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Reclassification Of Knowledge

Reclassification Of Knowledge

In order to frame a curriculum two questions have to be answered: What should be tought? What can be learnt? In ans wering the first question we have to state the aims and goale of the curriculum and this can be done only when we state the aims and goals of education. The second question can be ans wered only by referring to the growth of the mental abilities of children including the deepening and widening of their range of sense experience and emotive realization, refining and shar pening of their power to analyse, synthesize, generalize and rationalize and above all, the streng hening of their spiritual power to intuit and realise truth and be deeper and tuer in faith. 

As the aims of education have been clearly stated in "Re- commenations" of the First World Conference and further analy- sed and stated in two books on Islamic education published by King Abdulaziz University thisis in Muslim Education by SS Husain and SA Ashraf and Aims and objectives of Islamic Edu- cation edited by SN Al Attas, this Second World conference hereby reiterates them as follows. 

Education should aim at the balanced growth of the total personality of Man through the training of Man's spirit, intellect, the rational self, feeling and bodily sense. Education should therefore cater for the growth of man in its aspects, spiritual, intellectual, imaginative, physical scientific, linguistic, both individually and collectively and motivate all these aspects towards goodness and the attainment of perfection of complete submission to Allah on the level of individual, the community and humanity at large. 

The curriculum designer has to keep the above arms in view and organise all available knwoledge in such a manner that a pious, righteoous man is produced who is ready to say 

"O My Lord, my prayers, my sacrifice, my life and my death are for Allah, the Lord of the Worlds Who hath no peer." 

All available knowledge was also re-classified on the basis of the source, Divine and Intellectual, and named accordingly "Perennial' and 'Acquired' in the following words: 

Planning of education to be based on the classification of knowledge into two categories (a) 'Perennial knowledge derived from the Quran and the Sunnah meaning all Sharia- oriented knowledge susceptible to quantitative growth and multiplication, limited variations and cross-cultural borrow- ings al long as consistency with the Sharia as the source of value is maintained. 

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The means of receiving the former is "Divine Revelation" contained in the Quran and the Hadits and the means of acqui ring man's imagination and his sense-experience. The curriculum has to be so designed that man may reach beyond sense-experience and think conceptually and instead of getting confined to sense and the external world become able to proceed beyond them into the region of Higher Truth and come closer to Allah. 

This classification is b oth logical and psychological because the former is given knowledge based on "faith" and the latter is "acquired" by human faculties but enlightened by faith.


In view of the fact that though all knowledge belongs to Allah and is granted by Him to mankind, some knowledge is revealed to man through His chosen people, the Prophets, and some are granted to man when he strives with his mind and soul and the former therefore has the status of absolute truth and latter of tentative truth always to be judged with reference to the former. 

In view also of the fact that form the very inception of Islam this dual classification has been maintained in all educational institutions in their curriculum designing so that by the time of Ibn Khaldun the set pattern came to be known as "naqlia" (transmitted ) and "aqliya" (intellectual) sciences. 

In view of the vast expansion today of the range of intel- lectually acquired knowledge and tremendous develpment of human skills and techniques because of the technological advan- cement and the dissociation between faith and intellect and hence between "revealed" knowledge and "acquired" knowledge and the resultant disintegration of human personality through the prevalence of conficting attitudes and serious, even bloody, confliects between two groups of people, those who believe and those who are purely secular. 

In view further of the fact that this conflict in the same in- dividual mind and in the same society can be solved and removed and the full efflore scence of Man towards Khalifatullah is pos sible only through integration of faith and intellect and thus through a common religiuos approach to all kinds of knowledge. 

As this integration is possible only when Islamic shools of thought are established in each branch of azquired know ledge and we find an Islamic philosophy of sciences. 

As integration of curriculum necessarily implies the integration of the two systems of education prevalent in Muslim counries leading to the enrichment of both and not with any detrimental effect upon either; The classification of knowledge as "perennial" and "ac- quired" categories is applied to knowledge as a whole and state below: 



Al Quran 

  1. Recitation (Qirah) Memorization (Hifz) Interpretation (Tafsir)
  2. Sunnah
  3. Sirah of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) his compa- nions and their followers (which covers the early history of Islam). 
  4. Tauhid 
  5. Usul Fiqh and Fiqh 
  6. Quranic Arabic (Phonology, Syntax, Semantics). 
Ancilary subjects:

Islamic Metaphysics
Comparative Refigion
Islamic Culture 


Acquired: To bi divided into following sub-categories: 
  1. Imaginative: (Arts): Islamic Arts and Architecture: Languages, Literature. 
  2. Intellectual Sciences: Social Studies (Theoretical); Philosophy; Education, Economics; Political Sciences; History; Islamic: Civilization (including Islamic ide on politics, economics, social life, war and peace Geography; Sociology; Linguistics (Islamization of Languages), Psychology (with special reference to the Islamic Concept as found in the Quran and Hadits and analysed and explaned by early Muslim thinkers and great Sufis). Anthropology as can be deduced from the Quran and Sunnah). 
  3. Natural Sciences (Theoretical Philosophy of Science; Mathematics; Statistics; Physics; Chemistry; Life Scien- ces; Astronomy and Space Sciences, etc. 
  4. Applied Sciences Engineering and Technology (Civil, Mechanical, etc) Medicine (Tibb , Aleopathic, Homeopathic, Vetenary Agriculture and Forestry. 
  5. Practical, Commerce, Administrative Sciences (Busin- ness, Home Sciences Communicative Sciences (Mass communication, etc). 
All the above branches of acquired sciences should be taught from the Islamic point of view Islamic schools of Thought should be established in all branches of social studies. 

(By: Hasan Langgulung)