Friday, 18 January 2013

Colonialism, Orientalism and the Significant Other.

Colonialism, Orientalism
and the Significant Other.

Reading Edward Said's celebrated work on Orientalism, by that name, leaves a believer thinking on the malaise both now and before that allowed such a thing to happen.

Off course Muslims and Islam are the significant other that deserve study, but Orientalists have always done so with little to no respect for either.

Being brought up stradling both East and West leaves me wondering at how a system of thought as deep as Islam could be swept away by one as shallow as everything propounded by the West. For even as Descartes observed everything propounded by the West is at once disputed by the West. They do not know, cannot know and futhermore believe that this anarchy ,of a type, is their greatest virtue.

In the words of the Qur'an, are the seeing and the blind equal? Are the ones who know, and those who dispute comparable?

But then the problem of how we came to be colonialised and conquered, instead of disappearing in a mire of self conceipt and gloating, should become all the more disturbing.

For to be dominated by such unashmed not-knowing shallowness must mean that we have become shallower still. That our knowledge and the knowledge of our brightest Scholarly Stars is but paper thin. For as the historically verefied dictum states "knowledge is power". We are powerless because of our lack of knowledge and more importantly because of our lack of understanding of what knowledge is.

Most of us believe that all good and usefull knowledge is Qur'an and Sunnah, even whilst Allah t'ala disdains not in making a gnat a parable for us. And even our contemporary thinkers, such a Ziauddin Sardar, see the islamization of knowledge at roots as being an undermining of Islamic ideals.

That is not to say that the Islamization of Knowledge movement has no faults. Rather when Allah t'ala took a gnat as an example of the perfection of the signs (or proofs) within creation it was, and should continue to be, for us all an example of how ALL knowledge is GOD's knowledge, and is and should be our knowledge.

For as with all work started with the words of dedication, so to with all knowledge begun with the BasmaAllah, all is sacred devotion. And that is even the case where it's usefullness might be called into question, for why else would Allah t'ala use the least of things to teach us what is holy and what is not?

The aquisition of all Worldly Knowledge is not a thing to be Islamicised, for it is already Holy.

And it is because of this, among many other erreonous concepts that pertain to what knowledge is and what are it's functions, that I blog in that field. Because it is the theories of knowledge that underpin all that is not well with us now, and yet underpinned all that was great about us before.


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