His Background and Education Fazlur Rahman Malik (Urdu (Urdu::
م انلرح )فضwas a well-known scholar of Islam; Islam; M.
Yahya Birt of the Association of Islam Researchers described him as "probably "probab ly the most learned of the major Muslim thinkers in the second-half of the twentieth century, in terms of both classical Islam and Western philosophical and theological discourse." Fazlur Rahman was born in the Hazara area Hazara area of British India (now India (now Pakistan). Pakistan). He came from a Punjabi family steeped in traditional Islamic learning; and then went on to familiarise himself with modern critical thinking at Oxford under H.A.R. Gibb and a nd Van Der Bergh. His birth and death date is on 21th September 1919 and 26th July 1988. His death is due to the complications of heart surgery. He was a polyglot. He knew Urdu, Persian, Arabic, Indonesian and English. His father, Maulana Shihab al-Din, al-Din, also was a well-known well-known scholar of the time who had studied at Deoband and Deoband and had achieved the rank of alim, alim, through his studies of Islamic law (fiqh, fiqh, hadith, hadith, Qur'anic Qur'anic tafsir , logic, philosophy and other subjects). His early education was in Islamic schools followed by an a n M.A degree from Punjab University, Lahore in 1942 with First Class in Arabic. He was awarded the PHD by Oxford University in 1949 for his thesis Avecenna’s Psyschology. Afterwards, he began beg an a teaching career, first at Durham University where University where he taught Persian and Persian and Islamic philosophy, and then at McGill University where University where he taught Islamic studies until 1961. In that year, he returned to Pakistan to head up the Central Institute of Islamic Research which was set up by the Pakistani government in order to implement Islam into the daily dealings of the nation. However, due to the political situation in Pakistan, Fazlur Rahman was hindered from making any progress in this endeavor, and he resigned from the post. He then returned to teaching, moving to the United States and States and teaching at UCLA as UCLA as a visiting professor for a few years. He moved to the University of Chicago in Chicago in 1969 and established himself there becoming the Harold H. Swift Distinguished Service Professor of Islamic Thought. At Chicago he was instrumental for building a strong Near strong Near Eastern Studies Eastern Studies program that continues to be among the best in the world and so far he also has been the only Muslim to receive the prestigious Giorgio Levi Della Vida prize (1983). He also became a proponent for a reform of the Islamic polity and was an advisor to the State Department.. Department Since Fazlur Rahman's death, his writings have continued to be popular among scholars of Islam and the Near East. His contributions to the University U niversity of Chicago are still evident in its excellent programs in these areas. In his memory, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the
University of Chicago named Chicago named its common area after him, due to his many years of service at the Center and at the University of Chicago at large. He wrote a lot of books including:
Islam and Modernity: Transformation of an Intellectual Tradition,
Major Themes of the Qur'an,
Islamic Methodology in History, Central Institute of Islamic Research, 1965.
Revival and Reform in Islam : A study of Islamic Fundamentalism Prophecy in Islam: Philosophy and Orthodoxy (Midway Reprints Series) Series)
Islam in the modern world (Paine lectures in religion) religion)
Metode dan Alternatif Neomodernisme Islam and Islam and etc.
His Contributions Fazlur Rahman contributed many things to the field of Islamic Studies. However, there are four important contributions that must be acknowledged to reflect Fazlur Rahman’s influence on that field. First, Fazlur Rahman brought a unique multicultural blend of Sunni Islamic traditionalism, progressive Islamic modernism and Western scholasticism. His background in the traditional Islamic science enabled him to be well-versed in Islamic jurisprudence and the hadith. His foundation in Islamic modernism enabled him to see that one could recapture the vibrancy of Islam and face the challenges of modernity with enthusiasm. And then, his training in Western philosophy exposed the Hellenistic influence on the Islamic philosophers and on traditional Islam as a whole. As a result, he asked by President Ayyub Khan to use his diverse background to face the sociopolitical realities of Islam in the context of modernity. It means, he is the one who had fortune to advocate a move from Quranic orthodoxy to Quranic orthopraxy in Pakistan. Second, Fazlur Rahman’s search for the truth led him to challenge attitudes in traditional Islam and in Western writings on Islam. He had the courage to be innovative amidst rigid Islamic and Western attitudes. He stood on particular social, political, religious issues in Pakistan even though it produced much controversy. co ntroversy. For instances, his stand on the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, the appropriateness of family planning devices, the advocacy of modern banking methods and the appropriateness of the mechanical mechanica l slaughter of animal for food. In spite of price paid for challenging Islamic traditionalism, traditionalism, he continued to advocate the necessary ingredients for a true Islamic reformation. He also disputed many of the Western attempts to understand Islam. Many of early Western attempts to understand Islam portrayed it as a fatalistic, archaic and static creature with very little to contribute to Western scholarship. Fazlur Rahman Rah man represented a refreshing voice which exposed the West to an Islam that it had never seen before. Third, Fazlur Rahman’s methodology was interdisciplinary to the core. The holistic, multi-disciplinary study of Islam challenged the students of North America to view Islam in its contextual expressions throughout the world. His approach demanded that the student of Islam be well-versed in the political, social, economic and religious backgrounds of the Quran and in
today’s Muslim countries. His methodology insisted that historical research be linked with reality of contemporary settings. This methodology allowed the students of Islam to discover the dynamism of the Muslim experience. His approach opened the door for Islamic studies to dialogue with with the broader field field of Religious Studies. Lastly, Fazlur Rahman left a legacy in the form of his students. He will continue to impact the study of Islam in North America through their influence. The contributors of this volume represent the heartbeat of Islamic Studies in North America. His students can be found teaching in many of the major colleges and universities throughout the United State and Canada. His constant striving for a better understanding of Islam in the context of modernity has been transmitted to his students. Many of his students have contributed important works to the field of Islamis Studies in the larger field of Religious Studies. Fazlur Rahman’s students and admirer ad mirer represent a legacy of isalmic scholarship which can never be content with simplistic but always strives for depth, accuracy and viability. In conclusion, the full impact of Fazlur Rahman’s Rah man’s thought, methodology and writings cannot be fully measured. The fact that his works have been translated into several languages reveals that his work appeals to the heart of Muslims from a variety of socio-cultural contexts. The fact that one can find his name referenced in large p portion ortion of works in Islamic Studies reflects that his thoughtful reflections and daring articulations are indeed noticed by those working in Islamic Studies. Then, the fact that he h e was often asked to contribute to volumes that focused on religious dialogue reveals that his thoughtful reflection was seen by those outside of the Islamic Studies.