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UNGS 2040: ISLAM KNOWLEDGE AND REVELATION

 NAME: NIK NOOR HANIAAH BT MOHD


 MATRIC NUMBER: 1621060
 COURSE CODE: UNGS 2040
 SECTION: 5
 INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT
 TITLE: THE POSITION OF REVEALED KNOWLEDGE IN
CONSTRUCTING A CIVILIZATION
Knowledge known as Ilm in Arabic, is the main core of establishment of a civilization.

Based on al-Quran, The term civilization or other terms that have similar meaning like

hadharah, advancement, madani, development, culture and so on and so forth has been widely

discussed be it by Islamic scholars or western scholars. We can conclude that civilization

carries the definition of all achievement made by humans that covers all aspects of life such as

political, social as well as economical. (Mohamad M. Z., et al, 2013)

In Islam, Al-Quran is one of the primary sources of the Islamic civilization. Al-Quran

is the absolute knowledge that was given by Allah s.w.t to all being in this world to ponder and

reason about His infinite Mercy and Grace towards His creations in this universe and also as a

guidance to mankind in order to fulfil his duty as caliphates as clearly stated in Surah An-Nahl

(16:89), “... We have sent down to thee the Book explaining all things, a Guide, a Mercy and

Glad Tidings to Muslims…”

The presence of revelation have completed all the guidance and needs of mankind to

live in this world and hereafter. The revealed knowledge is true, real and permanent. The

revelation was sent down by Allah s.w.t for different prophet of different people and nation at

different time but the message is one and the same for every nation that is to worship Allah and

to acknowledge the Oneness of Allah (Tawheedullah) as the Quran asserts explicitly; “Verily

to every people there is a messenger”(10:47). It was a guide for mankind that tells Allah alone

is the Creator of this universe and all of His creation thus solidified the fact that we have to

worship Him only. This is as stated in Surah Fatir (35:3), “O men! Call to mind the grace of

Allah unto you! Is there a creator, other than Allah, to give you sustenance from heaven or

earth? There is no god but He: how then are ye deluded away from the Truth?”.

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Al-Quran is the last Holy Book that had been sent down from Allah s.w.t for Prophet

Muhammad p.b.u.h and his ummah. All of the content written in al-Quran are valid and only

truth and therefore, there is no defect and doubt about it. Mahmoud Ayoub (2016) agreed that

Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet and Allah also granted him the bayᾱn (explanation) of the

Qur’an. One does not find any direct statement of the Prophet indicating any verse of the

Qur’an to be practically invalid. The Muslims acquire knowledge especially the matters that

concern to the divine, faith, syari’ah and noble manners through these revelations.

As mentioned, Al-Quran is the best reference and guidance for mankind to build up a

civilization. It is filled with the information and input that are needed for mankind. Allah s.w.t.

also gives aql to everyone so they can use it to think and learn from the Quran for the sake of

their life in dunya and akhirah. Allah has said in Surah Al-Imran (3:190-191): “Behold! In the

creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day,-there are indeed

Signs for men of understanding,-(190). Men who celebrate the praises of Allah, standing,

sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens

and the earth, (With the thought): “Our Lord! Not for naught Hast Thou created (all) this!

Glory to Thee! Give us salvation from the penalty of the Fire (191)”. Through this verses, Allah

encourages us to think and understand everything that happened in this world by using our aql.

In fact, when we use our aql properly and in line with what has been taught in the Quran, we

can use it to contribute to build up a civilization.

Despite the fact that aql is known to be the source of knowledge, al Ghazali had

acknowledged the weakness of aql and its limitation especially in terms of processing religious

matter, akhlaq and the unseen matter(gha’ib) such as God, prophets and hereafter (Morad &

Talib, 1997). Hence, this shows only Allah has the ultimate knowledge over everything since

He is al-Alim, One from whom no knowledge is concealed. Besides, he is the One who is

aware of the complete details of all matters and He is the Omniscient One. However, although

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there is limitation to aql, but as stated before, if we use the aql in accordance to what has been

taught in the Quran, we can build a peaceful nation thus eventually construct a harmonious

civilization. In brief, mankind live in a great civilization by putting al-Quran as the first and

foremost reference.

The Muslim civilization started after Allah sent down the revelation and was gradually

advanced and progressed because Muslims had built up the civilization based on the Holy

Quran and Tawhid. Seyyed Hossein Nars (1984) conceded that al Quran and Sunnah were the

main sources for the foundation of Islamic civilization. A civilization can obtain peace and

harmony when they read and learn from the Quran. By that, Allah ask men to seek for the

knowledge by reading the Quran and they will gain the knowledge as He sent down the first

revelation (al-Alaq) to prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h in Mecca; that urge mankind to read.

"Recite: In the name of thy Lord who created man from a clot. Recite: And thy Lord is the Most

Generous Who taught by the pen, taught man that which he knew not." (al- Alaq, 96:1-5).

Indeed, it is because Quran contain all of the needs that men need to know in order to

cope in living at dunya and for the akhirah including the individual aspect and social, education

and others. Everything was clearly stated in the Quran. Among the field of knowledge that are

discussed in the Quran include medicine which has been stated in Surah An-Nahl; “and thy

Lord taught the Bee to build its cells in hills, on trees and in (men’s) habitation; then to eat of

all the produce (of the earth), and find with skill the spacious paths of its Lord: varying colours,

wherein is healing for men: verily in this is a Sign for those who give thought” (Sura An-Nahl

16:68-69). Besides that, Al-Quran also discuss on the field of biology which has been

mentioned in Surah An-Nahl verse 5, which said- “And cattle He has created for you (men);

from them ye derive warmth, and numerous benefits, and of their (meat) ye eat” (Sura An-

Nahl 16:5).

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Next, Al-Quran also discuss on the geography which has been stated in surah An-Nahl

verse 15-“and he has set up on the earth mountains standing firm, lest it should shake with

you; and rivers and roads; that ye may guide yourselves” (Surah An-Nahl 16:15) and lastly,

the Quran also mention and discuss on the astronomy which has been stated in Surah Al-

Baqarah verse 189- “They ask thee concerning the new moons. Say: they are but signs to mark

fixed periods of time in (the affairs of) men, and for pilgrimage. It is no virtue if ye enter ye

houses from the back; it is virtue if ye fear Allah. Enter houses through the proper doors. And

fear Allah: that ye may prosper” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:189)

Apart from discussing about knowledge, Islam from the very beginning of its preaching

has also addressed the significance of humanity as the whole regardless of one’s religion. Wan

Abdullah (1991) had once explained that the nature of openness to all civilization was one of

the elements of Islamic civilization, as long as it was not in opposition to the akidah, syari’at

and akhlaq. Hence, this proves that the concept of Rahmatan lil Alamin of Allah towards each

and every one of His creation in the universe. Allah showers His Rahmat to each and every of

His creation in the world and universe although they practice different religion other than Islam.

Plus, Allah has mentioned in the verse (109:6), which said, “For you is your religion,

and for me is my religion." This verse explains that human are given choice to choose their

religion but somehow, those who believe there is only Allah as God, is on the right path.

However, Allah never choose to whom he wants to give His mercy. He showers His blessings

equally to all mankind without being unjust. Indeed, Allah is the most Merciful.

Moreover, Islamic civilization has been greatly achieved because of the bond between

the Muslims. Muslims have strong bond between each other because the value of ukhuwwah

has been implemented for it was emphasized in the Quran, as Allah clearly stated in the Surah

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Al-Imran verse 103: “And hold fast, all of you together, to the cable of God and do not

separate” (3:103).

Seyyed Hossain Nars (2003) mentioned that Muslims are united by the powerful bond

of brotherhood and sisterhood, a bond that is felt strongly to this day despite all the turmoil that

has pitted and continues to pit Muslims against one another. However, Koenig and Shohaib

(2014) argued that Islam also regulates an individual’s daily activities and relationships with

others in a way that builds a more homogenous society. It can be assumed that Islam does not

practice racism towards other religions and strongly forbid their followers to involve in such

act.

As a conclusion, there are a lot of fundamental knowledge that can be found and learned

from the revelation, as long as men continue to read and explore them in order to achieve the

understanding of the Divine Book for the glory of life in this world and hereafter. When

mankind practice what they read in appropriate manner, they will surely be able to contribute

in developing a harmonious, peaceful and advanced civilization. Besides that, the

knowledgeable generation with efficient character building will be able to be produced as well

as be able to benefit others by means of their knowledge too.

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References
Al-Quran . (n.d.).

Ayoub, M. (2016). Contemporary Approaches to Qur'an and Sunnah. In M. Ayoub,

Contemporary Approaches to Qur'an and Sunnah. USA: The International Institute of

Islamic Thought (IIIT).

Haque, M., Sulaiman, K. U., Soualhi, B., & Arif, S. (2009). Islam Knowledge and Civilisation.

Malaysia: IIUM Press.

Hj. Morad, A., & Talib, A. (1997). Tamadun Islam. Serdang: Penerbit Universiti Putra

Malaysia.

Koenig, H., & Shohaib, S. (2014). Chapter 2 Muslims Beliefs, Practices and Values. In H. G.

Koenig, & S. A. Shohaib, Health and Well-being in Islamic Socities (p. 34).

Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Mohamad, M. Z., Ibrahim, B., Yusof, S., & Salleh, A. W. (2013). Factors of the Rise and Fall

of Human Civilization based on the Perspective Quran. Advances in Natural and

Applied Sciences, 164-172.

Nars, S. H. (1984). Science and Civilization in Islam. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Pustaka Fajar.

Nars, S. H. (2003). Islam Religion, History and Civilization. New York: Harper Collins

Publishers.

Talib, N. H., Mohd Shafie, B. H., Awang@Husain, M. H., Zakaria, H. B., & Tamuri, P. (2010).

Al-Quran dan Sunnah Teras Ketamadunan Manusia. Retrieved from

www.researchgate.com

Wan Mahmood, W. A. (1991). Sejarah Tamadun Islam. Shah Alam: BIROTEKS Institut

Teknologi MARA.

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