By Syed Farid Alatas
The writings of Ibn Khaldūn, fairly the Muqaddimah (Prolegomenon) have rightly been considered as being sociological in nature. hence, Ibn Khaldūn has been largely considered as the founding father of sociology, or a minimum of a precursor of contemporary sociology. whereas he was once given this popularity, besides the fact that, few works went past proclaiming him as a founder or precursor to the systematic program of his theoretical viewpoint to express ancient and modern facets of Muslim societies in North Africa and the center East. the continued presence of Eurocentrism within the social sciences has now not helped during this regard: it frequently stands within the means of the dignity of non-Western assets of theories and ideas.
This publication offers an outline of Ibn Khaldūn and his sociology, discusses purposes for his marginality, and indicates how one can deliver Ibn Khaldūn into the mainstream in the course of the systematic program of his thought. It strikes past works that easily country that Ibn Khaldūn was once a founding father of sociology or supply descriptive debts of his works. as an alternative it systematically applies Khaldūn’s theoretical viewpoint to express historic features of Muslim societies in North Africa and the center East, effectively integrating ideas and frameworks from Khaldūnian sociology into sleek social technological know-how theories. Applying Ibn Khaldūn will be of curiosity to scholars and students of sociology and social theory.
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Extra info for Applying Ibn Khaldūn: The Recovery of a Lost Tradition in Sociology
45 Nevertheless, there are no long-standing debates surrounding each of these positions. As a result, theoretical interest in Ibn Khaldūn has not been able to sustain itself to any appreciable degree. In place of a more sophisticated theoretical assessment of Ibn Khaldūn’s writings are simplified caricatures of his work. 46 This book addresses itself to the second genre: that is, the specification of a general Khaldūnian historical sociology. While it is not within the scope of this book to elaborate a general Khaldūnian sociology, the aim is to provide examples of systematic applications of Ibn Khaldūn’s theory of state formation to specific historical and empirical cases, most of which lie outside of his own time and geographical focus.
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Assuming that it were true that the first Khaldūn migrated to Andalusia during the time of the Arab conquest, there would be some 20 generations between him and his ancestor. However, according to the family tree there were ten generations that separated them. Ibn Khaldūn figured that ten generations would not have covered the span of 700 years that separated him from the first Khaldūn, if it was considered that three generations appeared per century. 1 The failure to apply such logic to the reports of history was among the more serious errors committed by historians that Ibn Khaldūn cited.