Islam, the West and the Challenges of Modernity

Product Description

Tariq Ramadan attempts to demonstrate, using sources which draw upon Islamic thought and civilization, that Muslims can respond to contemporary challenges of modernity without betraying their identity. The book argues that Muslims, nurished by their own points of reference, can approach the modern epoch by adopting a specific social, political, and economic model that is linked to ethical values, a sense of finalities and spirituality. Rather than a modernism that tends to impose Westernization, it is a modernity that admits to the pluralism of civilizations, religions, and cultures.

Table of Contents:
Foreword
Introduction
History of a Concept
The Lessons of History
Part 1: At the shores of Transcendence: between God and Man
Part 2: The Horizons of Islam: Between Man and the Community
Part 3: Values and Finalities: The Cultural Dimension of the Civilizational Face to Face
Conclusion
Appendix
Index

Tariq Ramadan is a professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford and a visiting professor in Identity and Citizenship at Erasmus University. He was named by TIME Magazine as one of the one hundred innovators of the twenty-first century.

Islam, the West and the Challenges of Modernity

1 comment - What do you think?   Posted by admin - July 13, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Categories: Dubai Books  Tags:

Islam, the West and the Challenges of Modernity

Product Description

Tariq Ramadan attempts to demonstrate, using sources which draw upon Islamic thought and civilization, that Muslims can respond to contemporary challenges of modernity without betraying their identity. The book argues that Muslims, nurished by their own points of reference, can approach the modern epoch by adopting a specific social, political, and economic model that is linked to ethical values, a sense of finalities and spirituality. Rather than a modernism that tends to impose Westernization, it is a modernity that admits to the pluralism of civilizations, religions, and cultures.

Table of Contents:
Foreword
Introduction
History of a Concept
The Lessons of History
Part 1: At the shores of Transcendence: between God and Man
Part 2: The Horizons of Islam: Between Man and the Community
Part 3: Values and Finalities: The Cultural Dimension of the Civilizational Face to Face
Conclusion
Appendix
Index

Tariq Ramadan is a professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford and a visiting professor in Identity and Citizenship at Erasmus University. He was named by TIME Magazine as one of the one hundred innovators of the twenty-first century.

Islam, the West and the Challenges of Modernity

1 comment - What do you think?   Posted by admin - at 6:03 pm

Categories: Dubai Books  Tags:

One Response to “Islam, the West and the Challenges of Modernity”

  1. Asif Samad says:

    How do we define modernity today? Is Islam a backward religion, preaching barbaric practices or does it have progressive ideology? In the advent of the colonialism of many Muslim lands and the subsequent formation of independent nation states in the Muslim world the issue of modernity and Islam has been the most debated topic of the 20th century and new millennium. Few studies have detailed the link between Western and Islamic thought as Ramadan’s book. Ramadan a Professor of Philosophy and Islamic Studies at Fribourg (Switzerland) was born and raised in Switzerland and differs from his grandfather (Hassan Al-Bannah founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt) in certain ideologies. Although their respective place in history can be regarded along the same line of thought as far as reconstruction of Islam towards a more Social empowering force. With an endless source of references to the greatest thinkers in history and an impressive academic pedigree; Descartes, Kant, Aristotle, Prometheus, Ibn Sina (Avicenna), etc. Ramadan tries to soften the extremist voices in the West and Islamic World so common roots and solutions to social dilemmas can be found.

    Tariq Ramadan’s thorough study of western civilization through technology, innovation and other fields that occurred during the renaissance, a consequence of the victory of rationalism over the clergy. However, Ramadan asserts this renaissance has deep roots in Muslim Spain, which was the learning center of Europe for nearly 500 years. Scholars like; Ibn Sina (Medicine), Ibn Rushid, (Philosophy), Al-Jabr (Mathematics), Ibn Hazim (Geography) and the many works of Aristotle, Plato, Pythagoreus were translated into Arabic and spread throughout Europe. The west must recognize this and at the same time the Muslim world must not demonize the west for eternity. Ramadan explains Islam is a universal faith, incorporating different societies throughout history, while maintaining their culture. He identifies himself as a `European Muslim’ in that he finds the common enemy not the South or North (East or West) but a common enemy of illiteracy, poverty, crime, drugs. etc. Elaborating on Jihad and it’s true meaning in Arabic of `struggle’ a social Jihad must take place against illiteracy, poverty, crime, drugs, etc. Ramadan also cites an important saying of the Prophet Muhammad, “the bigger Jihad is fighting with one’s spiritual (desires) and the smaller Jihad is the right of physical self-defense in protection of land, family, elderly, wealth, promoting and prohibiting evil”.

    Muslims must criticize that which is wrong and of utmost priority begin with their own societies, grass-root movements on a `Social Jihad’. Ramadan maintains a balanced approach to the civilizations, maintaining there are certain forces in the West who’s sole interest lies in the resources of Muslim lands and feed off exposure of fanatical Muslims. Citing the ignorant support of certain western governments of human right violations in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and ignoring the social contribution of Islamic Movements. While in Algeria showing no support for the FIS (Islamic Salvation Front), which won the 1992 election but was later violently canceled by the military.

    From a social religious aspect Ramadan sharply criticizes the narrow mindedness of some `ulema (Islamic scholars) in their literal interpretation of doctrine without taking into account the social context and condition of Muslims during the revelation of the Quran, which was sent down over a span of 23 years. Thus he argues stoning of adulterous women no longer applies, there is no constant in Islamic Law it is a case-to-case scenario that requires ijtihad, reasoning from the sources of Islamic Law. Also modernization, development and progress must not be defined as a purely western phenomena (Japan and the Orient) as there exist many social problems in the West.

    In conclusion Ramadan strongly criticizes the Muslim World in their denial to criticize societies and resorting to violent reactionary behavior. He calls for a `Social Jihad’ waged against illiteracy, poverty, crime, drugs, etc. Islam, Ramadan strongly contends is not naturally against development and thought as the Quran enlightens the ummah (Muslim Nation) to ponder and think of creation, there exists no dichotomy between development/rationality and religion.

    Rating: 5 / 5

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