Construction of a Basic Perspective on Critical Thinking in Islam

Journal of Islamic Studies, Prince of Songkla University 12 (1):113=123 (2022)
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Objective :This research aims at the constructing a basic perspective on critical thinking in line with Islamic principles with a brief explanation of such principles. Methodology :This study uses exegetical methods, by studying the relevant parts of the religious texts and systemizing the information in a critical way. Research findings: The research demonstrates that the principles for constructing an Islamic critical thinking perspective are found in the primary sources of Islam. The knowledge (العلم ;al-'ilm) makes the core of Islamic critical thinking, and means of such knowledge are the revelation (الوحي; al-wahy), the use of senses (احلواس ;al-hawas), intellect (reason and heart, القلب و العقل ;al-aql wa al-qalb), historical experience or testimony (اوالشهادة السياحة ;al-siyahah aw al-shidah), and meditating on the natural and physical world (الكون ;al-kaun). There are other means such as prophetic dreams (الصادقة الرؤاي ;al-ruya al-sadiqah), insight (الفراسة ;al-firasah), illumination ( املكاشفة; al-mukashafah), and inspiration ( االهلام; al-ilham), though they are dismissed to account for any scholarly opinion or position and thus they remain non-binding according to Shariah. However, they can be a gift of a genius mind that is extraordinarily critical, helping such minds in understanding and creativity. Critical thinking includes using many human faculties and the Quran frequently emphasizes contemplation التفكر ;al-tafakur), reflection (التدبر ;at-tadabbur), understanding التفقه; at-tafaqquh), and reasoning (التعقل ;at-taakul); and these concepts are the foundations of critical thinking which could be developed and elaborated in many ways. Applications: The need of having an Islamic construction of critical thinking is because of the special worldview of Islam and its conception of knowledge which treats revelation (الوحي ;al-wahy) as the primary source of belief and knowledge. The findings of the study can be useful in fashioning a basic curriculum for critical thinking for Islamic educational institutions.

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Mohammad Manzoor Malik
Assumption University of Thailand


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