Ibn Khaldun: The Founding Father of the Social Sciences
Leila Asani Halud
An Arab thinker, Ibn Khalud, in fact pioneered the scholarship o sociology. Practically all the classical sociologists, form Comte to Pareto, posited similar ideas as Ibn Khaldun who existed 400 years before them. Comte, as we know is the father of sociology, but literature would reveal he read Ibn Khaldun’s works, from which, this paper supposes, Comte got the basic assumptions on his exposition on Positive Philosophy, which was later referred to as sociology. Comte’s theory of progress, Marx’s stages of society, Durkheim’s types of solidarity and so on had in fact already been extensively discussed by Ibn Khaldun in the 14th century. His book ” An Introduction to History” is indeed an introduction to History in its entirely. Yet, his works get a little less attention as tools of learning that they deserve. Ibn Khaldun deserves a place in the history of Social Sciences as a body of thought.
This is just one of the many aspects of struggle of the Muslim world – its seemingly lost heritage. The responsibility of Muslim today is to investigate issues on intellectual heritage to be able to: one, locate itself in local and global arena; second, continuously further the ideas laid down by previous Muslim thinkers and find its applicability in the present times. There is a great need for scholars, academicians, writers, artist, scientist to restore and carry on the intellectual greatness of Islam.