Economic Guidelines in the Qur'an
S.M. Hasanuz Zaman
Contribution of Islamic Thought to Modern Economics
An Introduction to Islamic Economics
Muhammad Akram Khan
Islamic Thought and Culture
Isma'il R. al Faruqi
Islamization of Knowledge: Background, Models and the Way Forward
Malam Sa'idu Sulaiman
|Degrees of Truthfulness in Accepted Scientific Claims|
Ahmed Hassan Mabrouk
Sciences adopt different methodologies in deriving claims and establishing theories. As a result, two accepted claims or theories belonging to two different sciences may not necessarily carry the same degree of truthfulness. Examining the different methodologies of deriving claims in the sciences of ‘aqidah (Islamic Creed), fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) and physics, the study shows that ‘aqidah provides a holistic understanding of the universe. Physics falls short of interpreting physical phenomena unless these phenomena are looked at through the ‘aqidah holistic view. Left to itself, error may creep into laws of physics due to the methodology of conducting the physical experiments, misinterpreting the experimental results, or accepting invalid assumptions. As for fiqh, it is found that apart from apparent errors, fiqh views cannot be falsified. It is, therefore, useful to consider ‘aqidah as a master science which would permit all other sciences to live in harmony.
The findings in different sciences are usually supported by evidence of different degrees of scientific merit. As a result, the share of truthfulness of these findings might not be equal.1 For example, it is accepted in medicine that excessive consumption of oily foods increases cholesterol or as in physics that the acceleration of a mass is proportional to the force exerted on this mass. Are these two claims absolutely true? In other words, can they be falsified? If not, what is the level of confidence we should put in each claim? To answer these questions, the methodology and the validation process used in the concerned science have to be analysed.2
Such an analysis would show if more validation is needed to label the claim in question as “accepted.”3 Falsification is generally used as an instrument to examine the soundness of claims and their derivation methodology.4 Attempts at falsifying a theory would indicate the applicability or otherwise of that theory. In other words, falsification can be used as a research instrument to demark the operational domain of a theory and more generally of a science. This analysis would be valuable for exploring a unified platform for coexistence of sciences.
This paper discusses the degrees of truthfulness of the claims of three sciences: ‘aqidah (Islamic Creed), fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence), and physics. The first two belong to human sciences that set a binding code on humans, while the third one is an experimental science that studies the characteristics and the governing laws of the solid entities in the universe. This study analyses the methodologies of these three sciences and critical factors that have a bearing on the truthfulness of claims made in the three sciences. The study argues that notwithstanding the apparent distance of physics from ‘aqidah and fiqh, the three sciences can be integrated in a unified platform for human understanding.
Science, in this paper, refers to a collective body of knowledge resulting from the study of a well-defined subject according to a well-defined methodology.5 This knowledge generates theories that explain phenomena or answer queries related to the concerned subject.6 Theory is an answer and explanation of the underlying cause of a particular phenomenon.7 Theories generate hypotheses that are tested through observation and experiment.8 Thus defined, science is not limited to experimental sciences in which theories can be validated through experiments conducted under controlled conditions in laboratories. Science also includes fiqh and ‘aqidah because they have very well established methodologies that have been utilised by scholars to generate intensive knowledge that provides qualitative and quantitative answers for practical matters, in the case of fiqh, and for doctrinal matters, in the case of ‘aqidah.
IIIT - East Asia Office
Bro. Shahran Kasim (Coordinator)