The Imprtance of Science

Topics: Science, Islam, Social sciences Pages: 9 (2425 words) Published: November 13, 2013
The Importance of Science and Technology Education in the Muslim worlds

Views from Indonesia

The Importance of Science and Technology
Education in the Muslim worlds

Dr. Arif Zamhari

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The Importance of Science and Technology Education in the Muslim worlds

About the Speaker
Dr. Arif Zamhari is the director of Kulliyatul Qur’an College of Al-Hikam, Jakarta, Indonesia. Dr. Zamhari, affiliated with Nahdlatul Ulama, the largest organization of Indonesia, had worked and taught in different Universities and institutions in Jakarta. He is the member of International Division of Indonesian Wakaf Board and Institute for The Study and Advancement of Civil Society (ISACS. Dr. Zamhari had participated in many international and national conferences as a key speaker. He had written books and papers about the rituals of Islamic spirituality.

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The Importance of Science and Technology Education in the Muslim worlds

The golden age of Islamic civilization during the 8


to 12th century was

established by integrating both religious sciences and natural or worldly sciences in the light of Islam. As we can read from the history of Muslim civilization, both religious sciences (ulum al-naqliyah) and natural sciences (ulum al-aqliyah) were part of Islamic education. In other words, religious sciences and natural sciences had a similar position within Islamic education centers. No one particular science had supremacy over another. Therefore, religious and natural sciences similarly contributed to the golden period of Islamic civilization.

During those periods Muslim scholars realized that Islam does not differentiate between religious science and natural science (worldly science). Although they made classification of knowledge, they did not mean that one particular science is worthier than another. All sciences come from the original source of knowledge, which is God. It is for this reason that Muslim scientists made their strong effort to integrate sciences that have been developed by Greek civilization into part of the classification of sciences in Islam. As a result of this integration, Islamic civilization reached its zenith and Muslim became leaders of philosophical and scientific thought. It was in the field of natural sciences, in particular, that they made outstanding advances and achieved the greatest triumph. They even inspired their western counterparts to develop western civilization.

It is important to note here that the glory of Muslim civilization in those periods was inseparable with the advancement of every aspect of sciences and knowledge in Islam. Therefore, the stagnation of Islamic civilization happened when Islamic educations favored the study of religious science, which is only one part of the branch of knowledge in Islam, while they paid less attention to natural and worldly sciences in the Islamic education practices. This contributed later to the fall of Islamic civilization as whole and the Islamic civilization began to lose some of its global prominence. Since then there has been a dichotomy between religious sciences and natural sciences.

Therefore, the root of the decline and the backwardness of science and technology in the current Muslim world can be attributed to the fact that natural and worldly sciences disappeared in Muslim education. At the same time, natural and worldly science has been transmitted to European world Page | 2

The Importance of Science and Technology Education in the Muslim worlds

and has been developed by European scholars, contributing to the renaissance and the industrial revolution in the West. This industrial revolution caused the rise of European imperialism and colonialism that conquered and maintained their control over Muslim regions. As a result, European civilization spread...
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