02| Preliminary Thoughts on Acquiring Knowledge in Postmodernism and In Islam


  • Norzakiah Saparmin International Islamic University Malaysia


Two of the most important principles in Postmodernism are embracing total relativism and to doubt everything.  Both principles advocate skepticism and question the possibility of acquiring knowledge as a true and certain knowledge.  The first half of this paper would delineate how the door of skepticism was opened anew by Descartes, and how skepticism later emerged as an epistemological problem and formulated anew by Kant and gave rise to the birth of Postmodernism.  The paper would delineate as an example in the era of Postmodernism an attempt in depth psychology of how knowledge can be acquired.  But Postmodernism in itself is a paradox.  It does not only advocate skepticism and total relativism, but it also works the opposite by strengthening other existing dominant ideologies in the West such as Secularism and Materialism.  In the second half of the paper, we would delineate the meaning of knowledge in Islam, and its epistemological framework, since in Islam, knowledge is not a possibility, but it is true and certain, and can be acquired, with the same relative degree of certainty, by the three sources of knowledge, which are sense perception, reason, and revelation.  Our methodology is qualitative analysis of many of the works of Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas such as Islam: The Concept of Religion and the Foundation of Ethics and Morality, The Meaning and Experience of Happiness in Islam, and Islam and the Philosophy of Science.

Author Biography

Norzakiah Saparmin, International Islamic University Malaysia

Department of Computational and Theoretical Sciences, Kulliyyah of Science,

International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)



How to Cite

Saparmin, N. (2020). 02| Preliminary Thoughts on Acquiring Knowledge in Postmodernism and In Islam . Revelation and Science, 9(02), 21–34. Retrieved from https://journals.iium.edu.my/revival/index.php/revival/article/view/251