Ibnu Khaldun is a great Islamic scholar in the 14th century AD. His ideas in various fields such as economy, history, politics, and education are still being referred to and cited by scholars in both the West and East. His writing entitled “
Keywords: Muqaddimahthinkingcognitivehumanhaqiqatul insan
The greatness and excellence of Ibnu Khaldun is manifested in his writings which have been referred to by scholars in both the East and West. One of his greatest writings is
Besides that, there are various other written works by Ibnu Khaldun such as
There are a number of studies which have been conducted previously by other researchers on Ibnu Khaldun’s thoughts in his Muqaddimah and which involve the historical and social fields. His expertise and the strength of his knowledge in these fields qualify him to the title “The Father of Sociology” and “The Father of History” (Che Zarrina & Mohd Kamil, 2015). Ibnu Khaldun has submitted an in depth research on the human civilisation such as the beginning of civilisation, factors which drive to its development, and also factors which lead to its downfall (Joni & Che Zarrina 2009).
However, his huge contribution in the field of education is also very often forgotten due to his prominences in three other fields, that is, sociology, history, and philosophy (Yazid, 1985). He has also sparked a sufficiently long and outstanding idea in education. Within this context, this paper will discuss his thoughts on the concept of thinking and the theory of human intellectual development based on his writing, Muqaddimah.
The following are the research questions in conducting the research study:
What is the concept of thinking based on Ibnu Khaldun writing, Muqaddimah?
What is the theory of human intellectual development based on Ibn Khaldun writing, Muqaddimah?
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to analyse the concept of thinking dan theory of human intellectual development. Furthermore, the study was to determine the relationship human intellectual development and knowledge to gain an ideal human.
In order to accomplish this study, a qualitative approach is used to obtain information through library method such as referring to writing materials in the form of scientific books, articles, journals, proceedings, and papers presented at seminars or workshops. Textual analysis has been carried out to obtain findings in
Some findings of the research on
The Concept of Thinking
Upon the analysis on
Ibnu Khaldun mentions that human beings need the nature of
Ibnu Khaldun stresses on the importance of knowledge (
Ibnu Khaldun believes that thinking occurs when there is a shadowing process (of an object) behind feelings, and the use of intellect in analysing and synthesising, as well as incorporating vague parts. He claims that the word af’idat (plural of
Al-Aṣfahāniy (1997) termed the word intellect as “the strength of a person who is willing to accept knowledge” and is sometimes referred to as “the knowledge that human acquires through that strength”. This is in line with the view of al-Ghazali (n.d.) that the intellect is not an object that can be touched when it is compared with knowledge. Consequently, Ibnu Khaldun’s view had raised disputes among scholars about the position of intellectual minds in human beings.
Ibn Qutaybah (n.d.) argues that the position of intellect is the heart as Al-Aṣfahāniy (1997) describes the word
“Verily in this is a Message for any that has a heart and understanding or who gives ear and earnestly witnesses (the truth).” (Surah Qaf :37)
Based on the verse, the tafsir ulama describes different meanings for the expression of
However, al-Suyuti (2002) stresses that the position of intellect is not in the head but in the chest as based on the word of Allah S.W.T:
“Do they not travel through the land, so that their hearts (and minds) may thus learn wisdom and their ears may thus learn to hear? Truly it is not their eyes that are blind, but their hearts which are in their breasts.” (Surah al-Hajj :46)
This argument obviously shows that the intellect is not in the brain because the expression of
Al-Qaradawi (1996) argues that the word
“And pursue not that of which you have no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning).” (Al-Isrā’ :36)
Fakhr al-Din al Razi (1999) describes the word
This view is in line with Ibnu Khaldun’s view that the intellect is centred in the heart (fuᾱd), not in the head because the head is the primary source of information receiving from the senses which is analysed and developed with other imaginations from the imagination on the matter (Shahrul, 2008). Ibnu Khaldun has brought an implied view that intellect is not the brain but it is an advantage to humans to explore and understand the environment as well as to gain knowledge, of which, with the knowledge, humans are able to judge between goodness and evil, and thus, keep away from harm.
Theory of Human Cognitive Development
For Ibnu Khaldun, human intellect develops and has different cognitive abilities in four levels (Machouche & Bensaid, 2015a; Ibrahim, 2015; Masauche & Bensaid, 2015b; Mohd Yusof, 2012). The first level is the ability of the human intellectual on the understanding of something beyond the universe, in the changing order of nature or shapes. These thoughts are in the form of perceptions. This level is known as a differential capability that allows humans to acquire everything that is beneficial for themselves and their lives, as well as rejecting the harmful things.
Rosenthal (2015) translates this level of intellect as “the discerning intellect”, that is: “The ability to think has several degrees. The first degree…the discerning intellect, with the help of which man obtains the things that are useful for him and his livelihood, and repels the things that are harmful for him”.
This level also enables humans to identify the meanings derived from the senses by imagining all things from the outside either in nature or in the pursuit of purpose (Abdullah Al Amin, 1994). Hence, human is also able to explore the things that benefit himself or herself and to his or her life as well as keep away from harm (Joni & Che Zarrina, 2009).
The second level is the ability to think that can provide humans with all the ideas and behaviours required in human relationships with the environment such as building relationships between subordinates and leaders. This idea is derived through perception (
states that the second level is called “the experimental intellect” with an explanation:“the idea and the behaviour needed in dealing with his fellow men and in leading them” (p. 334).
Hence, cognitive development in this level differs greatly from the previous level in which experimental-minded activity is aimed at identifying “relationships” by producing and studying ideas relating to social needs and the behaviours required in their social interactions (Joni & Che Zarina, 2009). This level only occurs when they gather, help others, and when expressing their views and ideas in association with others (Abdullah Al Amin, 1994).
Moreover, the third level is the ability to think that equips humans with knowledge (
At this level, human beings are able to give an impression of existence as it is which covers various generalisations, differences of reason and its causes (Joni & Che Zarrina, 2009) This intellect also enables humans to make comparisons and combinations of some knowledge to produce new knowledge (Amir, 2013; Ismail, Dakir, & Othman, 2011). According to Ibnu Khaldun, this intellect will form a true and perfect human intellect ergo be interpreted as the essence of human (
Furthermore, the fourth level shows the level of human ability to think more towards high-class intelligence in a sophisticated cultural setting in order to advance a society in achieving higher knowledge and skills (Shahrul, 2008). The development of this thinking occurs when human beings are given theoretical knowledge and skills, humans can convey and demonstrate in intellectual discussions and practice such skills to solve problems (Masauche & Bensaid Benouda, 2015a). Ibnu Khaldun has previously stated that additional intellect (
Therefore, it is necessary that each kind of learning (ilm) and speculation (nazari) should be the rational soul with additional intelligence. Now, the crafts and their habit always lead to the acquisition of scientific norms, which result from habit. Therefore, any experience provides intelligence. The habits of the craft provide intelligence. Perfect sedentary culture provides intelligence, because it is a conglomerate of crafts characterized by concerns for the (domestic) economy, contact with one's fellow men, attainment of education through mixing with (one’s fellow men) and also administration of religious matters and understanding the ways and condition governing them. All these (factors) are norms which, properly arranged, constitute scientific disciplines. Thus, an increase in intelligence results from them” (p. 331).
The humans’ ability to think is the nature of event which Allah bestows upon humans as a special creature to assume responsibility as caliph in the world (Kamarul Azmi & Abdul Halim, 2007). Allah Taala encourages humans to always think by mentioning it in various words in the Qur’an such as
In addition, Ibnu Khaldun points out that the development of human intellect occurs naturally in parallel with the development of human namely
Next, the intellect of
In whole, Ibnu Khaldun has brought to the fore a theory of thought, that is, thought that produces knowledge or views on the subject being studies that goes beyond the senses (Muhsin, 2014). He has developed the concept of human thought and the theory of human cognitive development in his great work,
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18 December 2019
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Sociolinguistics, linguistics, literary theory, political science, political theory
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Sahad, M. N., & Zulkufli*, M. A. (2019). An Analysis Of Cognitive Development Based On Ibnu Khaldun’s Thoughts. In N. S. Mat Akhir, J. Sulong, M. A. Wan Harun, S. Muhammad, A. L. Wei Lin, N. F. Low Abdullah, & M. Pourya Asl (Eds.), Role(s) and Relevance of Humanities for Sustainable Development, vol 68. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 304-311). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.09.33