The Qur'anic Identity of the Muslim Ummah: Tawhidic Epistemology as its Foundation and Sustainer
This article seeks to serve as the necessary background and foundation to another article by the author which is to appear in the upcoming issue of this journal. It explains the identity of the Muslim community (ummah) within the framework of the quranic theory of multi-religious identities rooted in a common identity structure for all revealed religions and their respective communities. Tawhidic epistemology is central to the identity of the Muslim ummah. The essence of the ummah is a knowledge-community with its distinctive knowledge-culture founded on the quranic tawhid and the Muhammadan shariah. Tawhidic vision of knowledge upholds the categorical position that all true human knowledge ought to be ultimately related to the unity of God, since all things are ontologically related to their Divine Origin. Muslims today no longer possess the whole of tawhidic epistemology along with its accompanying exemplary thinking culture. The eclipse of tawhidic epistemology has resulted in deviations in thinking modes from established norms rooted in traditional Islamic intellectual culture. Only a sound epistemological order exemplified in tawhidic epistemology may guarantee a healthy thinking and knowledge-culture on which alone the strength of the Muslim ummatic identity depends.