A contest is afoot in Muslim discourses around the world in the twenty-first century. Prevalent norms and acts are subject to competing motivations, trends and forces. The image of a monolithic Islam is thus wholly inadequate to identify and interpret the different expressions of Muslim thought and practice in their specific yet connected contexts. This book proposes competing and persuasive perspectives for interpreting what Muslims say, do and think in collective settings or in the light of common frames of reference. The chapters contained in this book reflect a diversity of disciplines and interests. Nonetheless, a common thread of the preoccupation with meanings in context unites the contributors and the approaches to their chosen examples. Islam is not a discrete category that is taken for granted. Instead, the cacophony of voices in the Muslim world situated in specific contexts, variously national, regional or global, is allowed to inform each chapter. Here one encounters contemporary Muslims participating in discourses with a contested character that create opportunities to augment or question orthodox dictates or transmit or alter existing beliefs and practices. What emerges are nuanced portraits of contemporary Muslim thought and practice that reveal a far from monolithic Islam to which all things Islamic can be reduced.
Mohammed Moussa is assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University.
Emi Goto is assistant professor at the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.
Introduction: Beyond Modernity? Interpreting Muslim Thought and Practice
Chapter 1: Problematising the Compatibility of Islam and Democracy through a Hermeneutical Approach
Ahmet Kemal Bayram
Chapter 2:The Urgency of Changing the Arab World: The Case of Adonis, Mohammed Abed Al-Jabry, and Mohammed Arkoun
Chapter 3: Reconstruction of the Maqāṣid al-Sharīʿa in Ibn ʿĀshūr’s Legal Philosophy
Chapter 4: The Ḥijāb between Competing Masculinities in Contemporary Turkey
Chapter 5: The Wahhabi Ascendancy and the Decline of the Ashrāf in Saudi Arabia
Chapter 6:Jawdat Said’s Path Towards Nonviolence
Chapter 7: A Turn to Hermeneutics: Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd‘s Rethinking of Religion and Tradition in Japan
Chapter 8: Religious Authority and the Making of al-Sistanī’s Charismatic Leadership in Post-2003 Iraq
Fouad J Kadhem
About the Authors
This anthology offers fresh perspectives on modern Muslim thought from a diverse range of voices. Complicating the binary between a European modernity and a non-European tradition by emphasizing the agency of Muslim thinkers and situating them in specific contexts, it is a highly welcome contribution to an ongoing debate and will enrich our understanding of global intellectual trends in Islam.
Besides offering a collection of masterful articles on some of the most compelling intellectuals and issues facing the Muslim world today, this book challenges us to decolonize the entire field of Islamic studies by thinking beyond the facile binary dyads of modernity and tradition or secularism and religion. This is a necessary and timely book that should be read by any serious Islamic studies student, or indeed, any student of religion and the modern world.
First, the edited book seeks to demonstrate the composite nature of tradition, specifically the Islamic tradition, through a variety of examples and case studies.
Second, the different backgrounds of the contributors showcase the interdisciplinary character of studies on Muslım thought and practice easily accessible for readers in one book.
Third, the edited book complements existing studies and research on tradition in the Muslim world but aims to go beyond the preoccupation of modernity.