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Chapter Summary

Civilizations tend to revolve around meaningful concepts of an abstract nature which more than anything else give them their distinctive character. Such concepts are to be found at the very beginning of a rising civilization. Being an integral and intimate part of their particular civilization which was molded as it were to their specifications, such concepts present members of other civilizations with great difficulties in the way of achieving a correct understanding and appreciation of them. Verbalization runs up against a powerful barrier. It is impossible to find words in other languages that come close to the fullness of meaning conveyed by the original term. Arabic ʿilm is fairly well rendered by our “knowledge”. However, “knowledge” falls short of expressing all the factual and emotional contents of ʿilm.

Keywords: ʿilm; Islamic civilization; verbalization



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