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Creative Thinking &

Problem Solving

Lecture No. 1

1. Definition of Concepts
2. Quranic Terminology
for thinking: (Tafakkur,
Taaqqul, Naar,
Tafaqquh, Tawassum,
3. Status of Thinking in
4. Benefits of Thinking
5. Encouragement of Islam
to Thinking


It is a gift to bring new or

unique things into being.
Dynamic activity that
involves conscious and
subconscious mental
Creativity can rarely
happen in isolation that
needs other peoples
minds, ideas, and

Creative imaginations is
important as it is the
power of recombining
former experiences in the
creation of new images
directed at a specific goal
or aiding the solution of a
Creativity is expressed in
the quality of the solutions
that come up with when
the problem solved.

An ability
Ability to imagine or
invent something new.
Not only the ability to
create out of nothing
(only God can do that),
but the ability to
generate new ideas by
combining, changing, or
reapplying existing
Some ideas are
astonishing and brilliant,
while others are just
simple, good, practical
ideas that no one seems
to have thought yet.


An attitude
The ability to accept change
and newness, a willingness to
play with ideas and
possibilities, a flexibility of
outlook, the habit of enjoying
the good, while looking for
ways to improve it.
For example, accepting a
small number of permitted or
normal things, like chocolatecovered strawberries.


A process
Creative people work hard
and continually to improve
ideas and solutions, by
making gradual alternations
and refinements to their


Deliberate exploration of
experiences for a
Most fundamental skills
of humans.
Determine happiness
and success of life
Fun and enjoyable if
learn it effectively.

As thinking, creative, social beings, humans
are set apart from other creatures by their
position as Gods stewards on earth.
Human decisions are influenced not only by
knowledge and rational comprehension, but
by the heart and the emotions as well.
The question now is: will it be possible for the
Muslim communitys thinkers and reformers
to appreciate the dynamism of cultural
progress and, in so doing, to extricate
(remove) their community from the abyss
(void) of backwardness and help its members
to regain an authentic, vital Islamic vision of
goodness and forward movement

Creativity is more
important than
Albert Einstein

Creative thinking
As a process where the
available resources and
information are explored
Creative thinking is a
special part from factual
thinking which covers
wider field
Creative thinking inclines
more to the artistic value
that some might say it is
used for its benefits.

A ) Thinking
mental ability
deliberate exploration of
experience for a purpose This
purpose can be
- understanding
- decision making
- planning
- problem solving
- judgment
- action etc

B ) Creative

Ability to solve a problem or

fashion a product that is valued at

Todd Silver writer of Thinks Like

a Genius and Breaking through
The Barriers
The power to connect the
seemingly or unconnected.
combination of two ideas or

Critical Thinking
Reason is not a type of subject matter, but
rather an instrument or tool without which it
would not be possible for human beings to
perceive, judge, or compare
The formalism of Greek thought and logic
and the mythical bent of its doctrine and
philosophy had notably deleterious effect on
the course of Islamic thought in its doctrinal,
intellectual, and cultural dimensions alike.
Preoccupation with doctrinal, metaphysical,
and theological sophistries (illogicalities)
exhausted the energies of Muslim scholars
and philosophers

Critical Thinking

(The word aql appears in the Quran in its verb form

yaqilun meaning to apply reason and not in its
noun form meaning discernment (differentiate) ).
The reason for this is that rather than being a discrete
entity, al-aql is, an instrument or tool by means of
which human beings understand, compare, and draw
connections between facts, patterns, and laws of the
Consequently, the issue of concern to human beings
in relation to the mind, or reason, has to do not with
reason itself but rather with the way in which reason
and its capacities are put to use. When we reason, we
are able to perceive reality and arrive at judgments
concerning claims and assumptions in relation to
facts and objective scientific laws.

Critical Thinking
If the claims or assumptions under
discussion are found to agree with facts
before us, they may be said to be correct.
Otherwise, we know there to be some flaw
in our understanding that needs to be
addressed through further research,
thought, and investigation. This is why the
Quran speaks so frequently of the process
of trying to understand (al-tadabbur)
using ones reason (al-aql/ al-taaqqul),
reflection (al-tafakkur), and seeing (alibsar).

Quranic Aspects of Thinking

and Creative Thinking
The words of thinking had been
mentioned in Al-Quran with
different meaning as follows:
* Deep thinking
-have been mentioned 18 times
in Quran
17 times in plural form and 1
time in singular form

219 :2

2.Tabassur ()
* Insight The ability to
perceive clearly or deeply;
- have mentioned 83 times in
8: 50 (
3. Taaqqul
* To bear in mind: to be
- have mentioned 49 times in

22 : 46 (

4. Nadzar ( )
* Reflect
- have been mentioned 34 times in
9 : 127 (
5. Tawassum
Ponder: To consider with
thoroughness and care.
have mentioned 1 time in Quran
15 : 75
6. Itibar ()
* To derive lessons

7. Tazakkur ( ) To remember

have been mentioned 116 times in

35 :37
8. Tafaqquh
* Comprehend: to perceive or
have been mentioned 20 times in
11 : 91 (
9. Tadabbur ( )
* Contemplate: To look at attentively
and thoughtfully
have mention 4 times in Quran
38 : 29 (

It helps to solve the
problems in order and
step-by-step form.1
Improves the mind abilities
and qualities of thinking1
Produce new ideas and
views 1
Help to control our mind as
long as thinking to solve
problems is concerned 0.5
Help us to be positive
towards the failure and reproduce success. 1

Personal benefits- enriched
life, successful career and
balanced thinking. 0.5
Business and industry
benefits- through
teamwork, meeting
customer needs, and
continuous improvement,
companies innovate and
complete worldwide
* Society benefits- solutions
to many serious economic,
social and environmental
problems are found when
people work together
creatively. 0.5


Hence, it is vital that, both as

individuals and as a society,
Muslims repair what is broken in
their way of thinking and the
thinking of future generations.
This will involve reforming their
educational methods, their
approach to childrearing, and the
way in which they address
childrens emotional needs

Status of thinking in Islam

Wajib (an obligation).
Ibadah-if it is for a good
purpose i.e. to benefit the
communities or oneself.
-with good intention.
There are many verses in
the Qur`an that
commands us to think.
Thinking leads to iman
(deep thought).

Encouragement of Islam to

Those who innovated a bad

thought in a society, then
they not only get the sin for
this ,but they will also be
getting sins of all the
people who are doing it.
Therefore we should not
introduce or innovate
anything bad or evil. This is
what distinguishes Islam
from west, because for
west there are no
restrictions and it is value
free, they do not care if it is
good or bad ,they are only
concerned with creative
innovation, and with
originality and development

Islam imposes restrictions on

creativity ,the west would
say. But it is for the
betterment of the society,
and these restrictions are
coming from Allah (SWT) and
our Prophet because
according to Islam there
should be no harm to others
because of us or our arts,
whatever restrictions are
made are positive.
e.g. of misuse of creativity:
Mass destruction weapons.
Wrong fashion.
Because sometimes even
creative thinking is negative.

Many ayahs in the Qur`an

ask us to think. It urge us to
contemplate, and answer
questions ,this is proved
because there are so many
questions in the Qur`an,
therefore Qur`an encourages
us to think and then answer.
It asks us to use our mind.
Another encouragement in
Islam regarding thinking is
ijtihad. There are many
situations where the scholars
have to practice ijtihad.
The main guidelines and
principles are in the Qur`an
(shariah,fiqh). These
transactions (muamalat)
encourage and help these
scholars to make decisions
and solve problems.

Allah made everything

he created musakhir for
us (beneficial: that
can be used by us) but
we have to discover all
the ways by ourselves
and do experiments and
learn about these
things and use them
because Allah has made
everything subservient.
So we have to look for
these laws.
The Qur`an alo mentions
a lot of social laws

So the more we know

about these divine laws
the more we can improve
These divine laws ,both
the universal and social,
can be used or
alternatively misused.
Using is the right way, but
they can also be misused
e.g. destruction of atomic
bomb, nuclear weapons.
Progress in everything is
actually the use in all
fields, but at the same
time people can use their
thinking and creativity in
a wrong way.

Encouragement of Islam to

The western perspective is

based more on personal
Muslims also think about
superiority but in a positive
sense, we are more close to
Allah, it leads to
humbleness, helping others
(we become mutawada).
But in western it means the
use of force, we care only
for our benefit, humiliation.
This is based on worldview

Encouragement of Islam to Thinking

In short, education among those
participating in more innovative education
has long been a matter of thought,
movement, and action. In other words, life
among them is a matter of action, building,
and creativity
Thinkers and reformers as to help the
Muslim community to recover its strength,
drive, and constructive, creative potential
as a steward of Gods gifts, they have no
choice but to work patiently and diligently
to reform, purify, and renew their culture, a
process that will require the reform of their
educational curricula and methods of child
rearing and the recovery of their original
Quranic vision of themselves and the

Encouragement of Islam to
Three interrelated stages that
encourage us to think;
1- Thinking about the existence of
God leads to stronger faith and
better knowledge of His
2-Using our mind to think
provides us with conception,
information and ideas.
3- Paying closer and greater
attention to that information and
thought may lead to new ideas
and solutions. It also leads to
The Quran has encouraged
thinking and made reading and
proclaiming as a necessary tool
for understanding and action.

Encouragement of Islam to
Through reading and thinking
one can reach important
conclusions and achieve vital
ideas and solutions.
Reading and thinking lead to
knowledge, understanding,
ideas, solutions and actions.
Through reading and thinking,
we can examine our nature,
formulate ideas and make
conclusions that would lead us to
understand about our world and

Encouragement of Islam to
To cite some Quranic verses,
Proclaim! ( or Read! ) in the
name of thy Lord and Cherisher,
Who created- Al Alaq : 1 and
another verses : O Lord! Increase
my knowledge- Taha : 114.
The second discussion in Quran is
the call for excellence ( Ihsan) that
means we seeing Allah as Allah
seeing us. In other word, we must
alert and aware everything we do in
our life that not against Allahs
order, verily God doth see all
they do . Al-Anfaal : 39 .
We must remember and think of
Allah in all of time in doing
something. This thinking can lead
us to do the right things in a
complete and nicely.

Encouragement of Islam to
The huge number of questions
mentioned in the Holly Quran
reflects the encouragement of
Islam to thinking
The role of scholar and thinkers
is given high value in Islam.

Encouragement to
Thinking In Islam
Ijtihad and Fiqh as a Problem
Fiqh based on ijtihad to solve
problem among Muslim society.
It can be done with tafakkur.
Ijtihad means striving or selfexertion in any activity.

According one hadith from Muadh
ibn Jabal when the prophet sent him
to Yaman for preaching Islam. The
prophet (peace be upon him) asked
Muadh :
What will you do if you are faced
by a problem ? Muadh replied: I
will refer it to the book of Allah. The
prophet asked Muadh again: What
about if it is not mentioned in the
book of Allah.
Muadh answered: I will refer it to
The Sunnah of The Prophet of Allah.
The Prophet asked for the third time:
What will you do if you cannot find
it there. Muadh responded
confidently: Then I will do ijtihad.

The Prophet was so happy about
the answer given by Muadh and
approved his last statement
pertaining to performing Ijtihad.
The concept of Maqasid has
developed from the consequence
of Ijtihad. As one of a
contemporary scholar of Islam Ibnu
Ashur emphasized that knowledge
of the science of Maqasid was
indispensable to Ijtihad in all its
manifestations. Maqasid is an
object of shariah.
Its also known as the weighing
between benefit and harm."
..." " " .

The conditions of Islamic creative

1-Aims are determined by Shari a
2-Creativity should not contradict Shari
3-Creativity should lead to more
knowledge about God
3-Creativity can be in anything that
leads to scientific advancement which
leads to social progress
5-Creativity can be in anything that
strengthens Muslims.
6-Creativity can be in anything that
enhance clarity of Islamic message and
causes it to spread all over the world.
Stewardship means the ability to make conscious decisions

and to make responsible use of the material world and all

that this implies by way of accountability, then justice is the
central aim of all human action and interaction and on all
levels: the material and spiritual, the economic, the social,
and the political


The relationship between

creativity and Sharia should be

determined through:
1-Sharia is one of primary impetuses
for the development of original
2-Sharia is the unifying force which
brings together muslims, as well as
blends together their ideas.
3-Sharia provides ethical guidance to
individuals to enable them to pursue
their creative endevours.
4-Sharia provides the framework for
a morally upright by removing all

number of characteristics of the

Islamic concept of creativity:

Creativity is multifaceted nature,
incorporating physical, mental, spiritual,
and theological components.
It is linked with the concepts of
responsibility, humility, and gratitude.
Creative invention and innovation
should reflect the spiritual dimension of
humans, and should not have a strictly
utilitarian function.
Creativity should not be an
individualistic affair, but should take into
consideration the interests and needs of
All humans will be judged according to
their intentions and efforts, if they
generate good ideas will be rewarded
greatly, and if they generate evil ideas
will be punished.

Relationship Between Creativity and Quranic


1. The Quranic worldview is an ethical,

monotheistic, purposeful, positive
perspective on the world and those in it
which reflects the healthy, well-balanced
human nature that God created within us
2. It follows of necessity, then, that it is a
scientific, law-governed perspective that
supports responsible stewardship of the earth
and its riches.
3. It aims to create an awareness of the
elements that go to make up sound human
since it is only through such an awareness
that we will possess the guidance we need in
order to achieve true self-realization on both
the individual and communal levels

Relationship Between Creativity and Quranic


4. True self-realization entail the ability to

respond in moderation to our various needs
and impulses, while exploring the horizons
of human existence in all of its creative
spiritual dimensions.
5. The time has come for all of us to take
our lives with the seriousness they deserve,
and to base the life of our Muslim
community on the Quranic perspective on
human beings and the world in which they

The theoretical need for

Humor indicates better than any other mental
behavior the nature of the information system
the gives rise to perception, this is the selforganizing information system.
And it shows also how perceptions set up in
one way, can be reconfigured in another way.
This is the essence of creativity.
We need to distinguish two broad types of
information system:
Passive system; the information and the
information recording surface are passive. All
activity comes from external organizer.
Active system; the information and the
surface are active (self-organizing).
A good example; rain falling interacting with
the landscape forms channel, which affect the
way future rain is organized.

The theoretical need for

There are many books about how simple
nerve networks can allow information to
organize itself in patterns, these patterns are
very useful, because it allow us to recognize
Whenever we look at the world we see only
in the terms of our existing patterns.
This is also why the analysis of information
will not yield new ideas, the brain can only
see what it is prepared to see. We can only
pick out the idea we already have.
Pattern-forming and pattern-using behavior
of the neural networks of the brain is
magnificent, perception is the process of
setting up and using.

The theoretical need for

What happens if there is a side track? Do
we have to stop to consider every side
Now, we go along with full confident, if we
were to enter the side track from another
point, then we could follow the side track
to the starting point. This is the classic
asymmetry of patterns, which gives rise to
humor and creativity.


How do we get across from the main

track to the sidetrack, this is where
systematic provocation methods of
lateral thinking come in

The practical need for


The need for creativity in

constructing a hypothesis.
What is a hypothesis? It is a
guess or speculation, this has many
It gives us a framework in which we
can look at the information, and
notice things we havent noticed.
It gives us something to prove or
Creativity has involved very much in
constructing a hypothesis, if there is
no creativity, then we can use only
standard concepts.
What is The dilemma associated
with hypotheses? It closes down
our minds to other possibilities.
Creativity is needed for generating
these alternative and parallel

Guidelines for Creative


Thank You
Very Much