02 February 2016
INCREASINGLY, Islamic State (IS) attacks are commanding the centre stage of global politics and international relations. The concept of terror in the name of Islam has overwhelmed the perceptions of the religion in many ways.
A root cause of Islamist terrorism is the intellectual crisis in the Muslim world. Returning to Islamic intellectual traditions will be critical to counter IS narratives and extremist ideas in general.
The Islamic intellectual tradition is fundamentally based on what the religion enjoins as true knowledge. The pursuit of knowledge is a central message of the religion. This body of knowledge is not static, and Muslims are guided to distinguish between false and true knowledge. In Islam, knowledge comprises three pillars: the divine verses (Quran), authentic Hadith (Prophetic Traditions) and prescriptions rightly deduced from the two. Other than these, all else is superfluous. Hence, Muslims are encouraged to study the basics of the religion (Quran and Hadith) first, as these will serve as the guiding light for all forms of derived knowledge.
… The writer is assistant professor with the Studies in Inter-Religious Relations in Plural Societies Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University. He is also a counsellor with the Religious Rehabilitation Group.
GPO / SRP / Print
Last updated on 03/02/2016