Imam Dr Zijad’s Corner: Islam’s Gifts: The Foundation of Renaissance (Part 7)

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Political Science, Sociology, and History

Equally important contributions were made in other areas of knowledge, such as in political science, sociology, and history.

In the 10th century, Al Farabi or Alpharabius (870-950 C.E.) wrote about the model state. This state, for him, is a perfectly organized state which assures its citizens a perfect government and happiness in life.

Another work is Al Mawirdi’s Al Ahkam Al Sultaniyyah (Rules of Power) written around the end of the 10th century and the beginning of the 11th century.

The Muslim historian Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406 C.E.) is regarded as one of the greatest sociologists of all times.  Ibn Khaldun wrote on mathematics, theology and metaphysics, however, his outstanding work was as a historian.

He was the first to write on the philosophy of history in a comprehensive and conceptual way. He produced a thesis on the evolution of human society and gave a rational explanation of the progress of history. His book Kitab al ‘Ibar (Records of Origins and Events concerning the History of the Arabs, Persians, Berbers and their contemporaries who possessed Great Powers), besides containing an excellent history of North Africa, begins with the Muqaddimah or Prolegomena upon which Ibn Khaldun’s particular fame is based.

The work of Ibn Khaldun marks him as a pioneer in social sciences and humanities and as a master sociologist.  His Muqaddimah contains the first reflection of history in its diverse forms of civilization and social institutions, sciences and arts they foster. 77

(…to be continued in the next e-newsletter – part 8)

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