance with the teachings of Islam, are the guarantees for the Success and correctness of the process of change in thought that will enable the Ummah to put its feet on the right path. This is what fins book attempts to explain.

Some may feel that the author attaches more importance to this issue than it deserves. But there can be no doubt that the issue of thought is fundamental and is of great concern to all Muslim scholars. Furthermore, according priority to this issue does not mean that other issues are forgotten. On the contrary, renewal will only come about when all issues are treated from a sound Islamic basis.

A number of studies have been published recently on the crisis of thought, the makeup of the Arab mind, the reconstruction of the Muslim mind, and issues of Islamic thought and methodology. This present study, however4 takes a very different approach.

In his analysis of the crisis of the Muslim Ummah and its intellectual1 methodological, and historical dimensions, the author takes a uniquely penetrating look at the problem. The ability to detect linkage between different issues and to derive lessons and wisdom from events are among the qualities that distinguish the author and his work. He is not distracted by side issues or by academic or technical discussions that pointlessly engage the reader's attention. This is one of the reasons that some readers may find the author's style difficult at first. On rereading, however, in the light of the author's objectives and basic ideas9 the same readers will have no trouble in following what the author intends.

As readers delve further into this book, they will discover that they are not reading a fairy tale or a cleverly written piece of literary forte. Rather, readers are bombarded with new ideas and perspectives that penetrate their innermost being. In short, the author is a hardened veteran who has weathered the concerns of da'wah, and the difficulties and burdens of struggle for the sake of Islam.

The Ummah's pain and anguish are not merely subjects for treatment from a literary point of view, its pains are his, as is its suffering. If he were a poet, it is possible that he would have filled a library with his verses on the subject. Were he a professional writer, the bibliography of his works might have run to several volumes. In fact, a professional writer might develop each one of the author's ideas into a separate book

The author, however, is a distinguished thinker whose concern is with the goals of the Ummah and the objectives of its existence. At times, readers will notice that his words have the hardness of a mujahid or the directness of a pioneer. His writing is frank for he goes straight to the point that he wishes to make. Rather than use a circuitous route, he shakes the reader with his exposition and forcefully draws his attention to the objective.

The original publication of this book in Arabic was delayed for several years in anticipation of the moment when the Ummah's political and intellectual leadership would be ready to look realistically and candidly at such a deep and comprehensive discussion of the Ummah's situation. Recent events, however, have made the translation of this book and the adaptation of the topics it deals with a matter of great importance. We can only hope that the book will find a place for itself among the issues that engage the attention of the intellectual and social leadership, as well as the youth, of the Ummah.

May Allah Most High grant that this book proves to be as beneficial as we hope it will be; and He is the Granter of Success!

All praise be to Allah, Lord of the Universe!

Dr. Taha Jibir al Alwani,
President, IIIT
DhulHijjah 1314AH/June 1993AC
Herndon, Virginia USA