In What Is Islam?, Shahab Ahmed presents a bold new conceptualization of Islam that challenges dominant understandings grounded in the categories of "religion" and "culture" or those that privilege law and scripture.
Author: Shahab Ahmed
Publisher: Princeton University Press
What is Islam? How do we grasp a human and historical phenomenon characterized by such variety and contradiction? What is "Islamic" about Islamic philosophy or Islamic art? Should we speak of Islam or of islams? Should we distinguish the Islamic (the religious) from the Islamicate (the cultural)? Or should we abandon "Islamic" altogether as an analytical term? In What Is Islam?, Shahab Ahmed presents a bold new conceptualization of Islam that challenges dominant understandings grounded in the categories of "religion" and "culture" or those that privilege law and scripture. He argues that these modes of thinking obstruct us from understanding Islam, distorting it, diminishing it, and rendering it incoherent. What Is Islam? formulates a new conceptual language for analyzing Islam. It presents a new paradigm of how Muslims have historically understood divine revelation—one that enables us to understand how and why Muslims through history have embraced values such as exploration, ambiguity, aestheticization, polyvalence, and relativism, as well as practices such as figural art, music, and even wine drinking as Islamic. It also puts forward a new understanding of the historical constitution of Islamic law and its relationship to philosophical ethics and political theory. A book that is certain to provoke debate and significantly alter our understanding of Islam, What Is Islam? reveals how Muslims have historically conceived of and lived with Islam as norms and truths that are at once contradictory yet coherent.
The Importance of Being Islamic (Princeton, NJ and Oxford: Princeton University
Press, 2016), 32. Michael E. Pregill, “I Hear Islam Singing: Shahab Ahmed's What Is Islam? The Importance of Being Islamic,” Harvard Theological Review 110.1 ...
Author: Majid Daneshgar
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Studying the Qur'an in the Muslim Academy examines what it is like to study and teach the Qur'an at academic institutions in the Muslim world, and how politics affect scholarly interpretations of the text. Guided by the author's own journey as a student, university lecturer, and researcher in Iran, Malaysia, and New Zealand, this book provides vivid accounts of the complex academic politics he encountered. Majid Daneshgar describes the selective translation and editing of Edward Said's classic work Orientalism into various Islamic languages, and the way Said's work is weaponized to question the credibility of contemporary Western-produced scholarship in Islamic studies. Daneshgar also examines networks of journals, research centers, and universities in both Sunni and Shia contexts, and looks at examples of Quranic interpretation there. Ultimately, he offers a constructive program for enriching Islamic studies by fusing the best of Western theories with the best philological practices developed in Muslim academic contexts, aimed at encouraging respectful but critical engagement with the Qur'an.
For arguments in favor of thinking about Islam as a contested, discursive tradition,
see Talal Asad, “The Idea of an Anthropology of Islam,” Qui Parle 17, no. 2 (2009
): 1–30; Shahab Ahmad, What is Islam? The Importance of Being Islamic ...
Author: Faraz Masood Sheikh
Category: Islamic ethics
This book describes and analyzes Muhasibi's and Nursi's accounts of what it means to live an authentically Muslim ethical life. It documents and examines the discursive practice, reflectivity, dynamism and complexity involved in living properly as a Muslim individual and social being. --SherAli Tareen, Marshall College, author of Defending Muhammad in Modernity
It is high time the recent magnum opus of the young Harvard scholar Shahab
Ahmed (1966–2015) What is Islam? The Importance of Being Islamic (2016) is
seriously integrated as a “paradigm shifter” in the study of Muslim societies and
Author: Zaid Eyadat
Category: Political Science
This book offers the first comprehensive introduction to one of the most significant Arab thinkers of the late 20th century and the early 21st century: the Moroccan philosopher and social theorist Mohammed Abed al-Jabri. With his intellectual and political engagement, al-Jabri has influenced the development of a modern reading of the Islamic tradition in the broad Arab-Islamic world and has been, in recent years, subject to an increasing interest among Muslims and non-Muslim scholars, social activists and lay men. The contributors to this volume read al-Jabri with reference to prominent past Arab-Muslim scholars, such as Ibn Rushd, al-Ghazali, al-Shatibi, and Ibn Khaldun, as well as contemporary Arab philosophers, like Hassan Hanafi, Abdellah Laroui, George Tarabishi, Taha Abderrahmane; they engage with various aspects of his intellectual project, and trace his influence in non-Arab-Islamic lands, like Indonesia, as well. His analysis of Arab thought since the 1970s as a harbinger analysis of the ongoing “Arab Spring uprising” remains relevant for today's political challenges in the region.
This volume explores the ways in which the young, both in Muslim majority societies and Muslim communities in the West, negotiate their Muslim identity in relation to their youthful desires - their individuality, the search for autonomy and ...
Author: Asef Bayat
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
Category: Family & Relationships
This volume explores the ways in which the young, both in Muslim majority societies and Muslim communities in the West, negotiate their Muslim identity in relation to their youthful desires - their individuality, the search for autonomy and security for the future.
In so doing, she illuminates larger issues of what constitutes "nationality." This is a gripping and heartfelt account of a community that has been torn apart by ethno-political conflict.
Author: Tone Bringa
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Category: Social Science
"I have been able to follow a Bosnian community over a period of six years, during which it has undergone dramatic changes. In the late 1980s people were working hard against economic crisis. In 1990 they were full of optimism for the future. In January 1993 the village was in fear, surrounded by war on all sides. In April 1993 it was attacked by Croat forces. In October 1993 none of the Muslims in the village remained. They had either fled, been placed in detention camps, or been killed." Thus begins Tone Bringa's moving ethnographic account of Bosnian Muslims' lives in a rural village located near Sarajevo. Although they represent a majority of the population in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnian Muslims are still members of a minority culture in the region that was once Yugoslavia. The question of ethno- national identity has become paramount in this society, and the author focuses on religion as the defining characteristic of identity. Bringa pays particular attention to the roles that women play in defining Muslim identities, and she examines the importance of the household as a Muslim identity sphere. In so doing, she illuminates larger issues of what constitutes "nationality." This is a gripping and heartfelt account of a community that has been torn apart by ethno-political conflict. It will attract readers of all backgrounds who want to learn more about one of the most intractable wars of the late twentieth century and the people who have been so tragically affected.
The contributors explore the transnational and local significance of pilgrimage and migration, showing how these journeys heighten a universal sense of 'being Muslim' while also inspiring the redefinition of the frontiers of sect, language, ...
Author: Dale F. Eickelman
Publisher: Univ of California Press
The contributors explore the transnational and local significance of pilgrimage and migration, showing how these journeys heighten a universal sense of 'being Muslim' while also inspiring the redefinition of the frontiers of sect, language, territory, and nation. In this way, encounters with Muslim 'others' have been as important in shaping community self-definition as encounters with European 'others.' --
Author: Yvonne Yazbeck HaddadPublish On: 2006-03-02
A final chapter asks whether 9/11 will prove to have been a watershed moment for Muslim women in America. This groundbreaking work presents the diversity of Muslim American women and demonstrates the complexity of the issues.
Author: Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad
Publisher: Oxford University Press
The treatment and role of women are among the most discussed and controversial aspects of Islam. The rights of Muslim women have become part of the Western political agenda, often perpetuating a stereotype of universal oppression. Muslim women living in America continue to be marginalized and misunderstood since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Yet their contributions are changing the face of Islam as it is seen both within Muslim communities in the West and by non-Muslims. In their public and private lives, Muslim women are actively negotiating what it means to be a woman and a Muslim in an American context. Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad, Jane I. Smith, and Kathleen M. Moore offer a much-needed survey of the situation of Muslim American women, focusing on how Muslim views about and experiences of gender are changing in the Western diaspora. Centering on Muslims in America, the book investigates Muslim attempts to form a new "American" Islam. Such specific issues as dress, marriage, childrearing, conversion, and workplace discrimination are addressed. The authors also look at the ways in which American Muslim women have tried to create new paradigms of Islamic womanhood and are reinterpreting the traditions apart from the males who control the mosque institutions. A final chapter asks whether 9/11 will prove to have been a watershed moment for Muslim women in America. This groundbreaking work presents the diversity of Muslim American women and demonstrates the complexity of the issues. Impeccably researched and accessible, it broadens our understanding of Islam in the West and encourages further exploration into how Muslim women are shaping the future of American Islam.
Author: Matthew L.N. WilkinsonPublish On: 2014-10-30
ethnic, national and international Islamic identities of great complexity that defy
easy interpretation; and that citizenship ... difference between the Muslim and
non-Muslim samples, either in their estimation of the 'importance of being British'
Author: Matthew L.N. Wilkinson
Category: Social Science
***WINNER: Cheryl Frank Memorial Prize, International Association of Critical Realism.*** A Fresh Look at Islam in a Multi-Faith World provides a comprehensively theorised and practical approach to thinking systematically and deeply about Islam and Muslims in a multi-faith world. It makes the case for a contemporary educational philosophy to help young Muslims surmount the challenges of post-modernity and to transcend the hiatuses and obstacles that they face in their interaction and relationships with non-Muslims and visa-versa. It argues that the philosophy of critical realism in its original, dialectical and metaReal moments so fittingly ‘underlabours’ (Bhaskar, 1975) for the contemporary interpretation, clarification and conceptual deepening of Islamic doctrine, practice and education as to suggest a distinctive branch of critical realist philosophy, specifically suited for this purpose. This approach is called Islamic Critical Realism. The book proceeds to explain how this Islamic Critical Realist approach can serve the interpretation of the consensual elements of Islamic doctrine, such as the six elements of Islamic belief and the five ‘pillars’ of Islamic practice, so that these essential features of the Muslim way of life can help Muslim young people to contribute positively to life in multi-faith liberal democracies in a globalising world. Finally, the book shows how this Islamic Critical Realist approach can be brought to bear in humanities classrooms by history, religious education and citizenship teachers to help Muslim young people engage informatively and transformatively with themselves and others in multi-faith contexts.
... they advocate the withdrawal of the mullahs from politics, even though they
remain committed to having a state based on Islamic principles. The relationship
between Islam and democracy is an issue of special importance in these debates
Author: John L. Esposito
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Although more than half of the world's Muslims live in Asia, most books on contemporary Islam focus on the Middle East, giving short shift to the dynamic and diverse presence of Asian Islam in regional and global politics. The Muslims of Asia constitute the largest Muslim communities in the world - Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and Central Asia. In recent years, terrorist bombings in Bali, separatist conflicts in Thailand and the Philippines, and opposition politics in Central Asia, all point to the strategic importance of Asian Islam. In Asian Islam in the 21st Century, terrorism and its effects are placed within the broader context of Muslim politics and how Islamic ideals and movements, mainstream and extremist, have shaped Asian Muslim societies. Democratization experiments -- successful and unsuccessful -- are examined. The rise of radical militant movements is analyzed and placed in historical perspective. The result is an insightful portrait of the rich diversity of Muslim politics and discourse that continue to affect Asian Muslim majority and minority countries. Specialists and students of Islamic studies, religion and international affairs, and comparative politics as well as general readers will benefit from this sorely needed comprehensive analysis of a part of the world that has become increasingly important in the 21st century.
Islamic Philosophy has often been treated as mainly of historical interest, belonging to the history of ideas rather than to philosophy. This is volume challenges this belief.
Author: Seyyed Hossein Nasr
Publisher: Psychology Press
Islamic Philosophy has often been treated as mainly of historical interest, belonging to the history of ideas rather than to philosophy. This is volume challenges this belief. The Routledge History of Philosophy is made up entirely of essays by a distinguished list of writers. They provide detailed discussions of the most important thinkers and the key concepts in Islamic philosophy, from earliest times to the present day.
The idea of a textOCOs literal meaning that rules over human attempts to understand GodOCOs message has become an element in discussions about who has the authority to interpret the revelatory texts, and how they can identify this meaning.
Author: Robert Gleave
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
In this reading of Islamic legal hermeneutics, Robert Gleave explores various competing notions of literal meaning, linked to both theological doctrine and historical developments, together with insights from modern semantic and pragmatic philosophers. Literal meaning is what a text means in itself, regardless of what its author intends to convey or the reader understands to be its message. As Islamic law is based on the central texts of Islam, the idea of a literal meaning that rules over human attempts to understand God's message has resulted in a series of debates amongst modern Muslim legal theorists.
Possibly the most important result of this would be the continuation of the
principle of re-contextualization. ... The result of this mode of religiosity is that “ Islam is viewed as equal in value to tradition; and becoming Islamic is
comparable to being ...
Author: Naṣr Ḥāmid Abū Zayd
Publisher: Amsterdam University Press
After September 11, Islam became nearly synonymous with fundamentalism in the eyes of Western media and literature. However widely held this view may be, it is at odds with Islam’s rich political history. Renowned Egyptian scholar Nasr Abû Zayd here considers the full breadth of contemporary Muslim writings to examine the diverse political, religious, and cultural views that inform discourse in the Islamic world. Reformation of Islamic Thought explores the writings of intellectuals from Egypt to Iran to Indonesia, probing their efforts to expand Islam beyond traditional and legalistic interpretations. Zayd reveals that many Muslim thinkers advocate culturally enlightened Islam with an emphasis on individual faith. He then investigates the extent of these Muslim reformers’ success in generating an authentic renewal of Islamic ideology, asking if such thinkers have escaped the traditionalist trap of presenting a negative image to the West. A fascinating and highly relevant study for our times, Reformation of Islamic Thought is an essential analysis of Islam’s present and future.
CHAPTER 4 LAW AND JUSTICE The sacred law of Islam , the Shari ' a ,
occupies a central place in Muslim society , and its history ... It has often been
said that Islamic law represents the core and kernel of Islam itself and , certainly ,
religious law is incomparably more important in the religion of ... of Islamic law
within the framework of Islamic society and civilization , tentative as this survey is
bound to be .
Author: P. M. Holt
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
A monograph of Muslim civilization, from before Prophet Muhammad through the post-World War II years, explicating the growth of the Arab Empire and its outward political and cultural extensions. Bibliogs
Author: Agnès Nilüfer KefeliPublish On: 2014-12-18
Worse, these statistics underestimated the number of Muslim schools because
they did not include clandestine schools ... and nonliterate) to assume an important role in the transmission of Islamic knowledge, in addition to being
Author: Agnès Nilüfer Kefeli
Publisher: Cornell University Press
In the nineteenth century, the Russian Empire’s Middle Volga region (today’s Tatarstan) was the site of a prolonged struggle between Russian Orthodoxy and Islam, each of which sought to solidify its influence among the frontier’s mix of Turkic, Finno-Ugric, and Slavic peoples. The immediate catalyst of the events that Agnès Nilüfer Kefeli chronicles in Becoming Muslim in Imperial Russia was the collective turn to Islam by many of the region’s Kräshens, the Muslim and animist Tatars who converted to Russian Orthodoxy between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. The traditional view holds that the apostates had really been Muslim all along or that their conversions had been forced by the state or undertaken voluntarily as a matter of convenience. In Kefeli’s view, this argument vastly oversimplifies the complexity of a region where many participated in the religious cultures of both Islam and Orthodox Christianity and where a vibrant Kräshen community has survived to the present. By analyzing Russian, Eurasian, and Central Asian ethnographic, administrative, literary, and missionary sources, Kefeli shows how traditional education, with Sufi mystical components, helped to Islamize Finno-Ugric and Turkic peoples in the Kama-Volga countryside and set the stage for the development of modernist Islam in Russia. Of particular interest is Kefeli’s emphasis on the role that Tatar women (both Kräshen and Muslim) played as holders and transmitters of Sufi knowledge. Today, she notes, intellectuals and mullahs in Tatarstan seek to revive both Sufi and modernist traditions to counteract new expressions of Islam and promote a purely Tatar Islam aware of its specificity in a post-Christian and secular environment.
This role can manifest itself in a number of ways, and the practical ramifications of
a constitution declaring an Islamic state are not uniform. Each of the constitutions
of the ten declared Islamic states also proclaim Islam, to be the official religion ...
Publisher: Cosimo, Inc.
Category: Political Science
As the geographical diversity of the Muslim world stretches from Europe to Africa, through the Middle East and into Asia, this region mirrors a central finding of this study - that predominantly Muslim countries include an array of constitutional measures addressing the role of Islam and the scope of the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief, and other related human rights.THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF RELIGION & BELIEF analyzes these constitutional measures currently in place related to the relationship between religion and the state in addition to freedom of religion or belief in predominantly Muslim countries.Issued in March 2005 as The Religion-State Relationship and the Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief: A Comparative Textual Analysis of the Constitutions of Predominantly Muslim Countries, this report was originally prepared by Tad Stahnke, J.D., Deputy Director for Policy; and Robert C. Blitt, M.A., J.D., LL.M., Legal Policy Analyst of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).USCIRF is an independent federal commission created the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to monitor the status of freedom of thought, conscience, and relation or belief abroad and to give independent recommendations to the Secretary of State and Congress. For additional information about the Commission, please visit www.uscirf.gov.
... in a great variety of local circumstances, of what is implied in 'being Muslim',
and not the discovery of an essential 'Islam' alongside which local variations may
be assessed or measured. That said, it is important to recognize that although our
Author: Leif Manger
Category: Social Science
The term 'local Islam' has been coined to describe local responses to the effects of globalisation in the Islamic world. All contributions to this volume present cases of 'local Islam' as well as discussing the term itself. But what all of this group of anthropologists and historians convey is a feeling of dissatisfaction with the very term. Their uneasiness relates to the conceptual problems arising from seeing Islam as either local or global. Rather, the authors argue in favour of a focus not on Islam but on the lives of Muslims, putting their lives into the context of complex historical developments. Ranging across much of the vast extent of the Islamic world - from West Africa and the Near East to China and Southeast Asia - the contributions deal with the effects of migration on local Islamic traditions in Bangladesh; conflicts between Muslim sects in Pakistan; the development of jihad in West Africa; the problem of maintaining a Muslim identity in China; how Javanese Muslims combine their Islamic faith with belief in a local Javanese spirit world; the comparison between urban- and rural-based Islam in Syria; and (in two studies from western Sudan) issues of belief and broader aspects of identity management in a multi-ethnic situation.
To our knowledge, no attempt has yet been made to understand the important
contributions that Muslim beliefs and practices make to health and well-being in Islamic societies, or explain why and how such influences occur. We—a Christian
Author: Harold G. Koenig
From the first hospitals to pioneering pharmacy techniques, the early history of medicine reflects the groundbreaking contributions of Islamic physicians and scientists. Less recognized, however, is the impact of Islam on the health and daily health practices of modern day Muslims. Meticulously documented with current research sources and relevant religious texts, Health and Well-Being in Islamic Societies sheds light on the relationships between Muslim beliefs and physical, psychological, and social health. Background chapters trace Muslim thought on health and healing as it has evolved over the centuries to the present. The authors provide even-handed comparisons with Christianity as the two traditions approach medical and ethical questions, and with Christian populations in terms of health outcomes, assuring coverage that is not only objective but also empirically sound and clinically useful. And as the concluding chapters show, understanding of these similarities and differences can lead to better care for clients, cost-effective services for communities, and healthier Muslim populations in general. Included among the book's topics: Muslim beliefs about health, healing, and healthcare Similarities and differences between Muslim and Christian health beliefs Impact of religion on physical, mental, and community health in Muslims Understanding how Islam influences health Applications for clinical practice Implications for public health Cultural awareness is critical to improving both individual client health and public health on a global scale. Health and Well-Being in Islamic Societies is essential reading for clinical and health psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and nurses, and will be informative for the general reader as well.
In this book the author writes a general work on the medieval Islamic educational system, with its major features and deficiencies, and on the modernization efforts undertaken during the past century or so.
Author: Fazlur Rahman
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
"As Professor Fazlur Rahman shows in the latest of a series of important contributions to Islamic intellectual history, the characteristic problems of the Muslim modernists—the adaptation to the needs of the contemporary situation of a holy book which draws its specific examples from the conditions of the seventh century and earlier—are by no means new. . . . In Professor Rahman's view the intellectual and therefore the social development of Islam has been impeded and distorted by two interrelated errors. The first was committed by those who, in reading the Koran, failed to recognize the differences between general principles and specific responses to 'concrete and particular historical situations.' . . . This very rigidity gave rise to the second major error, that of the secularists. By teaching and interpreting the Koran in such a way as to admit of no change or development, the dogmatists had created a situation in which Muslim societies, faced with the imperative need to educate their people for life in the modern world, were forced to make a painful and self-defeating choice—either to abandon Koranic Islam, or to turn their backs on the modern world."—Bernard Lewis, New York Review of Books "In this work, Professor Fazlur Rahman presents a positively ambitious blueprint for the transformation of the intellectual tradition of Islam: theology, ethics, philosophy and jurisprudence. Over the voices advocating a return to Islam or the reestablishment of the Sharia, the guide for action, he astutely and soberly asks: What and which Islam? More importantly, how does one get to 'normative' Islam? The author counsels, and passionately demonstrates, that for Islam to be actually what Muslims claim it to be—comprehensive in scope and efficacious for every age and place—Muslim scholars and educationists must reevaluate their methodology and hermeneutics. In spelling out the necessary and sound methodology, he is at once courageous, serious and profound."—Wadi Z. Haddad, American-Arab Affairs