The Epistemological Paradigm
Islamic civilization can be represented in a concentric model—with many circles orbiting around one common center (see the Epistemological Paradigm that follows the Introduction)(5) . This model has two important characteristics: (1) The circles are not only concentric, but each circle beyond the center may also be regarded as orbiting around the center, in the manner of a solar system. The core belief (aqīda) is the center. (2) If we consider the radiuses as representing the pull or force of gravity toward the central belief (aqīda), then the pull of gravity will be inversely proportional to the length of the radius; the shorter the radius the greater the pull of gravity and the longer the radius, the less the pull of gravity.