Real Statistics (1/4) Fundamentals of an Islamic Approach

[bit.do/azrs1] Mon 22 July 2019 – Lecture at University of Baluchistan about some fundamental principles which differentiate an Islamic approach to education from a Western approach. Original lecture was in Urdu and can viewed via: (Urdu) Real Statistics (1/4). Below, we provide a re-recording in English, and also a written summary. The central question we pose: How can a teacher teach, and a student learn, statistics, so that this is an act of worship? An online course on “Real Statistics: An Islamic Approach” was launched on Sunday 28th July 2019, and more than 200 participants registered for the course. Some preliminary motivational material for the course is given in previous post: Connecting Statistics with Reality. To accommodate the excess demand, I have converted the course into an open-enrollment self-paced course, which start at anytime, and complete lessons at their own pace. To enroll for the first module of this course, on general principles of an Islamic Education, fill the form: Registration: PIE

The full lecture,, in 4 parts, describes how an Islamic approach can revolutionize the teaching of statistics, providing an entirely new approach to the subject, which creates excellent learning outcomes, and motivates and inspires students. This first part (1/4) describes the basic ideas upon which this approach is built.

Summary of First Part of Lecture (1000 words)

1440 years ago, Islamic Teachings Launched a Revolution in World History, but today Muslims are once again sunk in ignorance and backwardness. The Muslim Ummah is once again at the bottom today, as it was 1440 years ago.  Islamic teachings have the SAME revolutionary power today as they did 1440 years. BUT the Ummah does not believe it!! They look to West for guidance!

The goal of this course is to rebuild the discipline of Statistics on Islamic Foundations. This is meant as a demonstration that in every area of our life, Islam offers revolutionary insights (even to teaching and learning Statistics!). This course is not really about Statistics – it is a demonstration of the power of Islamic teachings in ALL fields of knowledge.

Providing an Islamic alternative requires looking first at the deeply flawed Foundations of Statistics. According to a popular saying, there are “Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics”. Most widely sold text of all time is “How to Lie with Statistics” by Darrel Huff. We will explain how statistics is routinely used to deceive. The goal of this course is not to learn how to analyze numbers – it is to learn how to avoid being deceived by statistics and statistician. An Islamic approach will allow us to create a more honest approach to the subject.  {See Real Statistics: An Islamic Approach}

The Prophet, SAW, asked for useful knowledge, and sought PROTECTION from Useless Knowledge. Before we start to teach statistics, we must decide how to classify this knowledge. If it is used to deceive, as currently happens using Western approach, then it can only be classified as harmful knowledge. We have to question whether it would be permissible for Muslims to teach the subject, if the Prophet sought protection from this type of knowledge. The goal of this course is to change the style and substance of a course on statistics so that it becomes an act of worship, like all acts of a Muslim are supposed to be. To understand how this can be done, we must consider the Nature of Knowledge.

We will see that Western knowledge is designed to turn us into human resources. This is because knowledge is generated within historical context, and deeply shaped by human struggles. The past three centuries have seen the rise of Europe by ruthless use of power to exploit all planetary resources in the quest for wealth, luxury, and more power. Thus, Western knowledge teaches us that the goal of life is to achieve power, wealth, luxury, by any means whatsoever. In contrast, Islam teaches us that all human beings are born with infinite potential – they can be the best of the creation. Every life is worth the entire humanity. Islam teaches us how to develop the capacities for excellence everyone is born with. Instead of pursuing the illusion of Western knowledge, we need to pursue the transformational knowledge provided by Islam, which starts by creating an inner revolution in our personal lives. God does not change the conditions of a people until they change themselves. As teachers, it becomes our responsibility to LEARN how to teach in ways that create a revolution in the lives of our students! {See “How to Inspire and Motivate Students“}

The illusion of Western knowledge is greatest obstacle in the path our learning to use Islamic teachings to create a revolution within our own lives, and transform the lives of others by the process of inviting toward the good. To understand our current problems, it is very useful to compare with an earlier episode, where a flood of translations of complex, subtle, and sophisticated Greek philosophies dazzled the minds of the early Muslims with their brilliance. The Mu’tazila were so impressed that they created a religious position which stated that Greek Philosophy (renamed as REASON) was on par with the Quran. Today, those teachings and the Ilm-ul-Kalam developed to combat them, have both been forgotten. But the Modern Mu’tazila are so impressed by the knowledge produced by the West over the past few centuries, that they hold it to be superior to the Quran. In any area where they see a conflict, they uphold the West, and re-interpret the Quran to conform with Western teachings.

The Antidote to this poison can be called the Ghazali Project. It is based on two pillars:

“Tahafatul Falasafa” – Rejection of Western Wisdom – demonstrate how Statistics is deception by numbers.

“Ihya Uloom-ud-Deen” – SHOW How Islamic teachings apply to ALL dimensions of human knowledge, and provide DEEP insight.

The book by Imam Ghazali on the “Deliverance from Error” is of great relevance in the project of liberating ourselves from the mental chains of slavery created by colonization, and held in place by Western education. We must start by doubting everything we know, since all this knowledge is product of training provided by an alien civilization, for purposes which suit them.  We need to do a lot of UNLEARNING, in order to cleanse our minds to enable us to learn the truth.  We have swallowed a huge number of falsehoods, since a Western education is designed to deceive us about our IDENTITY and about the value of our lives.

A Western Education teaches us that we are commodities for sale in the labor market. Our lives are worth the price that they fetch as human resources. In contrast, Islamic teaches us that we are the best of creation, but we can also be trained into being the worst – Asfala Safeleen. Our lives are so precious that every human life is potentially equivalent to billions of lives – the entire humanity! Allah T’aala holds our lives to be so precious that He offers to buy our lives and wealth in return for Paradise. {See “How to Become Human Beings instead of Human Resources  “}

An Islamic education must counteract the effects of this poisonous education. The Muslim teacher has tremendous responsibility. He must awaken the students, teach them to “Learn Who You Are!”. He must develop their hidden potentials so they can learn to achieve the potential for excellence which lies within the hearts of all human beings. This ends the first part of this talk, which consists of four parts. Next we consider how we can achieve these goals within the context of teaching statistics.

This entry was posted in Real Statistics by Asad Zaman. Bookmark the permalink.

About Asad Zaman

BS Math MIT (1974), Ph.D. Econ Stanford (1978)] has taught at leading universities like Columbia, U. Penn., Johns Hopkins and Cal. Tech. Currently he is Vice Chancellor of Pakistan Institute of Development Economics. His textbook Statistical Foundations of Econometric Techniques (Academic Press, NY, 1996) is widely used in advanced graduate courses. His research on Islamic economics is widely cited, and has been highly influential in shaping the field. His publications in top ranked journals like Annals of Statistics, Journal of Econometrics, Econometric Theory, Journal of Labor Economics, etc. have more than a thousand citations as per Google Scholar.

29 thoughts on “Real Statistics (1/4) Fundamentals of an Islamic Approach

  1. Pingback: Real Statistics (2/4) Teaching Statistics as an Act of Worship | An Islamic WorldView

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  7. In my opinion the approach of Islamic knowledge is considered to be outdated so the discussion on the foundations is vital before practically demonstrating the application Islamic approach to any subject. So before starting we should clear our mind from any confusion related to the foundations of these two approaches. One thing is that we are comparing Islamic approach to the western approach because the later one is widely and blindly accepted by all of us. Main obstacle in this context is to free our minds and the minds of the students and learners of this subject. This can be done by discussion of purpose of education and before that the purpose of life so that education we pursue can be aligned with our purpose of life. This will be one important point to make an argument for classification and choice of the useful and useless knowledge for us.

  8. Pingback: Real Statistics: An Islamic Approach | An Islamic WorldView

  9. Real Statistics (1/4) Fundamentals of an Islamic Approach
    Summary (By: Inayat Ullah (PhD, Public Policy)
    The main focus of the first lecture is to argue the uselessness of the western taught knowledge due to the fact that it doesn’t take into account the true value of human being, rather considers them as a market commodity. What Islam on the contrary teaches us is the useful knowledge that entails teaching and learning process in a way that maximizes the infinite potential of every human being. The Western knowledge revolves around getting power, luxury and wealth on whatever cost- even at the cost of the other human beings-. Statistics as a subject being taught at Western Universities is mostly used to deceive the individuals and governments with numbers –reference to the “How to Lie with Statistics” by Darrel Huff- a popular book. Finally, Dr. Asad Zaman argues that what we can do as a Muslim teacher and students today, is to UNLEARN the useless (almost 90% of the mathematical and statistical stuff) and to learn how to avoid being deceived by numbers. In order to do so, we need to begin with introspection and bring change within ourselves before we attempt teaching to others. That means we need a kind of knowledge that changes us first- Referring to real knowledge that does bring changes in one’s life. He further refers to the response of Imam e Ghazali to the Western Influences on Muslim’s minds in the wake of so-called “Reason” through his famous books such as Ahya ul Uloom and and Deliverance from Error.
    Response:
    So far, to my understanding from this lecture, Dr. Asad Zaman’s idea of UNLEARNING what we have learnt poses a great challenge for Muslim Teachers and Students. It indeed makes sense that statistics and numbers have done a lot to deceive us, however, I still consider the positive use of statistics in simplifying models that solve real life problems. In my beginning of PhD in Public Policy at the KDI School, South Korea, I was literally burdened with a huge course load of Micro-economics and , Mathematical Economics and Econometrics. I was always wondering how this is so important for a student of public policy. Later on, I found most of the theories that we had learned useless in solving public policy issues except some part of econometrics. My question is, if strong assumptions of microeconomic models do not exist in reality and that if we cannot use them in real life issues, why we spend too much time on learning them? I think, this first lecture has answered part of my questions. Lastly, I am currently wondering about two things:
    1: If we start unlearning what we have learnt, how much we should unlearn and how much we should keep for solving our real world problems? Drawing such a line (limit) is a challenge that I am looking forward to learn in this course.
    2 : We frequently refer to “Western knowledge”, which is abstract world. Is there any specific definition of western knowledge? I am wondering there could be a number of “Useful Western Authors” and thus useful western knowledge. If so, then we might think of disentangling western bad knowledge from western good knowledge, before we refute all western knowledge.

    • It is useful to get a broad perspective first, BEFORE trying to do the Dis-Entanglement. There are reasons why the ENTIRE ENTERPRISE for the last three or four centuries of knowledge creation by the West has gone astray. Basically this knowledge was created in the quest for global domination, wealth and power and is suited to those purposes. The quest for human development is not part of the corpus of modern Western knowledge. The Emergence of Logical Positivism (see post by this topic) officially excluded our life experiences from the corpus of human knowledge.
      https://azprojects.wordpress.com/2019/05/10/the-emergence-of-logical-positivism/
      After overcoming shock-and-awe, and after learning about the relationships between knowledge and power, and studying the Edward Said thesis of Orientalism (creation of superiority complex in the West due to global conquest) and its counterpart inferiority complex in the East THEN it would be possible for us to go into the poisoned forest and pluck out the useful fruits from there while avoiding the deadly dangers.

  10. Responses:

    This course will provide us an opportunity to try to covert our knowledge in general and statistical knowledge in particular to Useful Knowledge with Islamic perspective following the Ghazali Project based on “Tahafatul Falasafa” and “Ihya Uloom-ud-Deen” By Dr Hajra Ihsan

    This is wonderful, thought provoking article by Dr. Asad Zaman. I wish i would have read this when i was an undergraduate student because i used to ask these questions from my teachers but could not get the response. Western style of knowledge ignores the real content of human beings. It is aimed to get fame, name and wealth while islamic approach of knowledge aims at connecting human beings to Allah Taala, the creator of universe. Allama iqbal’s these verses express the harmful effects of western education

    تعلیم کے تیزاب میں ڈال اِس(مسلمان) کی خودی کو

    ھو جاۓ ملائم تو جدھر چاہے اِسے پھیر

    تاثیر میں اکسیر سے بڑھ کر ہے یہ تیزاب

    سونے کا ہمالہ ہو تو مٹی کا ہے اِک ڈھیر

    By Dr. Kaneez Fatima

    We should strive for useful knowledge. For this, we must determine the Purpose of Life. We should realize our hidden potentials and make our lives valuable. In this way we will be able to achieve our real goals of life. We have to unlearn whatever wrong we have learnt and then learn the useful knowledge. By Munazza Jabeen

    http://realstatisticsanislamicapproachfarabi.home.blog/2019/08/03/foundations-of-an-islamic-approach-to-knowledge/

  11. Comments From ALKASHI Group:
    “This lecture is mainly about a role, a true believer can play in motivating students about pursuing useful knowledge instead of useless knowledge. Purpose of understanding economics statistics should be neither deceive others nor to be deceived by others. Main focus is on achieving success a criteria defined by Islam and not the prevailing criteria (based on having more and more money). It has been highlighted that teaching if done under broader welfare principles can bring same revolutionary changes as was once the hallmark of Muslims. Teacher being Alim can reap true benefits of God’s happiness if his/her intentions are beyond just worldly gains. Obviously once he has true knowledge and good intentions he/she will have gains in terms of better mindset, heartset, soulset and Inshallah worldly wealthset (My additions). On the contrary,a traditional western style teacher will have only worldly gains. Video highlights two school of thoughts controversies : Mautzilla vs Ghazali. Professor Zaman supports second school of thought in this lecture. Finally, Professor Zaman mentions the difference in status of a human being in traditional sense vs a high place granted place to human being by Islam. So why not strive for achieving high stature instead of living like just a typical life like other creatures on this earth. “……Zahid Asghar

  12. Comment from ALKASHI Group:
    “Fundamentals of Islamic approach”
    Islam has the same ability to revolutionised the world as it has 1400 years ago. Most of the western knowledge are useless for real life and according to hadith muslims are not indulge in usless knowledge. As we are much influenced by west and are in inferiority complex first we delete the western useles knowledge from our mind and second is use islamic teaching that is ihya ul alom.
    “Teaching statistics as an act of worship “
    In Islam concept of knowledge is different from west. The purpose of life of a Muslim is to seek the pleasure of Allah. So we must clean our intentions. Second purpose of a Muslim teacher is to make the students a useful human being for the society not a human resource. So we focus on real knowledge instead of theoretical knowledge so that we can take actions.
    I totally agree with Dr. Asad’s approach that we seek mostly useless knowledge that are not effective in our daily life. Now it is time for Muslims to show the guidance of Islam to the world and it is only possible when we apply the Islamic guidance in every aspect of life.
    ….Madiha Zulfiqar

  13. ALKASHI GROUP:
    The main points of the first reading are given below.
    • Every discipline of knowledge should be aligned with the Islamic Foundations. The same is with Statistics. The most important thing to learn Real Statistics is to learn not to be deceived by the faulty statistics and statisticians.
    • This way we will be able to distinguish between useful and useless knowledge. This way seeking knowledge will become an act of worship for us.
    • Western knowledge has trained us all in becoming the resource to be sold in the market which has destroyed the human values.
    • So in order to get useful knowledge; first thing is to REJECT THE WESTERN WISDOM (Tahafatul Falasafa); second is to align every aspect of knowledge to the Islamic foundations.
    • And in order to achieve all this the main thing is the process of UNLEARNING in order to cleanse minds and hearts from falsehood.
    …Aisha Irum

  14. In the process of reading the first post, I have come across this concept of Mu’tazilla and I think many people won’t have the knowledge of it. I think some Google info will be enough to have an idea of it.
    Muʿtazila (Arabic: المعتزلة‎ al-muʿtazilah) is a rationalist school of Islamic theology that flourished in the cities of Basra and Baghdad, both now in Iraq, during the 8th to the 10th centuries. In the following century it became, for a period of some thirty years, the official doctrine of the caliphate in Baghdad. The Mu’tazila – literally ‘those who withdraw themselves’ – movement was founded by Wasil bin ‘Ata’who believed that it was necessary to give a rationally coherent account of Islamic beliefs.
    The adherents of the Muʿtazili school, known as Muʿtazilites, are best known for denying the status of the Qur’an as uncreated and co-eternal with God, asserting that if the Quran is the word of God, He logically “must have preceded his own speech”.

  15. Being a Muslim, we should have regrets to forgotten the Islamic teachings. These teachings are our real assets But now Western Knowledge grasped our mind badly and we think the only source of success is getting Western knowledge which only makes human self-oriented. Western knowledge teaches us to save money for future and future hurdles and reduce our present consumption. But Islamic teachings teach us to spend the money in the path of ALLAH and help HIS creature. And it’s my life experience that by sharing, donating money we will get money in a double amount from any uncertain sources. Similarly, the story of ALBAIK company (a Saudi food company) demonstrates the worth of Islamic teachings in our daily life. The ALBAIK company was going in a shutdown position and they started to give their products to a poor and needy person and soon their company starts growing rapidly by the Grace of ALLAH Almighty.

  16. Comments from Bairuni Group:

    There are plenty of questions about the difference between the Islamic and Western educational believes. Here, I am using the terminology of believes instead of system because according to my understanding system is final stage which is based on believes. So, the one of the main and important basic difference between Islamic and Western educational belief is that Islamic education is based on “Belief in the unseen” on Allah swt (Emaan-bil-Gaib) and Western education is based on “Belief in the seen”. Therefore, due to this difference between believes, we can split the definition of Knowledge into two or further in many sub groups. The Islamic believers can define the Knowledge as, how to take benefit directly through the Ableness of Allah swt and on the other hand, Western Knowledge can be defined as how to take benefit directly through material, which is created by Allah swt. In other words, there are lot of difference between Knowledge (علم) and Art (فن). The Knowledge is based on how to take benefit directly from Allah swt and “Art” are based on direct benefit from Material created by Allah swt.
    As, we know the property of material explained by the Science is that Material is dissolving with respect to time (فن فنا ہو جاتا ہے). So, property of Knowledge is that Knowledge remains forever (علم باقی رہتا ہے). There is need to understand the power of Knowledge (علم) and Art (فن). I am giving simple example, which will give us way to understand the nature and capacity of Knowledge and Art. Western Knowledge (Art) can only answer that what is the process of Earthquake (Suddenly breaks along a fault …..this and that..) in the light of Science (Belief in the Seen) but there will be no any answer to this question, Why Earthquake is coming (ZERO ANSWER). Why, they have no capacity to answer this question because they have no any believe in the UNSEEN. After understanding the basic concepts of Knowledge and Art then we can understand the difference between Useful Knowledge (Knowledge of Heart) and Useless Knowledge (Knowledge of Just Tongue). Unfortunately, we Muslims now a days have abundance of Useless Knowledge and facing severe scarcity of Useful Knowledge (Knowledge of Heart).

    The comments will be highly appreciated.

    • Please see me new post on the Illusion of Objective Knowledge, which is meant to clarify these issues. If you have further questions, please post comment on this new post.

  17. We need to understand that Islam has a potential to change the world as it has changed 1400 years ago. Further it has equal relevance for the courses like statistics and others to solve real world issue. It is also important to strive to learn useful and unlearn useless knowledge. Philosophy of Islam possess unique power in it and regards capacity of single human being worth changing the whole mankind. This will only be possible when we consider and learn the supremacy of Islamic way of getting knowledge and unlearn the flawed western teaching that are deeply rooted in us. It is our due responsibility to strive for transformation of hearts and mind to find lost treasure and making our students to do the same. At the end of my Economics courses I generally discuss the usefulness of the courses which hardly remains some percent of the total course. Students usually ask why we have been taught at first place if it is not applicable in real world!! I am hopeful that this course will bring revolution and will prove as a base for other courses to be taught in future Insha’Allah.

  18. Al-Ghazali Group:
    The useful knowledge and education is meant to develop the unique capabilities in each individual, which requires personalized and individualized attention. We as Muslims have forgotten this basic principle of education which is the root of Islamic teachings and knowledge and have been blindly following the West which never actually discussed our purpose of lives. According to West the purpose of our lives is to make money, and to enjoy life, by pursuing our desires. Islam knowledge on the other hand provides purpose of the knowledge. The purpose of this course is to create the basic foundations of statistics on Islamic Principles and teachings which offers radically different perspectives.

  19. Asim Khan: (Member Sharaf Group:)
    Knowledge has no boundaries, it is not patent of anybody. There are hidden secrets plotted by ALLAH and any body can discover them through hardwork. There is no restrictions that only Muslims discover and reveal the hidden secrets of the universe. Westerners are criticized for being the main culprit of detracting the Muslim from the exact path and purpose of knowledge.But the if we can’t follow the westerners then what are the next best alternatives. How many of the modern researcher or teachers are doing and willing to do or adopt Islamic approach in the way of teaching.? How many courses and degrees are offered in universities that encourages the Islamic model of teaching?

    Reply by AZ 2 Asim Khan
    I like this response, shows you are thinking. What I am saying goes against the dominant thinking which currently prevails. Unless you question it, and argue against it, and struggle with it, you will not understand it.
    To start with, one must understand the nature of knowledge — what is knowledge? Is it what we learn in a Western university? That is, math, physics, biology, chemistry, history, economics, political science, etc. ? This is what we have been trained to believe. But if this is knowledge, then there is NO knowledge in Quran and Hadeeth, and very little in the thousand year tradition of the Muslims. This is surprising because the knowledge of the Quran and Hadeeth led Muslims from being ignorant and backwards Bedouin to leaders of the world — surely there must be something there in the Quran and Hadeeth that has power!
    Despite what you say about “knowledge has no boundaries” – there is very little overlap between the Islamic intellectual tradition and heritage, and the Western intellectual tradition and heritage. There are two very different types of knowledge.
    This whole topic falls under the name of EPISTEMOLOGY – Theory of Knowledge — What is knowledge? How is it acquired? How do we if something is knowledge or not? These are VERY IMPORTANT META-QUESTIONS — Which must be examined very carefully to get understanding of what I am trying to say.
    The questions you have asked are very important, but the answers to them are DEEP AND COMPLEX. It will require a lot of study to understand the answers. You have to understand how history and power relationships shape the knowledge that we have. We are given the knowledge required to make us satisfied and content to be colonized, to not rebel against the rulers of the world. This is how power shapes knowledge. There is LOTS of relevant material on this blog. As you read it, you will start to find answers to the questions you have raised

  20. Questions by Rafi Amirud Din

    It is an inspirational lecture which highlights the corrupting effect of western knowledge and the potential of Islamic knowledge to revolutionize our lives which includes our approach to modern knowledge base borrowed from the Western tradition. In my view, a few points need further elaboration for a more comprehensive understanding of the issue at hand.

    1. The comparison is between Western knowledge and Islamic knowledge. The Western knowledge seemingly corrupts and Islamic knowledge is arguably not being practiced in its pristine form anywhere in the world. How valid this comparison needs to be further elaborated.

    2. The inhuman conditions in which a large part of humanity is living are attributed implicitly AND explicitly to the emergence of capitalism. Probably poverty has always been with us in various degrees of prevalence and intensity. Poor and deprived people labored through much worse conditions in old times than they do these days. Even the Muslims went through grinding poverty during the times of the Prophet SAW.

    3. The western knowledge is assumed to have made people believe that the goal of life is to achieve power and wealth. There are numerous references in the Quran to the effect that human beings have an innate tendency to seek power and wealth. Mystic literature produced in Islamic history has lamented that Muslims have become too much engrossed with power and wealth. So the western knowledge as a causal factor behind fixation for power and wealth needs further elaboration.

    4. Why do we have to look towards the Muslim philosophers who lived long after the death of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and the Companions (RA) to understand how the knowledge base can be revolutionized. Does not the life of the Prophet and the Companions offer better anchor? Granted the fact that education, as we see today, was not widespread during the times of the Prophet SAW and the Islamic scholars of later centuries dealt with the situation in their times which was more similar to ours, it would be interesting to see how the companions of the Prophet SAW unlearned the knowledge which had been handed over to them through tribal traditions and how they learned the message of the Quran and Sunnah.

    Answer 1 — The world was made as a battleground between good and evil, so this struggle will always take place. Western knowledge is generated by the historical context of global conquest – it provides the philosophies and technologies required for global conquest. Islamic knowledge is about spiritual growth and self-transformation – the two bodies of knowledge have very little overlap. Both are being practiced.
    Answer 2 — For the answer to this question, see my paper on Islamic Approach to Poverty and Inequality https://ssrn.com/abstract=3183578 Briefly, the paper explains that even though poverty has always been there, it is capitalism which turns this into a social problem.
    Answer 3 — The answer lies in the historical processes which accompanied the global conquest. The startling book of Edward Said – Orientalism – shows that ALL Western literature about the East is based on a deep seated superiority complex created by the global conquest. See my summary in Orientalism. https://azprojects.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/orientalism/ Similarly, vast majority of oriental thought has been influences by a deep seated inferiority complex – see my post on – https://azprojects.wordpress.com/2018/08/03/a-deep-seated-inferiority/
    So the point is that our thinking is shaped by the historical context within which we live. We must recognize this context in order to liberate ourselves.
    Answer 4 – The CIRCUMSTANCES faced by Ghazali are similar to what we face today – Being deeply impressed by an alien body of knowledge. At the time of the Prophet SAW, the situation was not the same – Islam came as a shining light in the darkness. But during Ghazali’s time, Muslims were deeply impressed by Greek Philosophy – so much so that they took it to be on par with Islamic teachings. Today, Muslims believe Western knowledge to be even superior to the Quran and Hadeeth. So what Imam Ghazali had to do at that time serves as a model for what we need to do. In fact, we CANNOT use the teachings of Imam Ghazali – he fought his own fitna – we have to deal with our own fitna in ENTIRELY NEW and different ways. It is only the method and process that we need to borrow.

  21. Pingback: The Illusion of Objective Knowledge | An Islamic WorldView

  22. Summary of points submitted by group Razi
    1. Knowledge in this world is of two types, useful and useless knowledge.
    2. As per our training on western ideology any knowledge which helps us make money or develops us into effective human resource is a useful knowledge.
    3. This is in direct contradiction to our Islamic values and principles which aims to develop us into good human beings and not human resource.
    4. Biggest challenge faced by us today is to unlearn western point of view as far as the human life purpose and potential is defined.
    5. Antidote to this is the learning of Islamic ideology where every human being has a potential beyond angles if utilized and below animals is ignored.
    6. Real Statistics course learning and implementation can only be fruitful if the knolwdge is learned and utilized for the benefit of humanity in light of historical perspective and daily life implications.
    Contributed by
    1. Dr. Taseer
    2. Suhrab Khan
    3. Yasir Riaz
    4. Jawad Yasir
    5. Mudassar adnan
    6. Noha farrang
    7. Maryam Ziafat
    8. Naveed Islam
    9. Zarak Jamal Khan

  23. Response by Saif Ali Member Shraf Group:
    Why is it important to learn statistics at all? It is important for two reasons. The first is to defend ourselves, our community (the Muslim ummah), and the innocent common people at large from the deception that is unleashed using statistics. I read somewhere that in the modern world one does not do a PhD in economics to learn economics but one does it to save oneself and the world from economists. The second is to reframe statistics as a language of persuasion, learn how to use it with honesty and sincerity and thus make it a part of our repertoire. I also feel an ongoing parallel effort to learn the Quran and the Sunnah and to act according to what one learns is critically important for this course. One of the diseases of modern Western education is that it allows people of questionable character to rise to prominence as thought-leaders. A Muslim student must erase the boundary between academic learning and the refinement of character. The constant refinement of character that exemplified the life of our blessed Prophet (s) will, insha Allah, enable us to benefit from this knowledge of real statistics. As a reminder to myself, I will add that a part of good character is the willingness to be corrected and the willingness to admit being wrong. Intellectual humility, according to Imam Junayd, is a prerequisite to the attainment of (beneficial) knowledge.

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