Reformation of Islamic Thought
Reformation of Islamic Thought
A Critical Historical Analysis
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Contents Preface Preface by the Author 1 Introduction 2 The Pre-Colonial Period 2.1 Introduction 2.2 Cultural Diversity 2.3 The Paradigm of Sharia 2.4 Revivalism 2.5 Conclusion 3 The Nineteenth Century 3.1 Introduction 3.2 The Challenge of Modernity 3.3 Rethinking Consensus: The Emergence of New Ulama 3.4 Al-Afghani: The Pioneer of Reformation, Islah 3.5 Rethinking Sunna, Hadith Criticism: The Emergence of a New Exegesis of the Quran 3.6 Rethinking the Meaning of the Quran 3.6.1 Islam and Science 3.6.2 Islam and Rationalism 3.7 Conclusion 4 The Twentieth Century 4.1 Introduction 4.2 The Emergence of Political Islam 4.2.1 Egypt 4.2.2 Iran and Iraq 4.2.3 Indonesia 4.3 From Reformation (Islah) to Traditionalism (Salafiyya) 4.4 The issue of the Islamic State 4.5 Politicization of the Quran 4.6 The Intellectual Debate: The Quran as a Literary Text 4.7 Case 1: Cultural Islam in Indonesia: Democracy, Freethinking and Human Rights 4.8 Case 2: The Islamic State in Iran 4.9 Conclusion 5 Selected Thinkers on Islam, Sharia, Democracy and Human Rights 5.1 Introduction 5.2 Muhammed Arkoun: Rethinking Islam 5.3 Abdullah An-Naim: Sharia and Human Rights 5.4 Riffat Hassan and Others: Feminist Hermeneutics 5.5 Tariq Ramadan: European Islam 5.6 Nasr Abu Zayd: Rethinking Sharia, Democracy, Human Rights, and the Position of Women Epilogue Literature Glossary

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Reformation of Islamic Thought

A Critical Historical Analysis

Ever since the dramatic events of September 11, 2001 the fundamentalist and exclusivist trend prevails in most presentations of Islamic thinking. Indeed, these events have given extremists and fundamentalists a much more prominent position than they might ever have dreamt of.

In Reformation of Islamic Thought, the prominent Egyptian scholar Nasr Abû Zayd examines the positive, liberal, and inclusive reaction embedded in the writings of Muslim thinkers. He takes the reader on a critical journey across the Muslim World, where Muslim thinkers from Egypt and Iran to Indonesia seek to divest Islam of traditionalistic and legalistic interpretation. Instead, these thinkers stress the value of a cultural, enlightened Islam, and an individualistic faith.
For many, the dogmatic Islam established by the conservatives and supported by totalitarian political regimes is outdated; they want it replaced by a spiritual and ethical Islam. To what extent are these reformist thinkers engaged in a genuine renewal of Islamic thought? Do they succeed in escaping the traditionalist trap of presenting a purely negative image of the West?