Qur’anic Worldview and the Natural Sciences: An Ūlū Al-Albāb Integration Framework for Islamic Secondary Schools

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DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.12738/talim.2018.1.0103

Year: 2018 Vol: 2 Number: 1

Abstract

For the Muslim ummah, the issue of integration in education has been a major concern since the post-colonial
period, as the events that transpired during this period left Muslims with the legacy of a dichotomous education.
In turn, this type of education results in disharmonies in the person, family, society and the environment. Yet
post-modern trends are opening up opportunities for non-conventional alternatives as solutions. This article
presents the major rationales for integrating the Qur’anic worldview and the natural sciences. It touches upon
the fundamental elements of the Qur’anic worldview in relation to the studies of nature, specifically the notion
of “reading” the two Books of Allah (i.e. al-Qur’ān and the Open Book of the Cosmos) as well as humanity’s
relation with Allah, with itself and with the cosmos. This article briefly discusses the worldviews that have
brought about the natural sciences to their current pedestal, the ensuing environmental and humanitarian crises
of the contemporary world, and experts’ responses in the face of these crises. It puts forward an integrated
model for the study of the natural sciences based on a synthesis of al-Ghazālῑ’s methodology of integration and
discourse on the qalb, and the Ūlū al-Albāb notion of the Qur’an. The integrated model is for use in Islamic
secondary education, where certain aspects of the natural sciences undergo a discreet but holistic reposition,
reinterpretation and reorientation from the framework of, and organically infused with the Qur’anic worldview.
It is believed that such integration is able to address the conflicts and disharmonies, and in the long run restore
the equilibrium, not just within the Muslim person and the ummah but also to bring about sustained goodness
for humanity in general and the environments in which they reside.

Keywords
Tawḥīd, Qur’anic worldview, Integration, Natural science, Western modern science, Ūlū’l-albāb, Qalb