Digitalization of Knowledge in the Islamic Civilization: A ‎History


  • Paulius Bergaudas University of Cambridge, United Kingdom



Muslim Response, Digitalization of Knowledge, History, Islamic Knowledge, Knowledge Preservation


The purpose of this study is first to give a comprehensive historical analysis of the preservation and transmission of knowledge in the Islamic civilization from the time of oral transmission to the contemporary era of digitalization. Such analysis provides us with a particular insight for how Muslims should respond to the digitalization of knowledge in the contemporary era. It presents that knowledge digitalization raises a lot of concerns, such as the increasing laziness of students, and decreasing value of knowledge. Through explanatory analysis of secondary sources on the history of knowledge preservation and dissemination, it has been found that in the digitalization of knowledge is not an unprecedented change, rather, in the history of Islamic Civilization, preservation of knowledge went through four different stages: the writing other than the Quran, writing “words of men,” printing press, and the contemporary era of digitalization. The results of this paper present that conservative Islamic response to the technology which changes knowledge preservation is a critical and rational response. Also, it suggests that today Muslims in general, and scholars in particular, should applaud the digitalization of Islamic knowledge, but keep in control of its possible harms.

Author Biography

Paulius Bergaudas, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Paulius Bergaudas is a student at the University of Cambridge.


Abdullah, Ismail bin, and Nur Saadah bt Hamisan Khair. “The Implication of Excessive Internet Usage on the Study of Hadith.” Journal of Islam in Asia 10, no. 2 (2013): 119–28. doi:10.31436/jia.v10i2.398.Abu Al-Laif, Muhammad. ‘Ulūm Al-Ḥadith: ’Aṣīlhā Wa m‘Aṣirihā. Kuala Lumpur: Darul Syakir, 2011.Abū Marīam, Khawla Muhammad. “Wasaʼil Al-Tiknūlūjīa Al-Ḥadītha Wa Aʼhamīatuhā Liṭalib Al-‘Ilm,” 2017.’Amr, Muhammad Ali Ahmad. “Athr Istkhdām Al-Maktaba Ash-Shāmila Fī Khidma As-Sunna An-Nabawīa.” Alukah, 2018., ’Umar Suleiman. Tārīkh Al-Fiqh Al-Islāmī. 3rd ed. Amman: Dar al-Nafāis, 1990.Al-Khaṭib Al-Baghdadi. Taqyyd Al-’Ilm. Cairo: Dār al-Istiqāma, 2008.Ali, Haider. “Naẓrāt Fī Manhaj Taqyyid Wa Kitaba Al-‘Ilm.Pdf.” Alukah, 2008., Caroline. Osman’s Dream: The History of the Ottoman Empire. New York: Basic Books, 2005.Fuad, Muhammad. Al-Madkhal Ilā Al-Fiqh Al-Islāmī. Kuala Lumpur: IIUM Press, 2005.Gök, Tolga. “The Positive and Negative Effects of Digital Technologies on Students’ Learning.” International Conference on Education in Mathematics, Science & Technology (ICEMST), April 23-26, 2015 Antalya, Turkey 2 (2015): 173–77., Seyed Ebrahim, Abdollatif Ahmadi Ramchahi, and Raja Jamilah Raja Yusuf. “The Impact of Information Technology on Islamic Behaviour.” Journal of Multidisciplinary Engineering Science and Technology (JMEST) 1, no. 5 (2014): 135–41. doi:10.1093/spp/9.5.236.Huda;, Miftachul, Jibrail Bin Yusuf, Kamarul Azmi Jasmi, and Gamal Nasir Zakaria. “Al-Zarnūjī’s Concept of Knowledge.” SAGE Open 6, no. 3 (2016).Ibn Khaldun. Al-Muqadimah, Vol. 2. Damascus: Dār al-Bulkhī, 2004.Kister, Meʾir. “Lā Taqraʾū L-Qurʾāna ʿalā L-Muṣḥafiyyīn Wa-Lā Taḥmilū L-ʿilma ʿani L-Ṣaḥafiyyīn... : Some Notes On The Transmission Of Ḥadīth.” Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 22 (1998): 127–62.Magno, Alessandro Marzo, and Gregory Conti. Bound in Venice: The Serene Republic and the Dawn of the Book. New York: Europa Editions, 2013.Marklein, Mary Beth. “Scholars Look for Ways to Restore Respect for Expertise.” University World News, 2018., John. The Quarterly Review. Vol. XLI. London, 1829.Najeebabadi, Akbar Shah. The History of Islam Vol. 1. Darussalam, 2000.Nasr, Walid Ghali. “Print or Not Print: Is That Still the Question?,” no. January (2016).Robinson, Francis. “Technology and Religious Change: Islam and the Impact of Print.” Modern Asian Studies 27, no. 1 (1993): 229–51. doi:10.1017/S0026749X00016127.Rubin, Jared. Rulers, Religion, and Riches: Why the West Got Rich and the Middle East Did Not. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017.Sāīs, Muhammad. Tārīkh Al-Fiqh Al-Islāmī. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-’ilmīa, 1996.Schoeler, Gregor. “The Transmission Of The Sciences In Early Islam: Oral Or Written.” In The Oral and The Written In Early Islam, 28–44. Oxon: Routledge, 2006.Schwartz, Kathryn A. “Did Ottoman Sultans Ban Print?” Book History 20, no. 1 (2017): 1–39. doi:10.1353/bh.2017.0000.Tijani, Ahmad Ashimi. “Islamic Civilization: Factors Behind Its Glory and Decline.” International Journal of Business, Economics and Law 9, no. 5 (2016): 180–84.Tom, Mercer. “Technology-Assisted Memory.” Applied Cyberpsychology: Practical Applications of Cyberpsychological Theory and Research, 2016, 74–88. doi:10.1057/9781137517036.




How to Cite

Bergaudas, P. (2022). Digitalization of Knowledge in the Islamic Civilization: A ‎History. Journal of Comparative Study of Religions, 3(1), 5–21.