[Slideshare]alkaff mosquesession(draft as on 6june 2011) (1)

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ELUCIDATIONS OF SELECTED EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK BY HUJJATUL ISLAM IMAM ABU HAMID AL-GHAZALI R.A.

--------------------------------------------------- Epistemelogy - what is knowledge ? - how do we learn ?

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[Slideshare]alkaff mosquesession(draft as on 6june 2011) (1)

  1. 1. “ O MY CHILD! “ ELUCIDATIONS OF SELECTED EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK BY HUJJATUL ISLAM IMAM ABU HAMID AL-GHAZALI R.A. THE HERITAGE READING CLUB OF: BY : USTAZ ZHULKEFLEE HJ ISMAIL IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, MOST COMPASSIONATE, MOST MERCIFUL. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011) 1 ST SESSION (11 JUNE 2011)
  2. 2. <ul><li>For me “ reading ” is about seeking “ meanings ” from </li></ul><ul><li>Signs ( Aayat ) - to arrive at understanding, and </li></ul><ul><li>therefore a book serves as impetus towards </li></ul><ul><li>enhancing whatever previous knowledge acquired, </li></ul><ul><li>hoping that Allah may open for me new insights; </li></ul><ul><li>new and beneficial knowledge; hopeful that He, the most Glorious and Exalted, grant me with deeper conviction and faith, conviction, and wisdom with TAQWA; and may He draw me closer to His Mercy and Redha . </li></ul>All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011) Abu Hāmed Mohammad al-Ghazālī   (1058 – 1111 C.E.) “ May Allah bless his soul, elevate his rank and make us to benefit from his knowledge, wisdom and secrets.”
  3. 3. <ul><li>The book chosen to be discussed is available to be read by all, and therefore this session is not a session </li></ul><ul><li>in reading from it . </li></ul><ul><li>I will only select excerpts from it to highlight a </li></ul><ul><li>pertinent point for reflection. Points which I find to </li></ul><ul><li>be most relevant to expand upon, and thereby </li></ul><ul><li>I shall proceed to elucidate on it. </li></ul>All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011) “ May Allah bless his soul, elevate his rank and make us to benefit from his knowledge, wisdom and secrets.” Abu Hāmed Mohammad al-Ghazālī   (1058 – 1111 C.E.)
  4. 4. <ul><li>As this book contain advice, it is couched in words which may be brief yet seminally pregnant with profound wisdom. By it, those grounded in traditional learning cannot help but be moved to expand and perhaps elaborate with clarity – insha-Allah , the deeper lessons which may be learnt. </li></ul>All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011) “ May Allah bless his soul, elevate his rank and make us to benefit from his knowledge, wisdom and secrets.” Abu Hāmed Mohammad al-Ghazālī   (1058 – 1111 C.E.)
  5. 5. <ul><li>The points which I may elucidate may be basic, which some may regard as superfluous to belabour upon, yet I am humbly reminded that my audience are thinkers and those who aspire to be writers. Hope that you can tolerate this ( Faqir ) poor man’s rambling or, if I may seem to be off-tangent, please forgive me. </li></ul>All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011) “ May Allah bless his soul, elevate his rank and make us to benefit from his knowledge, wisdom and secrets.” Abu Hāmed Mohammad al-Ghazālī   (1058 – 1111 C.E.) “ Allah suffices me! Glory be to You (O Allah), of knowledge we have none except what You have taught us, verily, You are perfect in Knowledge, the Most Wise.”
  6. 6. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011) FOR MY FIRST SESSION (SATURDAY) 11 JUNE 2011)
  7. 7. MUQADDIMAH: (A senior student explained) : “I have acquired various disciplines of knowledge, spending the prime of my life in learning and accumulating this knowledge. Now I ought to find out, what knowledge will benefit me tomorrow and will be my companion in the grave, and what knowledge is useless to me, so that I may abandon it, as the Messenger of Allah – Allah’s blessings and Peace be upon him – has said: “ O Allah! I seek refuge with Thee from knowledge that does not benefit.” All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011)
  8. 8. CONSIDER: <ul><li>Our learning journey is never static . </li></ul><ul><li>Many of us may be in the same predicament as this student. We may have been assuming, and even may fall into complacency, not realizing that perhaps many of our assumptions on knowledge and learning, may not be quite right; that there are much more that we still do not know. </li></ul>All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011)
  9. 9. CONSIDER: <ul><li>Our learning journey is never static . </li></ul><ul><li>Many of us may be in the same predicament as this student. We may have been assuming, and even may fall into complacency, not realizing that perhaps many of our assumptions on knowledge and learning, may not be quite right; that there are much more that we still do not know. </li></ul><ul><li>Yes we may seemed to have learnt a lot, and many may ‘marvel’ at their acquired ‘ knowledge ’ and ‘ attainment ’. Yet somehow within us, our inquisitive nature is always present , aware that there are more important questions still in us needing answers. Some simply choose to avoid these, (though they are now aware) of something which they “ do not know .” </li></ul>All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011)
  10. 10. The beginning of Wisdom is when you realize you do not know! *Extracted and elaborated from “Beginners’ Manual on Islam” by Ustaz Zhulkeflee Hj ismail (PERGAS) RED line (circumference) indicates our encounter with knowledge which we now realize we do not know; which motivates us to acquire them. The GREEN area represents whatever Knowledge that we have. BLACK space represents Infinite Knowledge “ We don’t even know that we don’t know them” All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011)
  11. 11. When knowledge grows, the circle will expand. But with this expansion the circumference (RED line) also increases. Remember : RED line (circumference) indicates our encounter with knowledge which we now realize we do not know. The GREEN area represents whatever Knowledge that we have. BLACK space represents Infinite Knowledge “ We don’t even know that we don’t know them” “ The more we know, the more will we encounter aspects of knowledge which we do not know. And only realization of this which motivates us to grow in learning” *Extracted and elaborated from “Beginners’ Manual on Islam” by Ustaz Zhulkeflee Hj ismail (PERGAS) All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011) When you acquire them, your knowledge grows (DARK GREEN area )
  12. 12. “ Those who do not know that they do not know.” “ Those who know that they do not know.” “ Those who do not know that they know.” “ Those who know that they know.” And the wise (those who truly know), will always look at what they are ignorant of, maintaining humility , striving to continue learning, rather than become conceited with whatever little they had already learnt. THE HEEDLESS THE IGNORANT THE NEGLIGENT THE WISE All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011) SPECIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE TRULY WISE
  13. 13. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011)
  14. 14. CONSIDER: <ul><li>Mode of our ‘ knowledge ’ acquisition. </li></ul><ul><li>Our acquisition of ‘ knowledge ’ is usually very much a “ horizontal ” accumulation of new information or new subjects , adding them (quantitatively) to whatever we may already posses. </li></ul>All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011)
  15. 15. CONSIDER: <ul><li>Mode of our ‘ knowledge ’ acquisition. </li></ul><ul><li>Our acquisition of ‘ knowledge ’ is usually very much a “ horizontal ” accumulation of new information or new subjects , adding them (quantitatively) to whatever we may already posses. </li></ul><ul><li>In our formative age, the dynamics of our learning is in this “ horizontal ” mode. Given the competition, much new ‘ knowledge ’ are acquired – adding to the linear development. The mode to appreciate with deeper understanding from what we have already learnt, to really benefit from them, is seldom done -.until much of this ‘ knowledge ’ became only mere stored ‘ information ’. </li></ul>All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011)
  16. 16. CONSIDER: <ul><li>When we strive to understand deeper a given object of knowledge , seeking to discover whatever profound meanings contain within it, requiring much thinking: contemplation in processing our thoughts while interacting with the information , till we uncover layers upon layers of meanings, thereby increasing our understanding, we are adding quality and it is this this mode of acquisition which I deem as “ vertical ”. </li></ul>All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011) <ul><li>Mode of our ‘ knowledge ’ acquisition. </li></ul>
  17. 17. CONSIDER: <ul><li>When we strive to understand deeper a given object of knowledge , seeking to discover whatever profound meanings contain within it, requiring much thinking: contemplation in processing our thoughts while interacting with the information , till we uncover layers upon layers of meanings, thereby increasing our understanding, we are adding quality and it is this this mode of acquisition which I deem as “ vertical ”. </li></ul><ul><li>Thus, to me a Muslim’s learning is never static, although the subjects we may be speaking of seem to be the same. Especially, those regarded as “ Fardhu ‘Ain ” which I always like to re-visit , emphasise and share. </li></ul>All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011) <ul><li>Mode of our ‘ knowledge ’ acquisition. </li></ul>
  18. 18. CONSIDER: <ul><li>Perhaps the common ‘ understanding ’ of what constitute Fardhu ’Ain , amongst our community, may have been grossly misperceived because too often, we imply increase in knowledge only in the horizontal sense. </li></ul>All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011) <ul><li>Mode of our ‘ knowledge ’ acquisition. </li></ul>
  19. 19. CONSIDER: <ul><li>Perhaps the common ‘ understanding ’ of what constitute Fardhu ’Ain , amongst our community, may have been grossly misperceived because too often, we imply increase in knowledge only in the horizontal sense. </li></ul><ul><li>Actually, knowledge of the Fardhu ‘Ain for a Muslim, is always determined in accordance with whatever obligations he/she is commanded by the religion to uphold. As this responsibilities increases when his/her social role changes, so too would be the Fardhu ‘Ain knowledge which he/she has to, or obligated by the religion, to acquire them. </li></ul>All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011) <ul><li>Mode of our ‘ knowledge ’ acquisition. </li></ul>
  20. 20. CONSIDER: <ul><li>Therefore, what constitute Fardhu ‘Ain knowledge (curriculum) for each phase of a Muslim’s life, must be different, detailed and specific to his/her intellectual and spiritual development, viz.: </li></ul><ul><li>[1] As a child; </li></ul><ul><li>[2] As a young student (prepubescent); </li></ul><ul><li>[3] As a youth attaining puberty – meeting needs in tertiary institution – those in National service – becoming an adult; as working adult; </li></ul><ul><li>[4] Assuming family and social responsibility and leadership; </li></ul><ul><li>[5] As a professional in various (different) respective fields; etc. </li></ul>All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011) <ul><li>Mode of our ‘ knowledge ’ acquisition. </li></ul>
  21. 21. CONSIDER: <ul><li>Perhaps one of the principles ( Qawaa-id ) will explain: </li></ul>All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011) <ul><li>“ Every matter (knowledge, skill, etc.), for which an obligation cannot be fulfilled except by (possessing) it (i.e. knowledge and skill), its acquisition is (therefore) obligatory (waajib).” </li></ul><ul><li>An Islamic principle . </li></ul><ul><li>Mode of our ‘ knowledge ’ acquisition. </li></ul>
  22. 22. CONSIDER: So do ponder deeper on the saying: “ To seek knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim (male & female)” <ul><li>We are told that this is the command for us to learn, but how does a </li></ul><ul><li>human being learn? </li></ul><ul><li>Have we learnt how to learn? </li></ul><ul><li>We are told seek, to be a seeker ( tolib ) - shouldn’t a seeker know </li></ul><ul><li>what he is suppose to be seeking and how to seek it? </li></ul>All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011) <ul><li>Mode of our ‘ knowledge ’ acquisition. </li></ul>
  23. 23. CONSIDER: So do ponder deeper on the saying: “ To seek knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim (male & female)” <ul><li>If you say, “we seek knowledge ” then shouldn’t we be seriously asking, “what is “ knowledge ” really? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there a difference between the ‘ traditional ’ Islamic perspective of its definition with what was taught by the other ‘conventional’ systems worldview? For I have learnt that : “ Knowledge is never neutral .” </li></ul>All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011) <ul><li>Mode of our ‘ knowledge ’ acquisition. </li></ul>
  24. 24. CONSIDER: So do ponder deeper on the saying: “ To seek knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim (male & female)” <ul><li>Is there no difference between “ knowledge ” and “ information ” ? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there not many types or different categories of knowledge? How do we go about prioritizing them? ... etc. </li></ul>All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011) <ul><li>Mode of our ‘ knowledge ’ acquisition. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Epistemology: from  Greek ἐπιστήμη (epistēmē) , meaning &quot;knowledge, science&quot;, and  λόγος  (logos) , meaning &quot;study of&quot; - is the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope (limitations) of knowledge. It addresses the questions: What is knowledge? How is knowledge acquired? How do we know what we know? All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011)
  26. 26. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011)
  27. 27. Knowledge is a collection of  facts ,  information , and/or  skills  acquired through experience or  education  or (more generally) the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. It can be implicit (as with practical skill or expertise) or explicit (as with the theoretical understanding of a subject); and it can be more or less formal or systematic. OXFORD DICTIONARIES’ DEFINITION: All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011)
  28. 28.   facts ,  information Skills   Knowledge   education   MA’-LUMAT (information; facts) SINA’-AH (skills, industrious); FANNIYAH (artistry); ’ ILM – (science and knowledge) TA-ADDIB ; - which includes TA’-LIM ; TAR-BIYYAH ; TAZKIYYAH , etc. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011) EQUIVALENT TERMS USED IN ISLAM
  29. 29. Amongst the definitions: “ ....... Knowledge is the arrival * ( hu s ul - ) of the meaning ( ma’na - ) of a thing or object of knowledge in the soul of the subject; and simultaneously,..... Knowledge is the soul’s arrival ( wu s ul - ) at the meaning of that thing or the object of knowledge.” By “meaning” ( ma’na - ) is: “ the recognition of the proper place of anything in a system ...” : Prof. Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas * “ attainment; acquirement” is a better translation . All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011) EPISTEMOLOGY
  30. 30. Thus, perspective of Education in Islam can be defined: “ ... Recognition and acknowledgement, progressively instilled into man, of the proper places of things in the order of creation, such that it leads to the recognition and acknowledgement of the proper place of God in the order of being and existence.” Quoted from: “The Educational Philosophy and Practice of Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas” by Wan Mohd Nor Wan Daud (ISTAC publication). All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011) EPISTEMOLOGY BUT WHAT IS THE REAL NATURE OF MAN?
  31. 31. WHEREAS ... THEY MAY SIMPLY BE OBSESSED ONLY WITH THE HARDWARE IN MAN (PHYSICAL). WHEREAS FOR ISLAM, REAL KNOWLEDGE IS SITUATED WITHIN MAN (THE SOFTWARE) WHICH IS IN HIS SOUL (SPIRITUAL). 20th century the developmental psychologist Howard Gardner proposed a theory of Multiple Intelligences. Left-brain right brain attribution All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011)
  32. 32. <ul><li>It is called “ Ruh ” – ‘spirit’, when we refer to its essence, which we do not know except very little. </li></ul><ul><li>When it is in cognitive mode of its own existence, awareness of its identity, it is called “ Nafs ” – ‘self’. </li></ul><ul><li>The word “ Qolb ” – ‘heart’, also refers to our Soul, when it is in the mode of reflection, or contemplation in understanding meanings. </li></ul><ul><li>When Allah s.w.t. grants Taufiq whereupon its understanding of ‘Reality’ penetrates deeply, it is referred to as “ Lubb ” - ‘innermost’ </li></ul><ul><li>If is guided by Allah to go deeper still, it is referred to as “ Sirr ” – ‘secret’ </li></ul><ul><li>But all these terms refer to the same thing i.e. Our Spiritual Self. </li></ul><ul><li>WaAllaahu a’lam </li></ul>EPISTEMOLOGY All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011)
  33. 33. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011) EPISTEMOLOGY Seeking an Islamic perspective ...
  34. 34. “ “ Has there not been over Man a long period of Time, when he was nothing--(not even) mentioned?― Verily We created Man from a drop of mingled sperm, in order to try him: so We gave him (the gifts), of Hearing and Sight. We showed him the Way: whether he be grateful or ungrateful (rests on his will).” ( Qur’an: al-Insan: 76:1-3 ) All Rights Reserved© Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011) EPISTEMOLOGY
  35. 35. ( Allah) Most Gracious! It is He Who has taught ( ‘ALAMA ) the Qur'an. He has created man: He has taught him AL-BAYAAN : speech (and Intelligence) ( Qur’an: ar-Rahmaan: 55:1-4 ) All Rights Reserved© Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011)
  36. 36. All Rights Reserved© Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011)
  37. 37. All Rights Reserved© Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011)  ” It is He (Allah) Who has sent amongst the Unlettered a messenger (Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.) from among themselves, to rehearse to them His Signs , to sanctify them , and to instruct them in Scripture and Wisdom― although they had been, before, in manifest error― “ ( Qur’an: Jumu’ah:62: 2 )
  38. 38. All Rights Reserved© Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011) “ As well as ( to confer all these benefits upon ) others of them, who have not already joined them: and He is Exalted in Might, Wise. Such is the Bounty of Allah, which He bestows on whom He will: and Allah is the Lord of the highest bounty.” ( Qur’an: Jumu’ah: 63: 3-4 ) 
  39. 39. <ul><li>To understand how we as human learn, let us analyse the computer (a product attempted by human to create an imitation or artificial intelligence) </li></ul><ul><li>Computerization is a total system comprising of: </li></ul><ul><li>[1] INPUT </li></ul><ul><li>[2] PROCESSING </li></ul><ul><li>[3] OUTPUT </li></ul>EPISTEMOLOGY All Rights Reserved© Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011)
  40. 40. INPUT - PROCESSING - OUTPUT EPISTEMOLOGY All Rights Reserved© Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011)
  41. 41. KEYBOARD THUMB-DISK-DRIVES SCANNER MOUSE FEED TO CPU TO BE PROCESSED EPISTEMOLOGY All Rights Reserved© Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011)
  42. 42. <ul><li>KEYBOARD </li></ul><ul><li>MOUSE </li></ul><ul><li>THUMB/DISK DRIVE </li></ul><ul><li>SCANNER </li></ul><ul><li>BLUE-TOOTH/WIRELESS </li></ul><ul><li>THE FIVE SENSES: </li></ul><ul><li>SIGHT, SOUND, TOUCH, SMELL, TASTE. </li></ul><ul><li>TRUE REPORT </li></ul><ul><li>EXTRA-SENSORY -INSPIRATION, DREAM, INTUITION, BURST OF BRILLIANCE </li></ul>COMPUTER HUMAN BEING EPISTEMOLOGY All Rights Reserved© Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011)
  43. 43. EPISTEMOLOGY PROCESSING TAKES PLACE HERE INPUT OUTPUT (FEEDBACK) All Rights Reserved© Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011)
  44. 44. <ul><li>Memory </li></ul><ul><li>Linguistic & literacy </li></ul><ul><li>Logic & music </li></ul><ul><li>Deductive - inductive </li></ul><ul><li>Speculative extrapolation </li></ul><ul><li>Emotive - empathy </li></ul><ul><li>Contemplative - intuition </li></ul><ul><li>Extraneous linkage </li></ul>COMPUTER HUMAN BEING EPISTEMOLOGY <ul><li>Control unit – storage, speed </li></ul><ul><li>ROM – Read only memory </li></ul><ul><li>RAM – Random access memory </li></ul><ul><li>BIOS – Basic input-output System </li></ul><ul><li>DOS – Disk operating System; Drivers etc. </li></ul><ul><li>ALU – Arithmetic logic unit </li></ul>All Rights Reserved© Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011)
  45. 45. EPISTEMOLOGY SCREEN MONITOR PRINTER - SCANNER THUMB-DISK-DRIVES FROM CPU TO OUTPUT OR BE SAVED, PRINTED All Rights Reserved© Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011)
  46. 46. <ul><li>Speech </li></ul><ul><li>Actions </li></ul><ul><li>Creativity </li></ul><ul><li>Behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>Disposition ( akhlaq ) </li></ul>COMPUTER HUMAN BEING EPISTEMOLOGY <ul><li>Monitor – screen </li></ul><ul><li>Printer – scanner </li></ul><ul><li>Thumb-drive </li></ul><ul><li>Disk-drive </li></ul><ul><li>Sound-system </li></ul><ul><li>Projector </li></ul><ul><li>Other devices </li></ul>All Rights Reserved© Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011)
  47. 47. EPISTEMOLOGY All Rights Reserved© Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011)
  48. 48. <ul><li>Thus, revelation which our Prophet Muhammad s.a,w. received was not something new - as this phenomena had already occurred to Prophets before him. </li></ul><ul><li>Thus those, termed the “ People of the Book ” amongst those of Abrahamic line i.e. the Jews and Christians, would be the independent parties than can corroborate - not deny but confirm this as a ‘Reality’. </li></ul>All Rights Reserved© Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011) WE MUSLIMS DIFFER FROM SECULARISTS WHO DO NOT BELIEVE IN REVELATION
  49. 49. All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011) EPISTEMOLOGY TO BE CONTINUED ... INSHA-ALLAH
  50. 50. http://an-naseehah.blogspot.com/ http://introductiontotauhid.blogspot.com/ http://oyoubelievers.blogspot.com/ http://al-amthaal.blogspot.com/ http://zhulkeflee-archive.blogspot.com/ http://criteriaforaholybook-quran.blogspot.com/ http://with-the-truthful.blogspot.com/ http ://muqaddam-nurul.blogspot.com/ All welcome to visit my web-blog: All Rights Reserved © Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail (2011 )

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