The Transformation of Islamic Studies: An Ethical and Methodological Analysis


  • Mohd Mumtaz Ali International Islamic University Malaysia



Islamic Studies, Subject-Mater,, scope, Din, religion, civilisation


The field of Islamic Studies, like any other discipline, necessitates ongoing research and refinement. However, the nature of this research- whether theoretical, empirical, or a combination of both- remains a critical question. This inquiry prompts a reconsideration of Islamic Studies, prompting a re-evaluation of its scope and methodological foundations. Historically rooted in a limited perspective that framed Islam solely as a religious phenomenon, this paper contends that such a narrow conception fails to capture the comprehensive essence of Islam, as portrayed in the Qur’an. Islam, according to the Qur’an, is a holistic worldview encompassing a way of life, a source of values, morals, laws, and universal principles crucial for cultural and civilisational development. The argument presented herein posits that the scope of Islamic Studies must transcend the confines of traditional religious studies. Instead, it advocates for a paradigm shift towards a more comprehensive examination that includes issues related to worldview, way of life, culture, and civilisation. This paper asserts the imperative need for a transformative approach in Islamic Studies, advocating for a broader research program that addresses the multifaceted dimensions of Islam. Utilising a qualitative method of content analysis, this paper aims to explore and analyse the scope and objectives of Islamic Studies, identifying research problems that extend beyond conventional religious frameworks. Ultimately, the paper seeks to situate Islamic Studies within a broader cultural and civilisational context, emphasising its role in fostering human and social development.


Abd. Samat Musa, Hazleena Baharun and Abd. Karim Abdullah. (2004). Islamic Studies in World Institutions of Higher Learning. Kuala Lumpur: Islamic University College of Malaysia.

Abdur-Rahman bin Abdul-Lateef Al-Mahmood. (2010). A Book on Islamic Studies. Riyadh: Maktaba Darus Salam.

Akbar S. Ahmed and Tamara Sonn (ed.). (2010). The SAGE Handbook of Islamic Studies. London: SAGE.

Anis Malik Toha (ed.). (2010) Japanese Contribution to Islamic Studies: The Legacy of Toshihiko Izutsu Interpreted. Kuala Lumpur: IIUM Press.

Azim Nanji (ed.). (1997). Mapping Islamic Studies: Genealogy, Continuity and Change. New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

Bustami M. S. Khir. (2007). “Islamic Studies within Islam: Definition, Approaches, and Challenges of Modernity” in Journal of Beliefs & Values. Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 257-266.

Bethmann, Erich W. (1953). Bridge to Islam: A Study of the Religious Forces of Islam and Christianity in the Near East. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd.

Doumato, Eleanor Abdella and Starrtt, Gregory (ed.). (2007). Teaching Islam: Textbooks and Religion in the Middle East. Boulder, London: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Esposito, John L. (1983). The Voices of Resurgent of Islam. London: Oxford University Press.

Faisar Ananda and Sugianto (ed.). (2004). An Anthology of Islamic Studies. Sumatera Utara Medan: IAIN Press.

Goldziher, Ignaz. (1981). Introduction to Islamic Theology and Law. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Hillenbrand FBA, Carole. (2020). “What is Islamic Studies?”. The British Academy.

Jacob Mansour (ed.). (1973). Arabic and Islamic Studies. Ramat Gan: Bar-Ilan University.

Lammens, H. (2008). Islam: Belief and Institutions. New York: Frank Cass & Co. Ltd.

Martin, Richard C. (1996). Islamic Studies: A History of Religions Approach. Second Edition. USA: Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle Revier, New Jersey.

Moon Arif Rahman. (2012). Contemporary Islamic Thoughts. London: Koros Press Limited.

Mumtaz Ali. (2023). “The Distortion of Truth about Islam and Its Reality: Some Reflections” unpublished paper, Dept of Usul al-Din and Comparative Religion, AHAS KIRKHS, IIUM.

Mumtaz Ahmad, Zahid Bukhari and Sulayman Nyang. (2012). Observing the Observer: The State of Islamic Studies in American Universities. London: IIIT.

Shaykh Taha Jabir Al-Alwani. (2005). Issues in Contemporary Islamic Thought. London: Biddles Limited.

S. Khuda Bukhsh. (1926). Islamic Studies. Lahore, Pakistan: Sind Sagar Academy.

Shiraz Thobani. (2010). Islam in the School Curriculum. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Syed Ali Ashraf & Hirst, Paul H. (ed.). (1994). Religion and Education. Cambridge: The Islamic Academy.

New Day For Children, 40.3 million enslaved today,,480%2C769%20images%20per%20week.)%E2%80%9D

UNICEF, 19 million children internally displaced by conflict and violence in 2019, highest number ever – UNICEF,'s%20most%20vulnerable%20to%20COVID%2D19&text=NEW%20YORK%2C%205%20May%202020,in%20a%20new%20report%20today

WHO, Violence against children,,lifelong%20health%20and%20well%2Dbeing.




How to Cite

Ali, M. M. (2024). The Transformation of Islamic Studies: An Ethical and Methodological Analysis. IIUM Journal of Religion and Civilisational Studies, 6(2), 120–138.