Politics of the Islamic Tradition: The Thought of Muhammad Al-Ghazali, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Politics of the Islamic Tradition

The Thought of Muhammad Al-Ghazali, 1st Edition

By Mohammed Moussa


186 pages

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Paperback: 9781138614673
pub: 2018-09-27
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Over the last two centuries the Muslim world has undergone dramatic transformations, impacting the Islamic tradition and throwing into question our understanding of tradition. The notion of tradition as an unmoving edifice is contradicted by the very process of its transmission, and the complex role human beings play in creating and sustaining traditions is evident in the indigenous mechanisms of change within the Islamic tradition.

Politics of the Islamic Tradition locates the work of Egyptian cleric Muhammad al-Ghazali within the context of this dynamic Islamic tradition, with special focus on his political thought. Al-Ghazali inherited a vast and diverse heritage which he managed to reinterpret in a changing world. An innovative exploration of the change and continuity present within Muslim discourses, this book brings together disparate threads of the Islamic tradition, religious exegesis, the contemporary Arab Middle East, the Islamic state and idea of renewal in al-Ghazali’s thought. As well as being one of the first complete treatments of al-Ghazali’s works, this book provides an original critical approach to tradition and its capability for innovation and change, countering the dichotomy between tradition and modernity that typically informs most scholarly studies on contemporary Islam.

Offering highly original insights into Islamic thought and engaging with critical notions of tradition, this book is essential reading for students and scholars of Islamic Politics and History.


"The book is an authoritative work on the political thoughts of Muhammad al-Ghazali and provides an excellent insight into the history of al-Ghazali’s thought and contemporary modernist thought in Egypt"

Shahrul Hussain, Markfield Institute of Higher Education, UK

"Moussa’s book tells us an eye-opening new narrative on the modern history of Islam, with neither Western influence, nor Islamic resurgence, but a continued project of renewal on the grounds of the ethos of Islam."

Dr. Emi Goto, University of Tokyo, Japan

Table of Contents

Introduction Chapter 1: Biography of Muhammad al-Ghazali Chapter 2: Survey of Literature on Muhammad al-Ghazali Chapter 3: Renewal in the Formation of the Islamic Tradition Chapter 4: Muhammad al-Ghazali’s Rethinking of Islam Chapter 5: The Shari’ah and Politics in Muhammad al-Ghazali’s Thought Chapter 6: The Tendency of Renewal among Muhammad al-Ghazali’s Peers Conclusion

About the Author

Mohammed Moussa is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, whose research interests lie primarily in the Islamic tradition and change.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Democratization and Government

This series examines new ways of understanding democratization and government in the Middle East. The varied and uneven processes of change, occurring in the Middle Eastern region, can no longer be read and interpreted solely through the prism of Euro-American transitology. Seeking to frame critical parameters in light of these new horizons, this series instigates reinterpretations of democracy and propagates formerly ‘subaltern,’ narratives of democratization. Reinvigorating discussion on how Arab and Middle Eastern peoples and societies seek good government, Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Democratization and Government provides tests and contests of old and new assumptions.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies