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Father of Economic Experts
(history Ibn Khaldun)

Ibn Khladun the exception of the Arab world of thought. At the time when the world thought of stagnation Arab, Ibn Khaldun would appear with a brilliant mind. Ibn Khaldun whose full name is Abu Zayd Abd-ar-Rahman Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), a great historian of Islam in the Middle Ages. Khaldun was born on May 27, 1332 in Tunis (now Tunisia). Ibn Khaldun's family came from Hadramaut and still have offspring with Hajar Bin Wail, one of the Companions of the Prophet SAW.

Khaldun was born of Arab-Spanish family since childhood has been close to the intellectual and political life. His father, Muhammad bin Muhammad was a former military officer who likes to learn the science of law, theology, and literature. Even at age 17, Khaldun has mastered the classical Islamic sciences including ulum, aqliyah (philosophical science, mysticism, and metaphysics). Tunisia when it is the center of the scholars and writers who allows young Ibn Khaldun's a lot to learn from them.

In addition to fond world of knowledge, Ibn Khaldun was also involved in the political world. He served Shabib al'Allamah (storage signature) on the government of Abu Muhammad ibn Tafrakin in Tunis. When he was at it he was only stepping 20 years. The uncertain political situation makes Ibn Khaldun sedentary jobs. The political situation is also affecting his career. When he served as secretary of the Sultanate of Fez in Morocco, Abu Inan he accepted the allegations as a political plot to attack the Sultan. Khaldun end up in jail for 21 months because of these accusations.

Ibn Khaldun was never tried in what is now Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and in Granada, Spain, and has twice been jailed. In 1375 he was exiled in the near Frenda, Algeria, four years to complete his monumental work, al-Mukaddimah. Fill in the prologue Kitab al-Ibar (Universal History). In 1382, in the holy city of Mecca, he was offered by the Sultan of cairo to become rector of the leading Islamic university, Al Azhar University, he was also appointed as a judge (qadi) Maliki Shaykh of Islam. In 1400 he accompanied the sultan's successor to Damascus in the expedition withstand the attacks of the Turkish invasion, Tamerlane (Timur Lenk). Ibn Khaldun spent several weeks as guests of the great Tamerlene before returning to Cairo, where he died on March 17, 1406.

Kitab al-Ibar is a valuable guide to the history of Muslim North Africa. However, six other volumes of the prestige lost with Prolegomena. In it, Ibn Khaldun highlights the history and social science that there is continuity between the ancient and medieval centuries and strongly reflect modern sociology. Society, he believes, are united by the power of social unity can be enhanced by the unity of religion. Social change and community dynamics following the empirical law was found and merefeleksikan activity and economic climate in line with reality.

Arab historian who lived in the 14th century it had begun writing with regard to antopologi. Khaldun conduct important studies about the factors sociology, psychology, and economic factors that influence the development, progress, and fall of civilizations. Both Khaldun nor Herodotus produce keilmunamn objective, analytic, ethnographic portrayal of cultural diversity in the Mediterranean world, but they also sometimes use information from both sources.

During the middle ages (age 5-15) expert gospel dominate European thought. European thinkers are still struggling in search of human nature, which is about the question of human origins and cultural development. They answered this question with an answer the problem of religious beliefs and put forward the idea that human existence and all human differences are God's creation. The answer is so theologically despite berpikkir openness compared to the dark period of Europe. As is known to dominate the thinking of the Church theology dark-century Europe.

Another side affect European thought is the fruit of their exploration into the Eastern world. Start akhi ​​14th century, European explorers seeking riches in the new land that gambling provides an overview of exotic cultures they encountered on their travels in Asia, Africa, and the land we call America. But the explorers, explorers did not understand the languages ​​in which they came and they made a brief and systematic research.

In the 14th century Ibn Khaldun wrote a universal history which reveals extraordinarily knowledgeable about learning abilities and unusual ability of the Ibn Khaldun who compiled a general theory for the calculation of social political and social developments over the centuries. He is a Muslim historians suggest only that the social and economic reasons for the changes of history, although his work is read and copied, it can not result in an effective influence to encourage the newly introduced Western thought in the 19th century.

In al-Muqaddimah, the Khaldun explains that history is a record of human societies or perdaban world, about the changes that occur, the subject of human nature, such as wildness, hospitality, solidarity groups, about revolutions and uprisings of a group to the group another result in the emergence of kingdoms and countries with varying levels, in the various activities and positions of people, both to meet the necessities of life and their activities in science and industry, as well as any changes that occur in society.

This is in line with the notion of Universal History (or world) who want an understanding of the overall experience of past human life totally to view the messages in the message useful distinction for the future. Two issues dominated the writing of universal history, the first availability of the quantity and diversity of materials in which language is written to imply that universal history takes the form of collective work or a history of second hand. Second, the principle of selection associated with the selection of studies to establish the appropriate taxonomic history. The units are geographically (eg, continents), period, stage of development or structures, significant events, are interconnected (eg communication, the struggle for world power, or the development of world economic system), civilization or culture, empire and nation state, or community was

Khaldun even specify that the economy, nature, and religion is a factor that influences the development of history. Although no influence, economic factors, nature and religion for Khaldun was not the only factor that determines the movement of history. He said that: "The state of nature, nations, customs, and religion are not always in the same groove. All the different according to different days, times, and perlahian from one state to another. The difference it applies to individuals, time, and city ​​as it is on the whole city, period and country. One source of error in the writing of history is to be ignorant of the changes that occur in the time and people in accordance with the passage of time and change time. These changes occur in the form of subtle, long only can be felt, so difficult to see and know a few people. "

In short, for Khaldun, economy, nature, and religion is the unity that influences the movement of history. Motion cycle theory of history as he thinks is based on a common part of the community one with another society. This theory is actually a commentary on the thinking Khladun, Khladun itself was not present it explicitly. One thing that is delivered Khaldun is explicitly critical thinking about history. According to Khaldun: "If this is so, then the rules for distinguishing truth from falsehood contained in the historical information is diasarkan kemungkiknan or impossibility ... If we had done so, makia we already have rules that can be used to distinguish anatara truth and honesty from sleaze and lies the historical information in a logical way ... then when we hear about a historical event that occurred in civilization, then we must know what is reasonable and deserves what constitutes falsehood. This is the right size for us, which can be used by historians to find the path of honesty and truth in menukilkan historical events. "

Khaldun's critical thinking about history is one thought which underlies modern thinking about the history of Europeans in the next period. However Jean Bodin (1530-1596), Jean Mabilon (1632-1707), Georg Betrhold Niebur (1776-1831), until Leopald van Ranke (1795-1886), read or not al-Muqadimmah, thinking in line with Ibn Khladun. From here we can know that Ibn Khaldun is the exception. He is not the only thinker who is always thinking about things that are abstract but his thinking comes from the ground where he stood. Understanding the thought of Ibn Khaldun as well as understand the mind of a Muslim who dared to criticize his nation. Especially once thought a very rationalist but not lose the flavor and keimannya in Allah.

Sumber: Ahmad Syafii Maarif. (1996)Ibn Khaldun Dalam Pandangan Penulis Barat dan Timur. Jakarta: Gema Insani Press. Biyanto. (2004). Teori Siklus Peradaban Perspektif Ibnu Khaldun, Surabaya: Lembaga Pengkajian Agama dan Masyarakat. Toto Suharto. (2003) Epistemologi Sejarah Kritis Ibnu Khaldun, Yogyakarta: Fajar Pustaka Baru.