Applying Ibn Khaldūn: The Recovery of a Lost Tradition in by Syed Farid Alatas

By Syed Farid Alatas

The writings of Ibn Khaldūn, fairly the Muqaddimah (Prolegomenon) have rightly been considered as being sociological in nature. accordingly, Ibn Khaldūn has been greatly considered as the founding father of sociology, or at the least a precursor of recent sociology. whereas he was once given this acceptance, even though, few works went past proclaiming him as a founder or precursor to the systematic program of his theoretical point of view to precise historic and modern points of Muslim societies in North Africa and the center East. the continued presence of Eurocentrism within the social sciences has now not helped during this regard: it usually stands within the means of the glory of non-Western resources of theories and ideas.

This publication offers an summary of Ibn Khaldūn and his sociology, discusses purposes for his marginality, and indicates how one can carry Ibn Khaldūn into the mainstream during the systematic software of his thought. It strikes past works that easily nation that Ibn Khaldūn used to be a founding father of sociology or supply descriptive bills of his works. as an alternative it systematically applies Khaldūn’s theoretical viewpoint to precise historic facets of Muslim societies in North Africa and the center East, effectively integrating thoughts and frameworks from Khaldūnian sociology into glossy social technology theories. Applying Ibn Khaldūn will be of curiosity to scholars and students of sociology and social theory.

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Instead it systematically applies Ibn Khaldūn’s theoretical perspective to specific historical aspects of Muslim societies in North Africa and the Middle East, successfully integrating concepts and frameworks from Khaldūnian sociology into modern social science theories. Applying Ibn Khaldūn will be of interest to students and scholars of sociology and social theory. Syed Farid Alatas is Head of the Department of Malay Studies and Associate Professor of Sociology at the National University of Singapore.

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These applications can be seen as a prerequisite for the development of a general Khaldūnian sociological theory, the relevance of which can be extended to regions and contexts outside of those that concerned Ibn Khaldūn directly. The reconstruction of Ibn Khaldūn’s theory itself is deemed necessary as existing discussions on his thought, though extensive, varied and valuable, tend to treat his theoretical and empirical work separately. They elaborate on his theory by drawing upon his Muqaddimah or discuss or refer to his historical data presented in the Kitāb al-‘Ibar.

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