Introduction to Islamic Sciences

Brief Introduction to Islamic Sciences


Philosophy (Falsafa)

Islamic philosophy is a discipline that deals with the general problems of being, such as existence, quiddities, causation, as well as knowledge, soul, God, and religion with a rational, discursive approach. By a rational discursive method, philosophers create arguments for philosophical positions which are based on rationally evident propositions


Jurisprudence (Fiqh)

Fīqh is an Islamic science through which practical laws and religious duties of a person in his life are studied. Jurisprudential laws are extracted from four sources by means of reasoning and research; which are the Qur’an, Tradition, Consensus, and Reason

Uṣūl al-fiqh or Principles of jurisprudence is an Islamic discipline that studies the ways of istinbat or deducing the laws of shari’a, that is, reliable ways of arriving at such laws by an appeal to the traditional evidence (i.e. Qur’an and hadiths) as well as rational evidences.


Exegesis (Tafsir)

Allama Tabataba’i states, “Tafsir means explaining the meanings of the verses of the Qur’an and unveiling their indications and implications

Quran has some features that necessitate tafsir in all times.

Various and multiple meanings. The Quran has exoteric and esoteric meanings. Imam Ali (a) states in this regard: “The apparent aspect of the Quran is beautiful and its hidden aspect is deep. Its marvels do not expire, and it wonders do not end.”

The Quran does not mention the details in many cases. For instance, the Quran commands the Muslims to pray, fast, and perform hajj, but it leaves out many details of how these rituals are to be performed. This is true even in the case of doctrines and beliefs.

The Quran was revealed gradually in twenty-three years, and the suras and verses are not organized according to the time of revelation, and thus the key to understanding one verse in one sura may be in another verse in a different sura. Therefore, the science of tafsir is needed to provide us with the textual and contextual clues needed for understanding the Quran.

The Quran is rooted in the limitless knowledge of God and tells people about a world that is beyond the material world. The Quran has tried to convey the truths of the Unseen World in the form of the forms and concepts of this world. Understanding the depth of these truths requires instruction and explanation.


Theology (Kalam)

Kalam is a science that involves understanding, regulating, explaining, and justifying or proving beliefs through various approaches based on either reason or tradition and is responsible for defending it against any doubt. The ultimate goal of kalam is to prove the principles of religion and shield it against any doubt.


Mysticism (Irfan)

Mysticism as a scientific and cultural system in Islam, has two parts: the practical part and the theoretical part. The practical part is the part that expresses and explains man’s relations and duties with himself, with the world and with God. Mysticism in this area is like ethics, that is, it is a practical “science”. In this part of mysticism, it is explained where the seeker should start in order to reach the pinnacle of humanity, ie monotheism, and what stages he should go through in order, and what happens to him in the stages along the way. Theoretical part of mysticism interprets existence, discusses God, the world, and man. Mysticism in this part is like the divine philosophy which is in the position of interpretation and explanation of existence.


Logic (Mantiq)

The logic is the law to think correctly. That is, the rules of logic are a scale and a tool that whenever we want to think and argue about some scientific or philosophical issues, we must weigh our reasoning with these scales and criteria so that we do not draw wrong conclusions. Logic is a tool of the type of rule and law that observing and applying it keeps the mind from making mistakes in thinking. The benefit of logic is to prevent the mind from making mistakes in thinking. Thinking is the movement of the mind from an unknown ideal to a series of known premise, and then the movement from that known premise to that desirable to transform it into the known. Logic explains to us that prior mental information will only be productive if it is shaped by logical rules. Logic is merely a tool of measurement, that is, it opens the right and the wrong.