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.
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
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
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
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
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
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,
DhulHijjah 1314AH/June 1993AC
Herndon, Virginia USA