Arabic symbol



بحث مخصص


Philosophers of  the Arabs


Professor Tayyeb Tizini

Professor Tayyeb Tizini (b. 1934), a Syrian Thinker, a pro Nationalist Marxist thought, makes use of the Historical Dialectic Methodology in his philosophical project of a new reading of the Arabic thought since before Islam till today.

 His Youth and Studies

Born in Homs, Syria 1934. He finished his elementary studies in Homs and left to Turkey to finish his secondary studies, then to Britain and Germany. He finished his studies in philosophy and earned his PhD on 1967 from Germany, first, and later on, 1973, earned the PhD in Philosophical Sciences. He taught at Damascus University since then and became a full professor in philosophy till today.

His Political Activities

Professor Tizini has participated in political activities in Syria before his travel abroad to study, he describes this period in his talk to 'Al-Rayah' Newspaper as follows,

 In reality, some roots bind me to politics, theoretically as well as practically. I have participated in some of the left parties that have appeared in Syria for a while, after that I used to come back to theoretical thought especially in its political form. Hence, the political experiences that I lived within specific political parties have given me a deep experience that I tried, and still trying, to theorize within the framework of the Arabic political thought. This inclination has deepened when I noticed that during my study of the Arabic history I had to return to the Arabic political thought. Hence, I wrote some of my writings that have been mixed with a deep interest in politics and political thought. (Dialogue – Al-Rayah)

 His Intellectual Course

Professor Tizini earned his PhD from Germany, on 1967, the topic was titled "An Introduction to Medieval Arabic Philosophy", which has been printed in German on 1972. His topic has turned out to be the core concept of a philosophical project when he published his first book 'A project of a new vision for the Arabic thought in the medieval era', on 1971, which has been printed afterwards five prints.

Professor Tizini, later on, has turned his core concept into a multi-volume project that aimed to be composed of twelve parts. In this period he finished about six parts of the project, such as 'Arabic Thought in its beginnings and its early horizons" (1982), "From Yehudah to God" (1985), and "A preliminary introduction to early Mohammedan Islam" (1994).

Professor Tizini finished six parts of his project before turning to concentrate on the problem of "Arabic Renaissance" (in Arabic termed 'Nahda', means literally to revive or rise up). This second phase of Tizini's thought, which started approximately on mid Nineties, has concentrated on the obstacles of Arabic renaissance (Nahda). Whether, those obstacles belong to Arabic thought, or those resulting from the pressure of the West. In this period he wrote, among many other works, "From Western Orientalism to Moroccan Occidentalism" (1997), "The Qur'anic Text and the Problematic of its Structure and Reading" (1997), and "From the Trinity of Corruption to the Issue of the Civil Society" (2001).

With reference to the intellectual turn of Professor Tizini, it can be said that, despite his continued commitment to Marxism, two basic aspects have marked such a turn. First, giving up the classical Marxist analysis of social change, which is based on 'Class struggle', and replacing it by an evolutionary process that encounters the whole spectrum of the sections of the society. Second, exclusion of Islamic religious thought, which is a natural position in Marxism, is replaced by acknowledging the importance of understanding religious belief and Islamic faith, as an inner experience of the layperson, as an element in the mechanisms of societal evolution.

His Philosophy

Philosophical thought of Professor Tizini is based on an essential concept that my be viewed as the central concept of the whole of his philosophical project. Tizini tries in several forms to prove that the 'Arabic Thought', and this includes the pre-Islamic era, is part of the evolution of history of human thought in the general sense. This position produces two consequences. First, despite that Arabic thought have flourished within the 'Islamic' civilization as well as 'Islamic' thought, nevertheless, as a part of evolution of human thought, it can be analyzed using the materialist dialectic methodology. Second, the concept of 'Euro-centrism' which makes Arabic thought marginal to European thought making it a passive carrier of the miraculous Greek thought, is pointless, and even unscientific.

The centrality of this concept appears clearly from his classification of the Arabic thought as belonging to the 'medieval era', based on dividing history of human thought into ancient, medieval, and modern. It also appears in his analysis of the 'Arabic thought', starting from its 'early' phase before Islam, on the basis of the social, economic, and political circumstances before and after Islam.

On this basis, professor Tizini sees that his position liberates contemporary Arabic thought from the domination of the Western one. For, in this case it becomes possible to resume the Arabic thought as a part of the evolution of human thought. In addition, this position represents a means to overcome the domination of the traditional 'Islamic' thought on the basis of the possibility of re-reading the history of the Arabic thought as a part of the history of human thought. In such a way, the process of the historical re-reading of the Arabic thought would constitute an additional motive toward resuming such a thought in the present time.

 His Philosophical Project

The philosophical project of Professor Tayyeb Tizini is basically directed toward re-reading the 'Arabic' thought throughout its history within its political, economic and social context on the basis of the materialist dialectic methodology. The beginnings of this project go back to the topic of his Doctorate Dissertation titled "An Introduction to Medieval Arabic Philosophy". This topic, afterwards, has been crystallized, as mentioned above, into a multi-volume philosophical project in his well-known work "A project of a new vision of the medieval Arabic thought". The description 'new vision' is justified by the fact that his work was in reality the first trial to read the Arabic thought through its historicity and its material relations, and in addition, as a part of human intellectual history.

Professor Tizini has accomplished six parts of his project before turning to concentrate on the problematic of the Arabic 'Nahda' (Arabic renaissance). The second period in Tizini's thought, which started approximately on 1997, has been marked by confronting three basic issues that he considered as the main obstacles toward achieving Arabic modernity.

First, the unhistorical structuralist thought, which imposes non-historical judgments on the Arabic 'mind' and 'reason'. This position, in his view, leads to giving up the Arabic 'Nahda' (i.e. renaissance) thought. For, if the Arabic mind were inherently deficient then it would be incapable to produce the necessary creative and realistic thought needed to achieve an Arabic renaissance.

Second, the problematic of reading and understanding religious thought, in general, and the 'Qur'an' (i.e. the sacred Islamic text) in particular. He sees that it is possible to read 'Qur'an' a dialectic-historical reading, and hence, to articulate on such a reading to formulate the necessary concepts of 'Nahda' (i.e. renaissance). In this way, according to his vision, it becomes possible to solve the problematic of the relation between the 'Nahda' thought, based on Reason, and 'Turath' (i.e. Islamic heritage.

 The third issue which he confronts in his second phase of thought, is the problems real life that pertains to philosophical thought. The corruption of the Arabic reality, on the political, social and intellectual levels, from one side, and the Civilizational challenges imposed upon the Arabic world by contemporary Western civilization, form another side.  

  In general, we may say that philosophical thought of professor Tizini aims, in the final analysis, at transforming his previously mentioned central theme, into theoretical concepts and practical applications. On the theoretical level, his thought can be divided into his concept of the philosophical method, which is the historical, materialist dialectic, his ontological concepts about nature and existence, and his historical analyses of the Arabic thought and its relation to Islamic religion. On the practical level, his thought can be divided into two basic lines. First, his philosophical thought about the means of dealing with the 'Qur'anic' (the Islamic sacred book) text and the conditions of reading and understanding it in view of the materialistic-dialectic method. Second, the conditions of 'Nahda' (Arabic renaissance), and the relation between Arabic societies and the international Western Imperialism.

His methodology

In his work "On the Road to Methodological Clarity", Tizini expounds his view of the correct methodology of dealing with the Arabic thought. In this work two basic characteristics of his methodology is declared. First, acknowledgement of pluralism, whether on the methodological or the theoretical level; no one possesses absolute reality. Second, asserting the objective necessity of depending on the historical-dialectic methodology. With respect to his concept of pluralism, he states,

We will see in the context of these writings the necessity of reservation with respect to the opinions and intellectual projects that has been introduced to deal with contemporary Arabic intellectual problems, despite that such a reservation is subject, itself, to the requirements of the democratic scientific dialogue. Moreover, we would say before bringing up such a reservation that we have to admit the necessity of defending freedom of the democratic scientific dialogue in saying and in practice. For, first, this 'fact' cannot emerge from an absolute theory or methodology. Second, because the Arabic intellectual status specifically, is still, and will be for a long time, in a state in which it bears, to a certain limit the methodology of 'trial and error' without falling into a false cognitive empirical disposition. (on the road of the methodological clarity, P. 6)

With respect to the importance and necessity of the materialistic dialectic methodology, within a general framework of intellectual plurality, he expresses,

This would lead us to say that the materialistic dialectic methodology pervades this book, and that it itself is subject to the critical dialogue. In addition, the above mentioned methodology even if it has been stripped of most of its given particular facts, it will be still keeping its essential decisive pillar, which is being the method of materialistic dialectic of surpassing and overcoming the existing circumstances. (on the road to methodological clarity P.7),

 he says, as well,

The historical materialistic dialectical methodology, with its structuralist and functionalist elements, possesses, in our view, the most fruitful possibilities toward uncovering the reality in its dialectical, epistemological and ideological unity. However, such an aim, in order to be realized, is governed by the scientific activity with its related sociological, political, and cultural dimensions. (on the road to methodological clarity, P. 254-255)

 In addition, Professor Tizini stresses on the essential importance of the historical methodology in the Arabic thought, especially after the appearance of the unhistorical theories, such as structuralism and functionalism. In the introduction of "a project for a new vision for the Arabic thought', he writes,

Formulating and developing scientific theories, assumptions and categories cannot be consistent with the requirements of scientific precision by articulating on the logical construction of these theories, assumptions and categories alone. Such a process of formulation and evolution, in response to the scientific requirements, ought to be accompanied with the deep foundations of such concepts in its historicity. In other words, Logic should be seen and dealt with in its history, and history in its logic, in an organic intimate relation. The logical dialectical moment in a specific conception can be understood in a more general and accurate way, when we search in its deep unification with its history.

The great importance of such a problem appears, specifically, in relation to the new subjects in natural, technological, and social sciences. It is not unusual to find theories and opinions that deal with concepts such as 'Structure', 'Form', 'System', or 'advancement' on the basis of contemporary evolution of such concepts only. In this way an essential side of such concepts, the historical side, is ignored. History and logic complement each other in a dialectic unity, and this means that no one excludes or exhausts the other. Without referring to the ontological priority of history, both of them is essential for formulating and developing scientific philosophical concepts. However, this essential equality does not mean, naturally, ignoring realities of the case we deal with and its complicated relations with its basic and secondary sides. (a project for a new vision of the medieval Arabic thought, P. 6)

 Within this general historical methodological framework, along with an objective view of the relation between Arabic thought and its Greek counterpart, we should read, in Tizini's view the Arab/Islamic thought as a part of human thought that has its own specific traits. Hence, it is not correct to conceptualize it as a mere extension of the Greek thought, as many thinkers do. In his words, Tizini expresses this view as follows,

 When we try to study the materialistic philosophy of the Arab and Islamic philosophers in the medieval era in its relation to Greek philosophical thought, we don't purport to, illegitimately, link it to the methodology of the Greek thought. For this will constitute some form of a hybrid process alien from the scientific way of dealing with history and philosophy. On the contrary, we purport to study the history of such thought through a new view that asserts unity of human history and the continual self evolution of such history. Consequently, we assert that contemporary scientific methodology is capable of representing such history [the Arabic history] and assimilating it in a way much more reach and accurate than what previous methodologies have done. (a project of a new vision of the Arabic thought in the medieval era, P. 7)

 With respect to the methodological relation between philosophy and religion, Tizini states that he doesn't exclude religion but he follows the view of what he calls the 'Systematic differentiation' between the two, and he asserts the importance of respecting each of them in its own domain. He expresses this view in the following text,

 At the end two issues arise, the first is the necessity of acknowledging the systematic and methodological differentiation between philosophy and religion, and that each of them has its own way, which should be respected by the other. The second issue expresses itself in a specific formulation that is based on that each one should not interfere in the mechanisms and the rout of the other, as well as the results of its contemplating or research activities. (Contemporary Arabic philosophical horizons, P. 212)

His Conceptions of Nature and Existence

Keeping in mind that Professor Tizini purports to put the Arabic thought within the general framework of the evolution of human thought, and that this thought is, in reality, Islamic and expresses the appearance of the Islamic civilization, in view of all this the relation between the 'Islamic' side and the 'Material' side of this thought becomes the central problematic. Due to this situation, Tizini places much theoretical effort to construct a dialectical conception of existence in which he can keep the 'phenomenal' existence of each side, and gives him, at the same time, the theoretical legitimacy of analyzing such thought using the materialistic dialectic methodology. Consequently, Tizini inaugurates his philosophical project by expounding his dialectical conception of the two sides of the 'Islamic' thought. In his analysis the 'Islamic/religious' side appears in the form of the abstract 'Idealist' thought, as follows,

 The history of the theoretical thought possesses a specific feature. This feature is inherent in a complex process of formulation of two philosophical positions, each one of them becomes deeply and clearly in contradiction with the other. These positions are the materialist and the idealist. They haven't been constructed, eventually, as two distinct forms of philosophical thinking. Rather, they have followed a specific historical rout, and they still exercising their existence and continuing their historical evolution. This has happed, and still happening in our age, but not in the meaning that they put for themselves far ends in a metaphysical a priori teleological way. This teleological view is inconsistent with the historical and realistic facts; rather it is grounded on a religious view that starts from God's creation of history and the world in general.

From the other side, we should acknowledge that this process of evolution of thought, which is characterized by the formulation of these two philosophical positions, didn't go in an impartial way, or without struggle. For, materialism and idealism has not been in evolution far from each other, or beside each other, but through each other, and especially against each other.

This view is asserted strongly because it has an essential importance for the issues introduced in this book. In this view, we should take into consideration that through this methodology of human theoretical history, we will understand such history as a history of two poles emerged and continued through their evolution on the basis of the theoretical and practical activities of the social human being. (a project for a new vision of the medieval Arabic thought, P. 9-11)

 On the basis of the dialectical relation between the materialist and idealist sides of existence, and in order to found such a relation in the Arab/Islamic thought, Tizini introduces the idea of the 'Myth" as the starting point in which the two sides of the relation were unified before its evolution into a dialectic relation. The function of the concept of the 'Myth" as a basis for such a relation is to justify the appearance of religion, in general, and Islamic religion, in particular in the context of a humanistic history. He expresses this as follows,

It is important to uncover two basic elements in the elementary historical relation. The first asserts the elementary relation between materialism and idealism, this relation takes the form of the 'Myth'. As we will see in this short study about the early steps of emergence of the materialist and idealist thought, accepting this assumption, in its general outlines, will be more rational and scientific than its refusal. (a project for a new vision of the medieval Arabic thought, P. 13-14)

 After founding the dialectic relation between the two forms of thought, the materialist and the idealist, Professor Tizini starts to build on this relation his vision of the Arabic thought. He formulates a general framework through which the materialist dialectical reading of the Arabic thought will be accomplished, from on side, and the justification of the appearance of an autonomous Arabic thought, as a part of human thought, from the other. He says,

 When we say this, we don't purport to point to the new views of modern or contemporary philosophy, but our aim here is to uncover the various types of novelty in the philosophical thought of the Arab/Islamic philosophers between the eighth century to the twelfth, approximately, especially, what relates to the materialist inclination in their philosophy. Through accomplishing this trial, we will gain assurance that continuity in evolution of human theoretical thought, as a whole, does not exhaust the specific discontinuity of some parts of such an evolution… These two moments (i.e. continuity and discontinuity) in the theoretical evolution form together a deep and relative dialectical unity, without it we can't comprehend, deeply and scientifically, the history of philosophy in its general outline as well as its details… Some of the research works in the theoretical, experimental, social, political and economic fields, although still a few, present a sufficient material as a proof on the existence of specific qualitative turnings (and discontinuities) for different peoples, among them undoubtedly, the Arab/Islamic people in the medieval era. (a project for a new vision of the medieval Arabic thought, P. 11-12)

 Rejection of Euro-Centrism

Professor Tizini articulates his position from 'Euro-centrism' on his general view which puts the Arabic thought as a unique moment within the general course of evolution of human thought, he expresses this position as follows,

 Now if we wish to comprehend the basic outline for an intellectual and cultural history of humanity, then, studying the Arab/Islamic achievements in the medieval era would constitute an essential element. This historical reality is, clearly, in contradiction with some of the unscientific positions about the history of human thought.

In the fore of such views, the theory of 'Euro-centrism' occupies a specific status. The representatives of such a theory are many, but they all meet at a central point: they understand the intellectual human history (and the cultural one in general) as a history of the 'European' thought, starting by the ancient Greek era, passing by the ages of renaissance and enlightenment, and ending by the modern and contemporary eras. This vision of the historical rout of human intellect can be defined as: 1-Racist and, 2-Unscientific and in contradiction with the historical realities established in this field. (a project for a new vision of the medieval Arabic thought, P. 405)

 His position from the Ancient Arab/Islamic thought

By now, with this general framework, Professor Tizini has founded a theoretical basis upon which he can deal with the Arab/Islamic thought. Now, the Arab/Islamic thought became a part of history of human thought, and, consequently, amenable to historical analysis. In addition, its 'Idealist' (i.e. the religious) side can be put in a dialectic framework with its 'Materialist' side. Based on these theoretical foundations, as well as his detailed analysis, Tizini introduces his detailed position from the 'medieval' Arab/Islamic thought. This position is presented clearly in the following extracts. In the beginning, he notices that a scientific (i.e. historical and dialectical) treatment of the Arab/Islamic thought have never been introduced before, as follows,

 In reality, the failure of many Oreientalists and Arab researchers in introducing and developing a unified scientific view of the Arab/Islamic thought in the medieval era has a deep meaning. This failure resides in the fact that they didn't study this theoretical era within its socio-economic and political relations. They based their analysis on the objectivity and autonomy of 'thought' toward the 'material social reality'; hence, they were unable, through this methodology, to understand the continuity of thought in each phase of its historical development. Thought includes in itself not only a relative autonomy in relation to social material reality, but also an ontological 'existential' relation to such a reality. In this way, it includes at the same time, a continuity and discontinuity. Hence, in order to study the thought of the era, which we deal with, it becomes clear the crucial importance of uncovering the socio-economic and historical framework through which such an era has evolved.

We say that such frameworks has prepared, in an indirect and mediating way, the possibility of emergence and evolution of a unique Arab/Islamic thought, but we don't assert the necessity of this. However, the turning out of such a possibility into a necessity was a result of the internal logic and structure of human thought since the classical civilizations before the Arab/Islamic era until this last one. (a project for a new vision of the medieval Arabic thought, P. 126)

On the basis of this analysis Tizini criticizes both of the major positions in modern and contemporary Arabic thought, for being unhistorical. The religious 'Salafi' (i.e. the traditional) position, is criticized, for resorting to the 'Original medieval' Islamic conceptions, hence, ignoring history as such. The followers of the Western thought, with its diverse philosophical and practical positions, is criticized, for trying to impose different forms of closed logical systems on the Arabic realities, and hence, ignoring, too, history.  (a project for a new vision of the medieval Arabic thought, P. 134)

After presenting his double, or even triple, edged criticism (Orientalists, Salafi Islamists, and Western modernists), Tizini starts to introduce his own view of the necessary conditions to admit a correct way of reading the Arabic intellectual heritage. The first condition is, naturally, asserting the economic factor in reading such a heritage, however, without making it the sole factor.

Without falling into the state of a 'mechanically economist', which gives the economic factor the role of the sole and single factor in the process of social evolution, we see that it is important to assert the importance of such a factor. For, we see that it is a fatal mistake to search for 'growing' of thought itself in isolation from the possibilities and potentials that have been created by the socio-economic, political and technical dimensions of the society. What we want to assert here is that this methodology is the only one that is capable of dealing with the issue of the Arab/Islamic heritage in a way that preserves for it its rights and its positive and shining accomplishments.  (a project for a new vision of the medieval Arabic thought, P. 136)

The second condition for such a correct reading is to consider the appearance of Islam in the 'Arabic ancient/medieval society' as a social 'movement' liable to all the scientific conditions that apply to any social movement. This necessitates, intuitively, studying the social circumstances before the appearance of Islam and extracting the economic, social and political motives that derived toward the appearance of such a 'movement'; he expresses this as follows,

 When we describe this phase, which we study, as dealing with 'before Islam' and 'after Islam' we don't mean only Islam as a religion, but also, and essentially, as a social movement that brought with it deep results. We will not be able to assimilate the second phase in isolation of the first one. This necessitates knowledge of the Arabic/pre-Islamic social circumstances, general knowledge, but a clear one. (a project for a new vision of the medieval Arabic thought, P. 138-139)

  Tizini afterwards analyses the social circumstances that lead to this 'movement'. Here he depends on the well-known classics of the Marxist thought. In the following he articulates on the Masters/slaves dialectic and concludes the effects of such a dialectical relation on the economic transformations of such a society,

 Here we find our selves in front of a very important result that touches the issue of the deep factors that prepared for the appearance of the Islamic 'movement' with its important social side. On the basis of such a strong tie, with its objective conditions, between slaves and free men and the partially free, the far motives of this movement have been formulated and crystallized. (a project for a new vision of the medieval Arabic thought, P. 150)

 He also depends on the economic analysis of this society and draws on the effects of the appearance of 'usury' capitalism in this society and the accumulation of the number of slaves. As a consequence, the appearance of Islam became an outlet from such dramatic societal changes, he writes,

  The Islamic 'movement' have been formulated and flourished in a time where the commercial-usury capital has reached high status, in which exploiting slaves and poor, has consequently, escalated. This has affected members of the same tribe, either from the reaches of the tribe itself or from other tribes. Therefore, the golden age in which the relativity of blood in which 'the one is for all and the all are for the one' has gone irreversibly… From this all, we can conclude this basic result: as an intuitive and necessary exit for the exploited slaves and poor peoples of Al-Hijaz' [The area in which Islam appeared], and as an expression of the legitimate social ambition, historically, to create a unified people in the social, economic, and cultural fields, and as away from the destructive wars between the different tribes, the early traits of the Islamic movement have been originated and formulated in the seventh century. (a project for a new vision of the medieval Arabic thought, P. 153)

 In the end, according to Tizini's social, and economic analyses, the Arabian tribes became prepared to receive the Mohammedan message. This shows clearly, the 'phenomenal' dialectic between the material (economic and social) factors and the idealist (religious) factors in the thought of Professor Tizini, in his words,

 According to Islamic and non-Islamic narrations, the situation in Mecca and other Arabic 'cities' before the beginnings of the Islamic movement was prepared to receive a new 'liberator' from the social poverty and despair, tribal wars and the atheistic idols. For most of the Arabic tribes, in which Christianity has entered in some way, one expected such a 'messenger. Within this overall situation, the layperson has given such an expectation a mythical transcendental form with different colors.

On the other side, from the historical point of view, hope and ambition for the coming of a 'liberator' of the struggling tribes, was quite possible to formulate. Such an ambition is by itself an evident proof on the tensions in the socio-economic and political status of the Arabic 'cities' in the beginnings of the seventh century. This tension lead to the existence of the necessary factors to formulate and crystallize the Islamic movement that played a major role in the essential transformations in the social, economic and value structure of the pre-Islamic society. (a project for a new vision of the medieval Arabic thought, P. 154)

Islam and Social Analysis

Tizini - with his dialectical analysis between the ideal (Islam) and the material (socio-economic relations of the Islamic society), and within the framework of his early analyses of the historical relation between the two sides - stresses on the legitimacy of both sides and their effect on the evolution of the events. The material side (the socio-economic circumstances) leads to the appearance of the idealist side (Islam), and the later (Islam) supports and pushes the material side (socio-economic situations) toward radical changes and evolution. However, within this general dialectical framework, Tizini stresses also on avoiding resorting to the superstitious or super-natural explanations of the social transformations. Events of the social and political transformation can be explained totally throughout the dialectical materialist factors alone. Following are some of his analyses of such a relation,

 The Islamic movement has introduced an exit from this situation through the idea of 'withdrawal from the material world', and liberated through it the slaves and the poor, but at the same time, it is not legitimate to explain this major change through miraculous factors. The Islamic movement has expressed, in this period, the realities of the accumulated misery of the poor and slaves of the Arabic society in its own way. This way of expression, which depends primarily on withdrawal from the material world (the natural and the social) doesn't mean at all excluding the direct and positive results that have been reflected upon the lives of the poor. On the contrary, it means only negating the direct relation between it and the social, economic and political facts that have been the reason of the appearance of the Islamic movement… No drought it is important to adhere to the 'historicity' of the social, thoughtful, and religious structures, i.e., asserting that these structures have been existing through a long preceding history, in some way. However, it is important, too, to stress on that the 'religious conceptions' include conditionally a trial to get rid of the historical and real, in a way that forms a gap between what the person beliefs in and what he does. What may appear positive, in this framework, is essentially what the person gains from following such conceptions. However, the conceptions themselves represent a prepared way to withdraw from the historical defined moment in which he lives. (a project for a new vision of the medieval Arabic thought, P. 155-156)

 Within this view Professor Tizini applies the dialectical methodology between the materialist and the idealist to analyze the nature of the 'idealist' Islamic thought, presenting its positive sides which led to the realization of such a radical change in the 'Ignorant' (an Islamic term describes the state before Islam), pre-Islamic society. Essentially he cites the profane and progressive aspects of Islam, as he sees it, and compares such aspects with the nature of Christianity and Judaism, as follows,

With the appearance of Islam and crystallization of its horizons, we find beginnings of an intellectual life that has been under formulation. The true 'novelty' that Islam itself has portrayed is its historical progression. This progression has been presented in a clear and direct contradiction with both Christianity and Judaism. We here see that this is embedded in its being 'profane' in nature. This appears clearly when we compare it with Orthodox Christianity.

If the relation between Man and God, within the framework of Trinity, for the prevailing forms of Christianity at that time, is based on a specific 'ontological' relation between God and Man, and between Man and God, then it takes the following form: Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. On the basis of this relation we see that there is no unbridgeable gap between Man and God. Man (the Messiah) is in some way part of God, or something similar to it, depending on time and the self.

On the other hand, the situation, in some specific points, differs in Islam. In Islam, there is an unbridgeable gap between God and Man. For, God has created Man, not from himself (i.e. not from God himself), nor from some specific eternal material, but from absolute negative nihility. Qur'an (the Islamic sacred book) stresses on this concept: "Jesus for God is the same as Adam, he created him from dust and said be then he became"  (Al Omran, verse no. 32).

As a result of this gap, Philosophers and Sophists in the Arab/Islamic state became obliged to struggle for humanizing the relation between Man and God in order to present Human as an active member, not only in the material world, but also in the hereafter, God's world. For this very reason, philosophies of 'unity of being' and 'the theory of emanation' has occupied a prominent position in the intellectual life of such a state.

Within this view, the problem of 'reaching up' to God from Man, according to the different Christian sects, is solved within Christianity itself. But, in Arab/Islamic Sophism, this problem of reaching to God has undertaken a pivotal position, as well as in philosophy to some extent.     

This contradiction, in the theoretical position, between Islam and Christianity has led to a contradiction on the practical level. In Christianity the negative relation between the negative God and the tortured Man, or the negativity of both God and Man, is apparent. It is an alienation toward the real material world. Hence, it is noticed that the emphasis on the 'individual' in Christianity is formal only. For, in reality this emphasis is not for the role of 'thinking', but for a subjective contemplating position that participates in the process of alienation of this 'thought' toward its true objective reality. It is a subjective negativity that expresses itself in its role in 'salvation' of the individual person from 'this' cursed World filled with misery. This was, and still, an essential side of the Christian conception about the relation between Man and God.

However, we see that the situation is different in Islam. For, the individual, here, sees himself confronting numerous and deep duties toward himself, and his 'salvation' is dependent on himself to a great extent. The original 'Sin' that could be 'forgiven', or its effects could be reduced, within Christianity through a personal sacrifice, but negative, this very 'Sin' confronts the Muslim person with definite profane duties that should be overcome. Hence, not the negative 'torture' is the way for 'salvation', as it is the case in Christianity, but the profane 'struggle' covered by religious form is the content of 'salvation' in Islam.

Salvation, in Islam, takes a different content, for, Islam stresses on the definite personalized average human being. In addition, among the things that needs more scrutiny the fact that 'Islam", which appeared in the seventh century within critical social, economic, and cultural circumstances, have realized a new important phase of the phases of surpassing the previously deep superstitious frameworks. In it a Clerical system that is separate from the prevailing social structure has not been formed. The 'Sheikh', or 'Emam', or 'Faqih' was not a religious position as such (recently this position has appeared), but he has been working in the same time in a specific profession, such as being a carpenter, merchant, or peasant, etc.

No doubt, this distribution of classes of the social structure of the society of Muslim 'believers' has played a crucial role in the evolution of 'thought' at that time, and lately within the Arab/Islamic state. This social distribution of classes represented the 'social' background of the 'thoughtful' and religious distribution within Muslims.

In addition to this revolutionary motive, that accompanied the existence of such a state, we may mention the rejection of Islam to the notion of the 'mediator', as an added element in deepening its profane horizons. In the event of the death of the 'prophet' Muhammad, on 8th of June 632, the first ruler after Muhammad (Khalifa) stood up saying for the Muslim community "Whoever worships Muhammad, Muhammad has died, and whoever worships God, God is alive and doesn't die". Muhammad, in Islam, did not possess the descriptions that were endowed to Jesus. Jesus is the 'eraser of grief of the world', he dies under torture as an immolation for the others. The Christian salvation is realized in the act of immolation that is introduced by Jesus.

Within this context it is a fatal mistake to equate the Islamic concept of "Shafa'a" (literally means to ask for forgiveness) by Muhammad with the Christian concept of 'Salvation'. For, the "Shafa'a" (asking for forgiveness) does not express the notion of the 'mediator' who presents his sacrifice and bears on his shoulder the sins of the whole humanity, for in Islam every 'person' gets what he gains". In Islam the human being stands before God without a mediator, in other words, without a Cleric organization. This includes in itself a result, which is that the Muslim is in no need to be 'Unified' with God to realize his final aims and higher values. Such aims can be realized in his true human world.

Hence, the Islamic God is capable of reaching to any person, but the opposite is not true, i.e., the human being is not capable to reach to God or unify with him. Naturally he can 'reach' to God in an allegoric way, i.e., in the meaning that he obeys God's orders that are written is his book, hence, he is close to him and beloved by him.

However, it is important to note that such a relation between the Muslim as a human being and God can't lead in any way to an 'ontological' closeness between God and Man. The concepts of 'transcendence' and 'separateness' are privileges that are limited only to God, in the same time where the human world stays within the circle of act and react through the requirements of the 'caring Deity'. However, despite that, such a relation, seen from God to Man, represented indirect early traits of a cosmological conception that is based on an 'Idealistic Unity of Being'. Or may be more accurate to see in such a relation (from God to Man) factors of emergence and evolution of an Arab/Islamic theory of unity of being.

The preliminary Islamic conception about 'unity of being' is unilateral. For, it negates, as we have seen, any commutative active relation between God and Man, because this last one (Man) is considered, within this view, a negative product of God. Moreover, it represents the negative 'Aether' about which Aristotle has spoken. He, in turn, doesn't possess except his particular unique present existence. In the mean time where 'Aether' in Aristotle's theory occupies historically a much more essential position than the Islamic human (because it is eternal in time, whereas the Islamic human is created from mere nihility), Aristotle limits the domain of the activation of God to the level of the 'first unmoved mover'. In this, the Aristotelian God is eternal, infinite, but doesn't interfere with world particulars. This means that Aristotle has skipped the attribute of the 'Caring Deity' from god. On the contrary, the concept of 'benevolent Caring Deity' is an essential part of the Islamic concept of God.      

In fact, the concept of the absolute God who circumvents the whole world and takes care of it has appeared as an expression of the rejection of the Christian 'humanized' God as well as the Judaic God who have a limited relation to world. Such an idea was an expression of the practical and active tendencies of the early Muslims in Mecca, which lead to a unifying tendency in the social, economic and cultural domains. (a project for a new vision of the medieval Arabic thought, P. 204-208)

 In addition to this general dialectical analysis of the appearance of Islam, he introduces, in a more explicit form, his dialectical view between the 'idealist' and the 'materialist' in Qur'an (the sacred book of Islam). He sees that we may look to Qur'an both as a spiritual 'idealist' text and as an object, one that bears a 'materialist' social, ethical, and legal heritage. However, he sees that the 'idealist' side of Qur'an should be totally assimilated by its materialist side through the 'deterministic' material natural laws, as follows,

 When some Islamic historians see Qur'an not only as a religious text but also as a legal, ethical, economic and social one, we should say that this is true if we take into account the double sided nature, the spiritual and the practical, of Islam. No doubt, the 'spiritual' side has affected such domains positively. However, such effect can be assimilated through understanding the socio-civilizational situation at this historic period. Any concept or notion bears different social theoretical meanings with different historical cases. This means that the problematic should be defined through the 'historical legitimacy' as well as the 'cognitive truth' at the same time. We dealt with this concept in another place in this book. Here, we should stress only on that both the idealist and the materialist thought, religion and science, are legitimate historical phenomena, even if it were not all real from a scientific cognitive strict view. (a project for a new vision of the medieval Arabic thought, P. 211)


Within this general view of the relation between the 'idealist' and the 'materialist' or between Islam and social relations, Tizini introduces his conception of 'Secularism' as follows,

 Arab secularism advocates have looked to the issue from the position of differentiating between two sides in the dominating religion, and in every religion that have an effect on the society. Those sides are belief and civilization; or the 'believing' function and the 'civilizing' function of such a religion in the society. If it turns out that the civilizing function of a specific religion can act mutually between members of the society who embrace different religions, then the 'believing' function of such a religion represents a relation only between the believer of this religion and his God. In this way the civilizing function of the prevailing religion in the Arabic society can play its role without being associated with the 'believing' role of such a religion. This is what exactly meant by the slogan expressed before (Religion is for God and the Nation is for all). For, religion here becomes a civil face of the civic society and the national state. Hence, dealing with it, here, becomes liable to advancement and evolution laws of human life. For, the issue here is related to a set of legal, economic, social, etc procedures, which is subject to such laws. Whereas, the 'believing' position, or the 'position from God' in this slogan is considered personal as much as it is respected and protected. (On the road of Methodological Clarity – Secularism in the Arabic thought, P. 52-53)

 His Philosophical Turn

For professor Tizini, this dialectical materialist analysis of the Islamic heritage (Al-Turath in Arabic) has been completely new so that it represented a 'revolution' over the classical interpretation of such heritage. However, around mid nineties of the twentieth century, affected by the major international evolutions, especially the disappearance of the Soviet Union, and the local evolutions, marked by the retreat of the nationalist revolutionary project, a radical change has taken place in the intellectual project of professor Tizini. He describes such changes in a dialogue published in 'Alhayah' newspaper as follows,

 Responding to your question, I will reply by some preliminary notes. I start by a note that bears a relation to the first book that I published in the project you are talking about. The title was 'from Al-Turath to the revolution', published on 1976. What I see today of the Arabic world and its related events forces me persistently to start to reconsider the book and its title specifically. I wondered: is the title still viable after the disappearance of many ideas and the decline of the Soviet Union, as well as the prevailing 'advancement nationalism' in the Arabic Arena? After observing what happened and its consequent evolutions, I have put my hand on an issue that I think now that it represented to me an entrance to discover what I have to accomplish in response to these evolutions. The word 'revolution' that exists in the title of the project no longer has a meaning, irrespectively of the justifications that may be given to it. The language of the era can no longer bear such a word. Hence, I have contemplated my project and decided to start from the real world to the book and from the book to reality…and I understood that the project of the 'revolution' itself has reached a dead point. From this understanding and throughout my thorough reading of both the Arabic and European contemporary thought, I realized what in my opinion should be the suitable alternative to the concept of 'revolution' and its project, it was the concept of 'renaissance' (Nahda, in Arabic) and its project…

Whence I have reached to this concept, it occupied a wide space in my intellectual and political live, and I realized that the most important element of the project of 'revolution' and 'renaissance' (and I mean here the real revolution) is understanding the identity of the social carrier of any 'revolution' or 'renaissance' movement. Therefore, I had a thorough thought in the issue until I reached to the understanding that the social carrier of any movement in the Arabic societies is the society itself…the whole society. Instead, we, in the past, were used to consider the class as the social carrier and speak about classes struggle and the class problematic, this is no longer viable. The carrier of the new project, the renaissance, can't be except a class or a political alliance that incorporates the whole sections of the society. World became to a great deal different since dismantling of the Soviet Union and the emergence of a new world system in which the United States leads it alone. I have realized from the position of the socio-political science that the real social carrier of a renaissance project can only be represented by the Arabic Nation from its outset to its outset. In a more ideological definition, I found that the social carrier of any future project should be represented by a spectrum from extreme nationalist democratic right to extreme national left. I have followed this socio-cultural and political issue and I discovered that our speech about a 'revolutionary project' is not only misleading but dangerous too. Hence, I moved to the new position, and I decided to review my old theoretical project…and reformulate it in a new title, reconstructing what I had to reconstruct…then I left it aside, to formulate instead another totally different project, its title is 'from Heritage (Al-Turath) to Renaissance'. (dialogue - Alhayah newspaper)


Along with this transformation from 'revolution' to 'renaissance' and from class as a social carrier to the whole society as a carrier of the project a parallel transformation from his relation to religion, in general, and from the Qur'anic text in particular has occurred. Instead of depending totally on the materialist explanation, it became important to get into the essence of the religious 'faith', as a result of the fact that a major section of the social carrier of the project is represented by a collective of the believers of the Islamic religion. He expounds this as follows,

 I speak here about my specific experience. I discovered that the religious issues have been ignored in a horrible way from the cultural elites, Marxist, Nationalist or Liberalist. I discovered that the danger lies in the reality that the religious text can be read in different ways that he himself asks for. It is a flexible text. From here came this rude position of Marxism and Positivism and Nationalism from the religious thought. We didn't realize in the past that the social carrier of any movement that a great deal of its members live within the religious thought obliges us to deal with its religious convictions. This should have led us to a new rational and logical reading of the religious thought, the real thought from which the society nourishes.  With the appearance of a new identity of the transform project (the renaissance), new justifications has aroused that its intellectual tools should be mastered. Accordingly, I see that it is impossible to formulate a real evolutionary renaissance thought, today, without re-reading the religious thought and entering the soul of the 'faith' medium. This is what drives me to stress again that the only socio-cultural carrier of the project that can support the evolutionary thought is represented by the whole spectrum of the society from the extreme right to extreme left.

It is as if you restores the issue to the level of the existence of the middle class which has disappeared for decades, despite that it is the builder of nations and civilizations…We have to cope intellectually with the process of reproducing the social categories that possess two essential traits necessary for society construction: economic richness and intellectual enlightenment. This comes within a wide process that aims at rebalancing the Arabic societies in the middle of a Globalization age that is about to assimilate everything. (dialogue-Alhayah newspaper)

 The Critical position from Reality

As a result of his intellectual turn, Tizini has transformed his attention from his 12 parts 'revolution' project to facing up problems of real live. In this phase, he concentrated on three basic issues. First, confronting Globalization thought that threatens to dismantle the Arabic unity, and consequently aborting possibilities of an Arabic renaissance. Second, confronting a specific class of contemporary Arabic thought that takes a negative 'structuralist unhistorical' stance toward 'Arabic reason', and hence, threatens too to abort renaissance through negating its self-particularity. Third, confronting the realistic Arabic social problems, which threaten, from another perspective, the renaissance project. Tizini Expounds his tri-problematic view that threatens the renaissance project as follows,

 In this context, it is important to stress that the conspiracy of the Arabic Imperialism – and its preceding feudal system – with its accompanying coercion, violence and hegemony, is basically governed by the dialectic relation between the interior and the exterior. Such an imperialism has been able to enforce its system as a result of the historical inequality in the economic, social, political and cultural structures, i.e., as a result of the accidentally synchronized timing between the beginnings of the Arabic bourgeois capitalism, from one side, and the ends of the imperial capitalism, from the other.

Therefore, such a relation has been forged to fit Europe's point of view and in favor of its benefits. If we take into account the limited hybrid reformist structure of the Arabic renaissance thought, which aroused in a difficult situation governed by the aforementioned conspiracy, something very important will appear, which is that the process of forging the east-west relation have pervaded through many of renaissance Arabic thinkers. What is of prime importance, in this issue, is not its effect on the Arabs, but its resulting wide and great confusion in the structure of the Arabic renaissance thought toward itself. All of this has created for the Arabic thought pseudo-problems that occupied such thought instead of its real and new problems. In fact, we can express this situation as a problematic that did not find the required research tools that can define and deal with it, which is a situation understood by itself. As a consequence, different positions from this problematic have taken the form of ideological illusory reflexes not real scientific positions. (On the road of Methodological Clarity, P. 20-21)

In addition, within the framework of confronting the renaissance project, Tizini criticizes Western modernism and the imperialist capitalist societies, on the basis of its intrusion in the third world societies, in general, and the Arabic societies, in particular, as follows,

 However, looking to the problem from the other side, the side of the historical advancement, invites us to take into account something that bears a specific importance, the vast advancement of the capitalist imperialist societies, which is basically an industrial, technical and scientific one. But on the social level, such societies is suffering from a deep and all encompassing crisis, in such a way that it started to affect the first side and create real problems. It can be noticed that classes struggle of the working people, there, is confronted by great difficulties, of which two arise. The first is the widespread coercing system quantitatively and qualitatively.  The scientific technical advancement provides increasing abilities for the authority to confront the unpredicted actions that might be taken by the working people during its struggle. The electric devices became capable of furnishing the intelligent systems with all the information about every person or family. The other difficulty lies in that contemporary capitalist societies became deeply and widely complicated, which makes it difficult to discover how far is the economic and social detriment of the working people there. In other words, the process of uncovering the mechanisms of exploitation and discrimination in the imperialist capitalist societies has become complex and indirect. (On the road of Methodological Clarity – Arabic thought from the position of criticism, the imperialist intrusion and the symptoms of the European thought, P. 175-176)

 His Position From Aljabri's Reading of Arabic Thought

In contemporary Arabic thought Muhammad Abed Aljabri occupies a widespread, albeit, controversial position. He is viewed as the one who opened new horizons for Arabic philosophy, by some critics, and as the one who tries to abort the contemporary movement of Arabic renaissance, by others. Tizini lines up with this second position, and reserves a whole volume for confronting such thought, in particular, and the unhistorical structuralist thought, in general, that is "From Western Orientalism to Moroccan Occidentalism – a Study of the Ajabri's Reading of Arabic Thought and its Historical Horizons). For, he considers this reading, due to its wide proliferation, one of the essential obstacles of formulating a new renaissance Arabic thought.     

Tizini rejects essentially the theoretical basis of Aljabri's reading of Arabic thought, as being performed through structuralist unhistorical conceptions of 'the Arabic Mentality' on the basis of unrealistic, idealistic formulations. He also, in this work, tries to refute its different analyses of such thought.

   First of all he criticizes Aljabri's statement, himself, that his own writings has opened new horizons for Arabic thought equal to the horizons opened by the new classification of the modern biological science. He also criticizes Aljabri's trial to make an essential differentiation between western 'Moroccan' writers, who follow the exact guidelines of scientific thought and the eastern Arabic writers who write only for living and don't care for the quality of their work (From Western Orientalism to Moroccan Occidentalism, Pp. 21-24).

 Afterwards Tizini moves to criticizing Aljabri's formal unhistorical methodology. He concludes that Aljabri claims that he uses an epistemological methodology while in reality he uses an Ideological method presented in an epistemological guise. He bases his conclusion on the fact of the absence, in Ajabri's work, of either the sociological dialectic analyses or the definition of the social carrier of the 'studied' historical Arabic thought. For, in order to formulate an all-encompassing formal structure of the Arabic reason throughout its history one has to ignore the different social formulations that have developed throughout this history, which makes the study trivial or void of meaning. Hence, in his view, the absence of the definition of the social carrier is a deliberate move in favor of a hidden ideological position. (From Western Orientalism to Moroccan Occidentalism, P. 25-38). Tizini epitomizes this as follows,

Hence, we see in Aljabri's conception, which we study here, an unacceptable methodological error and an ideological manipulation, and may be also a sadist abuse of Arabic thought. We notice here that theses three elements are defined epistemologically by the fact that this conception is based upon abusing the three essential contexts of the incident under study, the social, the dialectical and the historical. For, he rejects the concept of the relation between the theoretical thought and its human social reality, in addition, he is not aware of the action mechanisms that relate between a specific thought emanated from a specific reality, from one side, and another reality (or thought) precedent or antecedent to it, on the other. (From Western Orientalism to Moroccan Occidentalism, P. 46)

After presenting his methodological criticism, Tizini criticizes Aljabri's conception of the Arabic reason and mentality. He concentrates his criticism on that Aljabri has slipped into a racist concept of reason, as well as a racist differentiation between the eastern and western (Moroccan) Arabic mentality. Hence, in his view, Aljabri bases his conceptions on a Euro-centric oriental position that differentiates between an Irrational Arabic–Oriental mentality and a Rational European-Western one. Tizini presents in his work (Pages 85 – 210) a detailed analysis that leads to this judgment and formalizes his view as follows,

Aljabri's discourse in his late writings is a hegemonic Euro-centric discourse in its hidden and explicit form. It reflects, strongly, the strength of the East-West duality within the 'European mind', according to the writer himself, as well as within the mind of the 'Westernized Arab', i.e., the one who has been formulated within the intellectual control of the Western thought on contemporary Arabic thought. (From Western Orientalism to Moroccan Occidentalism, P. 210)

 The second problematic that Professor Tizini has dealt with during his second phase is how to read religious thought, in general, and 'Qur'an' (the Islamic sacred text), in particular. In this context, he criticizes the traditional readings as refusing to admit that history affects out understanding of our religion and opens new horizons for advancement. In addition, he tries to found his 'advancement' view of the Islamic religion on 'Qur'an' and the historical sayings of the prophet Muhammad. (Islam and the epoch – challenges and horizons, P. 101 – 109).

Tizini in an effort to support his 'advancement' view of Islam presents his essential claim, which is that 'Qur'an' as an Arabic text is open to different readings according to the needs of the different eras of Muslim communities. Moreover, he tries to prove that the 'Qur'anic' text possesses a specific structure that allows such a pluralistic reading. He specifies the elements of such a structure in: 1) its generality in expressions; 2) its problematic nature; 3) its hermeneutical structure; 4) its inviting style to its in-depth meanings; 5) it has been revealed over time within the social contexts of early Islam; 6) it has been revealed in response to real sociological needs of early Muslims. (Islam and the epoch – challenges and horizons, P. 114 – 116).

On these two basic rules, the possibility of a pluralistic reading and the pluralistic nature of the 'Qur'anic' text, Tizini concludes, through detailed analysis of Islamic traditional texts, that every reading of 'Qur'an' is essentially an Ideological social reading and that every reading possesses its own legitimacy.   (Islam and the epoch – challenges and horizons, P. 128 – 134). He epitomizes this position as follows,

We should concentrate on this super important text [of the prophet's sayings]. In it, we recognize two levels of Qur'an's 'mobility.' The first level is of a "theological – metaphysical' nature, defined by the 'dwelling [of Qur'an] from heavens as one whole text. The second, of "historical nature", is defined by the becoming of Qur'an as an historical, historicized, incident, not after receiving of Qur'an by the prophet but within the context of this receiving itself. . (Islam and the epoch – challenges and horizons, P. 134).

 The third problematic, which Professor Tizini dealt with in his second phase is the necessary conditions for a new Arabic renaissance. Form his point of view, one condition for such an achievement is the appearance of a new Arabic philosophical thought.

In "Horizons of a Contemporary Arabic Philosophy", which is a debate with another contemporary Arabic philosopher, Professor Abu Ya'rub Almarzouki, 2001, about the possibilities of a new Arabic philosophy.  he stresses on several issues.

In the beginning, he asserts the importance of avoiding falling in two lines of thought, which diminishes such a possibility; first, following the Western 'Cosmological' thought, which abolishes the particularity of the Arabic culture, and hence, the characteristics of its authentic thought. Second, avoiding falling into isolating Arabic thought from its more general human thought as a result of an exaggerated self-oriented tendencies. (Horizons of a Contemporary Arabic Philosophy, p. 193-196).

Then, he points out several conditions in order to realize a consistent relation between human and Arabic thought: 1) freedom of thought; 2)  self respect, especially for thinkers and philosophers; 3) accepting democracy in principle and in practice; 4) no one holds the final truth; 5) a reconciliation between philosophy and ideology; 6)  philosophy and religion are two different domains that respect each other; 7) placing efforts for enlightenment of Arabic societies. (Horizons of a Contemporary Arabic Philosophy, p. 197-204)

 In addition, Tizini, in his efforts to deal with this third problematic, issued what we can view as a message for the Arabic societies, a medium size booklet titled "A Declaration in Arabic Renaissance and Enlightenment", 2001. In this 'declaration' he tried to make a complete formulation of this essential problematic. In this work he divides conditions of Arabic renaissance into four basic levels. First, the theoretical basis upon which such evolution should be constructed. Second, Definition of the obstacles of renaissance that should be targeted to overcome. Three, theoretical concepts of a renaissance movement. Fourth, social conditions for such an evolution.

Tizini commences by questioning the legitimacy of an endeavor toward Arabic renaissance and advances his justifications for it. This is meant, of course, to confront the lines of thought which try, whether consciously or unconsciously, to abort any Arabic project of renaissance. In this commencement he stresses on that despite the despairing current situation of the Arabic reality, yet, history is not linear and possibilities are open for such an aim. He also tries to put the 'required' Arabic renaissance project within a wider scope of the nationalist third world endeavor to achieve renaissance.  (A Declaration in Arabic Renaissance and Enlightenment, p. 9-48 )

In the second chapter of this work, Tizini introduces his view of the obstacles toward renaissance. 1) Fundamentalism and political Islam. 2) Globalization and being part of the West. 3) Structural functionalism, which limits advancement to specific functions of the society. 4) Postmodernism and breaking with self-culture. 5) End of history and demise of ideology.  (A Declaration in Arabic Renaissance and Enlightenment, p. 53-84 )

Afterwards he puts the central concepts of the project as follows:

The social carrier of the project is the collective of classes and elements of the society. The internal structure of the self is based on preserving self-identity, depth in history, historical memory, and consciousness of the mechanisms of the ups and downs of the Arabic historical course. Coexistence and co-evolution between renaissance and enlightenment.  Asserting the central role and duty of the Arabic intellectuals and acknowledging their weaknesses and failure. The need for a growth in the intellectual theoretical woks, especially the rational and serious ones.  (A Declaration in Arabic Renaissance and Enlightenment, p. 85-129 )

Following establishing the basic concepts, he constructs what he calls 'the procedural structure of the Arabic project', in which he addresses the political, social, cultural, economic, military, technological, scientific, and cognitive realistic questions. In this 'procedural structure', he stresses first, on the importance of his offered arrangement, for some elements should precede the others. Second, he stresses on solving other specific problems such as , status of women, children, minorities, environment, countryside and scientific knowledge.    (A Declaration in Arabic Renaissance and Enlightenment, p. 130-147 ) 

His Works

 In German

With Others

 Books about him

 Participation in International Conferences


"Arab Culture Is Stagnant" - Interview with Qantara Site (in English)



By: Samir Abuzaid