This paper develops a classificatory scheme of knowledge output: the philosophy level, the theory level, the model level, and the application level. I will use this scheme to illuminate on four, seemingly unrelated, issues: 1) While development is frequently seen as a mechanical process of low level structuration or culturation, this paper argues that it involves philosophical dimensions too. 2) Development involves drawing on the products of “advanced” nations. Using the suggested scheme shows that this is possible only at the lower levels of knowledge. 3) Sustained development requires first a theoretical base built along the lines of the Islamization of Knowledge logic. And 4) The concept of the Islamization of Knowledge is misinterpreted by casual readers as an out-right rejection of modern “scientific” output. This paper argues that the Islamization of Knowledge is a digestive process that calls for the interaction of world cultures guided by a specific philosophical prism.
If the title of this paper sounds confusing, then it is my duty to show that “development” is not a mundane practice that has no relation to philosophy, and that what is known as the Islamization of Knowledge is not an “armed-chair” discourse that has no bearing to reality.* And Since my duty is to solve a puzzle, some degree of simplification is inevitable. I apologize for the highly learned reader for treating an abstract subject at the level of concrete examples.
* I am using the term Islamization of Knowledge because of its popular use, although I think that it is confusing, inaccurate, and misleading.