In Shaykh Khalil-Abdur Rashid‘s class, “History of Sharia”, we talked about the legacy of Ibn Khaldun and his important contribution to history.
Ibn Khuldun, often forgotten in contemporary times, is regarded to be the founder of modern sociology, historiography, and economics.
What is most interesting, however, is the journey Ibn Khaldun embarked as a young man. He lost both his parents due to the black plague that spread in that region. He held many different positions throughout his life, and at the age of only 22, he was given the position as the Grand Qadi (Judge) of Cairo, Egypt. He received an Ijaza (authority) over ALL of the Shari sciences.
However, after having served a few terms as the Grand Qadi (he served six terms altogether), he took a leave of absence. This leave of absence was due to the passing away of his wife and children in a tragic shipwreck that left him in great distress. In the an aftermath, for three years he isolated himself from society. He secluded himself from his political and social life. It was during this time that he began work on his masterpiece, the Muqaddimah.
The Muqaddimah was a remarkable jewel, a trans-formative work that was studied by the Europeans and others throughout the world, and is even revered today within the social sciences. In his work, he made a really profound statement about human civilization. He asserted that all human beings are civil by nature. That human beings, by nature, are civilized because they need each other to survive and progress.
We are civilized by nature because Allah swt has created us in a way where we need each other. We have a natural desire and inclination to lean on each other. There is no such thing as complete independence – because human beings by nature, are interdependent. We continue to develop more complex ways to depend and benefit each other. How true is that in our times, where we learn to progress through heartfelt and genuine social interactions.
We often forget essential Islamic figures who contribute to society. Let’s revive forgotten history.
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