Revitalizing Higher Education in the Muslim World By AbdulHamid A. AbuSulayman (London and Washington, DC: The International Institute of Islamic Thought, 2006. 41 pages.)

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Hadeer A. Nagah

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Abstract

AdbulHamid A. AbuSulayman’s book is an important and much-needed
publication in the field of Islamic social and educational sciences. In a very
direct, easy-to-read, and simple language, the book introduces the current
problematic situation of Islamic higher education and offers a practical solution.
The presented solution is not based on theoretical insights and analysis
only, as it offers the example of the International Islamic University Malaysia
(IIUM) as a live, practical model. Through the extended metaphor of a
sick person, the author, a prestigious Islamic educator and thinker, pictures
the Muslim ummah as an ailing body that needs immediate treatment.
Through his professionalism and expertise, he prescribes the remedy.
The book’s first half provides the reader with a general overview of the
current situation of theMuslim ummah’s retarded position and explains how
education and developing cognitive modules are particularly needed for the
rescue mission.
A “nation” that contains about one-fifth of the world’s population, covers
an area extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and has an illustrious
past of scientific discoveries now has a combined GNP (Gross National Product)
less than that of France or Germany. This humiliating fact, according
to AbuSulayman, speaks of the ummah’s current ailment. The author points
to underdevelopment, division, tyranny, oppression, and education as
some of the maladies. Yet instead of treating the symptoms of such maladies,
as many scholars tend to do, he calls attention to the need to search for
the causes in order to devise a permanent treatment. One of the main causes
that AbuSulayman discusses is the imitation and replication of western education,
which is alien to the ummah’s consciousness and cultural goals ...

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