MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, YOGYAKARTA – Colonialism encompasses a system that profoundly influences contemporary Muslims’ way of thinking about politics, economics, and science, rather than being solely a matter of time and ideas.
According to a scholar and distinguished professor of Islamic law Jasser Auda, though Wael Hallaq criticized colonialism and modernity sharply, he failed to present an alternative paradigm, making it challenging for Muslims to effectively navigate and adapt to the modern era.
Embracing modernity outright is not a practical option for Muslims today. However, there is optimism that Islamic values can be harmonized with modern life through “Islamization,” which involves integrating Islamic principles into various domains like banking and politics. This approach seeks to synergize Islamic principles with societal values without replacing them.
Outright rejection of modernity is impractical for Muslims today. However, there is optimism that Islamic values can be harmonized with modern life through “Islamization,” which involves integration of Islamic principles into various domains like banking and politics. This approach seeks to synergize Islamic principles with societal values without replacing them.
Jihad, in this context, refers to a non-violent effort to combat the colonial paradigm that conflicts with Islamic teachings, aiming to remove negative aspects of modernity. These goals don’t require extreme actions like the Arab Spring.
To restructure knowledge, the first step is to refer back to the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet. Modern knowledge mainly emerged from the European Renaissance, particularly in France. Therefore, while reevaluating existing knowledge and paradigms, it’s crucial to avoid excessive reliance on viewpoints and definitions put forth by figures like Sigmund Freud, Abraham Maslow, and Charles Darwin.
To prevent an education system solely fixated on economic objectives, Islamic education should emphasize liberation, dignity, and witnessing for Allah (shahada). Drawing from the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet, it will form the foundation for a new knowledge paradigm aligned with Islamic values.
Muslims should critically assess modern products like democracy and recognize its benefits while being mindful of its drawbacks, such as money-driven politics and manipulative tactics during elections through the use of personal data obtained from Facebook to influence public opinion.
Democracy presents both positive and negative facets, allowing Muslims to make discerning decisions. Auda likened this situation to the historical formation of the House of Wisdom during the golden age of Islam, which Muslims selectively embraced and filtered ideas from Greek philosophy. This approach sparked the flourishing of Islamic civilization and left a profound impact on the Age of Enlightenment in Europe.
Jasser Auda’s Recommendations
The Maqasid Institute has established four circles of research: Usuli studies, disciplinary studies, phenomena studies, and strategic studies. These circles aim to contribute significantly to human development and the advancement of Muslims.
Usuli studies delve into fundamental theories related to Revelation, directly understanding its teachings, and exploring derived knowledge. The goal is to reconstruct traditional Islamic methodology, building on the heritage of Islamic knowledge to provide a robust foundation for contemporary studies.
Disciplinary studies aim to enhance contemporary disciplines and knowledge while aligning with Islamic values. This research circle integrates knowledge into education, research, and actions consistent with Islamic perspectives without rejecting modern contributions.
Phenomena studies prioritize researching significant phenomena based on an Islamic worldview. Researchers in this circle seek to understand and explain these phenomena within the context of Islamic values. Collaboration with similar networks is encouraged to achieve positive change in society.
Strategic studies promote future improvement with consideration of Islamic principles. This research circle proposes collective, complex, and multi-aspect interventions to influence universal laws of change at various levels, guided by Islam.
Jasser Auda, the visionary behind the Maqasid Institute, envisions these research circles constructing a new paradigm aligned with Islamic values. He believed this step would significantly enhance human life’s quality and guide Islamic civilization toward a brighter future.