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Islamizing the taleem ….. – 53 (Perception mechanism – some clarifications)

8 Dec

(My dialogue through email with a group on the Topic: Islamizing the Taleem and Tarbiyah of our children)

Assalamu Alaikum,

In the previous few e-mails we were discussing on March and Simon’s perception model. Onwards insha’Allah we will discuss another interesting theory presented on perception or worldview by an Islamic intellectual Dr. Alparsalan Acikgenc. He is Turkish and has been serving for over twenty years at the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC), a part of International Islamic University Malaysia.

In his book Islamic Science – Towards a Definition Dr. Alparsalan has contributed to the issue of what worldview is, how is it developed and its significance?

Here I will like to elaborate a little on the close concepts of Perception, Paradigm, Worldview, amal e Idrak and thought structure. We can place Paradigm and Worldview  together to mean the map that we have developed in our minds about this life and the world around. Thought structure, amal e idrak and perception are the result of this map in our minds. This is the more active faculty which makes us first judge and then deal with any scenario or event taking place in the environment. But when I talk of perception I include the Paradigm and worldview within this perceptional process.

One important thing to realize is that our perception is the result of our paradigm and worldview and in turn these two are continuously affected by the variation in our perceptions. For example some event takes place in front of us, we will make a judgment as per our present paradigm and then react. Our reacting will result in some effects or some happening/s. This new experience will be registered back in our mind map, paradigm, or worldview. Depending upon this result that we have experienced, as compared with that of our previous experiences about such situation, our perception will either be reinforced, or, will be  altered if the result was not as per our expectations, or was a new  experience. As such both the faculties, the paradigm (worldview) and the perception (amal e idrak) very heavily influence each other. But I feel that perception, if not wrongly understood, seem more suitable to be used to deal with the effects of education. For a clearer understanding I very frequently use other terms with perception, so that the audience does not misunderstand by taking the narrower definition of perception, as I every now and then experience.

Before I take up Dr. Alparsalan Acikgenc’s worldview theory I feel to further elaborate what perception effects upon. Here I will like to ask audience a question: What dimension are we living in at present? Is it western or Islamic? How has this dimension developed? I am sure many of you will agree that presently we are living in the Western dimension, and look at world from western perspective. Is it not true that when we hear or read a western intellectual talk on Islam we feel fascinated and impressed. I have seen many among us reading about Islamic scholars from the books written in the west by non-Muslims. Many of our predecessors applied a lot of efforts to prove that Islam is what west was talking about, or endeavoring for. Does Islam and west live or see from the same dimension? One believes in an active Creator and the other denies same. One prepares human beings for Aakhira and the other for this world alone. How can the two be in the same dimension? This has to be realized and realized well. It is here the role of perception, or world view comes. 

I try again and again to expound the importance of perception. For a wrong perception will definitely lead us on a different trail than what our creator wants us to proceed on for success in this dunya and a’akhira. But we live in the world of dreams, don’t we? It is because of mismatch between the education that we follow and the ends that we want to reach.

I keep the introduction to Dr. Alparsalan Acikgenc’s theory of Worldview for my next e-mail insha’Allah, fearing the size and the resulting complaint from sisters.

Br. Abid.