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What is Integrated Knowledge Research and Learning?

The gravitational trend in research and teaching, in most civilizations, has often pointed towards developing independent, autonomous areas of inquiries, leading to the establishment of specialized science disciplines. In specialized sciences, each discipline strives to develop its own methods and tools to process and produce information and contents. Consequently, specialized science disciplines become efficient, established normative standards, and prepare the ground for the potential rigor. This trend was not boundless.

Many disciplines with focus on experimental research have always depended on other abstract disciplines to prove hypotheses, produce models, and/or grow a body of proprietary knowledge. Almost all branches of physics, for instance, depend on mathematical knowledge. The same applies to biological, engineering, and computational sciences. However, when considering the broader body of fields of studies, including the humanities and social sciences disciplines, it becomes evident that the dominance of specialized science disciplines produced a fragmented body of knowledge. Additionally, in specialized science disciplines, researchers increasingly grew isolated and protective, launching narrow fields and sub-fields of inquiry into a spiral of monotonous systematization. Importantly, specialized sciences run the risk of producing knowledge with limited relevance and applicability. Good science is founded on researchers’ ability to identify and account for as many factors and variables as possible and on being able to reproduce events to know the governing rules thereof. However, the physical and conceptual worlds rarely work under totally and completely controlled environments. To deal with these and other limitations of specialized science disciplines, many areas of research developed interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary areas of studies. The driving forces (mostly economic and administrative in nature) behind the development and design of interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary studies handicapped its achievements and limited its potential. Such forces diminished the advantages of specialized science disciplines without upgrading the humanities and social sciences disciplines and other disciplines.

The economic, administrative, and normative forces are still present, making it necessary for researchers and instructors to creatively develop innovative approaches to produce sound knowledge by building on the strength of specialized science disciplines and the potential of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Integrated Knowledge Research and Learning, as a method and as a theory, draws on the most refined, tested, and established knowledge in relevant, critical disciplines and considers their applicability in or impact on other areas of inquiry and the social and natural worlds and environments. Specifically, disciplines in the humanities and social sciences ought to develop a strong foundation derived from specialized science disciplines as well as from disciplines from within the humanities and social sciences disciplines. Integrated Knowledge Research is different from interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary studies in that, it is the outcome of a discipline that is of value, not its particular method or approach. Integrated Knowledge Research and Learning builds on facts not on theory.

In the area of Islamic and area studies, Integrated Knowledge Research and Learning is very useful if not necessary because of the complexity, broadness, and depth of the field. This resource aims to provide a unique space to share ideas and knowledge dealing with topics related to the Islamic civilization since the formative period. In the end, such space is one where settled knowledge, regardless of area of inquiry, is used to inform ongoing research and learning.

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This indexing resource is mean to help the integration efforts and allow scholars and researchers with teaching and research interests in Islam, as an idea and event, and Southwest Asia and North Africa as a region, to share and find secondary sources (critical works of scholarship).

Scholars and researchers who have primary sources (manuscripts, documents, video and audio files, and images) that they would like to make available to other researchers and students are encouraged to make use of the Primary Sources Repository. Registered user will be able to upload their own work as well as access the content uploaded by others.

This resource is a public service, if you would like to volunteer to sustain and maintain the service, please reach out to us via the contact us form.

 

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