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Understanding the ‘other’: the case of Al-Biruni (973-1048 AD)

Understanding the ‘other’: the case of Al-Biruni (973-1048 AD) This study aims to demonstrate al-Biruni’s originality in the study of religion and the exploration of religious truth, while his firm stance on his religion effectively advocated his need to understand others more accurately.Design/methodology/approachThis study is a review of al-Biruni’s literature that uses content analysis method in establishing al-Biruni’s approach in understanding other religions through three main methodologies. From these approaches, this paper advocates al-Biruni’s firm stance toward his own faith despite using a scientific study on Hindu, which is in contrary to other phenomenological scholars who find that religious truth is relative in nature.FindingsAl-Biruni’s methods have proven that researchers are not necessarily required to dispose off their religious identity and commitment to faith, while simultaneously achieving objectivity and accuracy. Al-Biruni’s approach to understanding others may be seen as a remarkable early model of interfaith, intercultural and inter-civilizational dialogue seeking, eventually, to promote a harmonious co-existence within a highly polarized cultural and religious context. This inquiry demonstrates al-Biruni’s scholarly depth in his attempt to harmonize his methodology with the study of religious phenomena in compliance with Islam.Originality/valueThis study signifies al-Biruni’s intellectual background with his mastery of first-hand information as a solid basis and grounds for the effective understanding of others in a descriptive, systematic and comparative manner. This paper also signifies al-Biruni’s methods of understanding others without having to dispose off one’s religious identity and commitment to faith which could be exemplified by other religious scholars. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Ethics and Systems Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2514-9369
DOI
10.1108/ijoes-01-2018-0010
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study aims to demonstrate al-Biruni’s originality in the study of religion and the exploration of religious truth, while his firm stance on his religion effectively advocated his need to understand others more accurately.Design/methodology/approachThis study is a review of al-Biruni’s literature that uses content analysis method in establishing al-Biruni’s approach in understanding other religions through three main methodologies. From these approaches, this paper advocates al-Biruni’s firm stance toward his own faith despite using a scientific study on Hindu, which is in contrary to other phenomenological scholars who find that religious truth is relative in nature.FindingsAl-Biruni’s methods have proven that researchers are not necessarily required to dispose off their religious identity and commitment to faith, while simultaneously achieving objectivity and accuracy. Al-Biruni’s approach to understanding others may be seen as a remarkable early model of interfaith, intercultural and inter-civilizational dialogue seeking, eventually, to promote a harmonious co-existence within a highly polarized cultural and religious context. This inquiry demonstrates al-Biruni’s scholarly depth in his attempt to harmonize his methodology with the study of religious phenomena in compliance with Islam.Originality/valueThis study signifies al-Biruni’s intellectual background with his mastery of first-hand information as a solid basis and grounds for the effective understanding of others in a descriptive, systematic and comparative manner. This paper also signifies al-Biruni’s methods of understanding others without having to dispose off one’s religious identity and commitment to faith which could be exemplified by other religious scholars.

Journal

International Journal of Ethics and SystemsEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 22, 2019

Keywords: Al-Biruni; Comparative religion; Interfaith dialogue; Islamic theology; Tahqiq ma li al-Hind min Maqula Maqbula

References