Science of Human Social Organization. Conflicting Views on Ibn Khaldun’s (1332-1406) Ilm Al-Umran

Author: Baali, Fuad
The purpose of this study is to present the different views as to why and how the Arab-Muslim Ibn Khaldun is given the credit of being the “first”, “the father”, and “the one” who laid down the foundation of social sciences. The prime reason for this unsettled issue is the different interpretations of the subject matter of al-umran.


"Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406) was a remarkably insightful thinker, and Fuad G. Baali, an internationally known sociologist and pre-eminent Ibn Khaldun authority, captures his seminal contributions to the social sciences in what will surely be a benchmark book on the subject. Professor Baali’s study examines Ibn Khaldun’s ilm al-umrun (science of human social organization) in a novel and especially constructive way: For the first time, the major characteristics of modern science are applied to Ibn Khaldun’s ilm (science) to determine, once and for all, whether he truly pioneered one or more of the social and behaviour sciences by having formulated a number of key concepts and generalizations that anticipate and sometimes even parallel those commonly believed to have sprung from modern social thought." - (from the Commendatory Preface) Robert G. Perrin, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Tennessee

"This work is original and engaging. The author provides a comprehensive and integrated discussion of Ibn Khaldun's contributions to the social sciences. The author's review of the research and literature is exhaustive, and his arguments are well grounded and compelling. The author is obviously a leading scholar on the subject of Ibn Khaldun. The author has gone far beyond the existing books in the field by placing Ibn Khaldun in the proper context as a major figure in the social sciences. Too many modern scholars have ignored, or glossed over Ibn Khaldun's contributions to the social sciences. This work is a postive stpe toward raising awareness regarding Ibn Khaldun's contributions in multiple disciplines. This outstanding book will be useful for all those interested in the social sciences, particularly anyone interested in the historical roots if science and the study of human societies. I would highly recommend this work to my students." - Dr. Thomas E. Shriver, Oklahoma State University

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Not a Social Scientist?
3. A Historian?
4. A Sociologist?
5. An Anthropologist?
6. A Human Geographer?
7. A Social Educator?
8. An Economist?
9. A Political Scientist?
10. Conclusion