ISLAMIC CIVILIZATION OF MALAY: HISTRORICAL POLEMIC AND MODERN CHALLENGES (THE THOUGHT OF SYED NAQUIB AL-ATTAS)
This paper has a background of polemics about the role of Islam in Malay history and civilization. The polemic begins with the accusations of some Orientalists who claim that Islam is a religion that does not contribute significantly to the progress of civilization in Malay land. This paper describes the strong denial of Syed Naquib Al-Attas against the accusation. Al-Attas shows evidence that Islam has an important role in advancing the development of Malay society and nation both in aspects of culture, thought, philosophy, science and Malay. This paper also presents the Al-Attas view of the contemporary world of Islam which has experienced backwardness in various aspects. Al-Attas identified various causes of the weakness of the Islamic ummah, especially the Malay people and the solution that must be done. For Al-Attas the progress of Islamic civilization and the Malay world can be done by: building various aspects of Malay Islamic civilization, improving the education system and applying the concept of Islamization of science.