There has been a significant upsurge of western interest in the political manifestations and significance of Islam in the last decade, fuelled by the notion of Islamic ‘revival’, the Iranian revolution and by events in countries as diverse as Egypt, Pakistan and Sudan.
Oil power and its effect on the international economic order, the relationship of Muslim countries with the superpowers and the continuation of the Arab-Israeli conflict have also served to focus attention on Islamic politics and, in particular, on the notion of Islamic reassertion.
As the author of this book argues, one result of this interest has been the development of a view of Islam as monolithic and implacable. He takes a broad view of the intellectual and cultural history of Islam, emphasising the extraordinary diversity of Islamic societies and the ways in which the ideal is often pragmatically adapted to reality. In this wider social and historical context, the nature of Islamic revival is then reassessed.
First published in 1988.
Preface. Introduction. 1. Ways of Looking at Islam. Introduction. Conventional ways of looking at Islam. Modern schools of thought. Towards a different view of Islam. Theory and practice: a neglected relationship. Islam re-defined: a general view. Matters affecting the general view. Islam, modernization and economic development: a difficult balance. The mystique of Islam. Conclusions 2. The Law. Introduction. The sources of the law. The Quran and the Sunna: primary sources of the law. Ijma’, qiyas, ijtihad and maslaha: secondary sources of the law. The early development of the law, jurisprudence and the administration of justice. Al Shafi’i: the classical theory defined. Theory and practice in the post-al Shafi’i period. Shi’a legal theory. The classical theory and pre-modern practice: a recapitulation. A modern definition of the Shari’a. Conclusions 3. Concepts of State Government and Authority. Introduction. Sunni political theory. Theory and practice: an uneasy relationship. Ibn Taymiyya. Ibn Khaldun. Jalal al Din Dawani and Fadhl Allah Khunji. Shi’a political theory. A variant approach to theory and practice. Conclusions 4. International Relations and International Law. Introduction. The Muslim theory of international relations. Jihad. International law in Islam. Pragmatic modification to the theory. Conclusions 5. The Islamic Economic System. Introduction. Islamic economic theory. Taxation and interest. Islamic banking. Partnership arrangements. Justification of a separate Islamic economic system. Conclusion 6. Intellectual Influences, Part One – The Indian Sub-continent. Introduction. Shah Wali Allah: orthodoxy, reconciliation and reform. Sir Sayyid Ahman Khan: speculative rationalism. Muhammad Iqbal: the reconstruction of the theory. Abul A’la Maududi: conservative orthodoxy triumphant 7. Intellectual Influences, Part Two – Egypt. Introduction. Muhammad Abduh: the father of Egyptian modernism. Rashid Ridha: pragmatic conservatism. Hassan al Banna and the Muslim Brotherhood. Sayyid Qutb: radical ideologue and the politics of despair. Conclusions 8. The Islamic Revival. Introduction: fundamentalism defined and the historical context. The Islamic revival, differing views. The revival: what has happened. The revival: why did it happen. The revival: goals and implications. The revival and the relationship between faith and power. An alternative view. Conclusions 9. The Extremists. Introduction. Motivations for violence and types of organization. Islamization imposed by government fiat. Broadly based and popularly supported organizations. Small clandestine but discrete groups. The terrorist groups. The Egyptian experience. Iraq, Bahrain, and South and Southeast Asia. The Lebanese experience: Hizballah. Conclusions 10. Envoi. Notes. Glossary of technical terms. Biographical notes on major historical figures. Suggestions for further reading. Index