EXPLORING ISLAMIC INTELLECTUAL TRADTIONS IN AFRICA.
-define Islamic intellectual tradtions
-classical literature vs modern litertature
- Islamic ideology in Africa
Is there room for critical thought within classical Islamic thinking and does modern Islamic thinking have a future within the study of Islam.
A critical spirit has been central to Islam from its inception. The Qur'an is generously sprinkled with references to thought and learning, reflection and reason. The Sacred Text denounces those who do not use their critical faculties in strongest terms: "the worse creatures in God's eyes are those who are [willfully] deaf and dumb, who do not reason" (8:22). A cursory look at the life of Muhammad reveals that his strategic decisions were an outcome of critical discussions. The way he decided, for example, to fight the Battle of Badr outside Medina, or, later on, defend the city by digging a trench. The Prophet's basic advice to his followers, in one version of his " Farewell Pilgrimage", was to " reason well"1. The scholarship that evolved around collecting the traditions and sayings of the Prophet was itself based on an innovative and detailed method of criticism. It is widely acknowledged that debate and discussion, argument and counter-argument, literary textual criticism as well as scientific criticism were hallmarks of the classical Muslim civilisation2. Roger Allen traces the Islamic tradition of criticism right back to Abu Tammam (d.846) and ibn Abd Rabbihi (d.940), two poets who also excelled in literary criticism3. Islamic philosophical theology is littered with critical works, such as those of Ibn Hazm (994-–1064) , ibn Sina (990-–1037) and ibn Rushd (1126-1198). Critical discernment is clearly evident in the work of Muslim scientists of classical period such as al-Haytham (965-–1040), who excelled in optics, the natural and social scientist